Dairy Farmers of Canada

Gingerbread Butter Cookies

These delicious traditional gingerbread cookies are a great way to create some holiday cheer. Make multiple batches and give them out as gifts. Enjoy them with a big glass of Canadian milk.

  • Prep: 15 min
  • Cooking: 12 min
  • Refrigeration: 2 h
Yields 36 cookies, depending on the size of the cookie cutters
gingerbread butter cookies


  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) unsalted Canadian butter at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup (80 mL) brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) Molasses
  • 1 egg at room temperature
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups (560 mL) unbleached flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp (7.5 mL) baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
  • 2 tsp (10 mL) ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) ground allspice
  • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) ground cloves
  • Sufficient flour for rolling out the dough
  • Icing
  • 1 1/2 cups (375 mL) icing sugar
  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) Canadian milk
  • A few drops of vanilla extract
  • Food colouring (optional)
  • Small candies (optional)
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In a large bowl, cream the butter with the brown sugar. Beat in the molasses, egg and vanilla.

In another bowl, mix the dry ingredients and add them to the wet ingredients. Mix them with a spoon and knead with your hands if necessary; the dough may be crumbly, but this is normal. Shape into 2 patties and wrap with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F).

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough until it is approximately 1/4 in (0.5 cm) thick. Cut out shapes with different cookie cutters and place the cookies on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, making sure to leave 1 in (2 cm) between each cookie. You will need to bake the cookies in 3 to 4 batches.

Bake on the top rack for 10 to 12 minutes. Cool on a rack and decorate with different colours of icing as well as small candies, if desired. The cookies will keep for a few weeks in an air-tight container.


In a bowl, beat the icing sugar, milk and vanilla until smooth. Add more icing sugar or milk as needed and divide into 2 or 3 separate bowls to make different colours (if desired). Put the icing in a parchment paper cone or a resealable freezer bag with a corner cut off. Make designs on the cookies with the icing and decorate with candy.


If you use salted butter, you don't need to add salt to the recipe.

When you mix butter at room temperature with one or more eggs, the eggs should be at room temperature as well to prevent separation.

These cookies will be slightly sweet because of the icing. For sweeter cookies, add 30 mL (2 tbsp) of brown sugar.

The cookie dough will keep in the freezer for 4 months. Thaw in the fridge for 24 hours before using.

If the dough has been in the fridge for over 2 hours, let it sit at room temperature for about 45 minutes before rolling out.

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Nutritional information

Per serving
Energy: 87 Calories
Protein: 1 g
Carbohydrate: 15 g
Fat: 3 g
Fibre: 0.3 g
Sodium: 70 mg

Top 5 Nutrients

(% DV*)
Calcium: 1 % / 11 mg
Folate: 7 %
Iron: 4 %
Selenium: 8 %
Thiamin: 5 %