These super spiced easy Gingerbread Cookies with royal icing are the perfect festive baking project!
You guys know that I try to keep things simple around here. We are all about no fuss, easy recipes. Well, sometimes I break my own rules. Because look how PRETTY these decorated gingerbread cookies are!!
The cookies themselves are not fussy at all. A simple gingerbread cookie recipe, with ramped up spice flavour. Because nothing is more disappointing than a gingerbread cookie recipe that tastes like a plain cookie with a bit of ginger thrown in for fun. These cookies have a whopping 1 tablespoon of ground ginger, plus cinnamon and allspice! Go big or go home I say!
Use whatever shaped cookie cutters you have. I got this set from Kmart for $6 and they are perfect! Here is another option too.
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The fussy part is the decorating. And really, it’s mostly just time consuming! But the good thing is, you can go as simple or as intricate as you like! And actually, even the ones that look the most impressive are still pretty simple. I’ve included close ups of a few of the designs I did so that they are easy to copy. And if you want even more ideas, search for decorated sugar cookies on Pinterest – there are thousands of inspiring ideas there!
If you have older kids, they will love decorating these cookies – you could even set up a few stations with icing bags and Christmas sprinkles and it would be a fun pre-Christmas activity with a few kids! Or you could be like me and decorate them when your kid is in bed, because perfectly decorated gingerbread cookies is one thing I still have control over and I had so much fun doing it in peace!
If you don’t like gingerbread cookies, you can use this recipe for chocolate cookies or this one for plain sugar cookies and use the same royal icing. And if royal icing isn’t your thing, you can use melted white chocolate or just a simple icing with icing sugar and milk – this one just won’t set like the royal icing does.
There is also no need for fancy equipment – I poured the icing into a sandwich size snaplock bag, snipped a tiny hole in one corner and used this to pipe the decorations. That way, when you are done you can just throw the whole thing out. Not very eco-friendly but it sure saves a super messy clean-up. Plus, we are already on water conservation here so I figure the water I’m not using to wash this out, counters the act of throwing a bag away!
The only thing about royal icing is that it does use raw egg white which you have to be careful about if you are pregnant and some people don’t really like this. Sadie ate these with no worries…in fact, she LOVED them! And I’ve never had any issues with raw eggs so it was all ok here!
The great thing about royal icing is that it sets hard – it can be tricky to get the consistency just right, but keep playing until it’s smooth and pipeable, but not too runny – you can add more icing sugar if it’s too thin or more milk if it’s too thick!
This recipe is:
- A great project for older kids (or a naptime project for mums!)
- The perfect homemade gift for friends or teachers
Other Christmas cookie recipes:
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SHOP THE RECIPE
Here are some items I used to make this recipe:
Decorated Gingerbread Cookies
- 115 grams butter (room temperature)
- 1 cup (200 grams) brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 2 Tablespoons golden syrup
- 2 cups (280 grams) plain flour
- 1 Tablespoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon allspice
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups icing sugar (sifted)
- 1 egg white
- milk (if needed to thin the icing)
- Cream the butter and sugar together in a large bowl or in the bowl of a stand mixer until light and fluffy. Add the egg and golden syrup and combine. Add all other ingredients and mix together on low speed until well combined.
- Split dough in half and shape each half into a disc. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the freezer for 1 hour, or fridge for 2 hours. At this point, you can also put the dough in the freezer to use at a later date.
- Once you are ready to bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Remove the cookie dough discs from the fridge or freezer and unwrap. If using frozen dough, allow to thaw in the fridge for an hour or so.
- Roll the dough out until it is about 3-4mm thick. If the dough is too hard to roll out, leave it sitting for 10 minutes or so and then try again. Using Christmas cookie cutters, or whatever shapes you want to, cut out the cookies and lay them on a lined baking tray. Re-roll any scraps of dough to make more cookies. Bake for 12-14 minutes, checking them at 12 minutes, until they are looking golden brown. They will harden slightly as they cool, but if you prefer a crispier cookie, bake them for a couple of minutes longer.
- Allow to cool on the tray for 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack. Allow to cool completely before decorating.
- Whisk the egg white in a medium sized bowl (or using a stand mixer) until soft peaks form. Slowly add the sifted icing sugar until the icing reaches a smooth, pipeable consistency. Add milk 1 teaspoon at a time if it is too thick, or add more icing sugar if it is too thin.
- Spoon the icing into a piping bag with a thin nozzle or into a sandwich size snaplock bag and snip the end off. Decorate the cookies as you desire!