Soft Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies

Put down the cookbooks! I have found the perfect Christmas cookie.

Soft Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies |

Bold words, I know. But hear me out.

First of all, they’re cute. Some might even say “cute as a button.”

Second, they’re packed with holiday flavors like cinnamon, ginger, molasses, chocolate […what? chocolate is an every-time flavor!], and orange zest.

Third, one batch make a ton—about 5 dozen cookies. That’s going to go a long way toward filling holes in your cookie plates!

And finally, these cookies have the most desirable holiday trait of all, which is that they stay moist for a crazy long amount of time. Like, a week later, after being stored at room temperature in a plastic tub, they’re still soft and delicious with nary a stale crumb. If I didn’t make them myself, I would suspect preservative shenanigans.

Soft Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies |

But I did make them myself, and I practically ate all of them myself, so I can vouch for the stay-softiness, and easy-of-makingness, and just general deliciousness of these cookies.

They may not look like the fanciest cookie—in fact, Jason said several times, with an almost insulting amount of surprise in his voice, “Wow, these taste way better than they look!”*—but they do have a certain sweet charm to them, especially when topped with a star-shaped chocolate button. I used Brach’s milk chocolate stars, which were just hanging around the other chocolate chip bags at my local Target. I suspect they’re a seasonal thing, since I hadn’t noticed them before, but if you can’t find them, then unwrapped Hershey’s kisses would be a good substitute.

*A classic example of the complisult, the love child of a compliment and insult. Hurts so good! However, Jason does an unholy amount of dishes for me, so he gets a complisult pass every now and then.

Soft Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies |

The flavor of these cookies is heavy on the gingerbread, and lighter on the chocolate. I based them on a gingersnap molasses cookie recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction, but added cocoa to the dough, as well as a little orange zest. The orange may seem out of place, but I think it ties together the ginger and chocolate elements, while adding a light, fresh flavor that keeps the ginger taste from becoming too intense. If you’re suspicious, you’re welcome to leave it out…but really…don’t you trust me?

And thus ends the quest for the perfect holiday cookie. Now you’ll just have to take all that time you were going to spend testing recipes and devote it to online shopping instead. You’re welcome!

Soft Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies |

P.S. Just can’t get enough of that chocolate-gingerbread flavor combination? Allow me to introduce you to Gingerbread Chocolate Chip Cookies, aka The Best Thing To Come Out of My Kitchen in 2012:

Gingerbread Chocolate Chip Cookies |


Soft Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This is the perfect Christmas cookie! It's packed with gingerbread flavor, but with a chocolate twist and a big chocolate button in the center.
Recipe type: Cookie
Serves: 60 cookies
  • 12⅓ oz (2¾ cups) all-purpose flour
  • ¾ oz (1/4 cup) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp ground allspice
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 6 oz (3/4 cup) butter, at room temperature
  • 5⅔ oz (3/4 cup) packed brown sugar
  • 1¾ oz (1/4 cup) granulated sugar, plus extra for rolling
  • 4½ oz (1/3 cup) unsulfured molasses
  • 1 egg, at room temperature
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp packed orange zest (from ½ large orange)
  • 60 milk chocolate stars or chocolate kisses
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, all spices, and salt, Set aside for a moment.
  2. Place the butter and both sugars in the large bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat them together on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 1 minute.
  3. Add the molasses, egg, vanilla extract, and orange zest, and beat until well-mixed. The mixture might look a little broken at this point. Stop the mixer and add the dry ingredients. Mix on low speed until just a few streaks of flour remain. Finish mixing by hand, scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl well with a spatula.
  4. Turn the dough out onto a piece of cling wrap, and wrap it well. Chill for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight.
  5. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Pour some granulated sugar into a shallow bowl. Roll the chilled cookie dough into small 1-inch balls and roll the balls in granulated sugar. Place them 2 inches apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake at 350 F for 7-8 minutes, until puffed and dry in the center, but still soft.
  6. Remove the tray from the oven, and immediately press a chocolate star or unwrapped chocolate kiss into the center of each cookie. Let them cool completely on the baking sheet. These cookies keep amazingly well and, if stored in an airtight container at room temperature, will be soft and moist for up to a week after baking.


Recipe adapted from Soft-Baked Gingersnap Molasses Cookies on Sally’s Baking Addiction

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46 Responses to Soft Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies
  1. These cookies are taunting me with their deliciousness!

  2. I’ve never combined chocolate and gingerbread before. . . now you have me curious.Would that be choclingerbread? Hmmmm. Wish we could do a cookie swap. Wait, no I don’t. I don’t have time to be baking any more cookies. I wish you’d just mail me some and I’d sit and enjoy them while I internet shop. There. That’s better.

    • Elizabeth says:

      Ha! I ended up basically throwing these at my friends, begging them to take the rest from me…so yes, a one-sided cookie swap would be perfect! And I assume some of that internet shopping is buying me all sorts of gifts, right? Fair trade!

  3. Wow!! These look deliciously beautiful!! YUM! Perfect for the Christmas cookie season!

  4. Johlene says:

    I´m one of “those” that would say these are cute as a button!! I love the combination of cinnamon, chocolate & ginger.. a perfect combination..
    ps. What do men know about good looking cookies.. (seriously). My husband would consume 5 consecutively before

    • Elizabeth says:

      Thanks Johlene! What’s funny is that Jason left a comment on my facebook post that said something like “These taste even better than they look!” before he even read the blog post…ha. The kind of complisults strikes again!

  5. Ooh God these look amazing…so intresting compination of gigerbread and chocolate!

  6. I wouldn’t have thought to put chocolate and gingerbread together, but these cookies look amazing! I’ve never seen chocolate stars; at first I thought maybe you piped the chocolate. But I love the way they look on these cookies!

    • Elizabeth says:

      Thanks Beth! The chocolate stars are so cute, and really cheap (like $1.50ish?) and I think they’d also be great in chocolate chip cookies! It’s a shame I only see them around Christmas-time.

  7. Both these cookies look fantastic! Ha, cute as a button … I am guilty of saying that more than once! But it fits these perfectly. I am really curious to try the orange zest, ginger, and chocolate combo. I trust you on this one!

  8. These look like the perfect Christmas cookie!! I have to add them to my already endless baking list lol. Pinned :D

  9. I LOVE the way those chocolate stars look. Jason is craz-ay! It looks like piped out ganache or something. Sign me up.

  10. I loooove gingerbread and chocolate! These look so so sooooo good!

  11. Danguole says:

    Yeah, I’m also gonna join the “whatevs Jason, you cray” chorus. These are pretty, pretty, pretty little pretties.

    And you know I love orange zest in everything! These are so up my alley.

    • Elizabeth says:

      I think he’s just spoiled. :) Too used to painstakingly handcrafted desserts to recognize a perfectly decent cookie when he sees it.

      I know this is your jam–just need to add some fresh herbs and booze and you’d be in heaven!

  12. Liz says:

    I’m going to make these right now…bye! :) Thanks! :)

  13. Gorgeous! Putting them on my Christmas baking list. :-)

  14. I absolutely love chocolate with spices. It combines the best of both worlds for a holiday cookie. These sound SO good, not to mention they’re pretty and seem very sturdy…a perfect holiday cookie for sure! I think it must be the orange zest that keeps them moist. hehehe, a complisult :)

    • Elizabeth says:

      Thanks Amy! I think I stole “complisult” from Community, which also gave us the gem “explanabrag.” (Explanation + bragging…I think we all have friends who are experts in this, right?)

  15. Ashley says:

    Oh wow these look so soft and delicious! I really like that you added the orange zest – I’ve been using it a lot more lately and can’t get enough! Have a great weekend!

  16. I’d never heard of chocolate star kisses, either, but these look great! I posted a link to your post on my blog at

  17. They certainly do look like the perfect Christmas cookie! I’ve never seen gingerbread AND chocolate together but it looks like a match made in heaven!

  18. Dina says:

    i love all the spices and orange with chocolate. sounds great!

  19. The perfect Christmas cookie?! I must try these! They look delicious and so festive!

  20. I want to live inside this cookie and eat my way out. Oh dear!

  21. Mmmmm I just added these to my Christmas cookie list! :)

  22. Meg says:

    These look question though. Not seeing egg on the recipe ingredient list but seeing it in instructions. I assume it is ONE EGG?? Making these later today

  23. Jennifer says:

    These are fabulous – our new favourite cookie!

  24. Dave LaBau says:

    These are outstanding. They were a hit in my crowd.

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