45 Gingerbread Recipes That Will Spice Up Your Holiday Baking

Ah, gingerbread: the holiday staple that we begrudgingly bake every year, despite our guests’ insistence on choosing sugar cookies instead. Why are we so scared of injecting a lil’ spice into our Christmas dessert spread? Gingerbread cookies are not only nostalgic and charming (don’t even get us started on too-cute-to-eat gingerbread houses complete with icing shingles and gumdrop doorknobs), but they offer timeless, warm, wintry flavor to an otherwise basic cookie swap. And they don’t have to be rock hard. We’ll prove it with 45 gingerbread recipes that will inspire you to mix up your annual menu once and for all. There’s so much more to explore than standard cookies, too—we’re talking doughnuts, fudge, cheesecake and beyond.

The 80 Best Christmas Cookies to Make This Holiday Season (All Cookie Swap- and Santa-Approved)

1. Gingerbread Men Cookies

Let’s get the classic rendition out of the way, shall we? If you want to whip up the iconic O.G., look no further than this recipe. Have plenty of sprinkles and icing at the ready for decorating.

2. Gingerbread Loaf With Cream Cheese Frosting

It’s best washed down with a mug of eggnog. (Bonus points for spiking it with a glug or two of whiskey.)

3. Gingerbread Pancakes

Christmas breakfast never looked so darn enchanting. We like ours topped with fresh whipped cream and a snow-like dusting of confectioners’ sugar, but syrup couldn’t hurt either.

4. Gingerbread Lattice Cookies

There’s no need to frost these woven delights—they’re gorgeous as is. The key is using a round, fluted cookie cutter to crimp the sides and a pastry or pizza wheel to cut the strips.

5. Gingerbread-cream Cheese Muffins

A hefty swirl of tangy, sweet cream cheese filling cuts right through the spiciness of the cinnamon, nutmeg and clove.

6. Caramel-stuffed Gingerbread Crinkle Cookies

Chewy, spicy and oozing with molten caramel—what’s not to like? No one will guess that you stuffed them with store-bought candies.

7. No-bake Mini Mason Jar Spiced Cheesecakes

The only thing better than a slice of cheesecake is a tiny whole cheesecake (or two) all to yourself. Sink your spoon into gingersnap crust, spiced cream cheese filling and red currant jelly.

8. Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies

Ready thine milk, friends. These cozy, cocoa-kissed cookies were born to be dunked.

9. Mini No-bake Gingersnap Icebox Cakes

If your oven is already spoken for (read: filled with a glazed ham, stuffing and green bean casserole) come Christmas Eve, these no-bake gems will save the day. Just assemble and chill until you’re ready to serve dessert.

10. Ginger Cherry Pie

The pretty gingerbread pie crust takes a bit of patience, but it’ll be worth it once you see the looks on your guests’ faces when the pie hits the table.

11. Gingerbread Pear Crumble With Boozy Whipped Cream

Make a double batch of the dark rum whipped cream so you can use it to finish off a cup of hot chocolate or eggnog.

12. Disney’s Mini Gingerbread Bundt Cakes

Complete with a decadent orange-vanilla sauce and three-ingredient glaze. (Did we mention the cake batter gets a whole bottle of amber lager?)

13. Starbucks Gingerbread Latte

The cookie-inspired bev has been in the Starbucks graveyard for the last few years, but we’re here to help you resurrect it at home.

14. Upside-down Pear Gingerbread Cake

Come for the in-season, fork-tender pears, stay for the dark brown sugar caramel sauce.

15. White Chocolate Ginger Cookies

Decadent white chocolate is just the match for these warm-spiced handhelds. Not only does it cut the heat, but it also doubles as a sticky canvas for sprinkles.

16. Mini Gingerbread Houses

You know how one mistake on a large gingerbread house kind of ruins the whole thing? Decorating multiple mini houses instead takes the pressure off and offers you more wiggle room.

17. Gingerbread Hot Chocolate

Two holiday heavyweights united in creamy, chocolatey harmony. Sweetened condensed milk makes it extra thick and luscious.

18. Gingerbread Whoopie Pies

Bring on the fluffy cream cheese filling. Make the batter up to three days in advance to lighten your load on the big day.

19. Chewy Ginger Molasses Cookies

Top them with coarse sugar for a rustic look or opt for candied ginger instead for an elegant finishing touch.

20. Gingerbread Swirl Fudge

It’s safe to assume that we’ll be gifting a tin of this marbled fudge to everyone on our holiday list. (You’re only a few pantry staples away.)

21. Gingerbread Cupcakes

Gingerbread cake + cinnamon-brown butter frosting + star cookie garnish = the wintriest dessert of all time.

22. Overnight Gingerbread French Toast Breakfast Bake

Assemble the dish and let it chill overnight. In the morning, it’ll magically appear on the table, just like the presents under the tree. (That’s what you can tell the kids, at least.)

23. Salted Gingersnap Mallomars

Just the facelift this old-school cookie needed. The gingersnaps are store-bought, but the homemade vanilla marshmallows are the real star anyway.

24. Vegan Gluten-free Gingerbread Men

No dairy, no problem. Vegan butter and flax “egg” hold down the fort in this one-bowl, plant-based recipe.

25. Gingerbread Spiced Snowflake Sugar Cookies

Listen, we love plain sugar cookies (especially when they’re shaped like this). But they’re infinitely more exciting when made with traditional German spices.

26. Poached Pear Gingerbread Loaf Cake

This breakfast beauty has a surprise inside: three whole Bosc pears poached in white wine and winter spices.

27. Homemade Gingerbread

This simple recipe calls for basic ingredients and only 20 minutes of prep. It pairs just as well with vanilla ice cream as it does whipped cream.

28. Baked Gingerbread Mini Doughnuts

Winter’s answer to autumn’s apple cider doughnuts. Not only are they finished with brown sugar-maple glaze, but they’ll also make your whole house smell like Christmas.

29. Gingerbread Bundt Cake

Might we suggest finishing each slice with a dusting of confectioners’ sugar, a few cranberries and a sprig of candied rosemary?

30. Low-sugar, Gluten-free Gingersnap Cookies

Each one contains about 80 calories and 7 grams of sugar, so feel free to have two. (OK, four.)

31. Gingerbread Surprise Beignets With Spiced Mocha Hot Chocolate

As if this holiday pairing wasn’t enticing enough, the beignets are also stuffed to the brim with Nutella.

32. Sticky Toffee Gingerbread Bread Pudding

Pro tip: Spray the measuring cup with nonstick cooking spray before pouring in the molasses; that way, you won’t have to scrape it in.

33. Gingerbread Cinnamon Rolls

Only two hours stand between you and these swirls of morning glory. Pile on as much cream cheese frosting as your heart desires.

34. Chocolate Gingerbread Babka

The filling calls for crushed gingerbread cookies, grated ginger and gingerbread-flavored chocolate, but feel free to substitute plain chocolate if you can’t find any.

35. Gingerbread Chai Cookies

Freshly ground black pepper offers a hint of earthy fruitiness to the cookie dough.

36. Mini Paleo Pumpkin Pies With Gingerbread Cookie Crust

We never thought we could stick to the Paleo diet, but these dangerously poppable cuties are making us reconsider.

37. Gingerbread Boy Granola

Oats, candied ginger, nuts, pepitas and shredded coconut meet the most adorable mini gingerbread cookies we ever did see.

38. Easy Gingerbread Blondies

Believe it or not, Santa Claus gets sick of sugar cookies after the millionth house he visits, so give him something different to look forward to this year.

39. Eggnog-stuffed Gingerbread Cookies

Who knew eggnog and white chocolate were soulmates?

40. Salted Gingerbread Pots De Crème

If you think gingerbread cookies are played out, lean on this fancy bourbon-spiked treat instead. Your guests will be wowed at first bite.

41. Gingerbread Oatmeal Cream Pies

Your childhood favorite just got a holiday makeover. We’ll be rolling the sides in green and red nonpareils, thank you very much.

42. Gingerbread Cake With Caramel-cream Cheese Buttercream

When it comes to feeding a crowd, a massive, ornately decorated cake is the way to go. (But you could totally turn the batter into a bunch of tiny cupcakes instead.)

43. Gingerbread Linzer Cookies

For our next trick, we’ll transform a can of sweetened condensed milk into drool-worthy dulce de leche right before your eyes.

44. Gingerbread Scones

Ground ginger? Check. Crystallized ginger? Check. Ginger paste? Yup—the gang’s all here.

45. White Chocolate Gingerbread Yule Log

We’re calling it now: It’ll take about five seconds for one of your friends to share your masterful take on bûche de Noël on their Instagram story.

taryn pire

Food Editor

Taryn Pire is PureWow’s food editor and has been writing about all things delicious since 2016. She’s developed recipes, reviewed restaurants and investigated food trends at...