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.
45 Gingerbread Recipes That Will Spice Up Your Holiday Baking
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.
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.
8. Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies
Ready thine milk, friends. These cozy, cocoa-kissed cookies were born to be dunked.
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.
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.
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.)
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.)
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.
35. Gingerbread Chai Cookies
Freshly ground black pepper offers a hint of earthy fruitiness to the cookie dough.
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?
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.)
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.