Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies

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These Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies are a fun twist on classic gingerbread. They’re soft, perfectly spiced and flavored with cocoa powder!

Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies on a baking sheet

These Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies are perfect for the holidays. They’re flavored with cocoa powder, molasses and plenty of ginger! These cookies are soft, easy to make and decorated with a simple vanilla icing.

Looking for more holiday cookie recipes? Try my Peppermint Chocolate Chip Cookies, Easy Gingerbread Cookies or Shortbread Thumbprint Cookies!

Ingredient Breakdown

All-purpose flour – this gives the cookies structure.

Cocoa powder – gives the cookies their chocolate flavor! I always use natural unsweetened cocoa powder.

Baking soda – helps the cookies spread.

Ginger and cinnamon – provides flavor. Feel free to alter the spices to your taste.

Butter – provides flavor and structure. I always recommend using unsalted butter but salted butter works if that’s all you have on hand, just be sure to omit the 1/2 teaspoon of salt later on. Do not use cold or melted butter.

Brown sugar – sweetens and softens cookies. I used dark brown sugar for extra molasses flavor but light brown sugar will work too!

Unsulphured molasses – adds flavor, sweetness and makes the cookies soft. Do not use blackstrap molasses because it’s too bitter.

Egg – helps bind the ingredients.

Vanilla extract and salt – enhances flavor. Always use pure vanilla extract instead of imitation for best flavor.

Chocolate Gingerbread man with vanilla icing

How To Make Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies

1. Make the Gingerbread Cookie Dough: in a small bowl whisk all-purpose flour, cocoa powder, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda and salt.. Set aside.

2. Use a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment to cream softened butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy.

3. Add the molasses, egg and vanilla extract until just combined. Scrape the sides of the bowl.

4. Add the dry ingredients all at once then mix on low speed until just combined. The dough will be soft but not sticky.

5. Divide dough in half then shape into flat discs. Wrap each tightly with plastic wrap then refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 3 days.

6. On a floured surface, roll out one disc of dough to about 1/4 inch thick. Cut out cookies and place on a baking sheet then freeze for at least 5 minutes.

7. Bake cookies at 350°F for 8 minutes then allow to cool completely (my cookies were 3 inches but you may have to adjust the baking time if your cookies are smaller/larger). Repeat with the second disc of dough. You can reroll the dough scraps up to 2 more times.

Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies on a baking sheet

8. Make the Vanilla Icing: In a small bowl mix the confectioners’ sugar, water and vanilla extract. The icing is thick but you can add a little bit of water at a time until you reach your desired consistency. Decorate gingerbread cookies as desired. Store Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies in an airtight container for up to a week at room temperature.

Pro Tips For Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies

  • Weigh your ingredients using a kitchen scale! Measuring ingredients by volume is not accurate.
  • Don’t over mix the dough! Only mix until the dry ingredients are just combined. Over mixing = more gluten development which means tough cookies. We don’t want any tough cookies here!
  • Bake one tray at a time on the middle oven rack. This ensures that there is even heat circulation.
  • Keep the gingerbread cookie dough cold! If you put warm cookies in the oven they will spread so I recommend freezing the cookies for a few minutes before baking them.

Frequently Asked Questions


Can You Make Gingerbread Dough In Advance?

Yes! Once you make this gingerbread cookie dough you can either refrigerate it for up to 3 days wrapped tightly in plastic wrap or freeze it for up to 3 months wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and placed in a zip-top bag.

Why do you have to chill Gingerbread cookie dough?

You need to chill gingerbread cookie dough in order to make the dough easy to work with and to prevent your cookies from spreading too much. If you’re dough is warm then it will become sticky and difficult to handle. I recommend chilling your dough for at least 1 hour before rolling it out and chilling your cookies in the fridge or freezer right before baking them.

What Kind of Molasses Is Best For Gingerbread cookies?

The best kind of molasses to use for gingerbread cookies if unsulphured molasses. I usually use Grandma’s Molasses – either original or robust will work. Do not use blackstrap molasses because it’s too bitter.

How Do Gingerbread Cookies Keep Their Shape?

Gingerbread cookies have a high ratio of flour to fat which makes the dough sturdy enough to roll out and cut into shapes. Additionally, the dough is always kept cold which aids in cookies maintaining their shape. My favorite trick to prevent gingerbread cookies from spreading is to freeze your cookies for 5 minutes before baking them!

My Favorite Cookie Tools

Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies with vanilla icing

If you try this recipe then please leave a rating/comment below to let me know how you liked it and feel free to ask any recipe questions you may have! 🙂

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5 from 2 votes

Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies

These Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies are a fun twist on classic gingerbread. They're soft, perfectly spiced and flavored with cocoa powder!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Refrigeration Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 38 minutes
Servings 36 3-inch cookies
Calories 134kcal
Author Maria Azzarelli

Equipment

  • Stand mixer or hand mixer
  • Baking sheets
  • Rolling Pin
  • Cookie cutters

Ingredients

Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies

  • 390 g (3 1/4 cups) all-purpose flour
  • 40 g (1/2 cup) cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp ginger
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 226 g (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
  • 200 g (1 cup) brown sugar
  • 120 g (1/2 cup) unsulphured molasses
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Vanilla Icing

  • 120 g (1 cup) confectioners' sugar
  • 1 tbsp + 1 tsp water
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies

  • In a small bowl whisk all-purpose flour, cocoa powder, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  • Use a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment to cream softened butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy.
  • Add the molasses, egg and vanilla extract until just combined. Scrape the sides of the bowl.
  • Add the dry ingredients all at once then mix on low speed until just combined. The dough will be soft but not sticky.
  • Divide dough in half then shape into flat discs. Wrap each tightly with plastic wrap then refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 3 days.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F and line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
  • On a floured surface, use a normal rolling pin to roll out one disc of dough to about 1/4 inch thick. Cut out cookies and place on a baking sheet then freeze for at least 5 minutes.
  • Bake cookies for 8 minutes then allow to cool completely (my cookies were 3 inches but you may have to adjust the baking time if your cookies are smaller/larger). Repeat with the second disc of dough. You can reroll the dough scraps up to 2 more times.

Vanilla Icing

  • In a small bowl mix the confectioners' sugar, water and vanilla extract. The icing is thick but you can add a little bit of water at a time until you reach your desired consistency. Decorate gingerbread cookies as desired.

Notes

  • Weigh your ingredients using a kitchen scale! Measuring ingredients by volume is not accurate.
 
 
  • Butter: I recommend using unsalted butter. You can use salted butter, just be sure to omit the 1/2 tsp salt.
 
 
  • Store Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies in an airtight container for up to a week at room temperature. 
 
  • Gingerbread cookie dough wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and placed in a zip-top bag can be frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight before rolling and baking.
 
  • Nutrition: the provided nutritional information is an estimate per serving. Please read my Nutrition Disclaimer for more information.

Nutrition

Calories: 134kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 18mg | Sodium: 68mg | Potassium: 90mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 164IU | Vitamin C: 0.01mg | Calcium: 18mg | Iron: 1mg

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