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
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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 or Gingerbread Chocolate Chip 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

Table of Contents

☕️ What’s Can You Do 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!) Speaking of cookie exchanges . . . check out more of my favorite holiday cookies like Candy Cane Cookies, Big Soft Sugar Cookies, Cinnamon Puff Pastry Twists, Pecan Snowball Cookies and Chocolate Truffle Peppermint Crunch Cookies!

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 on a white plate.

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.
View Recipe
Hand with red fingernail lifting up a Christmas Pinwheel Cookie from a stack of cookies.

Christmas Pinwheel Cookies

These festive Pinwheel Sugar Cookies might be the best Christmas cookie recipe ever! They’re made with a simple sugar cookie dough formed into a beautiful red, white, and green spiral design.
View Recipe
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
5 from 12 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.
Prep1 hour 20 minutes
Cook8 minutes
Chilling Time3 hours
Total4 hours 28 minutes
Yields60 cookies


For the Gingerbread Cookies:

For the Royal Icing:

  • 8 oz powdered sugar, (2 cups), sifted
  • 1.5 TBSP meringue powder
  • 3-4 TBSP water
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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.

Want to learn more about baking measurements and conversion?


Calories: 75kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 9mg | Sodium: 23mg | Potassium: 54mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 75IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 11mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Snap a pic and hashtag it #SugarHero. We love to see your creations on our Instagram @elabau.
Snowman-shaped Gingerbread Cookie Mug Topper on a red mug with overlay text for Pinterest

Meet Elizabeth!

Hi, I’m Elizabeth — a trained pastry chef, cookbook author, video instructor, and your new Baking BFF! I’m going to teach you everything you need to know to be a sugar hero. ❤️

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  1. These are so adorable!! I can’t wait to make them for our family’s holiday get together coming up! I am sure everyone will love them! 🙂

  2. These turned out very cute. I made them to give to my daughter’s teachers for Christmas gifts. I found that the dough got soft quickly and needed to be refrigerated between batches, or maybe I’m just slow. Next time I might add more flour. But the flavor was delicious and the cookies turned out so cute. Thanks for the idea!

    1. Hi Cheryl! What a cute gift idea for teachers. Thank you for the awesome comment and suggestions for refrigerating between batches. I hope you have a very Merry Christmas!