Gingerbread Cookies with Orange Buttercream


December 27, 2012 by Meg G.

I don’t know about you, but I’m still in a bit of a holiday daze. I am constantly asking what day of the week it is. I can’t seem to get up before 9:00am. It’s a rough life, really. (Somebody smack me!)

In the spirit of prolonging this holiday daze as long as possible, today I’m sharing this delicious cookie recipe from my friends Oliver and Will. You may remember this dynamic duo from our Mystery Box dinner a few months ago. Well, they’ve done it again! This cookie recipe won both the Classically Delicious award AND the People’s Choice award at this year’s cookie bake-off. Do you think they were excited? (Photo taken by Oliver moments after winning.)

Winners with Prizes

Winning Cookie with Award Plaques and Prizes (our homemade vanilla extract and hand warmers)

There are three components to this wonderful cookie. It starts with a soft, chewy gingerbread cookie. Then a lovely, light, orange buttercream frosting. Finally, it is topped with candied orange zest.  Honestly, I could eat this cookie every day, all year round. It’s that good. Here goes!

COOKIES (2 dozen) – adapted from here.


  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Sift together the flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and salt. Set aside.

2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and 1 cup sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg, then stir in the water and molasses. Gradually stir the sifted ingredients into the molasses mixture.

3. Shape dough into walnut sized balls, and roll them in the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar. Place the cookies 2 inches apart onto an ungreased cookie sheet, and flatten slightly. These can be made ahead. Just return dough to fridge if not baking immediately and then bring back to room temperature before baking.

4. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.

Cookie Prep

FROSTING (1 cup) – adapted from here.


  • 1/4 cup butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups confectioners sugar
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons orange juice


  1. In a mixer, gently beat confectioner’s sugar, orange zest, vanilla and butter together. Increase speed on mixer and add enough orange juice to achieve desired frosting consistency.

CANDIED ORANGE ZEST – adapted from here.


  • 3-4 navel oranges, zested into short strips (with no remaining pith)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar for crystallizing


  1. Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Add orange zest; boil for 12-15 minutes. Drain off water and retain orange zest.
  2. Bring 1 cup of sugar and 1 cup of water to a boil. Add the blanched zests and reduce heat. Simmer zests until they are transparent, about 12 minutes. Syrup should be thick. Remove from syrup and toss in sugar, let dry, away from humidity. Store in an airtight tin.


Gorgeous and Classically Delicious. Enjoy!

4 thoughts on “Gingerbread Cookies with Orange Buttercream

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