I find great joy in bringing the classic flavors of the holiday season to life in new and exciting ways. These gingerbread sandwiches, with their aromatic spices and sweet buttercream filling, are a personal favorite. They encapsulate the essence of winter and the joy of holiday baking.

The Chemistry of Gingerbread

The magic of these gingerbread cookies lies in the delicate balance of spices like ginger, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg, which offer warmth and depth of flavor. The process of creaming butter and sugar introduces air into the dough, making the cookies light and soft. The molasses not only adds sweetness but also moisture, contributing to the cookies’ soft texture. The cinnamon buttercream, a mixture of butter, powdered sugar, and cinnamon, is whipped to light and fluffy perfection, creating a smooth and indulgent filling for these sandwich cookies.

Gingerbread sandwiches sitting on a Santa platter

How to cream your butter & sugar

First, combine your butter & sugar in a standing mixer. Then, turn the mixer on high for 2 minutes, scraping down the bowl every 30 seconds. When the mixture is creamed it will be lighter in color and texture. Here is a visual example of how the ingredients look when just combined vs. creamed:

Butter and sugar just combined
Butter and sugar creamed

Why chill the gingerbread dough before baking?

Chilling the dough helps to firm up the butter, making it easier to cut into shapes. It also prevents the cookies from spreading too much in the the oven, ensuring they retain their shape.

Can these cookies be made ahead of time?

Yes, you can bake the cookies a day or two in advanced. Store them in an airtight container, and prepare the buttercream and assemble the sandwiches when ready to serve.

You can also make the dough a day in advance. The dough can be refrigerated for up to 2 days before baking. Just know, because this is a baking soda cookie, it will not rise as much if left in the fridge for more than 3 hours. I have personally tested this recipe with longer refrigerator times, it still rises after a couple days, but a little less. The upside is the longer you let the dough rest in the fridge, the more flavorful the cookie will be. So yes, it will be a bit less puffy, but it will actually taste better. Just depends what is most important to you.

Gingerbread sandwiches sitting on a Santa platter

How do you know when gingerbread cookies are done?

There are visual cues if you watch your cookies closely. As soon as the cookies no longer look shiny on top, (instead they’ll look a little dull) and the sides look more firm, they are done! The trick will all cookies is to get them out of the oven slightly undercooked. As you let them sit on the pan for 10 minutes after baking, they will continue cooking a bit. Then you simply remove and let them finish cooling off on the pan. They will continue firming up as they cool. This method will create a slight crunch on the outside and a gooey, melty inside.

Can the cinnamon buttercream be used for other desserts?

Absolutely! This buttercream is versatile and can be used to frost cakes, cupcakes, or as a spread for other cookies and desserts.

Gingerbread sandwiches stacked on a platter

What is in gingerbread sandwiches?

Unsalted Butter

It is always important to use unsalted butter when baking. If you use salted butter, you have no way of knowing how much salt you are adding to your dough or batter and it will result in an overly salted treat.

Butter adds fats to your dough or batter which helps with moistness, flavor and texture. Butter melts at body temperature, which creates a ‘melt in your mouth’ sensation.

When baking with butter the temperature is important. If the butter is too warm your treat will melt down too fast and overspread in the oven, leaving you with a greasy, flat mess. If your butter is too cold it will have the opposite problem and not melt down enough, leaving your treat too thick.

Brown Sugar

Is granulated sugar with a little molasses mixed in. Molasses is a somewhat smoky flavored natural sweetener, which makes brown sugar a bit sweeter than granulated sugar. Brown sugar draws more moisture into your treat, keeping it softer for longer. It’s also more acidic, which means it will help activate your baking soda.

Eggs

Adds both a protein (egg whites) and fat (egg yolks). The egg whites help with rising because, when foamed, little air pockets get trapped inside the egg white mixture. The water content in egg whites encourages steam while baking, which helps with gluten formation, resulting in nice and thick treats. Egg yolks have emulsifying properties that bring batters and doughs together and help them from collapsing. Unless otherwise specified, always use large eggs.

Molasses

Is a natural sweetener with a distinct tangy flavor. Molasses is able to absorb water, which adds more moisture into your baked treat. Not only it will help your treat have an extended shelf life, it also keep it soft and chewy for longer.

All-purpose Flour

Builds structure as it absorbs liquids and expands. All-purpose flour falls in the middle of bread flour (high in gluten) and cake flour (low in gluten). It’s exactly what it is named, all-purpose, the most universal flour that can be used in most baked goods.

Baking Soda

Elevates the pH level of your batter or dough. It increases the spread in your treat and encourages browning, which gives the crispy outside and soft inside texture that everyone loves. Baking soda needs both an acid and a liquid to react. Things that will activate your baking soda are: vinegar, fruit juice, molasses, brown sugar, tartar, buttermilk and sour cream. Baking soda only reacts once, which is right when it’s mixed into your batter or dough. The soda creates little air bubbles all throughout your treat. When the air bubbles get heated up in the oven, they expand.

Fine Sea Salt

Enhances flavor, adds balance, masks any bitter flavors. Salt is the most powerful and oldest preservative. Always make sure to use fine sea salt so it melts down at the right speed in the heat of the oven. If you use larger granule salt, it will not melt down fully when baked and will leave salt crystals throughout your treat, making it crunch like you dropped it into sand.

Ginger

A seasoning that adds a nice spice to your treat.

Cloves

A seasoning that adds a nice spice to your treat.

Nutmeg

A seasoning that adds a nutty flavor to your treat.

Powdered Sugar

Is just finely ground granulated sugar. It will absorb moisture in your batter or dough. It dissolves easily, ensuring a smooth texture without grittiness. Because it is so fine, it can melt quickly in the oven and spread cookies out more. Powdered sugar also stabilizes and thickens the frosting, thanks to the small amount of cornstarch it contains.

Cinnamon

A seasoning that adds a nice spice to your treat.

Vanilla Extract

When using pure vanilla extract, as opposed to imitation flavoring, it will add the deep rich flavor that everybody wants in a treat.

Gingerbread sandwiches stacked on a platter

How to store gingerbread sandwiches

Store the assembled sandwich cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days. You can also freeze the baked cookies for up to 3 months. Just make sure to let the cookies thaw back to room temperature before enjoying.

Recommended Equipment

Recipes You May Love

Gingerbread Sandwiches

Author: Madison Reid
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Chill Time: 3 hours
Servings: 12
Gingerbread is the sweet smell of winter. These cookies are not only delicious but they are soft and with cinnamon buttercream sandwiched in between.

Ingredients 

Cookies

  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup molasses
  • 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 2 tsp ginger
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp cloves
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg

Frosting

  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

Instructions

Cookies

  • In a standing mixer combined sugar and butter, whip on medium high speed for 1-2 minutes until lighter in color and texture
  • Stir in eggs & vanilla
  • Add in molasses and mix until combined
  • In a separate bowl combined all the dry ingredients (flour, soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg)
  • Turn the standing mixer on low and slowly pour in the dry ingredients. Mix until the dough comes together
  • Pour the cookie dough out onto a parchment paper, cover the dough with plastic wrap, use a rolling pin to roll out about 1/4 inch thick. Place the dough onto a cookie sheet and into the fridge to rest for 1-3 hours
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  • Remove the dough from the fridge and cut out shapes with a cookie cutter, place on a light metal cookie sheet lined with a parchment paper
  • Bake for 8-10 minutes until the cookies no longer look shiny
  • Leave on the pan for 10 minutes before removing to finish cooling

Frosting

  • In a standing mixer stir the butter to soften
  • Add the powdered sugar, cream, cinnamon and vanilla extract
  • Stir until combined
  • Turn the mixer on high and whip for 2 minutes until the frosting is lighter in color and texture
  • Frost 1 gingerbread cookie and place another on top, making a cookie sandwich

Nutrition

Calories: 726kcal Carbohydrates: 100g Protein: 7g Fat: 34g Saturated Fat: 21g Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g Monounsaturated Fat: 9g Trans Fat: 1g Cholesterol: 128mg Sodium: 315mg Potassium: 417mg Fiber: 2g Sugar: 63g Vitamin A: 1079IU Vitamin C: 0.1mg Calcium: 90mg Iron: 4mg

Have you tried this recipe?

I’d love to see it! Follow @_mrs.madi_ on Instagram and tag your photos with #mrsmadi.