Gingerbread Orange Sandwich Cookies
Chewy spiced cookies layered with a creamy orange buttercream equals a holiday dessert that will steal the show at your Christmas gathering! The flavor of these gingerbread orange sandwich cookies are a fun twist on the classic oatmeal cream pie that both kids and adults will enjoy!
Can you believe that Christmas is this very week? The holiday season truly is flying by, but before it slips away, I wanted to share another delicious treat: Gingerbread Orange Sandwich Cookies. If you’ve ever enjoyed the flavor of an oatmeal cream pie (you know, the kind you snacked on as a kid), then you will fall in love with this recipe. The spices in the gingerbread oatmeal cookies are strong, and extra oatmeal lends a dense, chewy texture that pairs wonderfully with the creamy orange frosting. Beware: these cookie sandwiches are dangerously delicious! Go ahead and make a batch for your Christmas party, but just be aware that you might need to double the recipe…..because the first batch of cookies probably won’t make it to your holiday table. 😉
Gingerbread Cookie Ingredients
All-Purpose Flour & Quick Oats~ For this recipe, all-purpose flour is best paired with quick cooking oats. If you just have old-fashioned oats, pulse them in a food processor or blender a few times until they are broken up like quick oats. Do not use steel cut oats because they are too tough and chewy for these cookies.
Baking Soda, Salt, Ginger, Cinnamon, Nutmeg & Cloves~ For cookies, I have found that baking soda helps them spread more evenly than baking powder. Salt enhances sweetness, while the spices add tons of gingerbread-like flavor. The spices are super important, so don’t skimp on any of them!
Unsalted Butter~ You can use salted instead if you wish. Be sure to let the butter come to room temperature before using in your cookie dough.
Brown Sugar~ To enhance the deep flavors of molasses, I used brown sugar. In this recipe, do not substitute white sugar because it will cause the cookies to become more crispy rather than thick and chewy.
Molasses~ I used Grandma’s Original Molasses, but any light or dark molasses will work. Avoid blackstrap molasses here as it will impart a bitter flavor on the cookies.
Egg~ One egg is essential for binding the dough together. I don’t recommend egg substitutions in this recipe.
Orange Buttercream Ingredients
Unsalted Butter~ You can use salted butter instead, but you will want to omit the salt in the recipe. Like the butter for the cookie dough, you will also want to bring the butter for the frosting to room temperature.
Cream Cheese~ Be sure to use full-fat block-style cream cheese, not a whipped spread.
Orange Zest & Salt~ The orange zest is what gives the frosting its light orange flavor, so please don’t omit it. A little salt also helps cut the sweetness of the powdered sugar.
Vanilla Extract~ Vanilla gives the orange frosting an almost creamsicle-like flavor, which makes it even more delicious! I used homemade vanilla extract, but store bought works great too.
Powdered Sugar~ Also known as confectioners sugar, this sugar is very fine and gives the buttercream a smooth texture.
To make the chewy gingerbread oatmeal cookies, start by whisking together the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, cream the butter and brown sugar with an electric hand mixer or stand mixer before beating in the egg and molasses.
Add the dry ingredients to the butter sugar mixture and mix on low speed until a sticky dough forms. Before baking, you will need to chill the dough for about an hour (I know, this is the hardest part!). For each cookie, measure out one tablespoon of dough and roll it into a ball. These cookies don’t spread much, so they only need to be about an inch apart while baking. Allow the cookies to cool on a wire rack while you make the filling. Alternately, if you wish to make the cookies a day ahead of time, you can store them in an airtight container at room temperature until you’re ready to use them.
For the orange buttercream, beat together the softened butter and cream cheese on high speed until smooth. Add the orange zest, salt and vanilla extract before sifting in the powdered sugar a little at a time, beating well after each addition of sugar. If the frosting is too thick, add a tablespoon of orange juice. You can also make the buttercream a day or two ahead of time. Just store it in a container in the fridge until you’re ready to assemble the cookie sandwiches and serve.
Using a knife, spread a bit less than a tablespoon of frosting onto a cookie and then top with a second cookie to make a sandwich. Repeat with the remaining cookies. Pro tip: fill a piping bag with the frosting and pipe it onto the cookie halves. This sounds like a fancy method, but I actually think it’s much easier and quicker than spreading the buttercream with a knife.
These cookie sandwiches are just so cute and fun! They look amazing on a holiday cookie tray, alongside your other 2nd and 3rd favorite cookie recipes. Because yes, these will be your 1st favorite on the tray this year. Of course, that’s if they make it to the party…….
Gingerbread Orange Cookie Sandwiches
Gingerbread Oatmeal Cookies
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups quick rolled oats
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup molasses
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 4 oz full-fat block-style cream cheese, softened
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 tbsp orange zest
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1-2 tbsp orange juice if needed for smoothing out frosting
- In a medium size bowl, whisk together the flour, quick oats, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Set aside. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and brown sugar using an electric hand mixer or stand mixer until the butter is light and fluffy. Add the molasses and egg and beat until well-mixed. To the butter/sugar mixture, add the dry ingredients and mix on low speed until a soft, sticky dough forms. Allow the dough to chill in the fridge for about an hour.
- After the dough has chilled, preheat your oven to 350 °F and line two large baking pans with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. For each cookie, measure about 1 tablespoon of dough and roll into a ball. Place the balls 1 inch apart on the prepared pans and bake for 10-11 minutes, or until the bottoms of the cookies are lightly browned. Transfer the cookies onto a wire rack to cool completely while you make the orange buttercream.
- For the frosting, beat together the butter and cream cheese with an electric hand mixer or stand mixer until smooth and creamy. Add the salt, orange zest and vanilla extract and beat until smooth. Sift in the powdered sugar a little at a time, beating well after each addition. If the frosting is too thick, add a tablespoon or two of orange juice.
- For each cookie sandwich, spread or pipe a scant tablespoon of frosting onto one cookie and then sandwich with another cookie. Repeat with the remaining cookies. Serve immediately. Enjoy!