The long list of reasons to visit Disneyland during the holiday season definitely includes sampling festive treats.

We were invited to visit both California parks last weekend and I was blown away by the food overall. In addition to some fantastic creme brulee at Ariel’s Grotto, my two favorite seasonal desserts included a gigantic Mickey Mouse sugar cookie with red sprinkles at the Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe and a gingerbread shingle at a special dessert reception for media and family (including an appearance by Elsa and Anna that rendered my daughter pretty much speechless).

I’ve yet to find a good gingerbread cookie recipe so am pleased to share this one courtesy of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. It’s been scaled down for home use so you can make shingles or use cookie cutters–up to you.

See also: Theme Park Luxe at Disney’s Grand Californian Resort

Bring them to holiday cookie exchanges and parties. Keep in mind that if you’re making large shingles, doubling the recipe might be in order.

Yield: 3 dozen cookies

Recipe: Disneyland's Gingerbread Cookies

Recipe: Disneyland's Gingerbread Cookies


  • 2 sticks (1 cup) butter, softened
  • 2 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons ground star anise
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground fennel
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground mace
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 cup colored decorating sugar


  1. Combine butter and sugar in bowl of electric mixer and beat until smooth. Beat in eggs.
  2. Sift together flour, cinnamon, coriander, anise, baking powder, ground fennel, ground ginger, cloves, salt, and mace into a separate large bowl.
  3. With mixer on low, slowly add dry ingredients to butter mixture until dough holds together.
  4. Remove dough from bowl and wrap in plastic wrap; refrigerate until firm, 2 to 4 hours.
  5. Preheat oven to 350°F and grease 2 cookie sheets.
  6. Remove dough from refrigerator and set aside at room temperature for about 10 minutes, until pliable. Divide dough in half; return one half to refrigerator. Place the other half on a floured work surface. Roll dough to 1/8-inch thickness, flouring the work surface and rolling pin as needed.
  7. Cut out cookies with cookie cutters (dip cutters in flour for neat edges). Transfer to baking sheets, 1 inch apart.
  8. Lightly brush cookies with milk and sprinkle with colored sugar.
  9. Bake until firm and edges begin to darken, 10 to 14 minutes. Allow cookies to slightly cool on cookie sheet, then transfer to wire racks to completely cool. Repeat with remaining dough.

There are a myriad of other seasonal favorites around Disneyland and Disney California Adventure right now including peppermint cotton candy, homemade candy canes, desserts shaped like Olaf and so many more holiday treats!

Disneyland's holiday desserts

Stay tuned for more about our most recent visit. And, thank you to Disneyland for hosting us!

See also: 10 Reasons to Visit Disneyland Resort During the Holidays

Recipe for Disneyland's Gingerbread Cookies

Katie Dillon is the managing editor of La Jolla Mom. She helps readers plan San Diego vacations through her hotel expertise (that stems from living in a Four Seasons hotel) and local connections. Readers have access to exclusive discounts on theme park tickets (like Disneyland and San Diego Zoo) and perks at luxury hotels worldwide through her. She also shares insider tips for visiting major cities worldwide, like Hong Kong, London, Paris, and Shanghai, that her family has either lived in or visits regularly (or both).

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  1. These were so amazing! I couldn’t get enough (of my son’s). It was fun to see you briefly and look forward to reading more about your time at Disneyland!

  2. These are so yummy! I am so glad to have a recipe to make them at home now (although they will never be as cute!) – thanks for sharing – just pinned =)