Citrus Spice Gingerbread Cookie Recipe

Written by Mike Tamplin • Oct 30, 2021

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Citrus Spice Gingerbread Cookie Recipe
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There's nothing that fills your home with the smell of Christmas quite like baking a batch of gingerbread cookies. And this citrus spice gingerbread cookie recipe is no exception.

With notes of orange and lemon, this recipe offers a twist on your traditional gingerbread cookie. The orange zest helps bring out the spices and the lemon juice brightens the overall flavor.

This is a soft and chewy cookie recipe, which isn't ideal for gingerbread house construction. However rolling the cookies thinner and baking them a little longer makes for a crispier cookie that could work in a pinch.

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Citrus Spice Gingerbread Cookies


  • 1 ½ sticks (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar (light or dark)
  • ½ cup unsulphured molasses
  • Zest from one orange
  • Juice from one lemon
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 - 4 ½ cups all-purpose flour


Step 1      

In a mixer with a paddle attachment, cream butter, and brown sugar on medium. Mix until fluffy.

Step 2  

Add molasses, egg, vanilla extract, orange zest, and lemon juice. Mix until it is all well incorporated. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.

Step 3

In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, allspice, and cloves together until combined.

Step 4

On low speed, at a cupful at a time, slowly mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until combined. After everything is well mixed, the dough should be non-greasy to the touch. If the dough is still sticky after 4 cups of flour, add an extra half cup of flour.

Step 5

Roll to 1/4 inch thickness between two sheets of parchment or wax paper. (Using my Joseph Joseph rolling pin is a life-saver because the guides take the guesswork out of getting the correct thickness.) After rolling, chill the dough for at least an hour.

citrus spice gingerbread cookie dough

Step 6

Once the dough is well chilled and hard to the touch, cut out shapes and place them on a parchment paper-lined, light-colored baking sheet. Chill the cutout shapes again before baking.

Step 7

Bake at 350 degrees for 7-9 minutes. Remove from the oven when the top surface of the cookies look matte with no shine. Leave the cookies to cool on a baking sheet for 10 minutes.

citrus spice gingerbread cookie recipe

Step 8

Remove cookies from the baking sheet with a spatula and place on a cooling rack to cool before decorating.

citrus spice gingerbread cookie recipe

This recipe makes about 2 dozen 3-inch gingerbread cut-out cookies. When it's time to decorate, these cookies would pair nicely with traditional royal icing flavored with orange extract.

citrus spice gingerbread cookie recipe | Semi Sweet Designs

In the next few days, I'll be decorating this batch of citrus spice gingerbread cookies with this year's new Christmas designs. Here's a little glimpse of what's to come, so stay tuned!

gingerbread men and hot cocoa cookie platter
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