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Sourdough Gingerbread Cookies

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Gingerbread cookies made with sourdough discard are an easy and delicious holiday cookie!

gingerbread men lined up in a 3 rows of 3

Using sourdough discard in cookies is one of my favorite things! The discard makes the cookies extra soft, and gives them a depth of flavor that is subtle but great! When added with the awesome spices of cinnamon and clove in gingerbread, its a match made in heaven!

You can use any shape cookie cutter for this recipe. We used gingerbread men shape, but you can use stars, hearts, trees, anything you want! We decorated them simply with just white frosting, but you can use any royal icing, buttercream frosting, or a powdered sugar glaze, too!

white platter piled with sourdough gingerbread men

How to make gingerbead cookies with sourdough discard

For the full set of directions, make sure you scroll down to the recipe card below.

Mix the dough

  1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, ground ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, allspice, cloves, and cardamom.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the combine the brown sugar and butter until soft and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  3. Add in the discard, molasses, egg, and vanilla extract and beat until combined well.
  4. Add in the flour mixture and mix until just combined. Do not overmix. The dough should be smooth and pliable.

Chill the dough

  1. Divide the dough into two equal portions and form each portion into a disc.
  2. Wrap each disc in plastic wrap and place in the fridge to chill for at least 4 hours, or overnight.

Roll and Bake

  1. When ready to bake, place the dough on the counter to warm and preheat the oven to 325 F. Line a rimmed baking sheet (affiliate link) with silicone baking mats or pachment paper.
  2. Use a silicone rolling mat with a tiny sprinkle of flour to roll out one disc at a time until it is a bout 1/4″ thick.
  3. Use cookie cutters to cut out desired shapes. Place the cookies 1″ apart on the prepared baking pans.
  4. Bake for 10-15 minutes, depending on the size of your cookies. The cookies should just barely look done and not be too browned on the edges.
  5. Transfer to a wire cooling rack to cool completely before decorating.
  6. Decorate as desired.

New to sourdough? Read my Ultimate Guide to Sourdough for Beginners to answer all the questions you have!

sourdough gingerbread men on white platter

Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of sourdough starter do I need for this recipe?

This recipe uses a 100% hydration starter, or a starter that is fed with equal parts flour and water. You can use either fed and active starter, or inactive discard. Starters that are fed with all purpose flour, whole wheat flour, and rye flour all work well in this recipe.

Read “Feeding your sourdough starter” to get information on hydration rates and how to properly feed and maintain your sourdough starter. 

What will these cookies taste like?

The sourness level of these recipes will depend on your starter and how long it has been since you fed it last.

  • Starters that have been recently fed have a milder sourdough flavor.
  • Starters that have not been fed for a week or more will have a more pronounced sourdough tang.

How do you store these sourdough cookies?

These cookies store best in an airtight container on the counter for 3-4 days!

These cookies also freeze really well! Once they are totally cooled, place them in a sealed freezer bag or container and freeze for up to 2 months. Make sure to label them so you don’t forget what they are!

platter of sourdough gingerbread men cookies

Love using your sourdough starter for more than bread? Make sure you also check out my collection of sourdough discard recipes, and my collection of sourdough dessert recipes.

Food tastes better when its shared! If you try this recipe, let me know! Leave a comment and rate below!

graphic for sourdough course - reads "new to sourdough? learn the skills to impress your family and friends with your sourdough baking. Click here".
Yield: 24 cookies

Sourdough Gingerbread Cookie Recipe

gingerbread men lined up in a 3 rows of 3

These gingerbread cookies are a great use of sourdough discard.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Chill Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 35 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sourdough discard, 100% hydration
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, ground ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, allspice, cloves, and cardamom.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the combine the brown sugar and butter until soft and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  3. Add in the discard, molasses, egg, and vanilla extract and beat until combined well.
  4. Add in the flour mixture and mix until just combined. Do not overmix. The dough should be smooth and pliable.
  5. Divide the dough into two equal portions and form each portion into a disc.
  6. Wrap each disc in plastic wrap and place in the fridge to chill for at least 4 hours, or overnight.
  7. When ready to bake, place the dough on the counter to warm and preheat the oven to 325 F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with silicone baking mats or pachment paper.
  8. Use a silicone rolling mat with a tiny sprinkle of flour to roll out one disc at a time until it is a bout 1/4" thick.
  9. Use cookie cutters to cut out desired shapes. Place the cookies 1" apart on the prepared baking pans.
  10. Bake for 10-15 minutes, depending on the size of your cookies. The cookies should just barely look done and not be too browned on the edges.
  11. Transfer to a wire cooling rack to cool completely before decorating.

Notes

Cooled cookies can be kept in an air tight container on the counter for up to 1 week.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

24

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 137Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 18mgSodium: 157mgCarbohydrates: 23gFiber: 1gSugar: 10gProtein: 2g

Nutrition information is an estimate and is provided for informational purposes only. For the most accurate information, please calculate using your specific brands and exact measurements.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram, and don't forget to tag #gingeredwhisk.

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Shadi Hasanzadenemati

Thursday 9th of June 2022

This was amazing and such a treat! Thank you! Everyone in my family loved it.

Natalie

Thursday 9th of June 2022

Great gingerbread recipe and tips. I have it saved for Christmas. Thanks!

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