Gingerbread Reindeer Cookies Recipe | How to Turn a Cookie Man into Rudolph

Gingerbread Reindeer Cookies Recipe


Gingerbread cookies have been a holiday staple for as far back as I can remember.  Typically these spicy little tidbits come in the shape of “men”… but upon further examination we found that if you turn the men upside down… you can make reindeer!

If you don’t especially like gingerbread… consider making a sugar cookie man and decorating it this way!

So, if you have your own gingerbread recipe… fabulous. You can skip down to the after baking directions.

If not, here is one that turns out well.

(Yield about 18 cookies)
2 cup Flour
1 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Ginger
1/4 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Nutmeg
1/4 tsp Ground Cloves
1/3 cup melted Shortening
1/3 cup Molasses
1/3 cup Brown Sugar
8 tsp Water
1 egg
1/4 tsp Vanilla
18 red M&M’s or Red Hot candies

2 Egg whites
3 cup Powdered Sugar
2 tsp Corn Syrup
Brown Food coloring
Black Food coloring



  • Sift together the flour, baking powder, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and cinnamon.
  • Beat together shortening, molasses, water, egg, brown sugar and vanilla until blended.
  • Slowly stir in the dry mixture until completely absorbed.
  • Divide dough in half.
  • Flatten each, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for several hours.
  • Preheat oven to 350.
  • Line cookie sheet with parchment paper.

  • Flour work surface.
  • Roll dough out to 1/4″ thickness.
  • Cut out gingerbread men and place 1″ apart on prepared sheet.
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes until they look dry.
  • Move to wire rack to cool.


  • Combine egg whites and corn syrup and whip on high until foamy.
  • Slowly add powdered sugar whipping until shiny and soft peaks form.
  • Add brown coloring and whip until color is uniform,
  • Transfer 2/3 of icing to piping bag or zippered bag.
  • Add black food coloring to remaining icing and whip until color is uniform.
  • Transfer remaining icing to piping bag or zippered bag.


  •  Turn gingerbread men upside down and pipe brown to form face and ears as shown.
  • Place red M&M or Red Hot candy for nose.
  • Place 2 black dots for eyes.
  • Pipe black to show inside of ears and mouth.
  • Pipe black antlers.





Do you have any traditional holiday cookies you like to make? Tell me about them in the comments section below!


  1. Robin Wilson says

    How ingenious! I like these as Reindeer much better than a Gingerbread Man! They look like it would be easier to to decorate too. Thanks for sharing the fun!

  2. I just love soft gingerbread and this is such a fun idea.

  3. JoAnn Brightman says

    What a great idea youth ad to turn the gingerbread men aground and make reindeer cookies. I shall has veto try this next year.

  4. Laura Grace Andry says

    This is really adorable and simple. I have this cookie cutter already and this looks like a fun cookie to get the kids in the holiday spirit! Thanks for sharing. I love it!

  5. Erin Ellis says

    These are wonderful! I’m going to bake these with my girls.

  6. Cami v says

    These are adorable, wish I had more patients to do this 🙂

  7. G K says

    Great idea! I never would have thought to flip the cookie.

  8. Amy Orvin says

    How did you ever think of that? I love that idea! Those reindeer cookies look so easy make and so yummy!

  9. That is so much fun! Clever idea to use it upside down for the reindeer.

  10. Rosie says

    What an adorable idea, and so easy. I’m not that good at cookie decorating, but this I can do!!

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