Few flavors exemplify the winter holidays more than gingerbread. Recipes for houses and decorated gingerbread men abound, but few people have time to take on that level of project multiple times each season. That’s why I’ve compiled this ultimate list of gingerbread recipes featuring a wide variety of ways to enjoy this traditional holiday flavor without all of the custom decorating stress.
1 . Waffles
Suitable for a family breakfast or holiday brunch, gingerbread waffles are a fun way to jazz up an already elegant morning favorite. Those following a plant-based diet should try a recipe from one of the several vegan cookbooks on the market. If dairy and egg free aren’t concerns for you however, then this waffle recipe from A Cake Bakes in Brooklyn should do nicely. Paired with fruit, flavored whipped butter and your syrup of choice, this is a menu you can use with family, friends and business associates alike.
2. Gingerbread Latte
If the thought of seasonal gingerbread recipes has you dreaming of Starbucks, then try this slow-cooker gingerbread latte on for size. Perfect for Christmas morning or as a decaf after-dinner treat, you can serve this hot beverage with a breakfast casserole, scones or even a dessert pastry.
3. Snack Cake
When you’re cooking for two and don’t want a large cake hanging around the kitchen as an extra holiday temptation, consider adding a simple snack cake to your list of gingerbread recipes. Skip the frosting and substitute fat-free Cool Whip if you are trying to cut calories.
4. Gingerbread Scones
When I want a simple-to-prepare breakfast baked good or afternoon treat that’s lower on sugar, scones are my go-to solution. There are many recipes worthy of your exploration, including this one from The Happy Herbivore.
There are far too many gingerbread cookie recipes to feature in such a small section of this article, but two in particular did catch my eye. These soft crinkle cookies and Better Homes and Gardens’ gingerbread drop cookies both look achievable for the average at-home cook, and don’t require hours of decorative planning or the purchase of boatloads of specialty candy.
6. Gingerbread Crepes
Crepes are quintessentially elegant, and adding a bit of gingerbread flavor is a great way to bring them center stage for Christmas, or even as your feature item for a New Year’s Day menu. Here’s a recipe for gingerbread crepes from the folks at Cake Spy to get you started.
This baked good makes an affordably-stylish treat at any time of year, but adding gingerbread biscotti to your repertoire of gingerbread recipes will help you put your Christmas Eve festivities over the top. Paired with espresso or a cup of decaf, this Italian cookie is perfect for a candlelight holiday evening at home, or before heading out to see a seasonal performance of The Nutcracker.
9 . Gingerbread Bundt Cake
If sheet cakes can’t provide the appropriate level of pizzazz that you’re looking for, consider a bundt cake as a way to dress up your gingerbread recipes. The shape alone incorporates a suitable amount of sass, and a bit of powdered sugar or drizzled glaze can add that extra bit of grace if you’re trying to impress on a budget. This beachy, Jamaican gingerbread cake is suited for a bundt pan, as is this dark gingerbread bundt from CD Kitchen.
10. Baked Donuts
Trying your hand at baked gingerbread donuts keeps things casual while maintaining the appropriate amount of holiday cheer. Great for an on-the-go energy boost, or as a special office treat for your coworkers.
While technically in the cookie camp, I’ve set gingersnaps aside in their own section because they are so popular in their own right. Snap cookies also tend to be much smaller than regular cookies, making them easy to fit on a saucer with a cup of specialty tea. Alton Brown’s ginger snap recipe featured on the Food Network, and the midnight gingersnaps from All Recipes are two that caught my eye.
12. Gingerbread Pancakes
If you’re hoping to take homespun fun a step further, then gingerbread pancakes are the way to go. They add a bit of country inn flair to your holiday food plan, all while keeping your grocery tab on budget. If you’re wondering where to begin with your collection of gingerbread recipes, this is it. The link above will get you started, but feel free to try out a wide variety in order to find the one that works best for you and your family.
For a casual coffee get together or business luncheon in the month of December, consider gingerbread muffins. You’ll be able to skip the frosting calories of the typical cupcake while still having a decadent winter holiday treat. The Post Punk Kitchen’s gingerbread flax seed muffins and these gingerbread muffins from Food.com are great places to start.
14. Traditional Gingerbread
Traditional cake-style gingerbread is a rustic treat that’s perfect on its own or with a dollop of whipped cream. It’s a no-fuss way to entertain on the fly when close friends stop by unexpectedly. Enjoy some after an afternoon of sledding or snowshoeing with the kids, or take some to a holiday pot luck.
15. Gingerbread Affogato
Essentially an Italian ice cream sundae for adults, this gingerbread affogato would make an excellent dessert for New Year’s Eve or for a winter holiday dinner party. This decadent dessert could also work well for a Christmas event that takes place in tropical climes. You’ll have the traditional flavor of your other gingerbread recipes, but with cool ice cream taking center stage.
An all-American favorite, cupcakes are a fun baked good to serve at any time of year. During the winter holidays however, when you are looking for an alternative to the expected red velvet variety, consider some sassy gingerbread cupcakes with cream cheese frosting. You’ll have the flavors of the season wrapped up in a grab-and-go package that can easily be transported for classroom parties, community gatherings or displaying on a tree-shaped cupcake stand.
17. Gingerbread-Flavored Coffee Syrup
Having flavored coffee syrup on hand at home makes whipping up quick coffee beverages a breeze. This version of spiced coffee syrup will fit nicely into your master list of gingerbread recipes. Pour a flavor shot into your travel mug before adding in your morning cup of Joe, and you can have an easy holiday pick-me-up suitable for active commuters.
18. Gingerbread Martini
I’m always on the lookout for stylish winter cocktails, so when I saw this gingerbread martini recipe from the people at She Knows, I was psyched. It’s a simple, three-ingredient cocktail that brings boatloads of style to shoestring entertaining efforts.
19. Gingerbread Cookie Cocktail
I was a B. Smith fan from the time I first saw her TV show years ago. She always chooses stylish recipes and decorating tips to share with her viewers, and this gingerbread cookie cocktail is one such example. Serve with delicately-flavored finger foods and small petit fours when you need to pull off a holiday-themed event for coworkers or a special someone.
20. Sandwich Cookies
These gingerbread sandwich cookies from Red Book Magazine may be geared for Halloween, but are easily modified for the winter holiday season. Choose a different shape such as Christmas trees or stars and fill as normal. Or, if you want to skip even the lightly-decorated top cookies, consider filling them with ice cream and placing them in the freezer for a basic but tasty treat.
21. Gingerbread Roulade
Basically a rolled sheet cake with a decadent filling, this gingerbread roulade would be my choice for finishing off a small dinner party of 4-6 persons. It’s visually interesting, but not too over the top and doesn’t overdo it on the sugary sweet front the way highly decorated cookies tend to.
While not a food I’m used to seeing on a list of gingerbread recipes, this gingerbread custard puts a fresh spin on a popular morning dessert. I’d recommend serving this after a hearty brunch featuring red flannel hash and possibly a vegetarian omelet.
23. Gingerbread Pudding Cake
For those who prefer warm, gooey pudding cakes as their dessert of choice, this gingerbread-flavored cake from the people at Taste of Home should do the trick. Serve with whipped topping and decaf coffee for the perfect way to top off a traditional pot roast dinner in December.
24. Gingerbread Pudding
I’m a huge fan of flavored bread puddings, so this gingerbread pudding from Eating Well caught my attention immediately. Consider making some ahead of time to make things flow more smoothly on the day of your event. This could also work for Sunday dinners throughout the season.
25. Gingerbread Trifle
Layered trifle desserts are always a hit at large gatherings, and this gingerbread trifle puts a toasty winter spin on a traditional family favorite. Place it at the end of the food buffet after the selection of crock pot food items such as warm cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes and mushroom gravy.
26. Gingerbread Brownies
Who doesn’t love brownies? But if you’re looking for a break from chocolate, consider incorporating some gingerbread brownies at the next play group meetup. These brownies from Martha Stewart incorporate white chocolate chunks, while this version of gingerbread brownies from Better Homes and Gardens keeps things simple.
27. Gingerbread Pie
While I was searching for unusual recipes to include in this feature, I have to admit that running across something called gingerbread pie took me completely by surprise. What an unexpected item to have on hand in your repertoire of gingerbread recipes! I can’t wait to try this one out, and always love when I find a simple and rustic recipe that will have everyone talking without a great deal of additional fuss required.
28. Gingerbread Pie Crust
If you’d rather keep your gingerbread flavor completely in the crust, then this crust recipe using crushed gingersnaps is a simple way to go. The people at CD Kitchen have a slightly more elaborate gingerbread crust recipe if you need something more traditional. Using the flavored crust strategy is a great way create flavor combinations where you only want the gingerbread to serve as an accent. Eggnog cheesecake would be an excellent example of when this could come into play.
29. Whoopie Pies with Eggnog Filling
Being from New England, whoopie pies played a large part in many of our family gatherings that involved food. One fun way to carry the tradition throughout the seasons is to change up the flavor of the drop cookie portion of the dessert. Red velvet, pumpkin and chocolate are the types I’m most familiar with, but this recipe for gingerbread whoopie pies with eggnog filling certainly looks worthy of any family holiday event.
30. Gingerbread Oatmeal
For a quick morning breakfast before the kiddos hop on the school bus, whip up some gingerbread oatmeal. It will fuel them up for a full day of studying, and take only a few moments in the microwave. When it comes to frugal holiday food, oatmeal is pretty tough to beat. And while it might not be suitable for a party, it’s definitely a fun and affordable way to give the kids a bit of cheer before they get out of school for Christmas break.
31. Gingerbread Crème Brulee
You’ll need the proper tools in order to pull this off at home, but gingerbread crème brulee puts an unexpected twist on a standard gourmet classic. If you’re able to book a personal chef for one of your holiday dinner parties, this would be an excellent item to place on the menu.
32. Gingerbread French Toast
If you have a bit of extra time on a Saturday morning, gingerbread French toast is a memory maker worthy of your attention. It’s a great way to use up leftover bread, and works well with sparkling fruit juice if you’re whipping some up for a special occasion.
33. Gingerbread Loaf
If sweet breads are among your hostess gifts of choice, then consider a simple zucchini-gingerbread loaf for a baked good that’s both moist and flavorful. Taste of Home also has a more traditional gingerbread loaf, in case zucchini doesn’t float your boat.
34. Gingerbread Cheesecake
Nothing says party like cheesecake, and this gingerbread cheesecake from Martha Stewart is just sassy enough to make the grade for anyone needing to entertain with style during the winter season. Since cheesecake is an incredibly rich dessert, consider serving it after a light meal such as a sliced steak dinner salad with bruschetta and wine.
35. Gingerbread Popcorn
Need a little treat while you’re firing up your holiday movie selection? Try this gingerbread popcorn from Pillsbury. It’s basically caramel corn and Cracker Jacks with a bit of Christmas cheer rolled into the mix.
36. Gingerbread Frosting
When you really want to drive home the flavor, adding some gingerbread-flavored frosting to the top of your baked treats should do the trick. This version from All Recipes is more of a glaze that would be appropriate to drizzle across some biscotti, while this creamy gingerbread frosting from McCormick is one more suited for a layer cake.
37. Gingerbread Tea Loaf
For a lighter take on the gingerbread scene, a tea loaf might be just the ticket. You can shake a bit of powdered sugar on top of a finished loaf for a bit of polish, and using a specially-shaped holiday pan can dress things up even more without any extra calories.
38. Gingerbread Caramels
These gingerbread caramels from Martha Stewart are an interesting way to enjoy gingerbread flavor during the winter months. I don’t typically expect candy to be on the agenda when it comes to enjoying the flavor of gingerbread, but I’m excited try these out.
39. Gingerbread Fudge
I’ll admit that my fudge-making skills routinely cause me stress over the holidays. Still, I persevere. This recipe for gingerbread fudge is motivating me to try again this December, especially since fudge isn’t a food one would typically expect to feature the flavors of gingerbread.
40. Donut Holes
Donut holes are practically synonymous with comfort food, and these raised gingerbread donut holes really bring the holiday spirit home. Try having some on hand for when you trim the tree, or tackle your outdoor seasonal lighting.
41. Gingerbread Butter
Whipped and flavored butters are a simple way to add flavor to any holiday table, and this gingerbread butter is perfect for pairing with baked goods parked near a holiday coffee bar. Have the Sambuca and Bailey’s standing by, and you’ll be good to go.
42. Gingerbread Play Dough
Who doesn’t love play dough for homemade children’s Christmas gifts? This gingerbread play dough recipe from The Imagination Tree is perfect for putting under the tree, or simply whipping up on a Saturday as an extra holiday activity.
43. Gingerbread Bark
If you’re looking to break away from the almond and peppermint barks so common on the holiday treat table, try creating a batch of this gingerbread bark from the people at Food.com. It’s a bit unexpected, and perfect with hot tea.
Gingerbread soufflé? That’s what I thought. I have to admit though, that the idea is growing on me, and I find myself searching for a menu pairing that will allow me to move this gingerbread soufflé from dessert status to the main dinner plate.
45. Gingerbread Truffles
As holiday finger foods go, truffles usually end up near the top of my list. These gingerbread truffles from Epicurious are a fresh take on the traditional version, and a fun addition to your winter entertaining repertoire.
Yup. They caught me by surprise as well. But these gingerbread crackers from Mary Jane’s Farm look like an interesting way to dress up your canapé selection all the way through New Year’s. The directions call for rolling out the dough and using cookie cutters to shape the crackers, but I’m wondering if this gingerbread recipe could be adapted for the freezer. That way, you could simply slice off the rounds and bake them, or try firming up the dough in one of those fluted bread tubes in order to have access to a special shape without the stress. Also, the recipe says it makes six dozen crackers, so I think these could either be made all at once for a large gathering, or in smaller batches for intimate dinner parties.
47. Gingerbread Mousse
A full-flavored gingerbread mousse is certainly a stylish way to polish off a meal during the winter season. Chill some in champagne flutes for a New Year’s Eve gathering, or in smaller serving dishes for a Christmas Night sit-down dinner.
48. Make It a Milkshake
Having grown up with eggnog milkshakes every Christmas Eve, the thought of experiencing a gingerbread milkshake intrigued me. This is another one of those recipes I think would be fun to try out if you were celebrating Christmas in the tropics.
49. Gingerbread Smoothie
Looking for something healthier, yet still festive? This raw vegan gingerbread smoothie should do the trick. Containing almond milk, bananas, ginger and molasses among other fun ingredients, this is a fun and low-calorie way to start the day off right.
50. Whiskey and Gingerbread Ice Cream
If making homemade ice cream is part of your family holiday agenda, then I’d like to point you in the direction of this whiskey gingerbread ice cream featured by Fine Cooking. While it would make a fantastic dessert in its own right, I’d also like to try it over a fresh batch of gingerbread waffles for an out-of-this-world holiday brunch treat.
I think it’s fair to say that gingerbread recipes have come a long way since I was a girl. The ways you can enjoy this traditional blend of Christmas flavors are as far reaching as they are flavorful. So belly up to the bar for a gingerbread martini, dig in to a piece of gingerbread pie or keep it healthy with a gingerbread smoothie. Whatever your mood, there’s something on this mega list of gingerbread recipes to suit.