Sourdough gingerbread cookies are super easy to make and can be enjoyed anytime of the year.
But they are extra special at Christmas time!
This recipe uses 120g of sourdough starter (you can use fed starter or even discard if you have some to use up).
I hope this recipe helps create some special memories with your family. I know that I had so much fun making these with my boys.
You can make them any shape you like. We've enjoyed making sourdough gingerbread men, stars and hearts.
I've got lots of decorating ideas further down the page!
If you love making sourdough cookies, you might also enjoy making these sourdough chocolate chip cookies or these sourdough snickerdoodles. These sourdough sugar cookies are really fun to decorate too!
What Makes Sourdough Gingerbread So Special?
Sourdough gingerbread cookies provide an unusual way to use your sourdough discard. Although it's perfectly fine to use fresh, bubbly starter in these cookies too!
These sourdough cookies are extra special because they are fermented overnight.
The sourdough starter gives them such a lovely flavor - it accentuates everything that's already special about gingerbread.
These cookies are crunchy - although if you want them to be less crunchy, just cook them a little less.
If you like a softer cookie, why not try these sourdough snickerdoodle cookies.
How To Make Sourdough Gingerbread Cookies
I really love making these sourdough cookies. The dough is super easy to pull together.
I highly recommend using a stand mixer for the dough, although you can use a whisk and knead it by hand.
I actually use my Thermomix to make the dough and find it really easy. The dough comes together in just a few minutes.
It's a pretty forgiving dough. My kids rolled it and cut out shapes and then rolled it again and it doesn't get sticky at all! They played with it like playdoh!
Here's how to make sourdough gingerbread cookies:
- Mix together butter, sugar, egg, molasses, sourdough discard and vanilla until thick and creamy. The mixture will be quite glossy. It's best to do this with a stand mixer but a whisk will also do the job.
- Now add flour, spices, baking soda and salt and knead it into a dough (you can do this by hand or with a stand mixer).
- Once the dough is pliable, cut it in half and form two discs.
- Wrap them in parchment paper and place into the fridge.
- Leave them overnight.
- When you're ready to make the cookies, roll out the dough and cut your desired shapes.
- Bake them on a parchment lined baking tray at 160C/325F for around 10-15 minutes.
- Allow them to cool for 30 minutes before decorating.
Best Tips for Sourdough Gingerbread Cookies
Making these sourdough gingerbread cookies is quite easy. The dough really is lovely to work with.
But, there are always a few little tips and tricks that can help you along the way.
- The dough is usually better if you let it sit in the fridge overnight. Allow it to sit for a few minutes before rolling out.
- A granite or marble board is fantastic for rolling this dough as it will keep it cool.
- Don't roll the dough out too thick or you'll get massive cookies when they bake.
- Give the cookies a little room on the baking tray. They won't increase in size too much, however if they're too close they will mesh together.
- Take the cookies out of the oven before they look cooked. They will still be soft, but let them cool for 30 minutes and they will firm up and become crunchier.
Ideas for Decorating Sourdough Gingerbread Cookies
Sourdough gingerbread cookies can be left plain or decorated. There are so many ways you can decorate these!
I honestly just love them plain ... but here's a few ideas for creating the prettiest sourdough cookies around!
Decorated sourdough gingerbread cookies make such a lovely Christmas gift too.
- Drizzle the cookies with dark chocolate and sprinkle with candied orange rind.
- Roll out some royal icing and stick to the cookies and then stamp them.
- Make your very own sourdough gingerbread man and decorate with chocolate buttons and icing.
- Let your kids cut out their favorite shapes and decorate them with colored icing.
- Spread with buttercream icing and add sprinkles or m&ms.
Here are some decorating ideas for Christmas!
This dough is also suitable to make a gingerbread house with - it will set hard enough that you can make a stable house.
You can use this mold to create the walls and roof of your gingerbread house.
How To Store Sourdough Cookies
These cookies should be stored in a glass jar or biscuit tin to keep their texture as fresh as possible.
Avoid putting them in plastic! It will make them soft.
Once baked, the cookies will last for up to two weeks if stored correctly.
If you are wanting to keep them fresh, store them undecorated and decorate them right before serving or gifting. Buttercream icing will soften the cookies underneath so if you want them to stay fresh, an icing mixture with just powdered sugar and water is best.
I wouldn't freeze the actual cookies, but the dough can be made and stored in the fridge for up to 3 days before baking.
If you love these sourdough gingerbread cookies, you're going to love these ideas!
- If you love all things ginger, try these Sourdough Gingerbread Rolls or these Sourdough Gingerbread Muffins.
- This sourdough Christmas Tree Pull Apart Bread is perfect for the festive season.
- These Sourdough Anzac Biscuits are another great biscuit to try!
- Check out this guide to the best sourdough recipes for gifting this Christmas.
Sourdough Gingerbread Cookies
- Stand Mixer
- Rolling Pin
- Cookie Cutters
- 120 g Sourdough Starter Discard
- 400 g All Purpose Flour
- 120 g Butter
- 250 g Dark Brown Sugar
- 45 g Molasses
- 1 Egg
- 5 g Vanilla Extract 1 teaspoon
- 5 g Salt
- 10 g Baking Soda
- 1.5 tsp Ground Cinnamon
- 2 tsp Ground Ginger
- 0.5 tsp Ground Cloves
- 0.5 tsp All Spice
- ⅓ tsp Cardamom
- 0.5 tsp Ground Nutmeg
- This recipe can be made using a stand mixer or mixed by hand. I find using a stand mixer the easiest way, but either way works.Mix together butter, sugar, egg, molasses, sourdough discard and vanilla until thick and creamy. The mixture will be quite glossy.
- Next, add the flour, salt, baking soda and spices and mix together to form a dough.This step can be difficult by hand but persevere with the sticky dough, it will come good.If using a stand mixer, you want the dough to be smooth and pliable.You should be able to roll it into a small ball without it sticking to your hands.
- Once the dough is ready, turn it out on to the counter. Cut it in half.
- Form each half into a disc and wrap each disc in parchment paper. Place both on top of each other and wrap together with plastic wrap.Place into the fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight.
- When you are ready to make the gingerbread cookies, take a disc out of the fridge and let it sit for a few minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 160C/325F.
- Using a rolling pin, roll the dough out to around ½ cm thick.
- Cut out shapes using a cookie cutter of your choice.
- Place gingerbread shapes onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper.
- Bake at 160C/325F for 10-15 minutes. The gingerbread will still be soft. Allow it to cool for 30 minutes and it will become crunchy. YUM!
Great sourdough gingerbread cookie recipe! I used a bit less butter and dark sugar than called for, but that didn't cause any problem. Also added in a bit of black pepper and skipped the cardamom.
Personally, I would up all the spices because I like a very spiced cookie, but if you prefer a subtler cookie, keep the measurements as is.
Thank you for sharing!
Great recipe. I used emmer flour left in the fridge overnight and they taste amazing. Thanks for the recipe, it’s a keeper for sourdough discard.