Ugly Sweater Gingerbread Cookies

December 11, 2017 By Cathy — 34 Comments
Ugly sweaters have become as synonymous with Christmas as mistletoe and stockings. But it’s even more fun to eat them (in gingerbread form) than wear them!

Ugly Sweater Gingerbread Cookies

This is the beginning of an all-cookie week for me. If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, I actually got the party started on Saturday with some holiday snowflake cookies, then posted a sneak peak of my kitchen sink cookies yesterday that will debut here later in the week (and trust me, you aren’t going to want to miss those).

But the real highlight is today, with a virtual cookie exchange organized by my friend Lynn (the consummate hostess) at The Road to Honey. While I was drooling at the possibility of a real cookie swap, all the gorgeousness crafted by my fellow food bloggers has (almost) satisfied my cravings (and I’m pretty sure brandy-spiked Mexican hot chocolate doesn’t ship well). Needless to say, I’ll be spending the rest of the week in the kitchen trying my hand at these delicious bites (and sips).

Ugly Sweater Gingerbread Cookies


Ugly Sweater Gingerbread Cookies

Okay, so I’ve gotten ahead of myself, because first I need to introduce you to my contribution to the cookie exchange madness…the ugly sweater cookie. The ugly sweater gingerbread cookie to be exact. It’s a firm, but not overly crisp, well-spiced gingerbread cookie, cut into sweater shapes, and decorated as minimally or over-the-top as your tacky holiday taste permits. Mine runs the gamut of bright colors, holiday shapes, cheesy vests and lumpy cardigans. The possibilities are infinite…snowflakes, a string of lights, candy canes and snowmen. They’re pure silliness and a great opportunity to hone those piping skills since imperfection is welcome.

Ugly Sweater Gingerbread Cookies


Ugly Sweater Gingerbread Cookies

So even if you’re a costume/theme party scrooge (like me), you can still get in on the ugly sweater fun with these cookies. But the cookie fun does not stop here my friends (said in my best 90’s infomercial announcer voice). Nope, because if you hightail to my IG or FB pages, you’ll receive a new cookie photo a day all week for the low, low price of five seconds of your time. Pretty good deal if you ask me.

I hope you’ll join in the cookie fun by checking out these fabulous recipes below, or maybe piping your own ugly sweater cookie, or sharing your favorite cookie recipe in the comments. Now, get out of here…we’ve got baking to do!

Ugly Sweater Gingerbread Cookies


Ugly Sweater Gingerbread Cookies

The Sweet Nerd – Gingerbread Cookies – All Spruced Up
Girl Heart Food – Orange Poppy Seed Shortbread Cookies
The Beach House Kitchen- Hot Chocolate Marshmallow Cookies
Beyond Mere Sustenance – Brandy-Spiked Mexican Hot Chocolate
Seasons & Suppers – Lemon Pistachio Shortbread Cookies
Ciao Chow Bambina – Lemon Drop Italian Cookies
Contemplating Sweets – Hedgehog Cookies
The Busy Spatula – S’mores Cookies
Salt & Lavender – Vegan Gingerbread Cookie Bars
Meg Is Well – Bradshaw Cookies: A Sour Cream Cookie with Cream Cheese Frosting

5 from 8 votes
Ugly Sweater Gingerbread Cookies
Ugly Sweater Gingerbread Cookies
Prep Time
2 hrs 30 mins
Cook Time
12 mins
Resting Time
8 hrs
Total Time
2 hrs 42 mins
Ugly sweaters have become as synonymous with Christmas as mistletoe and stockings. But it's even more fun to eat them (in gingerbread form) than wear them!
Course: Cookies
Cuisine: American
Keyword: ugly sweater cookies
Servings: 24 cookies
Calories: 290 kcal
Ugly Sweater Gingerbread Cookies
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 12 oz unsalted butter, softened (1 1/2 sticks)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup molasses
Royal Icing
  • 1 pound confectioners sugar - SIFTED
  • ¼ cup meringue powder
  • ½ tsp cream of tartar
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 tsp clear vanilla
  • Red gel food coloring
Gingerbread Cookies
  1. Sift the dry ingredients into a medium bowl.

  2. In another bowl, cream the the butter and sugars together with a mixer until light and fluffy, about 2 mins.
  3. Add the egg and molasses and mix until well blended.
  4. Gradually add the dry ingredients and mix on low speed just until combined.
  5. Divide the dough into two balls and wrap them in plastic wrap and chill for at least one hour.
  6. Roll out the dough between two sheets of lightly floured wax paper and cut out cookies using a 3 inch sweater cookie cutters. Gather and re-roll the scraps for remaining cookies.
  7. Place the cookies on baking trays lined with parchment paper and put in freezer for about 10 minutes before baking.
  8. Bake at 350 degrees until cookies are set, about 10-12 minutes (depending on the shape/size of the cookie). Cool on wire racks before icing.
Royal Icing
  1. Combine confectioners sugar, meringue powder and cream of tarter in large mixing bowl. Add water and clear vanilla and beat on high speed with paddle attachment until stiff peaks form, but the mixture is not dry. Add water to reach desired piping consistency (tsp or two at a time), mixing after each addition of water.

Decorate the Cookies
  1. Separate the icing into bowls (for flood and piping) and add drops of colored gel food coloring to the bowls to reach the desired color, but keep in mind the color will deepen and darken as the icing dries. Be sure to keep icing covered so it doesn't dry out.
  2. Fill piping bags fitted with round metal #2 tips and flood the cookies.
  3. Let completed cookies dry for several hours before piping ugly sweater designs and decorations. Store the cookies in an air-tight container. They will keep for several days stored at room temperature.
Recipe Notes

Special equipment: 3 inch gingerbread man cookie cutter

Nutrition Facts
Ugly Sweater Gingerbread Cookies
Amount Per Serving
Calories 290 Calories from Fat 99
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 11g 17%
Saturated Fat 7g 35%
Cholesterol 37mg 12%
Sodium 114mg 5%
Potassium 168mg 5%
Total Carbohydrates 42g 14%
Sugars 30g
Protein 3g 6%
Vitamin A 7.3%
Calcium 2.6%
Iron 6.4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Ugly Sweater Gingerbread Cookies

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Filed Under: Cookies/Bars, Holiday, Recipe


34 responses to “Ugly Sweater Gingerbread Cookies”

  1. Works of art, my friend! It would be a challenge to take a nibble and ruin the beauty of these ugly sweater cookies…but I guess that’s the point, right? Love these!

  2. You are beyond talented, my friend! These are the cutest cookies!! Super fun and so tasty! Love!

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Dawn! I’m enjoying a very pleasant virtual sugar rush this morning with all of these yummy treats!

  3. Absolutely fabulous! The ugly sweater has never been more beautiful 🙂

  4. cindy says:

    These are so fun. Love the ugly gingerbread sweaters. You are so creative and talented Cathy. I would love to share these with friends this year.

  5. As usual, I’m in awe of your expertise at cookie decorating Cathy! I’d have a hard time taking a bite because they’re sooo gorgeous! Well done my friend!

  6. I seriously love this post Cathy! And I must agree with our friend Annie… I would be seriously reluctant to bite into one of these beauties (though I’m sure they’re delicious!) They just gorgeous “ugly sweaters!” What fun!

  7. These are so pretty for being ugly sweaters! I can’t wait to try these.

  8. Alisa says:

    I would totally wear that blue sweater with the reindeer!

  9. Kendall says:

    I think these are honestly such a cute idea. I’m vegan but I could totally find a gingerbread recipe that is vegan and decorate based off your ideas. I love them- so cute.

    • Cathy says:

      There’s lots of great vegan recipes out there for gingerbread, including one in this round up. I would love to see your designs if you give them a go!

  10. Janice says:

    So freakin’ amazing. You’re such an artist!

  11. Bring on all the cookies! Can’t wait to see all the different cookies that you’ll be posting. 🙂 Love the details on the sweaters. I like how you even mixed it up with a cardigan.

  12. Christina says:

    You just won for the most adorable cookies this holiday season. OMG, those ugly sweaters are so freaking cute!!! That reminds me, I use to own an ugly Christmas sweater that had, wait for it, 6 functional sleeves. It was the most god awful and hilarious thing I’ve ever seen. I gifted it to a friend who needed a major laugh. The next time she is down I’m making her these cookies, with 6 arms 😉

  13. These are so awesome!! I always love seeing your creativity!

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