Mom's Best Soft Gingerbread Cookies (New! Gb House Directions!)

"This is my mom's recipe that just can't be beat. I don't know where the recipe came from, I just know they're good! I like them plain with raisins for decoration, but you can go all-out if you want! Have fun and enjoy!! *I used this recipe to make my gingerbread house, but the directions are slightly different for this. **See bottom of page."
photo by Wildflour photo by Wildflour
photo by Wildflour
photo by MissAlisha photo by MissAlisha
photo by jacamaca photo by jacamaca
photo by Thorsten photo by Thorsten
photo by CaBchMom photo by CaBchMom
Ready In:
3-4 dozen




  • Place cloves in hot water; set aside.
  • Cream shortening and sugar.
  • Add egg and beat.
  • Add molasses, beat.
  • Remove cloves from water, discard cloves.
  • Add clove water, beat. *Dough will look "curdled".
  • Add rest of ingredients, except the last 4 cups flour, and beat. Gradually beat in last 4 cups flour.
  • Chill dough.
  • Roll out to 1/2" thick or slightly less.
  • Cut into shapes.
  • Decorate with raisins if desired.
  • Place carefully on ungreased cookie sheet.
  • Bake at 375° for 8-10 minutes. Do not over bake.
  • *GB House directions:

  • Make dough the same as above, but roll dough out thin, 1/4" at most.
  • Bake in 325 oven for about 20 minutes.
  • Remove to racks to cool, and let harden/dry out a bit overnight for sturdiness if making large pieces.
  • *Doors and windows need to be cut out PRIOR to baking. Fill any with crushed hard candy before baking, too. And pieces filled with hard candy baked the best on foil. Non candy-filled pieces were baked on parchment paper.

Questions & Replies

  1. The recipe for Wildflower’s huge gingerbread house (which is gorgeous) calls for butter flavoured shortening. Does it make any difference I use unflavoured lard which I already have? Also I guess we have to make our own templates to make the house. How do you attach the pieces? With Royal Icing or what? Looks like lots of work but unbelievably beautiful! Thanks.


  1. Tried, tested and true. This is a very good gingerbread cookie recipe for building gingerbread houses and it is fragrant and full of flavour. The dough is easy to handle and makes nice firm cookies. This will be my go-to recipe whenever I need to make decorative special treats. I made 2 batches. First one batch was made according to the recipe; those were used for the houses. Second batch I used less flour (can't remember how much less, but no more than 1/4 cup) and the cookies turned out light and crispy; those were good for eating with tea/coffee.
  2. I used this recipe for gingerbread houses and they turned out great! I loved the clove water as it took away the full kick of ground clove that can be overbearing. If you like your cookie super spicy you might want to add ground clove but I prefer the clove water. I rolled the dough using a fondant rolling pin to 3/16
  3. I had never made gingerbread cookies before and thought this was the perfect recipe to start with (as I already had all the ingredients on hand). The cookies turned out great and were so easy to make. The cooking times were spot on and the directions easy enough to follow. The results were awesome tasting gingerbread cookies. I also liked that these cookies were a bit on the softer side. Before, I never would have thought to make my own gingerbread cookies, and now I will never think to buy them from a store. Thank you!
  4. The cookies turned out soft and delicious. Steeping the cloves in the water seems to ease the "bite" that you get with cloves sometimes. I reduced the heat and baking time a smidge for the "second roll-out" and the cookies were perfect.
  5. These cookies are AMAZING! I didn't have molasses though so I used 1/2 dark brown sugar and 1/2 honey. The dough broke up quiet a few times but was very easy to mold back together, loved working with the easy to mold dough. So yummy, thank you so much.


Hello! Former caterer and restaurant owner taking life slower now and just enjoying photographing my food creations and blogging them! Pop on over to my blog to see over 800 of my recipes at Wildflour's Cottage Kitchen @ !
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