Pierniki (gingerbread cookies)

Pierniki (gingerbread cookies) are known and made in Poland since the Middle ages. They are a part of the Christmas tradition and usually made about 3 weeks to a month before since they get better with time. You can serve them right after baking when they’re soft or place them in an airtight container so they can get more crunchy, and as some people claim more flavorful, with time. Fun fact, these cookies were Chopin’s favorite dessert, especially the ones baked in Toruń, Poland.

Making gingerbread cookies was an annual event in my house. We had different holiday cookie cutters and edible gel pens to decorate with. It’s a great family project that everyone in your family can enjoy! Pierniki make for a wonderful Christmas gift for your friends, coworkers or neighbors, you can also poke little holes in the cookies and hang them on your Christmas tree. They are so decadent and delicious and with a sweetness of honey and cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg hints. For me, that’s the ultimate Christmas dessert!

I started with mixing all dry ingredients (flour, sugar, spices and baking soda) together and then adding soft (but not melted) chopped butter, an egg and honey.


I kneaded the dough, wrapped it it foil and placed in the freezer for 30 minutes.


I sprinkled some flour under the dough and on top of it and rolled it out. I used cookie cutters to cut out my pierniki.


I lined a baking pan with a parchment paper and baked my cookies at 350 F for about 12 minutes.


In the meantime I prepared icing by mixing sugar and water together. When pierniki were done I placed them on a cooling rack. I placed the icing in a zip lock bag, closed it, cut one corner and decorated cool cookies.






If you tried this recipe and posted a pic or a comment use hashtag #EasternEuropeanRecipes I’d love to see how it turned out!



  • Cookies:
    • 3 1/2 cups of flour+ some for dusting
    • 1 stick of butter
    • 1 1/2 cup of sugar
    • 1/2 cup of honey
    • 1 egg
    • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
    • 2 tablespoons of gingerbread spice (or a mix of 2 parts of cinnamon and ginger and 1 part of allspice, nutmeg and ground cloves)
  • Icing:
    • 1 cup of powdered sugar
    • 5 tablespoons of water


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  2. In a bowl mix dry ingredients: flour, sugar, spices and soda. Add the rest of the ingredients: honey, one egg, chopped soft butter. Knead the dough, wrap in foil and place in the freezer for 30 minutes.
  3. Sprinkle some flour under the dough and on top, roll out the dough and cut out the cookies.
  4. Place pierniki on parchment paper lined baking sheet and bake for 12 minutes.
  5. In the meantime, mix water with powdered sugar to create the icing. Place it in a zip lock bag, and cut one corner for no mess decorating.
  6. Let the cookies cool on a cooling rack and decorate them with the icing. Enjoy!

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