Gingerbread Cookie Mug Toppers

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These Gingerbread Cookie Mug Toppers are the best way to finish off your coffee or hot chocolate! They’re deliciously spiced gingerbread cookies, perfectly designed to sit on the edge of your favorite mug. Give them as gifts, or keep them all to yourself and enjoy throughout the holiday season!

Snowman-shaped Gingerbread Cookie Mug Topper on a red mug with powdered sugar raining down

Gingerbread Mug Huggers

There is nothing that signifies the holidays more than the smell of spiced gingerbread cooking in the kitchen. I make it a point to make at least a few batches every year–one for gingerbread houses, another for cut-out cookies like this gingerbread tree, and then maybe a fun variation like chocolate gingerbread cookies. Basically, if it’s December, you’re pretty much guaranteed to find me with a giant canister of ground ginger in my hands, and that’s the way I like it!

I’m always on the lookout for new ways to enjoy my favorite Christmas cookie flavor, though, so this year I decided to experiment and make these adorable Gingerbread Cookie Mug Toppers

These cookies have everything you love about traditional gingerbread cookies — the soft-but-chewy texture! The robust spices and ginger flavor! The royal icing decorations! — and one big improvement: a small notch at the base that lets them sit firmly on the edge of a glass. These cookies hug your mug and I could not be more obsessed! 

Tree-shaped Gingerbread Cookie Mug Topper on the edge of a red and white mug

☕️ What’s the Deal with Mug Toppers?

What can you do with these Gingerbread Cookie Mug Toppers? Obviously they’re perfect as a tea-time or after-dinner treat: brew a pot of coffee or tea (or whip up some hot chocolate!), add a cookie or two to the rim, and dip as you sip. The cookies are sturdy enough to withstand a good dunking, and there are few things more enjoyable than the combination of cookies and coffee.

The novelty and cute presentation of these cookies also make them an excellent edible gift. Package them in airtight bags and give them to teachers and friends with a mug and gourmet coffee or hot cocoa mix.

You can also serve them at holiday parties, or bring them to a Christmas cookie exchange. (And if you do that, let us know how it goes so we can add “award-winning” to the list of this cookie’s accomplishments!) 

Finally, don’t forget to leave a few of these out on the plate for Santa. I’m not saying it’ll sweeten your stocking, but I’m not saying it won’t. *exaggerated wink*

Overhead shot of ingredients used to make Gingerbread Cookie Mug Toppers, with text labels

🧾 Ingredients

In addition to staples like flour, baking soda, and butter, here are a few tips about the ingredients you’ll need:

  • Spices: This recipe calls for a LOT of different spices: you’ll want ground cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, and allspice. For many of us, these are spices we reach for a few times a year, at most. Spices rarely go rancid, but they do lose their flavor and potency over time. Before you begin baking, give them a sniff, and if they smell off or weak, buy a fresh jar. This cookie gets all of its flavor from the spices, so it’s important that the spices are fresh and flavorful!
  • Molasses: For this recipe, you want to use unsulphered molasses. Grandma’s Molasses is the most common brand and is often found in the baking aisle of large grocery stores. Blackstrap molasses is more bitter and is not a good substitute in this recipe, unless you know for sure that you love the taste of blackstrap.
  • Brown sugar: The recipe calls for light brown sugar, but dark brown sugar is also completely fine to use.
Tree-shaped Gingerbread Cookie Mug Topper on the edge of a red and white mug

🥄 Equipment

Here’s what you need to make these cute mug huggers! (The following are all affiliate links, and I earn a small commission from your purchase.)

📋 Instructions

These cookies are made in 3 parts: making the dough, baking the cookies, and decorating with royal icing (optional but very cute!). You can get full, printable instructions in the recipe card below, but here’s a quick overview of the steps.

Make the Gingerbread Cookie Dough

Two-photo collage showing how to sift dry ingredients and cream butter and sugar for gingerbread cookie dough.
  • Whisk the dry ingredients together and set aside.
  • Combine the butter and brown sugar, and mix them together in the bowl of a stand mixer.
Two-photo collage showing how to cream butter, sugar, and molasses for gingerbread cookie dough.

Add the molasses and mix it in. (Pause here and enjoy the amazing smell.)

Two-photo collage showing how to make gingerbread cookie dough.

Mix in the egg and vanilla. At this point, the mixture might look broken (as in the picture on the right). This is normal! Do not panic.

Two-photo collage showing how to add flour and finish mixing gingerbread cookie dough.
  • Add the dry ingredients in 3 batches, mixing just until combined.
  • Divide the dough in half, wrap each half in plastic wrap, and chill for at least three hours. Several days is okay too!

Bake and Decorate the Gingerbread Cookies

Two-photo collage showing how to wrap and roll out gingerbread cookie dough.

Once the dough is chilled and firm, you can get rolling! Roll the dough out on a well-floured surface until it’s about 1/4-inch thick.

Two-photo collage showing how to cut out and bake Gingerbread Mug Huggers.
  • Cut your shapes out with the cookie cutters. If you’re manually making the notches in the bottom, use a real mug to decide how wide to make them, and make sure to leave a little extra room to account for the cookies spreading. 
  • Place the cookies on a parchment-covered baking sheet, leaving a few inches between cookies.
Two-photo collage showing how to bake and decorate Gingerbread Mug Huggers.
  • Bake at 350 F for 7-8 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Once cool, decorate with royal icing, if desired. Let the icing harden, and serve!
Baking sheet with baked and frosted Gingerbread Cookie Mug Toppers on parchment

💡 Tips and FAQs

Here are some answers to common questions. If you have a different question, feel free to leave it in the comments below!

Substitutions & Variations

  • Spices: You can slightly alter the gingerbread spices without affecting the overall taste. For instance, if you don’t like the taste of cloves, you can omit the cloves spices. You should not omit the ginger or the cinnamon.
  • Orange: Adding the zest of an orange deepens the flavor and adds a wonderful citrus undertone. Add the orange zest at the same time you add the vanilla extract.
  • Maple: If you like the taste of maple, you can substitute real maple syrup for vanilla extract.

Make-Ahead and Storage Instructions

This dough can be made ahead and frozen for up to 3 months. Wrap each dough disc in plastic wrap, then place in a freezer zip-top bag to prevent freezer burn. When ready to use, thaw in the refrigerator and start at step 6.

Halving the Recipe

There are ways to halve this recipe. You could freeze one of the discs of dough (see above), or cut the recipe in half. When dividing a recipe that uses one egg, the best way to get an accurate measurement of half an egg is to whisk the egg well, then divide the whisked egg in half. 

Hand dipping a snowman-shaped Gingerbread Cookie Mug Topper into coffee

❤️ More Christmas Desserts You’ll Love

Soft Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies
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.
Get the recipe!
Christmas Pinwheel Cookies
Christmas Pinwheel Sugar Cookies might be the best Christmas cookie recipe ever! They’re made with a simple sugar cookie dough, and the beautiful red, white, and green spiral design is surprisingly easy to make.
Get the recipe!
Close-up of red, white, and green Christmas Pinwheel Cookies on white plate.
Gingerbread Cookie Mug Toppers on a white tabletop with a red napkin in the corner

Leave a review!

If you make this recipe, let us know! Leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating on the recipe below, and leave a comment, take a photo and tag me on Instagram @elabau, or use #sugarhero on IG!

Don’t miss the step-by-step tutorial showing how to make Gingerbread Cookie Topperscheck out the web story here!

Tree-shaped Gingerbread Cookie Mug Topper on the edge of a red and white mug

Gingerbread Cookie Mug Toppers

5 from 11 votes
These Gingerbread Cookie Mug Toppers are the best way to finish off your coffee or hot chocolate! They’re deliciously spiced gingerbread cookies, perfectly designed to sit on the edge of your favorite mug.
Prep Time 1 hr 20 mins
Cook Time 8 mins
Chilling Time 3 hrs
Total Time 4 hrs 28 mins
Yield 60 cookies
Calories 75 kcal

Ingredients
 

For the Gingerbread Cookies:

  • 13.5 oz all-purpose flour, (3 cups)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 TBSP ground cinnamon
  • 1 TBSP ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp ground allspice
  • 6 oz unsalted butter, (¾ cup or 12 tbsp), softened to room temperature
  • 3.75 oz light brown sugar, cup packed)
  • 5.75 oz unsulphered molasses, (1/2 cup), measure ounces by weight, not volume
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

For the Royal Icing:

  • 8 oz powdered sugar, (2 cups), sifted
  • 1.5 TBSP meringue powder
  • 3-4 TBSP water
CUSTOMIZE: 60 cookies

Instructions
 

To Make the Gingerbread Cookies:

  • In a medium mixing bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, and spices to combine and set aside.
  • Using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, beat butter and brown sugar on medium speed, about 2 minutes, until creamy. Add molasses and continue to beat on medium speed until the mix is a uniform brown color, 30-60 seconds. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.
  • Add egg, vanilla extract, and mix on a medium-low until combined. Mixture will be wet.
  • Move the mixer to a slower speed and add the dry ingredients in 3 batches, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Mix until just combined. You’ll know it’s combined when you no longer see streaks of flour.
  • Divide dough in half and form two discs of the dough using your hands. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least three hours, preferably overnight and up to 3 days.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 Fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with parchment paper to set aside.
  • Roll dough out to about ¼ inch thickness on a floured surface and cut using 3D cookie cutter shapes. Place on a baking sheet ½ inch apart.
  • Bake for 7-8 minutes, one baking sheet at a time, on the middle rack. Remove from the oven and let cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes.
  • Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Once cool, you can decorate them with royal icing (optional).
  • Place on the edge of your favorite mug and enjoy with a cup of coffee!

To Make the Royal Icing:

  • Add confectioners sugar and meringue powder to a medium mixing bowl. Whisk together and add in 1 tbsp of water at a time.
  • Whisk until the mixture has the following consistency: When you lift the whisk up, the icing will hold a ribbon, meaning it is firm enough to hold the shape of a drizzle falling from your whisk and slowly disappear back into the mixture.
  • If you begin to pipe your icing and find that the mixture is too firm, add 1 tbsp of water to your mixture at a time. If it’s too runny, add ¼ cup of confectioners sugar to the mixture until you reach the desired thickness.

MEASURING TIPS

Our recipes are developed using weight measurements, and we highly recommend using a kitchen scale for baking whenever possible. However, if you prefer to use cups, volume measurements are provided as well. PLEASE NOTE: the adage “8 oz = 1 cup” is NOT true when speaking about weight, so don’t be concerned if the measurements don’t fit this formula.

Click here to learn more about baking measurements and conversion.

Nutrition

Calories: 75 kcal | Carbohydrates: 13 g | Protein: 1 g | Fat: 2 g | Saturated Fat: 1 g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1 g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1 g | Trans Fat: 1 g | Cholesterol: 9 mg | Sodium: 23 mg | Potassium: 54 mg | Fiber: 1 g | Sugar: 7 g | Vitamin A: 75 IU | Vitamin C: 1 mg | Calcium: 11 mg | Iron: 1 mg
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Snowman-shaped Gingerbread Cookie Mug Topper on a red mug with overlay text for Pinterest
What You'll Need
Editor's Note

This post may contain Amazon affiliate links. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, which is an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.  For more information, see my Disclaimer and Disclosure Policy.

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