Soft and Chewy Gingerbread People

a family of gingerbread people
Prep Time: 
45 minutes + 90 minutes chill and cool time
Number of Servings: 
20 cookies
Recipe Source: 
The Complete Autumn & Winter Cookbook by America's Test Kitchen


  • 3 cups (15 oz) all-purpose flour
  • 34 cup packed (5 14 oz) dark brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp ground ginger
  • 34 tsp baking soda
  • 12 tsp ground cloves
  • 12 tsp table salt
  • 12 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 34 cup light molasses
  • 2 Tbsp milk


  1. Process flour, sugar, cinnamon, ginger, baking soda, cloves, and salt in a food processor until combined, about 10 seconds. Add melted butter, molasses, and milk. Process until a soft dough forms and no streaks of flour remain, about 20 seconds, scraping down sides of bowl as needed.
  2. Spray counter lightly with a baking spray with flour, transfer dough to counter, and knead until dough forms a cohesive ball, about 20 seconds. Divide dough in half. Form each half into a 5-inch disk, wrap disks tightly in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours.
  3. Adjust oven racks to upper-middle and lower middle positions and heat oven to 350º. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Working with 1 disk of dough at a time, roll 14-inch thick between 2 large sheets of parchment. (Keep second disk of dough refrigerated while rolling out first.) Remove top piece of parchment. Using a 3 14-inch cookie cutter, cut dough into shapes. Peel away scraps from around cookies and space shapes 34-inch apart on prepared sheets. Repeat rolling and cutting steps with dough scraps.
  4. Bake cookies until puffy and just set around edges, 9 to 11 minutes, switching and rotating sheets halfway through baking. Let cookies cool on sheets for 10 minutes, and then transfer to a wire rack. Let cookies cool completely before serving. (Cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature, with a sheet of parchment or waxed paper between each layer, for up to 3 days.)


  • These cookies are soft, not crunchy, and brimming with the flavors of ginger and molasses.
  • Depending on your cookie cutter dimensions, all of the cookies may not fit on the sheets and a second round of baking may be required.
  • You can decorate these cookies with your favorite icing, if desired.
Nutrition Info: 
Per serving (1 cookie without icing): 188 Calories, 2 g Protein, 30 g Carbohydrates, 15 g Total sugars (15 g Added sugars), 1 g Fiber, 7 g Total fat (4 g sat), 110 mg Sodium, Vitamin B1 (thiamine), Folate, Iron, Magnesium


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