Gingerbread Cookies w/ Royal Frosting


Mr. Foodie and I are hosting an Oktoberfest party soon, and we’re gearing up by testing out recipes like our soft pretzels. In years past I’ve wanted to try a gingerbread recipe, but always felt intimidated by it (compared to my ginger molasses cookies or the American Gingerbread, it is time consuming). But this year I found a relatively easy recipe for gingerbread cookies and the royal frosting that one uses to decorate them. I found Gingerbread very interesting as I was rolling it out – not quite cookie, not quite bread in terms of consistency. I could see clearly how easy it would be to over work the dough and end up with those cardboard-like gingerbread cookies we know so well.

To my delight, they turned out well. Holding their shape on the outside, soft in the center, with a rather mild ginger spice flavor. I might amp that up a bit in the next batch to counter balance the rather sweet frosting. By themselves they are ugly looking, but tasty -reminiscent of fresh shortbread with a tingle of ginger and molasses.

Preparing the dough is similar to making a cake: cream sugar and butter together, alternate dry and wet ingredients, mix until it comes together. Then it becomes more bread-like: rest the dough in plastic wrap, roll it out on a floured board, cut the shapes and bake (thankfully, it is a short baking time of 8-10 minutes unlike a bread dough). Rolling it out was the hardest part. It cracked at the edges and it was difficult to reroll the scraps if you wanted to squeeze out a few more cookies. Even so, the cookies baked without spreading, keeping their shape while staying soft inside.


The frosting was a dream to prepare – three egg whites and vanilla extract whipped to a froth, add four cups of powdered sugar slowly until combined, whip fast until glossy, stiff peaks form. I did some cookies with the unwhipped, more liquid version of the frosting (the kind we let children decorate holiday cookies with) and I piped the whipped version. I probably could have whipped it a bit longer to be thicker for piping, but it did okay holding the shapes I piped. This frosting will harden on the cookie over time, making it easier to stack them or put them in containers. For the next batch, I will probably flavor the frosting with a little citrus extract (maybe orange to go well with the ginger/cinnamon) and dye some of the frosting for a little Oktoberfest drama!

As the original recipe suggests, I think this would make a fine dough for gingerbread house parts as well because of the stiffness of the exterior and how it bakes into shape. Or an alternative to sugar cookies for decorating!


Disneyland’s Gingerbread Recipe by Jessica McConnel

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup dark molasses
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 3 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cardamom
  • 1/2 cup water


Cream together brown sugar and softened butter until blended. Add molasses and blend until combined. Add the dry ingredients 1/3 at a time alternating with the 1/2 cup of water. Blend until dough forms. Turn out and press into a disc, then cover with plastic and let rest in the fridge for an hour. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured board to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut out the cookies and put them on lined baking sheet, bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes. Cool on a rack completely before frosting.

Alton Brown’s Royal Frosting 

Whip three egg whites together with 1 teaspoon vanilla extract until frothy. Slowly add sugar while whipping slowly until combined. Increase speed of whipping until glossy stiff peaks form. Put into a piping bag and pipe onto cooled cookies.

Do you have a favorite gingerbread recipe? Or perhaps some suggestions for gingerbread frosting? Feel free to share with us.

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