A festive season isn’t complete without Frosted Ginger Cookies. These soft ginger cookies, topped with cream cheese frosting, are the perfect addition to your holiday season.
It's Christmas cookie season. I love cookies (especially these cookies turned truffles Christmas Oreo truffles), and there are few cookies like more than ginger cookies. My mouth is watering, just thinking about these sweet spiced discs of pure heaven. Did I mention they’re topped with cream cheese frosting? Because they are.
These amazing cookies never last long at our house. With a little splash of eggnog in the frosting, they disappear even faster. No one can say no, and everyone’s vying for the change to “clean” the frosting bowl.
Cookies and treats at this time of year are an absolute must. I’d hate for you to miss out on this white chocolate Christmas crack because they’re the perfect addition to a cozy winter party. And have you sampled the red velvet cake mix cookies.
I love the warmth of these ginger cookies. They make me want to curl up with some other treats like this easy Christmas popcorn and a nice warm blanket. Or I make sure I have a pancakes spaghetti ready to devour if I need something else sweet.
When the weather cools down I like to turn to comforting recipes that also make the house smell just as cozy. This ginger cookie recipe does the trick every times.
Why you should make this recipe
- No one should have to live a life without ginger cookies.
- Cream cheese frosting is the best!
- This recipe is the perfect combination of spices and sweetness.
- These cookies are easy and impressive.
Unsalted Butter - The unsalted stuff works great in baking. That way you can measure the salt you add and still make the sweetness shine.
Brown sugar - You know this recipe is going to be fantastic when you get to use delicious, caramel-y brown sugar. I prefer light brown sugar over dark brown sugar.
Egg - As with most baking, you’ll need an egg. I recommend a large one.
Molasses - This will give you that rich sweet and sassy vibe you want for a ginger cookie.
Ground ginger - This spicy little ingredient will give your cookies the little bit of zing they need. They wouldn't be ginger cookies without it.
Nutmeg - Not only does this ingredient taste amazing, but sprinkling it on top of the frosting add a dash of glamor.
Ground cloves - Not only is this ingredient delicious in your cookies, but they add to the aromatic flair you definitely want while these are baking.
Baking soda - Don’t forget the baking soda! This ingredient creates and important chemical reaction that allows your cookies to bake evenly.
Salt - Here’s the reason you want to use the unsalted butter, because you’re already going to be adding it to the recipe.
Vanilla (or eggnog) - This give your frosting a baseline for flavor, and eggnog is a really tasty way to bring the holiday flavors together.
Powdered sugar - This is what you’ll use to thicken your frosting and of course, make it deliciously sweet.
Cream cheese - Because let’s be honest, the best frostings have cream cheese. And with this scrumptious little cookie… [chef’s kiss]
How to make Frosted Ginger Cookies
First things first
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Then line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set it aside.
Using the paddle attachment on your stand mixer, combine the butter and brown sugar together at medium speed and cream them until nice and smooth. Once you’re satisfied with that combination, add in the egg and molasses.
Mix in the flavors
Now it’s time for the dry ingredients. I like to whisk up the dry ingredients (flour, spices, baking soda, and salt) together in a medium bowl before adding them to the electric mixer with the wet ingredients. Mix them up until all the ingredients are well combined.
Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a silicone spatula to get all the yummy stuff back under the paddle. Then mix again.
Scoop and bake
Using a couple of tablespoons or a cookie scoop, portion out golf-ball sized balls of dough. Evenly space them on your prepared baking sheet.
Then bake in your preheated oven for eight minutes. Your house is going to smell amazing! Allow those tasty treats to cool completely on a wire rack before moving on. And try not to eat them all at this point, because you still need to frost them.
To give yourself something to do while you wait for the cookies to cool completely, make the frosting. In the bowl of your stand mixer, combine the softened butter and cream cheese until it’s nice and smooth.
Add in the vanilla (or the eggnog) and nearly half the powdered sugar and mix until well incorporated. Be sure to do this on low speed so the powdered sugar doesn't go everywhere. Toss in the rest of the powdered sugar and mix well. Then scrape the sides and mix again at medium-high speed.
Decorate and enjoy
Now you get to decorate those tasty cookies. Transfer the frosting to a piping bag fitted with a large star tip, or another design you’d prefer.
Make sure the cookies are cooled to room temperature so the frosting doesn’t melt right off. Then pipe the frosting onto the top of the cookies and sprinkle with a dash of nutmeg for the perfect finishing touch. Gobble them up!
Tips for success
Coat the measuring cup
Molasses is sticky! A little spritz of vegetable oil, cooking spray, or a thin layer of butter inside your measuring cup will help you get all the molasses into the recipe instead of leaving you to scrub half of it out later. A small silicone spatula will help too.
Spread the frosting
Don’t have a piping kit? No problem. I promise you these cookies will be just as delectable if you spread the frosting on as if you pipe it. You can even cut the corner off a freezer bag and use that to pipe on the frosting instead.
- Orange or lemon - Sometimes I like to add a splash of lemon juice, orange juice or orange oil to the frosting instead of vanilla to give it a fresh twist. Be careful not to use too much orange juice in the mix because it could thin out the frosting too much.
- Add sprinkles - Sprinkles are a fun way to dress these cookies up even more, and the kiddos love to add them.
- Black pepper - If you like a little more kick to your ginger cookies, try a dash of black pepper in the dough. A little goes a long way, so use only a dash.
- Ground cinnamon - If you prefer, add a dash of cinnamon to the top of these cookies instead of nutmeg.
Storage and Freezing
Storing - You can store these little babies in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days.
Freezing - In an airtight container, these cookies will store in the freezer for up to three months.
Can I make this gluten free?
Sure can! Simply replace the all-purpose flour with a cup for cup gluten free flour and these cookies will turn out every bit as amazing. I doubt anyone will even know they’re gluten free.
Can I make it dairy free?
Why not? Use a vegan cream cheese in the frosting. Replace the butter in the cookies and the frosting with either vegan butter or coconut oil. The consistency of the frosting might end up a little bit different, but just balance out the powdered sugar to get it where you want.
Can I make it vegan?
Yep! Follow the dairy free suggestions above. Replace the egg with a flax egg. While most molasses is vegan, just check your label since the manufacturing process could say otherwise.
Ways to enjoy
Create a cookie bar! Serve these delicious, warm cookies in a spread with gluten free chocolate chip cookies and grinch cookies, or even a cookie charcuterie board. This is every cookie lovers fantasy.
Frosted Ginger Cookies
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 egg
- ¼ cup molasses
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 1 tablespoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- Pinch of cloves
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla (or eggnog - to taste)
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- Nutmeg, to sprinkle
- 8 ounces cream cheese
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a couple baking sheets with parchment, set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the butter and brown sugar. Cream until smooth and lighter in color.
- Add in the egg and molasses. Mix until combined.
- Add in the flour, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, baking soda and salt. Mix until thoroughly combined - stopping the machine and scraping the sides. Mix again.
- Using a tablespoon or a small ice cream scoop, scoop out golf-ball sized balls of dough.
- Bake in the preheated oven for eight minutes. Immediately upon removing from the oven, use the bottom of a spatula to flatten to about ½ of an inch in thickness.
- Allow to cool completely.
- While the cookies are cooling, make the frosting: In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the softened butter and cream cheese. Mix until smooth.
- Add in the vanilla (or eggnog!) and about half of the powdered sugar. Mix until combined. Add in the remaining powdered sugar and mix thoroughly. Scrape the sides and mix again.
- Transfer the frosting to a piping bag fitted with a large star tip or similar. Once cookies are cool, pipe a small spiral in the center of each cookie. Sprinkle with nutmeg to taste.