I can say, quite confidently, that this recipe I use is the best gingerbread cookie recipe in the world. Really.

This is not my original recipe. I asked my mom for it after I got married. She got it from a woman at church who used to bake gingerbread men for all of the kids at the Sunday School Christmas pageant each year. I don’t know where she got the recipe from, but I have not encountered a single person who has eaten one of these cookies who does not agree with me about these being the best.

The best gingerbread cookies in the world on the cooling rack

I have made only minor adjustments to the recipe; most notably, I like White Whole Wheat Flour instead of all purpose flour. (Whole grains are an important part of a healthy diet, so eating these gingerbread cookies is good for you!)

For best results, these require two days to make.

Day One


1/2 cup Crisco shortening sticks
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup molasses
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
3 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl, adding them in order. Because this dough it very difficult to mix once the flour is added, I use my KitchenAid 5-Quart Stand Mixer on the lowest setting.

Cover the bowl and chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour. Overnight is best.

Day Two

When you take the dough out of the refrigerator, it will be incredibly sticky. You need a lot of flour to avoid big messes. Flour all of your work surfaces, including your countertop, rolling pin, spoon (if you use one), cookie cutters, and the fronts and backs of your hands. You will need to re-flour your work surfaces many, many times, or you will end up with gingerbread stuck everywhere except on your cookie sheet.

Roll out the dough to approximately 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick. Use cookie cutters to create shapes, or drop spoonfuls onto your cookie sheet to make ginger snaps. I roll the dough out on my countertop and use my cookie spatula to transfer onto an ungreased cookie sheet, but you can also roll the dough out directly on your cookie sheet if you are having trouble transferring your cookies.

Place in a 350 degree oven for 8-10 minutes. Cool for at least an hour before frosting.


1 1/3 cup powdered sugar
2 egg whites

Use an electric mixer to beat until smooth.

Add another 1 1/3 cup of powdered sugar and 1 tsp vanilla extract. Mix until stiff peaks form.

I used my Cutco spatula spreader to apply the icing to each cookie, but a butter knife will also work. Alternately, you can use a piping bag to decorate your cookies.

I waited a few hours for the icing to set, and used Betty Crocker Easy Writer food decorators to draw on the white icing.

Makes about 5 dozen assorted shaped cookies.

Because they are so delicious, I always make a double batch.

I offer you this challenge: try this gingerbread cookie recipe and leave me a comment to let me know whether or not you think this really is the best gingerbread cookie recipe in the world. I think you’ll agree.

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