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The Best Gingerbread Recipes

This time, we’re focusing on gingerbread, my favorite flavor of the holiday season

And a certain Gingerbread novel by Helen Oyeyemi, but that’s a story for another day

Gingerbread cookies and houses are truly the staple of gingerbread, but I’m also a huge fan

I’m pitting three gingerbread cookie recipes against each other and three cakey gingerbread recipes against each

Gingerbread came to Europe in the 11th century CE when crusaders brought it back from the eastern

The cookies would be formed into all kinds of shapes, such as animals, birds, flowers, and armor

Ladies would sometimes give their gingerbread to knights to wish them luck at tournaments

Sometimes they would eat little husband-shaped gingerbread cookies in the hopes of finding real husband

That explains the origins of gingerbread men, but what about gingerbread houses? Gingerbread houses became a popular

Either way, we still love building gingerbread houses to this day

Apparently, the softer, cakier version of the treat (the kind you bake in a pan) didn’t

Mary Ball Washington, George Washington’s mother, was well-known for her gingerbread loaves, and her recipe was

I started off my gingerbread journey with a fresh jar of molasses, brand new cookie cutters, and

And after chilling the dough, it was very easy to roll it out (with minimal flouring) and

I liked how Ko’s book included a version of the recipe for snappy thin cookies and

I’m a chewier gingerbread person, which is part of why I’m looking at gingerbread men

Of the three gingerbread cookie recipes I tried, this was the least sweet of the batch

But this is one recipe that would have definitely benefited from a little sweetness from icing and

So yeah, if you’re planning to go all out on decorating, these cookies would take to

I ended up sprinkling a little brown sugar on the top of my second batch just to

First of all, compared to the other recipes on this list, the amount of ginger this one

After that, it didn’t ask that the dough be chilled before it was rolled out, which

What did end up being a problem? This dough was really, really crumbly

As you can see, these gingerbread people started crumbling apart before I could even get them to

At the end of the day, this cookie recipe tasted fine, and I commend Khan for being

By the time I made it to the third round of gingerbread men baking, I’d seriously

Remember how we talked about chilling the dough earlier? Rosanna Pansino’s gingerbread recipe actually had me

And then I had to chill it again after I’d cut it into gingerbread shapes

So here’s the thing about cookies with a lot of molasses in them

This made it challenging to shape them into little people without the dough stretching all over the

One of the things that helped me find gingerbread man integrity was wiggling the cookie cutter around

You can still see a few little stretch gingerbread people in this picture, but by the second

Even though the recipe called for cute decorations, these just didn’t need it

Let’s talk gingerbread cakes and loaves, my personal holiday obsession

With Bake by Lorraine Pascale, let me go ahead and state the obvious

She’s British, and I’m American, and so I struggled with converting some of the measurements

I was a little shocked by how much butter went into this one

More specifically, it’s a ginger cake originating from Yorkshire

In terms of this recipe, I would argue that this tasted more like a brownie

It was very moist and rich (shocker! all that butter!) and it was delicious

This one is another one that didn’t need any fancy decorations or icing

Gabriela Scolik’s Bake! is such a fun cookbook because it’s told almost entirely in pictures

You would think that would mean the recipes are super duper straightforward and easy to follow

I loved the pictures because it was easy to follow along and remember where I was in

Also, the recipe says that it’s egg-free, but clearly in the steps of the recipe, it

The recipe says to only cook this loaf for 30 minutes, but it was nowhere near done by

I think I ended up baking this for 45 minutes just to get the middle cooked

My husband and I actually ended up toasting this one up for breakfast

For our grand finale, we’re going with the American Girl Holiday Baking take on gingerbread cake

The secret ingredient? Cayenne pepper! I wouldn’t say the pepper made the gingerbread spicy, but it

It was just a little pinch, so not enough to overtake the ginger, but it really made

Turns out your cake doesn’t have to be super sweet if it’s got a tasty

It’s fine, but it feels like a pretty standard cream cheese icing recipe, which feels like

Aside from the issues with the sticky dough, Pansino’s recipe was super easy to make

I feel like the fluffiness of the cookies make them look even cuter when they’re shaped

We as a household are still recovering from this wild wave of gingerbread foods

Are you looking for more ginger recipes? Here’s a showdown to find the best ginger cookie