cardamom honey gingerbread cookies

cardamom honey gingerbread cookies

These soft baked cardamom honey gingerbread cookies are inspired by my Iranian heritage and they’re absolutely delicious. The flavors remind me of traditional Persian cookies served during Nowruz but with a decidedly Christmas vibe. A sort of baklava/gingerbread mash up, this recipe deserves to be on your holiday baking agenda.

gingerbread cookies made accessible

Cookie baking season is upon us. It’s time to rewatch Home Alone 2 [the best Christmas movie around] and dust off your holiday cookie cutter. Imagine the scene; you don’t have molasses or corn syrup on hand and almost every gingerbread recipe requires them.

cardamom honey gingerbread cookies

Do you throw in the towel and crack open a package of Trader Joe’s peppermint JoJo’s? No one would blame you. However, if you want a special home baked treat this recipe is for you.

These cookies are made using pantry staples like brown sugar and honey. You can leave the molasses and corn syrup off of your grocery list and use more common ingredients you probably have on hand. Honey and cardamom pair really well together, creating a unique gingerbread experience.

cardamom honey gingerbread cookies
baking process
  • let unsalted butter and eggs come to room temperature
  • blend the butter and brown sugar in a stand mixer with paddle attachment
  • add the egg and honey
  • add dry ingredients
  • refrigerate the dough for at least 30 minutes
  • roll the dough out onto a floured work surface
  • cut out cookies
  • bake
  • glaze
  • decorate
  • eat!

I hope you enjoy these cookies as much as we do and that you share your photos with me on Instagram!

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cardamom honey gingerbread cookies

cardamom honey gingerbread cookies

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  • Author: Sepideh Esmaili Campos
  • Yield: 23 dozen depending on cookie size 1x


Units Scale
  • 3 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 Tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey (tip: spray your measuring cup with cooking spray so the honey slides out easily)
  • 2 eggs, room temperature


  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 Tablespoons water


  1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, ground ginger, ground cinnamon, ground cardamom, salt, black pepper, and baking soda. Set aside.
  2. Place the butter and brown sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer.
  3. With the paddle attachment in place, whip the butter and sugar together on medium speed until fully combined, 3 minutes.
  4. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl down with a rubber spatula as needed to help the butter and sugar combine.
  5. Add the honey to the bowl and whip on medium speed for a couple minutes to fully incorporate the ingredients.
  6. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl, add the eggs and mix again on medium speed until well combined.
  7. Stop the mixer and add ½ of the flour mixture to the bowl. Mix on low speed until the flour starts to combine with the egg mixture.
  8. Add the rest of the flour and mix on low speed until the dough comes together and starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl.
  9. Divide the dough in half. At this point you can freeze one portion of the dough if desired. Simply form a disc with one half of the dough, place it in a ziplock back, and freeze it for future use. If frozen, thaw the dough in the refrigerator overnight before baking.
  10. Form a disc with the second half of the dough and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate the dough until it’s cold but still pliable, 30-60 minutes.
  11. You can keep the dough refrigerated for up to three days before rolling and baking the cookies. If the dough gets too cold to roll, leave it out at room temperature a a bit to soften. 
  12. Before rolling out the dough, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  13. Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Note: If you use silicone baking mats, the cookies might spread more. 
  14. Roll the dough out onto a floured work surface until it’s 1/4 of an inch thick. 
  15. Use cookie cutters of your choice to stamp out as many cookies as you can from the dough. You can squeeze the excess dough back together, roll it out and freeze it briefly before cutting  out more shapes.
  16. Place the cookies on the rimmed baking sheets and freeze for 5-10 minutes so that the cookies hold their shape when baked.
  17. Bake the cookies until puffy in the center and the edges are set, 12-15 minutes. Note: if you roll the dough out thinner, start checking the cookies after 8 minutes. 
  18. While the cookies bake, whisk the powdered sugar and water together to make the glaze.
  19. Transfer the baked cookies to a wire rack set over another baking sheet (to catch the glaze).
  20. Using a pastry brush, glaze each warm cookie and add sprinkles (if desired) while the glaze is wet. The glaze hardens quickly so I suggest adding sprinkles to each cookie right after they’ve been glazed.
  21. Let the cookies cool at room temperature and enjoy!
  22. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for a week or two.


*This recipe was designed so you can freeze half of the dough for later. If you’re baking all of the dough at once, double the amount of glaze.

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    1. Hi Bronwen, thanks for the comment! Most gingerbread recipes I’ve researched and baked with use 1 Tablespoon of ground ginger (which is 3 teaspoons). If you don’t want to use the full amount, you can reduce down to 3 teaspoons but I wouldn’t go lower than that because you don’t want to lose the classic ginger flavor. My recipe also uses cardamom so I’ve increased the ground ginger to balance the spices. Feel free to adjust down to 1 Tablespoon since it won’t impact the texture of the cookies.

      ps. My recipe also uses more flour than most gingerbread recipes that utilize 1 Tablespoon of ginger, so it will come out to a more reasonable amount of ginger than it might seem at first glance.

  1. Hi! This recipe sounds amazing (I love using cardamom in everything)! Can you describe the texture of these cookies please? Are they strong enough to make a really large (e.g. 12″ high) gingerbread house? How thick do you roll them?

    1. Hi Papillon, if you love cardamom I’m sure you’ll love these cookies! They bake up very soft so they are definitely not suitable for building. I roll them to about 1/8 of an inch or sometimes 1/4 of an inch if I want a thicker cookie. You’ll want to bake them a bit longer if you roll them thicker.

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