Gingerbread Men Cookies - Super Easy Recipe That Doesn't Require Molasses!

Easy Gingerbread Cookies Recipe Without Molasses

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easy gingerbread cookies recipe - how to make gingerbread cookies

Classic gingerbread cookies recipe requires an unusual ingredient: molasses.  If you don’t have molasses on hand and don’t feel like going to a grocery store looking for it, don’t worry – you can still make yummy gingerbread cookies without molasses!

This gingerbread cookies recipe is very easy, uses common ingredients and doesn’t require molasses.  When these gingerbread cookies are baking, the whole house smells so delicious!  What could smell better than freshly baked cookies with these yummy sweet spices of ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg!

You can use different cookie cutter shapes to cut out flowers, stars and hearts, and gingerbread man shapes to make gingerbread men cookies :)  If you don’t have cookie cutters, you can still make these delicious gingerbread cookies – just cut them out using the rim of the glass to make circles.  See – you don’t need molasses and don’t even need cookie cutters – anyone can make these easy gingerbread cookies that use common ingredients from the pantry!

Once these gingerbread cookies are baked, you can ice them with the icing of your choice.  You can decorate the gingerbread men by putting the icing into the squeeze bottle, so you have precise control where the icing goes.  Use different color icing for festive colorful gingerbread men!

Another option is to have the gingerbread cookies without the icing.  If I just want a great gingerbread cookie taste without the fancy presentation and hassle with the icing, what I do instead of the icing is sprinkle them with white sugar.  White sugar on brown gingerbread cookies looks and tastes so good!  My picture shows the gingerbread cookies without icing – I was just keeping it simple :)

Here’s the picture of these gingerbread cookies on a baking sheet, right out the oven:

how to make gingerbread cookies

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Gingerbread Men Cookies - Super Easy Recipe That Doesn't Require Molasses!
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5 from 4 votes

Easy Gingerbread Cookies Recipe Without Molasses

This gingerbread cookies recipe is very easy, uses common ingredients and is molasses-free!
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time12 mins
Total Time32 mins
Course: Cookies
Cuisine: American
Servings: 2 dozen cookies


  • 3 cups flour
  • 3 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1-1/2 cups butter 3 sticks at room temperature
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup white sugar for sprinkling (optional)
  • Icing optional


  • In a bowl, mix flour, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda and salt.
  • In another large bowl, mix butter and brown sugar until well combined. Mix in the honey, egg and vanilla.
  • Add the flour mixture to the liquid mixture and mix until combined.
  • Shape the dough into a rectangle and wrap it in a plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight (or up to a week).
  • Preheat the oven to 350F.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface until it's 1/8-inch thick.
  • Cut out the gingerbread cookies using the cookie cutters.
  • Put the cookies on a baking sheet and bake for 12 minutes.
  • Remove the gingerbread cookies from the oven and sprinkle with white sugar or decorate with icing of your choice.


When these gingerbread cookies first come out of the oven, they seem soft, but after they cool down, they become crispy - just like the gingerbread cookies should be.
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Enjoy these yummy and easy gingerbread cookies without molasses :)  For other easy cookie recipes, check out how to make simple butter cookies, how to make chocolate chip cookies and double chocolate cookies with white chocolate chips.

Gingerbread Cookies - Super Easy Recipe That Doesn't Require Molasses! Must make this, people rave about these cookies! |

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67 replies
  1. Cindy
    Cindy says:

    Melanie, I just wanted t say that these cookies are delicious!! I wanted to make gingerbread cookies with my 2 year old granddaughter, but don’t care for molasses. When I saw this recipe I wasn’t sure because the picture didn’t look that appealing. (sorry). I used a 3 inch cookie cutter & I got over 4 dozen cookies. My granddaughter was first to try one & she said “ummm good, more?” LOL I will keep this recipe in my Christmas collection. One question, how do you store them?
    Thank-you again for sharing this wonderful, molasses free gingerbread cookie recipe!!

    • Melanie Mendelson
      Melanie Mendelson says:

      I’m happy that you and your granddaughter liked the cookies! Yes, sometimes looks can be deceiving – I need to make these cookies again and take a better picture :) You can store gingerbread cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.

  2. Brigita
    Brigita says:

    Melanie, thank you for this wonderful recipe!
    I just made these delicious cookies with my Mum and my five year old and we LOVE them!
    The house smells just incredible! We used gingerbread man and Angels cookie cutters and they turned out great. Great idea with vanilla extract and honey, and ginger and cinnamon are noticeable and not overpowering. I will be making these again.

  3. Nicz
    Nicz says:

    Hi, just want to ask if it is okay not to add nutmeg on the ingredients? This is my first time to bake gingerbread cookies, thank you

  4. Amanda
    Amanda says:

    Hello Melanie! I just made your yummy gingerbread cookies. They turned out great! Thanks for posting this recipe! I will definitly make these again!

  5. Andrea
    Andrea says:

    Melanie, these cookies are awesome!!! I’ve tried 4 different recipes until I tried yours and it’s by far the best!!! I’m baking some cookies for my friends right now to take them to our secret santa party. Thank you!

    • Melanie Mendelson
      Melanie Mendelson says:

      Awwww Andrea, it’s comments like yours that really make spending countless hours putting together this website all worth it! I’m so happy that you loved these gingerbread cookies! Have a great time at your Secret Santa party!

  6. Sara
    Sara says:

    I was looking for awhile for an easy to bake gingerbread cookie. I’m from holland and knew in America this is one awesome traditionel cookie. I have no clue what mollasses are so great it is not included here. I like how they turned out by seeing it on the photos. I have one question. Can I store the cookie dough in the freezer? That way I can make this before hand.

    • Melanie Mendelson
      Melanie Mendelson says:

      Sara – yes, you can freeze cookie dough! Shape the dough into a disk (or 2 disks) for later rolling, tightly wrap the dough disk into a plastic wrap, then put it in the freezer-safe ziploc bag, and freeze for up to 3 months. You can thaw the dough in the refrigerator overnight or on the counter for 30 minutes (or until it’s soft enough to roll). Good luck, and please report back and let us know how freezing the dough turned out.

      • Sara
        Sara says:

        Thank you so much! I will start making the dough this weekend and follow your instructions for christmas day. This saves me lots of time. I’ll come back when I have done this. Thank you!

  7. Wajiha
    Wajiha says:

    I have never tried baking gingerbread cookies, and after looking around for a few recipes, I stumbled across this one. I haven’t made them (yet) but I’ve noticed that your recipe doesn’t have any cloves. If I wanted to add them, how much would I need to add? Also, would it make a difference if I used baking powder instead of baking soda?


    • Melanie Mendelson
      Melanie Mendelson says:

      Wajiha – you can certainly add cloves, I’d add 1/4 to 1/2 tsp, depending on how much you like them :) I haven’t tried making these cookies with baking powder instead of baking soda, but I’ve done it in other cookie recipes and it worked fine. Try 1 1/2 tsp of baking power instead of 1 tsp of baking soda, and please post back and let us know how it turned out! Good luck!

    • Melanie Mendelson
      Melanie Mendelson says:

      Hi Leyla,
      I haven’t tried using almond flour instead of regular in these cookies, so unfortunately I don’t have an answer to that one. Unlike regular cooking where you can be creative, baking is an exact science and the substitutions can really throw off the final result! If you do try using almond flour with this recipe, could you please report back with how they turned out? I’m sure it would be a great help to other gluten-free readers!

  8. Lal
    Lal says:

    I mixed the flour and liquid mixture, I think I mixed for long time :( now the mixture is not like a dough, kind of sticky. I kept it in the refrigerator is that ok? Or do I need to make a new one?
    Please help me
    Thanks in advance:)

    • Melanie Mendelson
      Melanie Mendelson says:

      Hi Lal,
      Please don’t throw out the dough, you can absolutely fix it! There are 2 reasons why the dough could be too sticky: (1) Not chilled long enough (2) Not enough flour (could be due to measuring error). Usually refrigerating it for several hours will get rid of the stickiness. If it’s still too sticky to roll when it comes out of the refrigerator, add more flour to it (1 tbsp at a time) until you can roll it. Make sure you flour the rolling surface and the rolling pin too to prevent sticking. Good luck, and please let me know how it turned out!

  9. Rachael
    Rachael says:

    Made this with my 6 year old daughter for Santa! They are delicious. We found they were a bit sticky when using cookie cutters but we may have not measured the flour properly. Adding some flour while we made them into shapes worked out. Thx for a great recipe.

    • Melanie Mendelson
      Melanie Mendelson says:

      I haven’t tried it, but I think it will work if you substitute half of the flour for whole wheat. Instead of 3 cups white flour, use 1 1/2 cups whole wheat and 1 1/2 cups white. If you try it, please post back and let us know how it turned out.

  10. Carol
    Carol says:

    5 stars
    Melanie this recipe seems great but i was wondering whether i could use red sugar instead of brown. Plus,we should use salted butter or unsalted ones. thx!

    • Melanie Mendelson
      Melanie Mendelson says:

      Reducing sugar is not recommended as it will change the consistency of the dough and texture of the cookie. If you are really set on reducing the sugar, please don’t reduce by more than 1/4 cup (make it 3/4 cup instead of 1 cup).

  11. Jay
    Jay says:

    Thank you so much for this recipe!! I’m making cookies for a christmas event at school and I have no molasses so I was pretty stressed out and tried to look for molasses-free gingerbread cookies but most of them had bad reviews :( these cookies look really nice and all the comments are good so I’m really excited to try them out!

  12. Drishti Modi
    Drishti Modi says:

    5 stars
    This recipe is amazing. It is impossible to find molasses in India and this recipe was a lifesaver. I tried another recipe as well but it paled in comparison to this one. I gave them to my brothers friends and they loved it. Will be making more for Christmas this year.
    Although I found that my dough was too sticky. I had to cut down on the butter and add more dough. It turned out great though.

  13. Violet
    Violet says:

    Wow this recipe is amazing. They are by far the best gingerbread cookies I’ve made! I’ve made gingerbread before but never without molasses so I wasn’t sure how they’d turn out… But I must say they are absolutely DELICIOUS! My family loved them. Thank you so much for the recipe!.

  14. Rebeca
    Rebeca says:

    Hi! I just made this cookies and they are absolutely delicious! Let me know for how long I can keep them in an airtight container inside or outside the fridge. Greetings from Ecuador

    • Melanie Mendelson
      Melanie Mendelson says:

      You can keep them up to 4 days at room temperature. I never tried storing them in a refrigerator. You can freeze them through and keep them in a freezer for months, just thaw at room temperature overnight when ready to eat.

  15. Elizabeth
    Elizabeth says:

    Hi! Just wanted to say thank you for the recipe! I added in 1/3 cup of heavy cream & substituted butter for shortening. My cookies stayed soft even after cooling. Great for my twin 2 year olds! Less of a cookie crumb mess. Thanks again!

  16. Jeanne
    Jeanne says:

    Hi Melanie,
    Thank you for this recipe! Life saver! I don’t hv molasses and didn’t want to buy since I seldom bake, and my son wanted to bake gingerbread man cookies for his birthday. So… thank you!!!

    I made the following modifications:
    1. Cut the butter to 227g (2 sticks assuming 1 stick = 113g)
    2. Cut sugar to 3/4 cups
    3. 2 cups AP flour and 1 cup whole wheat flour
    4. Omitted nutmeg (didn’t hv on hand)
    Seems to work!

    Other modifications I might try:
    1. Adding a tad more ginger because I love ginger generally
    2. Bake longer to make it crispier. Mine came out slightly soft still but seemed to be baked through. Might bake for another 5-7 more min.

    I live in a tropical climate (86% humidity! And warm!) and the dough got really soft after rolling out and all. I rolled out the dough between two sheets of parchment so that I could peel the cookies off to put on the baking tray. Refrigerated the dough in between baking.

    Thank you again for this!!!

  17. Missy
    Missy says:

    These cookies are scrummy but don’t make for good cut cookies. I hate molasses so that is what lead me to try these cookies. As the pictures shows they have too much spread for holding their shape. We used a cookie scoop, rolled them in balls, rolled in white sugar, and baked 9 to a sheet. SO good!

  18. Tamara
    Tamara says:

    Good day Melanie

    Thank you for this recipe i did this last christmas and turned out great! I just made a batch but when i mixed it, it came out very soft and kind of fluffy! I added some flour to it (about 3/4 cups) and out it the freezer. I hope this would solve the softness because i know the taste is great!

  19. Yuna McHill
    Yuna McHill says:

    You, Melanie, are an absolute saviour! I’ve been looking everywhere over the internet for a gingerbread cookie recipe that doesn’t have molasses included and hallelujah, I finally found it. I want our Christmas this year to be extra special and I’ve never made gingerbread cookies before, so I’m looking forward to surprise my family with them.
    Thank you so much, I hope they turn out well.
    Happy Christmas,

  20. Neha
    Neha says:

    This is the first time i ve baked cookies and it turned out great ! Absolutely wonderful… perfectly cooked and crisp. I used both regular flour and whole wheat flour in 2:1 ratio and used white sugar.. The whole combination turned out excellant. Thankyou for this reciepe. Merry Christmas ?

  21. Ash G
    Ash G says:

    Thank you for the recipe that doesn’t need molasses. Life saver! I loved the texture. I didn’t have ground Ginger in powder form so I used Ginger paste. Not sure if that was not strong enough for The Ginger flavor but I could smell other spices for sure.

  22. Harini
    Harini says:

    Hey… Can we use this recipe to make gingerbread houses as well? Because I’m unable to find molasses in my country and all the other recipies require it to make a gingerbread house…


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