8 Ways to Eat Gingerbread on Christmas

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Classic gingerbread inspires endless variations of delicious, decorative treats that go way beyond simple cut-out cookies — although we love those, too. From soft, moist loaf cake to sturdy homes made out of spicy gingerbread, here are just eight of the ways you can incorporate this timeless dessert into your Christmas feast.

Gingerbread Cake

This simple cake, scented with warming spices and molasses, is a cinch to put together. Leftovers make a perfect breakfast treat!

Old-Fashioned Gingerbread

Ina Garten’s gingerbread just smells like the holidays, with its mix of spices, crystallized ginger and raisins. Try putting a dollop of rum whipped cream on top to take this treat over the top.

Gingerbread Cupcakes with Orange Icing

Ina prepares the batter for these gingerbread cupcakes the same way as a full cake: by combining a mixture of flour, spices, molasses, melted butter and rum-soaked raisins. If you’re hosting a big crowd on Christmas Day, individually portioned desserts are the way to go. Serving and cleanup will be that much easier.

Gingerbread Cookies

Alex Guarnaschelli’s crisp gingerbread men are fragrant with winter spices like ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice. Once they’ve cooled, dress the little merrymakers with spiked orange frosting to complete the look. If you have tree-shaped cookie cutters, use them on your second batch of dough to add some variety to your holiday cookie plate.

Garam Masala-Chocolate Gingerbread

Laced with rich cocoa and topped with dried rose petals and toasted fennel seeds, these elegant gingerbread cookies are pretty enough to wrap and give away as holiday gifts. The key ingredient here is the garam masala, which brings out the intensity of the freshly grated ginger.

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Gingerbread and Lemon Curd Trifle with Blackberry Sauce

Bobby Flay scatters cubes of moist gingerbread cake between layers of tart lemon curd and sweet blackberry sauce for a celebratory dessert that feeds up to 12 guests.

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Gingerbread Waffles

Speaking of breakfast, your guests will come rushing down the stairs on Christmas morning once they’re awoken by the smell of these comforting ginger-molasses waffles sizzling on the waffle iron.

Gingerbread Birdhouse

Strut your baking prowess by building this adorable birdhouse out of sturdy gingerbread dough. Royal icing is a simple yet lovely way to decorate the exterior, but you can adapt the decorations to your level of skill and the amount of time you have.

For more festive gingerbread ideas, check out our Best-Dressed Gingerbread Men, plus this step-by-step guide to building a gingerbread-house cake.