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What can you have with gingerbread?

Gingerbread is a type of cookie made with ginger, cloves, cinnamon, molasses and sometimes other spices. It can be enjoyed on its own or paired with a variety of foods and drinks. Gingerbread is popular around the holidays, but can be eaten year-round. When thinking about what to serve with gingerbread, there are many delicious options to consider.

Beverage Pairings

Gingerbread cookies have a robust, spicy flavor that stands up well to a variety of beverages. Here are some tasty beverage ideas to enjoy with gingerbread:


A cup of hot coffee is a classic pairing for gingerbread. The slight bitterness of coffee complements the spiciness of gingerbread perfectly. Coffee enhances the molasses and ginger flavors. Add a dollop of whipped cream to make it feel even more like a special treat!

Hot Chocolate

Warm, creamy hot chocolate is another excellent match for gingerbread. The chocolate notes blend nicely with the spices in the gingerbread. Topping the hot chocolate with whipped cream and colorful sprinkles makes this a festive, fun choice.

Spiced Cider

For a cold weather treat, try enjoying gingerbread with a mug of spiced apple cider. The cinnamon, cloves and ginger will mirror the spices in the cookie. The sweet apple flavor balances the molasses in the gingerbread as well.

Chai Tea

Chai tea combines black tea with ginger, cardamom, cinnamon and other spices. The flavors complement gingerbread perfectly. The milkiness of chai tea softens the intensity of the gingerbread. This is a comforting, flavorful combination.


Around the holidays, pair gingerbread men with a glass of eggnog. The rich, sweet, vanilla custard notes in eggnog are delicious with the molasses and spices in gingerbread. Top with a dash of nutmeg or cinnamon for extra spice.

Dessert Pairings

While gingerbread tastes fantastic on its own, combining it with other desserts can take it to the next level. Here are some delectable dessert pairings:

Ice Cream

For an simple but delicious gingerbread dessert, top it with ice cream! Vanilla, cinnamon, ginger or peppermint ice cream would all be lovely choices. The cool creaminess offsets the crisp cookie.

Whipped Cream

Heap freshly whipped cream on top of gingerbread for a quick and tasty treat. The fluffy sweet cream complements the texture of the cookie. It also cools down the spicy ginger flavor.


Fresh fruit is a bright, lively pairing for gingerbread. Try topping gingerbread with sliced strawberries, mandarin oranges, apples or pears. The fruit provides moisture and natural sweetness that balances the molasses in the cookie.

Apple Pie Filling

For a fun twist, top gingerbread with warmed apple pie filling. The tender apples, cinnamon and sweet glaze add another layer of flavor. This combination turns gingerbread into a mini apple crumble.

Lemony Cream

Spread lemony whipped cream or creme fraiche on gingerbread for a tangy contrast. The bit of sour brightens up the rich molasses cookie. Add a sprinkle of lemon zest on top for extra flavor.


For an indulgent dessert, top gingerbread with a spoonful of creamy cheesecake. The tangy cream cheese is fantastic with the spicy, bold gingerbread. Add fruit like strawberries or blueberries to take it over the top.

Pumpkin Pie

Around the fall and winter, gingerbread is perfect served with a slice of pumpkin pie. The cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg in both desserts tie together beautifully. Top with whipped cream to bring the whole dish together.

Savory Pairings

While gingerbread is often enjoyed as a sweet treat, its spicy, molasses notes also pair nicely with savory flavors. Here are some out of the box savory pairings to try:


For an easy appetizer, serve gingerbread cookies alongside different cheeses. Try cheddar, brie, goat cheese or stilton. The spices in the gingerbread complement these rich, savory cheeses.

Charcuterie Board

Add gingerbread cookies to a charcuterie board with cured meats, cheeses, olives, nuts and fruit. The varied flavors and textures balance the intense spices in the gingerbread.


Enjoy crunchy gingerbread cookies dunked into a warm bowl of soup. Tomato soup, butternut squash soup and chicken noodle soup are all great choices. The soup softens the gingerbread slightly.


Crumble gingerbread cookies on top of a salad for a unique crunch. The sweetness plays off the vinegar, greens and vegetables. Try it on top of spinach salad, kale salad or Caprese salad.


For a fun, flavorful twist, garnish a warm bowl of chili with crumbled gingerbread. The cookies absorb some of the rich, meaty chili broth. The molasses in the cookies also enhances the other flavors.

Over Yogurt

Make a parfait by layering crumbled gingerbread cookies with yogurt and fruit. The spices and whole grains in gingerbread pair nicely with the creaminess of yogurt. Top with berries, banana or mandarin oranges.

Other Fun Pairings

Don’t limit yourself – get creative with unique gingerbread toppings and combinations! Here are a few more ideas:

Maple butter

Spread maple butter over warm gingerbread cookies for added richness. The maple flavor accentuates the molasses in the gingerbread.


Drizzle honey over gingerbread cookies for extra sweetness. The floral notes of honey contrast nicely with ginger’s heat.

Peanut butter

Slather peanut butter between two gingerbread cookies to make a sandwich. The nutty flavor complements the spices.

Chocolate hazelnut spread

Smear chocolate hazelnut spread like Nutella on gingerbread for chocolate decadence. The cocoa offsets ginger’s intensity.

Lemon curd

A dollop of tangy lemon curd wakes up the ginger flavor and provides moisture. The bright citrus cuts through the richness.


For fun textures, top gingerbread with light, crunchy meringue. The airy sweetness contrasts the dense, spicy cookie.

Baking With Gingerbread

Gingerbread doesn’t have to be limited to cookies! You can incorporate its signature spices and molasses flavor into all kinds of baked goods. Here are some ideas:

Gingerbread Cupcakes

Make festive gingerbread cupcakes topped with tangy cream cheese frosting. The soft, tender crumb soaks up the spices.

Gingerbread Cake

Bake a layered gingerbread cake filled with cream cheese frosting or eggnog buttercream. Cover the outside in white chocolate ganache.

Gingerbread Pancakes

Jazz up your breakfast with gingerbread pancakes. The molasses gives them extra richness. Top with spiced maple syrup.

Gingerbread Waffles

These crisp gingerbread waffles are fantastic topped with whipped cream and fruit compote. The indentations hold the sweet toppings.

Gingerbread Bread

Make bakery-style gingerbread quick bread or banana bread loaves. The ginger gives the bread moisture and longevity.

Gingerbread Pie

For a seasonal treat, bake a gingerbread pie with a flaky crust. Fill it with apple, pear or pumpkin pie filling.

Getting Creative with Gingerbread

Gingerbread isn’t limited to eating – its bold flavors can be used in creative ways beyond the kitchen too. Here are some fun ideas:

Gingerbread Play Dough

Make homemade gingerbread scented play dough for kids. Add real ground ginger and cinnamon for a spicy aroma. Cut out fun shapes.

Gingerbread Ornaments

Use a cookie cutter to cut gingerbread into holiday shapes. Decorate with royal icing and candy to make edible tree ornaments.

Gingerbread Potpourri

Simmer gingerbread spices like cinnamon, ginger and cloves in water to create a warming homemade potpourri for your home.

Gingerbread Candles

Add gingerbread fragrance oils to melted wax to make gingerbread scented candles. Use cookie cutters as molds.

Gingerbread House

Construct an edible gingerbread house held together with icing. Decorate with candy, cookies and gumdrops for a festive centerpiece.

Gingerbread Gift Tags

Cut out gingerbread shapes from cardboard or felt. Attach to gifts for a handmade touch that also smells good!


Gingerbread is such a versatile treat! It can be used in endless baked goods, paired with both sweet and savory flavors, or incorporated into fun DIY projects. Spicy, complex gingerbread complements everything from fruit to chili thanks to its rich molasses flavor and warming spices like ginger, cinnamon and cloves. Whether enjoyed simply with a glass of cold milk or as part of an elaborate gingerbread house, this cookie’s signature flavor shines through. There are so many ways to enjoy gingerbread beyond just eating it alone – what creative ways will you try?