My favorite holiday cut-out cookies of all time, chocolate gingerbread cookies are a Christmas wish come true! These gingerbread cookies check all the boxes: There’s no chill time, they don’t spread or puff up too much while baking, and they’re perfectly spiced with a bonus chocolate flavor. They’re also really easy to make—watch me make these chocolate gingerbread cookies!
The best part about these gingerbread cookies is that you do not have to chill the dough before rolling it out (unlike with my lavender chocolate chip cookies). That makes rolling and cutting out the cookies so much easier than traditional gingerbread, and it saves everyone a lot of time, which always seems in short supply around the holidays!
This recipe was sponsored by Endangered Species Chocolate. I love recommending this brand because all their products are certified fair trade, gluten-free, and non-GMO, and they donate 10% of profits to organizations that make a positive impact. Plus, every flavor features a collection of fun facts about a different animal on the inside of the wrapper! (This bag has the zebra.)
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Ingredients for Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies
Traditional gingerbread cookies are soft, thick, and perfectly spiced, and these chocolate gingerbread cookies are no different! A few standard cookie ingredients and a handful of warm spices make these cut-out cookies taste just like Christmas.
- Endangered Species Chocolate oat milk + 55% dark chocolate chips. This dairy-free dark chocolate tastes like milk chocolate thanks to the oat milk! I also tested this recipe with semisweet chocolate chips with good results.
- All-purpose flour. Regular flour gives these cookies structure. I have not tested the recipe with gluten-free flour, but a 1:1 substitute should work well enough.
- Cocoa powder. This adds extra chocolate flavor and color to the gingerbread cookies.
- Baking soda. Soda gives these cookies a bit of a lift but doesn’t cause much spreading.
- Gingerbread spices. A combination of ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and allspice make these gingerbread cookies perfectly spiced!
- Salt. Just a pinch helps to enhance all the flavors.
- Brown sugar. With a richer flavor than granulated sugar, brown sugar also keeps these no-chill gingerbread cookies moist.
- Butter. I use salted butter in all of my cookie recipes, but you could use unsalted if you prefer.
- Molasses. This gingerbread staple helps cookies stay soft and taste fresh for days.
- Eggs. A necessary binding ingredient, eggs contain emulsifiers that hold the cookie dough together.
- Powdered sugar. When mixed with water, powdered sugar makes a simple icing perfect for decorating. You could also use royal icing, if you like.
How to Make Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies
These no-chill gingerbread cookies are easy enough to make with children to get the most out of the holidays. Here’s how to make these chocolate cut-out cookies step by step! If you’d prefer to watch instructions, see this video on making chocolate gingerbread cookies.
Melting the Chocolate
After lining some baking sheets with parchment paper, melt the chocolate in a medium bowl in the microwave or over a double boiler, stirring occasionally. Once the chocolate is just melted, set the bowl aside to cool slightly. It will take quite some time to cool down completely, which is a good thing—it gives you more time to prep the cookie dough!
Making the Chocolate Gingerbread Cookie Dough
Next, add the flour, cocoa, baking soda, spices, salt, brown sugar, and butter to a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Be sure to use butter that is at or close to room temperature, as the butter needs to be pliable.
Mix the dry ingredients with the butter for a few minutes on low, until the dough looks sandy and no large pieces of butter remain. The goal is to coat every flour particle in butter!
Why Don’t You Cream the Butter and Sugar Together for These Cookies?
This chocolate gingerbread recipe is made via the reverse creaming method rather than the traditional creaming method. I prefer the reverse creaming method for cakes, and it turns out that it works really well with cookies, too!
Instead of beating just sugar and butter together to incorporate air, this cookie recipe beats together all of the dry ingredients with the butter, then adds in the liquid ingredients. This doesn’t add much air to the dough, which results in a flatter cookie that better holds its shape and doesn’t puff up too much in the oven.
Once fully combined, retrieve the bowl of melted chocolate and stir the molasses into it. This helps to cool down the chocolate, so even if it’s still a little warm, it won’t be hot enough to risk cooking the eggs prematurely.
I like to stir the eggs into the chocolate mixture to add all the liquid ingredients at once. If your bowl isn’t quite large enough to also accommodate eggs, you can add the eggs to the dough separately.
Finally, add the chocolate, molasses, and eggs to the cookie dough with the mixer on low, and beat until the dough starts to clump together and looks like cookie dough.
Quick Tips for Rolling and Cutting Out Cookie Dough
This cookie dough is a dream to work with at room temperature, which is something I never thought I would say! Turn the cookie dough out of the bowl and onto a lightly floured workspace.
I didn’t have to add flour to my quartz countertops when rolling this cookie dough out. If you have wooden or tiled countertops, you may need to dust your workspace with flour to prevent sticking. Or, try rolling the cookie dough between two sheets of parchment paper.
Roll the cookie dough to about ¼” to ⅜” (6 to 9 mm) thick. Keeping the dough this thick helps give each cut-out enough structure to limit tears. Use your favorite cookie cutters to cut out shapes in the dough, then gently peel the dough off the counter with your fingertips or a bench scraper. Place the cookies at least 1″ (25 mm) apart on a lined baking sheet to accommodate a little bit of spread.
Note that more intricate pieces (like snowflakes or reindeers) will still require care when peeling off the counter!
Another good thing about this dough is that you can reroll it easily. Simply smash leftover dough cuttings together and reroll as many times as needed (usually no more than six times).
How to Bake Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies
Bake the gingerbread cookies at 350°F/175°C for anywhere from 9-13 minutes until the tops of the cookies are matte. Smaller cookies, cookies with appendages (e.g. thin legs on reindeers), and thinner cookies will bake for closer to 9 minutes; large or thicker cookies will bake for closer to 12 minutes.
I have baked these cookies one tray at a time and two trays at time (swapping the trays halfway), and both methods worked well!
How to Decorate Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies
I like the ease of a simple powdered sugar icing mixed with water, so that’s what I’ve included here. If you prefer the shiny finish of royal icing and you already have a recipe you love, feel free to use that!
Add sifted powdered sugar to a medium bowl, then pour in about half of the water. Stir together with a whisk or fork, then stir in water a few more drops at a time until it reaches your ideal consistency. Transfer to a piping bag and cut off the very tip, or use a small piping tip like Wilton #1.
There’s no one right way to decorate chocolate gingerbread cookies! I like to outline the shape of the cookie and add a few lines of detail (whether that’s the face, shoulders/legs of an animal, or decor on a tree). I also played around with a watercolor effect by filling some cookies with a watered down icing.
If you want colorful gingerbread cookies, you can divide the icing into a few bowls and color them with gel food coloring.
How to Store Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies
Thanks to the molasses, these gingerbread cookies stay nice and soft for days! Store in an airtight container for up to two weeks at room temperature.
Allow the icing on the cookies to dry fully before stacking. For best results, separate the cookies with a layer of parchment paper to prevent the icing from sticking to the backs of the cookies on top.
FAQs about Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies
These cookies are made via the reverse creaming method, which helps the cut-out cookies hold their shape without puffing up or out too much.
When stored in an airtight container, these cookies have lasted at least two weeks on my kitchen counter. For longer term storage, consider storing the cookies in the freezer.
No, you’re welcome to use any dark or semisweet chocolate you have, but I developed this recipe with Endangered Species Chocolate’s oat milk baking chips.
I’ve worked with this dough when chilled, and it’s pretty crumbly. If you’d like to make the dough one day and bake the cookies on another, I’d recommend chilling the cookie dough overnight and then allowing the cookie dough to come to room temperature before using it.
Yes, please do—simply reduce all the ingredients by half, then make the recipe as written.
Other Recipes You May Enjoy
The holidays are a time to indulge, and these are some of my favorite Christmassy and cold weather recipes!
- Fudgy candy cane brownies
- Mini pumpkin pies made in a muffin pan
- Caramel chai muffins
- Chai macarons
- White chocolate pomegranate cake
Dish Cleanup: Gonna Take a While
I rate my recipe cleanups on a scale of 1 to 5. 1 is only a handful of dishes, and 5 is everything including the kitchen sink.
This chocolate gingerbread recipe has a cleanup rating of a 4, but it’s quite easy to increase the dishes on this one to a 5 if you use a lot of different cookie cutters! None of the dishes themselves are too difficult to clean, fortunately. The worst is the measuring cup with molasses, but that rinses away with warm water fairly easily.
Chocolate Gingerbread Cut-Outs Recipe
For the Chocolate Gingerbread Cut-Outs
- 8 ounces dark chocolate, like Endangered Species Chocolate oat milk + 55% dark chocolate (130 g)
- 4 cups all-purpose flour (540 g)
- ½ cup cocoa powder (48 g)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda (6 g)
- 4 teaspoons ground ginger (8 g)
- 4 teaspoons cinnamon (8 g)
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg (4 g)
- ½ teaspoon ground cloves (1 g)
- ½ teaspoon ground allspice (1 g)
- ½ teaspoon salt (2 g)
- 1 cup brown sugar (210 g)
- 12 Tablespoons butter, softened (170 g)
- ½ cup molasses (170 g)
- 2 large eggs
For the Icing
- 1 ½ cups sifted powdered sugar (220 g)
- 2-3 Tablespoons water (30-45 ml)
To Make the Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies
- Preheat the oven to 350°F/175°C and line at least two baking sheets with parchment paper to cycle between. (This recipe makes 4-5 dozen cookies.)
- Melt the chocolate chips in a medium bowl until smooth in the microwave for 30-second intervals, stirring after each, or in a double-boiler. Set aside at room temperature to cool slightly.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the beater attachment, stir together flour, cocoa, soda, spices, salt, brown sugar, and butter until fully combined and no large pieces of butter remain. The mixture will look sandy.
- To the bowl of melted chocolate, add the molasses. Combine with a spatula or fork until the mixture is only slightly warm to the touch, then stir in the eggs.
- With the mixer on low, pour the chocolate mixture into the flour mixture. Beat until the cookie dough comes together into a ball, about two minutes.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured workspace* and roll out until the dough is about ¼" to ⅜" (6 to 9 mm) thick. Use cookie cutters to cut out shapes, then carefully peel the cookies off your workspace and place onto your lined baking sheet at least 1" (25 mm) apart. Thin, delicate shapes are best peeled off with the help of a bench scraper at the start, but less intricate shapes like circles can be removed easily with just your fingers. Combine all the leftover scraps and reroll a few times, if needed.
- Bake for 9-13 minutes, until the tops of the cookies are matte. Thinner cookies will be fully baked around 9-10 minutes; thicker cookies will take closer to 12-13 minutes to bake.
To Ice the Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies
- Let the cookies cool completely, then whisk together the powdered sugar and water in a medium bowl. For different colored icings, divide the prepared icing into separate bowls and dye with a few drops of food coloring. Transfer to piping bags and decorate the cookies as desired. Enjoy!
*Stone countertops and workspaces may not require flouring, but plastic or wooden boards likely will. You can also roll out the cookie dough between two sheets of parchment paper if you are worried about the dough sticking. I did not need to use flour when rolling out the dough on my quartz countertops; it peeled right off!
Thanks to the molasses, these cookies stay soft and delicious for days! Best enjoyed within two weeks of baking, or freeze for up to three months.
This recipe can easily be halved to make a smaller batch: Simply reduce all ingredients by half!
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Endangered Species 55% Dark Chocolate Bar with Oat Milk (55% Cocoa)
J.K. Adams Maple Wood Baking and Pastry French Rolling Pin for Pizza, Pie, Cookie Dough Roller, and More, 20.5" long x 1.75" diameter (COOP-FP1)
Christmas Cookie Cutters 11-Pc Set Made in USA by Ann Clark, Gingerbread Man, Christmas Tree, Candy Cane, Reindeer and more
Christmas Deer Cookie Cutter
OXO Stainless Steel Bench Scraper
Nordic Ware Natural Aluminum Commercial Baker's Half Sheet, 2-Pack, Silver
Serving Size:1 cookie
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 93Total Fat: 3gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 12mgSodium: 62mgCarbohydrates: 16gFiber: 1gSugar: 8gProtein: 1g
The nutrition facts are estimated and may vary based on specific ingredients used.
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