Kid Friendly Gingerbread Cookies

Kid Friendly Gingerbread Cookies

Makes 48 cookies

Step into the magic of the holiday season with our delightful Kid Friendly Gingerbread Cookies recipe. Embrace the joy of baking with your little ones as you create memories in the kitchen. This simple and fun recipe from the cookbook Let’s Eat: Recipes for Kids Who Cook is designed with kids in mind, ensuring a mess-free (to a certain extent!) and enjoyable experience. From rolling out the dough to decorating the sweet, spiced creations, these Kid Friendly Gingerbread Cookies are perfect for family bonding during the festive season. Discover the joy of creating delicious gingerbread treats together – it’s a recipe for both happy tummies and cherished moments.



2/3 cup (165 mL) unsalted butter,room temperature
¾ cup (185 mL) packed brown sugar
1 large egg cup (165 mL)
2/3 fancy-grade molasses
1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla extract
3½ cups (875 mL) all-purpose four
1 tsp (5 mL) baking soda
½ tsp (2.5 mL) fne sea salt
1½ Tbsp (23 mL) ground ginger
1 Tbsp (15 mL) ground cinnamon
1 tsp (5 mL) ground allspice
1 tsp (5 mL) ground cloves
½ tsp (2.5 mL) freshly ground black pepper (optional)
Candies of choice to decorate (Smarties, sprinkles, Jelly Tots, and M&M’s all work well)

Royal Icing

4 cups (1 L) icing sugar
¼ cup (60 mL) meringue powder
6 Tbsp (90 mL) hand-hot water
1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla extract


  1. Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until whipped and flu.y, about 3 minutes. Crack the egg and add it along with the molasses and vanilla to the butter mixture. Beat for another 3 minutes so that everything is well combined.
  2. In another large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, allspice, cloves, and pepper (if using).
  3. With your stand mixer set to low speed, add the flour mixture to the unsalted butter mixture 1 cup (250 mL) at a time until everything is fully combined. The mixture will be sticky and that’s ok.
  4. Take the dough out of the stand mixer and divide it into four equal pieces. Use your hands to press each piece into a squashed sort of ball and wrap each one tightly with plastic wrap. Press down on the wrapped balls to form disks about 2 inches (5 cm) thick and place these in the fridge for at least 3 hours. We leave ours overnight. Note: At this point you can easily freeze the dough. Double wrap any balls you don’t want to use right away and place them in the freezer for up to 3 months.
  5. When you’re ready to make cookies, take one disk out of the fridge and unwrap it. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Cut four pieces of cookie sheet–sized parchment paper.
  6. Lay one of the pieces of parchment out on the counter and place a cookie dough disk in the center of it. Cover this disk with another piece of parchment and use your rolling pin to roll the dough out between the parchment sheets until it’s about ¼ inch (0.6 cm) thick. The dough may seem really stiff at first, but it will start to soften up as you go.
  7. Once the dough is rolled out, remove the top piece of parchment, and use your cookie cutters to cut out the shapes you want, being sure to leave at least 1 inch (2.5 cm) between each shape. Do NOT pick the cookie shapes up! When you’ve cut as many pieces as you can, just remove the dough between the pieces, gather that extra dough into a new ball, and slide the piece of parchment with the cookie shapes on it onto a baking sheet.
  8. Place the cookie sheet on the center rack in the oven and bake until the tops of the cookies look dry, about 8–11 minutes. Longer baking makes for crispier cookies. When the cookies are done, turn off the heat and, using oven mitts, remove the cookie sheet from the oven, place it on a cooling rack, and let the cookies cool on the cookie sheet for at least 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, transfer the cookies to the cooling rack to cool completely. If you’re going to decorate them with royal icing, place the cookies in the fridge for 30 minutes to an hour to chill first so that the icing sets properly.
  9. Repeat until all of the dough is used up. Note: You can reuse the parchment paper sheet that you already baked on. I give it a wipe and make sure that there aren’t any dark burnt spots on it.
  10. To make the icing, place the icing sugar and meringue powder in a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and mix on low speed for a few seconds to combine. With the mixer running on low, slowly add the water and vanilla until the mixture is wet through. Turn the speed to medium-high and beat until the icing is thick and stiff. When you pull the whisk out of the icing, the icing should stay up in stiff peaks. Spoon the icing into an icing bag, cut the tip o., and decorate the gingerbread with icing and candies.
  11. The cookies will stay fresh in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

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Recipe by DL Acken and Aurelia Louvet from Let’s Eat: Recipes for Kids Who Cook, copyright © 2023 by DL Acken and Aurelia Louvet. Reprinted with permission of TouchWood Editions