Gingerbread Penguins

Jake loves penguins. I love Jake. These cookies were a no-brainer, really.

This dough is delicious. I had to try it, right? I had to test to make sure I didn’t forget a key ingredient like molasses, Christmas cheer, or love.

These gain the freshman 15 in the oven. It’s adorable, really.

Mostly, I love how these are chewy. They aren’t a crunchy boring cookie. They have personality. They are penguin gentlemen of the tasty variety.

Gingerbread Penguins {makes about 24}
Recipe from The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook


cookies –

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 t baking soda
  • 2 t ground ginger
  • 2 t cinnamon
  • 1/2 t allspice
  • 1/4 t nutmeg
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup dark molasses

royal icing –

  • 1 egg white
  • 1/2 t lemon juice
  • 1-2 cups confectioners’ sugar


TIP: This dough has to chill in the fridge overnight, so just know that before you start because it’s just the worst to realize that too late.

  1. Day 1. Make the cookie dough. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, and salt in a large bowl and set aside.
  2. Put the butter and sugars in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment (or use an electric hand mixer) and cream on slow speed until light and fluffy. Turn the mixer up to medium speed and beat in the egg and molasses, scraping unmixed ingredients with a rubber spatula, as needed.
  3. Turn the mixer back down to low and slowly add the flour mixture a couple tablespoons at a time, stopping to scrape as you need to. Once an even dough has formed, take it out and divide into 3, and wrap each piece in plastic wrap. Chill overnight in the fridge.
  4. Day 2. Make cookies. Preheat your oven to 325ΒΊF and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.Take the dough out of the fridge and set on the counter to soften for 10 minutes.
  5. Lightly dust a clean work surface with flour and roll dough out until it’s about 1/4-inch thick. Cut out shapes and arrange cookies on the prepared baking sheets and bake for about 10-15 minutes. Allow to cool on the baking sheets for a couple minutes before transferring cookies to a wire rack to cool. Continue with all the cookie dough.
  6. Make Royal Icing. Beat the egg white and lemon juice together with an electric mixer, gradually adding the confectioners’ sugar, mixing well after each addition to ensure all sugar in incorporated. The icing will be glossy and thick. If you add too much sugar and it thickens too much to pipe easily, add a bit of water to the icing 1/2 teaspoon at a time until it returns to a pliable thickness. Pipe details onto your cookies. In my case, I piped penguin bellies and eyes.

A penguin family of five.

16 thoughts on “Gingerbread Penguins”

  1. How do you make all these wonderful things and not weigh 500 lb? It all looks so delicious! I may try these with the kids next week.

  2. I made the Hummingbird chocolate and vanilla cupcakes for our Christmas Birthday cakes…mmmm. A bit jealous of your penguin cookie cutter…don’t have one of those.
    These are so very cute and I love that they are chewy too..chewy is the best! πŸ™‚

  3. Awesome, Sally! I think the Hummingbird Bakery has the simplest and best recipes. Those cupcakes are amazing. How’d you decorate them?

    And you’re so right! Chewy gingerbread is where it’s at.

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