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3D Gingerbread Tree Cookies

Indulge in the whimsical delight of 3D gingerbread tree cookies, a show-stopping treat that combines the warmth of spices with the softness of freshly baked goods. The perfect blend of earthy cinnamon, zesty ginger, and sweet molasses yields a cookie that’s as delightful to behold as it is to devour. Whether served as a festive centerpiece or devoured by hand, these Christmas tree-shaped confections are sure to spread holiday cheer.As the aroma of warm spices fills the air, you’ll be hard-pressed not to fall in love with these adorable treats. And if you’re looking for more ways to make your holiday season merry and bright, consider pairing them with our other festive dessert ideas, like reindeer rice krispies treats or gingerbread linzer cookies.

Why You’ll Love Them

Indulge in the warm, spicy aroma of freshly baked gingerbread cookies, infused with sweet molasses and topped with delicate royal icing decorations. This beloved treat is sure to delight both children and adults alike. One of the recipe’s greatest advantages is its ease of preparation, thanks to a provided pattern that allows you to create each half of your 3D gingerbread Christmas tree before baking and assembling them. Not only do these cookies make a thoughtful gift for loved ones with a sweet tooth, but they also serve as a charming centerpiece for your holiday celebrations.

How to Make 3D Gingerbread Christmas Trees

To begin making your festive gingerbread tree cookies, start by combining the dry ingredients in a bowl. This mixture includes flour, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, baking soda, and salt. Next, prepare the dough by creaming together the butter and brown sugar, followed by the addition of the egg, molasses, and vanilla extract. Once the wet ingredients are fully incorporated, gradually mix in the dry ingredient mixture until a cohesive dough forms. Divide the dough into two equal parts, wrap each portion in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least an hour to allow it to firm up. After the dough has chilled, roll it out to a desired thickness and use cookie templates to cut out tree shapes. Place the gingerbread trees on a parchment-lined baking sheet and freeze for 10 minutes to help retain their shape during baking. Preheat your oven to the recommended temperature and bake the cookies until they are puffed and lightly browned. Allow them to cool completely before decorating with icing using a piping bag and a #4 tip, or similar. Once the icing has set, slot the cookies together to form 3D trees that will stand tall on your holiday plate.

Christmas Tree Template Download

Substitutions and Variations

While personalizing your gingerbread men, feel free to omit any spices you’re not fond of or substitute different hues of royal icing if you prefer a non-traditional color. It’s crucial, however, that you use royal icing specifically, as soft icing or frosting will only result in smudging. The advantage of using royal icing is its ability to set hard.When it comes to the molasses component, you can opt for regular molasses over blackstrap. Although blackstrap does offer a rich and spicy flavor profile, it might overpower the more subtle spice notes in this recipe.

Holiday Table Decoration

Beyond their intended purpose as edible treats, these miniature gingerbread cookie trees can also serve as charming decorations for your holiday gathering. To create a whimsical forest scene, arrange multiple small trees around a larger gingerbread house or use them to flank a festive candle centerpiece. Alternatively, individual trees can be used as place card holders at each table setting, adding a touch of personality and whimsy to your holiday dinner.

How to Store 3D Gingerbread Cookies

When storing leftovers, keep them in an airtight container on the countertop for a maximum of three days or refrigerate them for up to five days. If you’re looking to get creative with your tree cookie dough, consider making an extra batch and freezing it for future use – whether that’s whipping up gingerbread cookies or more tree cookies themselves. Additionally, baked cookies can be frozen for up to three months, providing a convenient option for enjoying them at a later time.

Gingerbread Cookies for Christmas FAQs

You can definitely use a Christmas tree cookie cutter instead of a template, as the dough is versatile enough for making traditional gingerbread men or any other shape, size, or design you prefer. When it comes to creating these 3D gingerbread cookies, rolling out the dough to about 1/4-inch thickness yields the best results. Thicker shapes might not fit together properly, while thinner ones are likely to break apart. This level of detail is crucial for achieving the desired texture and structure.The reason we need to freeze the cookies before baking them is that this step helps set the butter until the cookies start baking in the oven. If you skip this step, the butter will melt immediately, causing the cookies to lose their shape and fail to hold together properly. A 10-minute freezing period is sufficient for achieving the desired outcome.

Christmas Tree Cookies Recipe

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3D Gingerbread Tree Cookies

Bella Bucchiotti, the mastermind behind this delightful treat, shares a recipe that’s sure to impress. The 3D gingerbread tree cookies are not only easy to make but also boast an impressive three-dimensional design. Who wouldn’t want to showcase these show-stoppers at their holiday gathering? With a total time of just over one hour and 54 minutes, you can easily fit this project into your busy schedule. Here’s the breakdown: prep takes 35 minutes, cooking requires just nine minutes, and let those cookies cool for an hour and 10 minutes before serving. The end result is well worth the effort – 12 beautiful and delicious gingerbread tree cookies that are sure to be a hit.


Preheat your baking experience by lining a sheet with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cinnamon, ground ginger, ground cloves, ground nutmeg, baking soda, and salt; set aside for later. Next, combine butter and brown sugar in a large mixing bowl or stand mixer on high speed until smooth, about 3 minutes. Add the egg, molasses, and vanilla, continuing to beat on high speed until just blended, around 2 minutes. The mixture may appear strange, but it’s expected behavior. Once you’ve added the flour mixture, the dough will start to form.Add the flour mixture gradually while maintaining high-speed beating, resulting in a dough formation. Divide the dough into two portions and wrap each in plastic wrap, refrigerating for an hour to chill. This step makes rolling easier. Roll out the chilled dough to 1/4 inch thickness using a template and knife to cut out the two shapes needed for one tree. Place the cutouts on the prepared cookie sheet, leaving about 1.5-2 inches between each shape. Finally, place the entire sheet in the freezer for 10 minutes to preserve the shapes. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, baking for 9-10 minutes. The cookies will initially appear puffy; allow them to cool for 5 minutes before potentially trimming their edges with a sharp knife if needed. Transfer the cookies to a cooling rack and let them cool completely. Now it’s time to get creative! Ice and decorate one side of each cookie, allowing the icing to set. Flip the cookies over and ice the other side, letting the second side set as well. The setting time will depend on your royal icing brand. Once set, slide the two cookies together to form a delightful Christmas centrepiece.