Ultimate Air Fryer Gingerbread Cookie Recipe for Festive Baking

Sometimes when I’m baking a lot of cookies and need extra space, I put my air fryer to use in addition to my oven. I also use this option when I want a small batch or to bake when it’s hot out. These air fryer gingerbread cookies are adorable, easy to make, and delicious!

air fryer gingerbread cookies recipe dinners done quick

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Who doesn’t love some festive gingerbread cookies for the holidays? The air fryer bakes them up beautifully and your whole kitchen will smell like warm spices.

You can adjust the recipe to whatever spices you like, which is the beauty of making your own. If you don’t like something, just skip it!

I use a blend of bread flour and all purpose to make the cookies slightly more soft and doughy. They’re still dense like gingerbread, though, it’s not a super soft cookie. They may be delicious, but they’re not the right consistency for building houses with (fair warning)!

holding up an iced air fryer gingerbread man cookie

While gingerbread men are a typical option for the shape, you can honestly use any cookie cutter you have on hand. Trees and snowflakes are some other favorites here. Have some fun with it!

What You’ll Need: Ingredients

ingredients to make air fryer gingerbread cookies
  • 2 cups bread flour
  • 1 ½ cups all purpose flour (plus more for rolling)
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • ¾ cup salted butter, softened
  • ½ cup molasses
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • ½ tsp apple pie spice (a mix of cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice)
  • Cookie icing for decorating (optional) 

Special Equipment Notes: You’ll need parchment for the bottom of your air fryer baskets. I like the perforated parchment sheets for the air flow (just pick a size based on your specific air fryer). You’ll also need a rolling pin to roll out the dough, and cookie cutters to cut your cookies to shape.

Ingredient Notes and Tips

  • If you want a firmer cookie, omit the bread flour and just use an equal amount of all purpose flour instead
  • For crunchier cookies, roll thin, and for doughy cookies, leave them a little thicker
  • The spices may be changed up any way you like. Allspice, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger are the most common choices for gingerbread, so use your favorites!

How to Make Air Fryer Gingerbread Cookies

  1. In a large mixing bowl or stand mixer, beat the butter and sugar to combine
beat butter and sugar to combine
  1. Add the molasses, egg, and vanilla and stir to combine
add molasses, egg, and vanilla then mix
  1. Mix in the dry ingredients and mix everything well until dough forms. If it’s very sticky, add extra flour 1 Tbsp at a time until it doesn’t stick to your hand anymore
mix in dry ingredients until dough forms
  1. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and place it into the refrigerator for 30 minutes (or the freezer for 10 minutes) to chill
wrap dough in plastic and cool
  1. Once chilled, remove the dough and use a rolling pin to roll it out to about ¼” thickness (you can cut it into pieces to make it easier to work with)
roll gingerbread dough flat
  1. Use a cookie cutter (or a glass) to cut your dough
use tools to cut out your favorite shapes in gingerbread dough
  1. Place cut cookies onto a sheet of parchment paper cut to fit your air fryer basket, leaving some air space between them to allow for expansion
place gingerbread cookies in air fryer basket
  1. Cook on the air fry setting for 6-8 minutes at 350°F, or until dough is cooked and edges are browned
  2. Let them cool in the basket for about 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely
let gingerbread cookies cool on a wire rack
  1. Decorate if desired, and enjoy!
overhead view of air fryer gingerbread cookies shaped like men candy canes and christmas trees on various platters

What to Serve With Gingerbread Cookies

  • Poached fruit
  • Fresh fruit
  • Applesauce
  • Ice cream
  • Whipped cream
  • Orange icing
  • Blackberry sauce
  • Maple syrup
  • Lemon curd
  • Cranberry curd
  • Pudding 
  • Custard
  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Milk
  • Ginger ale
  • Apple cider
  • Mulled wine
  • Old fashioned cocktail

There are lots of great things to serve with gingerbread, from toppings and dippers to accompaniments and beverages! They’re everything festive about the holiday season.

Try air fryer gingerbread cookies with my easy Microwave Lemon Curd, homemade Microwave Applesauce, spiced Microwave Mulled Wine, festive Orange Cranberry Mimosas, or a quick cup of Coffee Brewed in the Microwave.

Recipe FAQs

Should Gingerbread Cookies Be Soft or Crispy?

Traditionally, gingerbread cookies are crispy around the edges, and dense yet somewhat soft in the middle. Based on how thick they are rolled and how long they are cooked, they may be adjusted a bit either way for personal preference.

Note that gingerbread that is designed for building is a much thicker, denser, and harder version of gingerbread.

Why Did My Gingerbread Cookies Get Hard?

Gingerbread cookies get hard only when there is not enough moisture, or they are overbaked. Due to their inherent color, it may be difficult to notice when they are overbrowning.

Try baking them for less time, or rolling them a bit thicker so they don’t dry out as quickly.

Do Gingerbread Cookies Harden As They Cool?

Yes, gingerbread cookies will harden slightly as they cool. You’ll want to give them a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack, and make sure to cool completely before storing them.

This should help ensure they don’t fall apart as they are moved.

How Do You Know When Gingerbread Cookies Are Done?

Gingerbread cookies are done when the edges are slightly browned and firm to the touch. You should also not see any wet spots or raw looking dough in the middle.

Make sure to let them sit on the sheet or tray for a few minutes before moving so they can further solidify.

Should You Refrigerate Gingerbread Cookies?

You do not need to refrigerate gingerbread cookies. In fact, storing them in the refrigerator can dry them out.

For best results, use an airtight container and store the cookies in a cool dry place. They should stay fresh for up to a week.

Do You Use Light or Dark Brown Sugar for Gingerbread Cookies?

Typically, you use light brown sugar for gingerbread cookies. Dark brown sugar may be used, but will amplify the molasses flavor of the cookies.

If you prefer a stronger molasses flavor, though, then feel free to swap in dark brown in an equal amount to the light brown.

Do You Cut Out Gingerbread Before or After Baking?

You cut out gingerbread before baking. However, if you are building a house and need to straighten edges that baked crooked, you may trim them as soon as they come out of the oven.

The cut gingerbread will expand during cooking, and it’s not uncommon for them to lose their intended shape.

Recipe Pro Tips

  • This is a thick dough – if you’re not using a mixer, bring your muscles! It’s OK to knead the dough to help blend it and bring it together as well
  • If the dough is too wet, add flour 1 Tbsp at a time. If the dough is too dry, add more molasses (but make sure to mix well in either case before adding more). If the cutouts crumble when you lift them, you need more flour or you’ve rolled them too thin (or both)
  • You can use flour or wax paper when rolling to prevent the rolling pin from sticking to the dough
  • I do not preheat my air fryer for cookies. Generally, I drop 1-2 minutes off baking time for subsequent batches. Be careful adding more cookies in, as the baskets will be hot!
  • My gingerbread cookies were cut using approximately 3” cutters, and were perfectly baked after 6 minutes in a Ninja air fryer. Other sizes and air fryers will vary
  • I got just about 3 dozen cookies with this amount of dough and the 3” cutters
various gingerbread cookies on winter themed plates and platters

Storage and Heating

  • Store gingerbread cookies in an airtight container in a cool, dark place for up to one week. They may also be frozen for up to 3 months
  • Gingerbread is best enjoyed at room temperature or dipped in a warm beverage. However, if you want to warm the cookie for a softer bite, microwave it for 15-20 seconds

More Air Fryer Cookie Recipes to Try

  • Meringue Cookies in the Air Fryer
  • Air Fryer Sugar Cookies
  • Crispy Air Fryer Shortbread Cookies

Final Thoughts

Making air fryer gingerbread cookies is an easy way to whip up a batch of this festive holiday favorite. The air fryer bakes your cookies up perfectly, and it only takes about 10 minutes per batch!

Cut them into any fun shapes you like. While gingerbread men are the most common choice, you can use any cutter you like to make gingerbread for any season! Just because it’s a holiday classic doesn’t mean it’s not delicious year round.

I like to sneak one in the morning with a cup of coffee for the perfect treat!

air fryer gingerbread cookies recipe dinners done quick featured image

Easy Air Fryer Gingerbread Cookies

These festive gingerbread cookies are made in the air fryer instead of the oven. It’s perfect for small batches and quick cooking, leaving your oven free for other dishes!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 6 minutes
Chilling Time 30 minutes
Total Time 56 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 18
Calories 247 kcal

Equipment

Ingredients
  

  • 2 Cups bread flour
  • 1 ½ Cups all purpose flour
  • ½ Tsp baking soda
  • ¼ Tsp salt
  • ¾ Cup light brown sugar
  • ¾ Cup salted butter (softened)
  • ½ Cup molasses
  • 1 Large egg
  • 1 Tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 Tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 Tsp ground ginger
  • ½ Tsp apple pie spice (mix of cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice)
  • Cookie icing for decorating (optional)

Instructions
 

  • In a large mixing bowl or stand mixer, beat the butter and sugar to combine
    ¾ Cup salted butter, ¾ Cup light brown sugar
  • Add the molasses, egg, and vanilla and stir to combine
    ½ Cup molasses, 1 Large egg, 1 Tsp vanilla extract
  • Mix in the dry ingredients and mix everything well until dough forms. If it’s very sticky, add extra flour 1 Tbsp at a time until it doesn’t stick to your hand anymore
    2 Cups bread flour, 1 ½ Cups all purpose flour, ½ Tsp baking soda, ¼ Tsp salt, 1 Tsp ground cinnamon, 1 Tsp ground ginger, ½ Tsp apple pie spice
  • Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and place it into the refrigerator for 30 minutes (or the freezer for 10 minutes) to chill
  • Once chilled, remove the dough and use a rolling pin to roll it out to about ¼” thickness (you can cut it into pieces to make it easier to work with)
  • Use a cookie cutter (or a glass) to cut your dough
  • Place cut cookies onto a sheet of parchment paper cut to fit your air fryer basket, leaving some air space between them to allow for expansion
  • Cook on the air fry setting for 6-8 minutes at 350°F, or until dough is cooked and edges are browned
  • Let them cool in the basket for about 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely
  • Decorate if desired, and enjoy!
    Cookie icing for decorating

Notes

  • If you want a firmer cookie, omit the bread flour and just use an equal amount of all purpose flour instead
  • For crunchier cookies, roll thin, and for doughy cookies, leave them a little thicker
  • The spices may be changed up any way you like. Allspice, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger are the most common choices for gingerbread, so use your favorites!
  • I’ve decorated with premade cookie icing and mini chocolate candies, but you can use your favorites!
  • This is a thick dough – if you’re not using a mixer, bring your muscles! It’s OK to knead the dough to help blend it and bring it together as well
  • If the dough is too wet, add flour 1 Tbsp at a time. If the dough is too dry, add more molasses, melted butter, or a little milk (but make sure to mix well in either case before adding more). If the cutouts crumble when you lift them, you need more flour or you’ve rolled them too thin (or both)
  • You can use flour or wax paper when rolling to prevent the rolling pin from sticking to the dough
  • I do not preheat my air fryer for cookies. Generally, I drop 1-2 minutes off baking time for subsequent batches. Be careful adding more cookies in, as the baskets will be hot!
  • My gingerbread cookies were cut using approximately 3” cutters, and were perfectly baked after 6 minutes in a Ninja air fryer. Other sizes and air fryers will vary
  • I got just about 3 dozen cookies with this amount of dough and the 3” cutters
  • Store gingerbread cookies in an airtight container in a cool, dark place for up to one week. They may also be frozen for up to 3 months
  • Gingerbread is best enjoyed at room temperature or dipped in a warm beverage. However, if you want to warm the cookie for a softer bite, microwave it for 15-20 seconds
  • Exact nutritional values will vary based on brand of ingredients, different decorations added, and total quantity consumed, so please consider this a guideline only

Nutrition

Serving: 62gCalories: 247kcalCarbohydrates: 38gProtein: 3.6gFat: 8.8gSaturated Fat: 5.5gCholesterol: 33mgSodium: 151mgPotassium: 173mgFiber: 1gSugar: 18gVitamin A: 239.3IUCalcium: 35mgIron: 1.7mg
Keyword air fried cookies, air fryer christmas cookies, air fryer cookies, air fryer gingerbread cookies, gingerbread cookies, gingerbread man cookies, gingerbread men cookies, gingerbread recipe, quick gingerbread cookies
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Katie Vine