How To Decorate Gingerbread Cookies

Gingerbread and the shapes it is commonly sold in have a long history. An early form of gingerbread can be traced back to the ancient Greeks and Egyptians, who used it for ceremonial purposes.

Gingerbread appeared in Europe when 11th-century Crusaders brought ginger from the Middle East for the aristocrats’ cooks to experiment with.

As ginger and other spices became more affordable to the masses, gingerbread caught on amongst bakers and those with a taste for ginger.

The endless capabilities of designing and decorating your cakes, cookies, and baked goods have also been a popular uptrend in the past several years, with many people dusting off their rolling pins and aprons to bake their very own luscious baked treats.

Gingerbread is one of the most iconic and versatile in the baked goods sector and also one of the most decorated cookies known to thousands of people throughout the world.

 It’s no surprise that the gingerbread biscuit has become a handy and practical building material when it comes to assembling gingerbread houses, the perfect sweet treat gift anyone could receive at Christmas time.

And, of course, we have all heard of the gingerbread man. Whether iced, glazed, or carefully covered in candies, the gingerbread man is a sure hit and has been known throughout baked goods for centuries.

Throughout the year, gingerbread and how it has been decorated hasn’t changed much, but fear not, as in today’s guide, we have you covered.

Whether you are icing gingerbread men for a simple and delicious gift, or decorating your freshly baked gingerbread house with all the Christmas decorations, regarding the common question of how to decorate gingerbread, we have several methods and cool designs you can feel free to follow or go free-hand and create your own decorated baked gingerbread.

How To Decorate Gingerbread Cookies

In this guide today, we will explore five simple, quick and easy ways to decorate your gingerbread cookies.

The process is fairly simple and requires very little but the ingredients you wish to decorate your gingerbread.


This has to be the most traditional and authentic way to finish off your gingerbread cookies. 

This is not only very easy to make, but it also is handy when it comes to sticking your gingerbread house or baked goods together like an adhesive, as the icing tends to dry nice and firm.

 For easy and precise application of the icing, it’s highly recommended to use piping bags. They’re relatively cheap and can be found in most supermarkets and stores.

For a link to purchase piping bags, click here

For a quick and easy recipe for icing, click here.

This method is perfect for adding facial features and clothing to gingerbread men—also a brilliant method for decorating gingerbread houses in fine detail.

Find and use the appropriate piping nozzle for the job, and this will be very easy to do.

  • Choose the correct sized piping bag for your needs
  • Insert your ready-made icing into the piping bag
  • Proceed to decorate your gingerbread cookies
  • Leave to dry for around 20 to 30 minutes, and the icing is dry


For this second method, you’re going to need some icing from the process above to glue your candies onto your cookies. This method’s effortless.

Grab some of your favorite candies, whether it be M&Ms or Smarties, or any other delicious topping you can think of.

  • Apply a sufficient amount of icing to the back side of the candie
  • Stick the Candie in the desired place
  • Allow sufficient time for it to fully dry, fixing the candy in place
  • Allow drying for around 60 minutes or more

Always check to see if your candy has adhered and fixed correctly before storing it, as it may appear to be dry, but it isn’t.


This method is the most effortless and messiest.

For this method, it doesn’t get any more simple than the following.

  • Bake your cookies
  • Using a strainer, dust the cookies evenly

This is also one of the more traditional ways to decorate Christmas cookies and gingerbread house roofs.

Candy Paint

This has to be the cooler method out of today’s guide.

For this, you can either choose to melt your favorite candies in the microwave or use the appropriate-sized brush to paint the cookies with the sweet.

This not only makes them very pleasing to look at but tasty too.

It is worth knowing that you can also purchase baking paint for this in many different colors if you don’t want to waste time melting candies. 

Suppose you don’t have a brush or fancy doing something different. In that case, You can dunk your baked cookies into the icing giving them the perfect dipped coating full of color.

Cookie Stamp

This method is the fastest and neatest of the methods we have explored today.

This method is perfect for quick and efficient decorating as it requires a simple press of a stamp onto the cookie, and your chosen stamp will be embossed onto your cookie.

 This not only saves time when decorating but also can provide uniform decoration to all your cookies, so none of them look like the odd one out.

This is perfect for creating cookies for Christmas with Santa’s face on them. Or perfect for someone’s initials to be printed on their cookies as a gift.

Many different cookie stamps can be found in stores or online. Once you have chosen your logo, follow these instructions.

  • Evenly roll out your cookies to even shapes
  • Once rolled, Stamp the cookies with the chosen stamp
  • Bake as normal


So that brings us to an end on how to decorate gingerbread cookies. All of these methods mentioned today can be used to decorate any gingerbread.

As you can see, the possibilities are endless regarding what kind of decoration your gingerbread house or men will get.

Picture of Kathryn Sewell

Kathryn Sewell

Hi! I'm Kate and I have been baking and cooking for as long as I can remember. I like to share the most interesting tips and recipes I try here on What Kate Baked for you to enjoy. If you have a favorite recipe you'd like to share send it over on social.

About the Author