Ginger cookies are a simple drop spice cookie festively decorated for the holidays with snowflakes, both piped and stenciled for all skill levels (and that means you!)
A plate of beautifully decorated holiday cookies are within your reach ~ they don’t have to take all day, and you don’t need to be a skilled pastry chef to pull them off. These pretty ginger cookies are a cinch to make, and they add the perfect ‘snowy’ element to your holiday cookie collection.
what’s in this post
ginger cookie ingredients
- molasses is an essential ingredient that gives these cookies their ‘gingerbread’ flavor.
- corn syrup or golden syrup
- corn syrup is used in this recipe to keep the cookies slightly softer. This distinguishes them from crisper gingersnaps. Golden syrup or honey can substitute.
- powdered ginger
- powdered cloves
- salt and baking powder
make the dough
The simple drop cookie dough is quick to put together.
- Cream the butter and sugar together.
- Blend in the egg and syrups.
- Fold in the flour, salt, baking powder and spices.
- Roll the dough into small balls and flatten slightly before baking.
decorating your ginger cookies
I decorated these cookies two ways: one takes a tiny bit of effort, the other doesn’t! One is piped with a simple powdered sugar glaze, and the other is stenciled.
ginger cookie decorating method # 1: piped snowflakes
- Fill a small squeeze bottle fitted with a small piping tip with a simple glaze.
- Pipe simple snowflake outlines on the cookies. You can use my photos as guides. Note: snowflakes have a hexagonal symmetry (six sides) with a branching pattern.
- Sprinkle with sugar for an extra glisten while the glaze is wet.
ginger cookie decorating method #2: stenciled snowflakes
tools: snowflake stencils the size of your cookies.
- Center your stencil on top of a cookie.
- Dust generously with powdered sugar through a small sieve.
- Carefully lift the stencil off the cookie, and voila! (My stencils were a little too big for my cookies, but they still look nice.)
make these ginger cookies ahead
If you want to get a head start on your holiday baking you can bake and freeze these cookies, undecorated, and decorate after thawing.
You can also freeze the piped cookies, just be sure to let the glaze fully set before freezing.
I don’t recommend freezing the stenciled cookies, as the design can smudge.
where to find snowflake stencils for ginger cookies
Find a selection of small snowflake stencils HERE.
Stencils can come in different forms, from fabric lace to paper, plastic, or even wood. Lace doilies work wonderfully, and can be found in thrift shops. Paper or plastic stencils can be found in craft stores like Michaels and JOANN. And I sometimes use flat wooden snowflake ornaments as stencils. Find them in dollar stores and big box stores during the holidays.
If you follow me you might know I love to decorate baked goods with stencils, including pretty pieces of lace! This fun and easy technique works with cakes, tarts and cupcakes, too.
- powdered sugar, optional
- homemade or store bought white decorator icing*
- white sugar
- Preheat oven to 350°F and line baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy. Beat in the egg, and scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Beat in the corn syrup and molasses.
- Whisk together the flour, spices, baking powder and salt in a separate bowl. Add them to the creamed mixture and blend until a soft dough forms and there is no dry flour left. Cover tightly with plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350°F and line baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Scoop out 1 tablespoon amounts of dough and roll round in your hands. Place on lined baking sheet 2 inches apart and flatten each ball slightly.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes. Cool the cookies completely on a rack before decorating.
to decorate cookies with the stencil option
- Lay a small snowflake stencil on each cookie and dust generously with powdered sugar through a strainer. Gently lift the stencil straight up and off the cookie.
to decorate with piped snowflake option
- Pipe delicate six-sided snowflakes onto the cookies using my photos as a guide. Dust them with white sugar while the icing is wet. Allow the icing to dry before serving or storing.
- 1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
- 1-2 tablespoons milk (or water)
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
- Sift the powdered sugar into a medium bowl. This removes any lumps and ensures a smooth glaze.
- Add 1 tablespoon of milk and whisk until combined. The glaze should be thick but pourable. If it’s too thick,add another 1/2 teaspoon of milk at a time until you reach the desired consistency.
- Stir in the vanilla extract, if using.
- Transfer the glaze to a piping bag fitted with a small round tip.
more holiday cookie recipes
- Soft Glazed Gingerbread Cookies
- Cardamom Sugar Cookies
- Thin and Crispy Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Cardamom Walnut Crescent Cookies
- Marble Iced Sugar Cookies