Elf on the Shelf Mini Cookies

Elf on the Shelf Cookies
Leah Maroney
  • Total: 65 mins
  • Prep: 60 mins
  • Cook: 5 mins
  • Servings: 5 servings

We tend to leave out cookies for Santa Claus, but what about Santa's little helper? Well, we've figured out the perfect sweet treat to give your tiny Elf on the Shelf some Christmas cheer: miniature gingerbread cookies! 

The best part is, the bake time is only five minutes! So you and YOUR little helpers can whip them together in a jiffy. There are no hard and fast rules, so feel free to make these cookies as tiny gingerbread men or simple, small round cookies. If you choose the latter of the two, we recommend using the end of a frosting tip to cut out the tiny circles. 

If you want to make this recipe even easier you can use pre-made or store bought cookie dough. Simply roll it out into a sheet and follow the rest of the instructions. You can use sugar cookie dough, gingerbread cookie dough, or even chocolate chip cookie dough. (Some brands even make the sugar cookie dough already in a sheet!)

Whenever you are ready, serve them with a tiny glass of milk and ready yourself for some Elf on the Shelf holiday cheer!


  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick, softened)
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar (firmly packed)
  • 1/4 cup dark molasses
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons water
  • 1/4 cup canned vanilla frosting
  • Optional: Holiday sprinkles

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Cream together the butter, sugar, molasses, cinnamon, ginger and cloves in the bowl of a stand mixer. You can use a hand mixer and a medium sized bowl until completely combined, about 2 minutes. Make sure the butter is at room temperature or the mixture will not cream properly. 

  3. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, salt and baking soda, and blend into the butter mixture.  Add the water until it becomes a firm dough.  

  4. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill for one hour. 

  5. Preheat the oven to 350 F. 

  6. While the oven is preheating, roll out the dough onto a floured surface to about 1/8-inch thick using a floured rolling pin.  Use a small gingerbread man cookie cutter or the large end of a frosting tip to make round cookies.

  7. Place the cookies on a sheet of parchment paper on a baking sheet. Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake for 5 minutes, or until lightly browned and firm. 

  8. Allow them to cool completely on the pan or on a cooling rack.

  9. Place the canned frosting in a piping bag, then pipe the eyes and buttons onto the gingerbread men. Or if you are making round cookies, cover the entire surface of the cookie with the frosting and then sprinkle with holiday sprinkles.