Food/ Food Crafting/ Holidays

Valentine Gingerbread Cookie Boxes

Here’s a twist on gingerbread cookies, it’s easy, and so cute!

A few years back I made a “surprise cake” for my nephew — it was a 4 tiered cake filled with candy, which would only be revealed when the cake was cut. That was the inspiration for this next food/holiday craft!

For Valentine’s day this year, I decided to create gingerbread candy boxes! They’re fun, festive, and impressive to give. This is a variation on my Valentine’s day gingerbread cookies from a few years back.

Each box is made of 4 layers. The top and bottom are solid cookies, and the two in the center are cut out. They’re stacked with royal icing in between to hold them together, and then topped with one decorated cookie. The cool thing about this is, that you don’t have to decorate every cookie! Only the top cookie requires decoration, so that means less time spent on decorations.

Start with my standard gingerbread recipe (see below).

Roll out the dough to 1/4″ to 3/8″ thick, depending on how big your heart cookie cutter is. (Mine is about 3-1/2″ x 3-1/2″.) The next thing you need to decide is how large you want the inside cavity of your cookie box to be. I used two inner cookie layers, and that made the interior of my box about 1/2″ to 5/8″ deep. If you’d like the inside of your cookie box to be deeper, add more cookie layers.

Once the dough is rolled out, cut TWO solid hearts (one for top, one for bottom) and TWO or THREE center cut out cookies for each box you’d like to make.

Bake the cookies as directed in the recipe. Note that the cut-out cookies may cook a little faster than the solid cookies.

Allow the cookies to cool.

When they bake, the center cut-outs of the “liner” cookies (the ones in the middle of the box) shrinks a bit, due to the cookie puffing up while baking. Once they’re cooled, carefully use your small cookie cutter to re-cut the centers of the cookies.

Next, make your royal icing. This icing is really fun to work with, and is very versatile. Follow the recipe to make the standard batch. If you’ll be piping the icing, keep the consistency fairly firm. If you want to use the “flood” technique, add more water to the recipe at the end to get the proper consistency.

Time to decorate and assemble!

I decorated my top cookies first. I used the “flood” technique with most of them — and made hearts by dragging a toothpick through piped pink dots, and added white details to others after the flooded field area had hardened.

To assemble, simply stack the cookies. One solid cookie, topped by 2 or 3 cut-out cookies, and pipe a little royal icing glue in between to keep them in place.

You can add ribbon “hinges” to the cookie “lids” if you like, or “glue” the lid on top with icing, and simply wrap or ribbon the box together once it’s filled and ready to present.

Tiny M&Ms make great contents, or conversation hearts, chocolate chips… whatever you like!

Ooh… presenting a ring this Valentine’s day? How about making a bed of cotton candy for that bauble?

Have fun!

Gingerbread Cookie Boxes

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dessert, cookies, food gifts
By Tamara Berg Serves: 6 boxes
Prep Time: 40 minutes Cooking Time: 20 minutes Total Time: 1 hour

A twist on the assembly of gingerbread cookies. This is a great idea for fun presentation that is super tasty!


  • Cookies:
  • 3/4 cup dark molasses
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup cold water
  • 3 Tablespoons shortening
  • 3-1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Royal Icing:
  • 2 tablespoons meringue powder (or 2 fresh egg whites)
  • 1/4 cup water (omit if using fresh eggs)
  • 2-1/4 to 2-3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • a few tablespoons of water to adjust consistency
  • food coloring



Heat oven to 350°.


In a large bowl, mix until smooth: molasses, brown sugar, water and shortening.


Add remaining ingredients (except frosting).


Roll dough about 1/4” to 3/8” thick on a floured board.


Cut out with heart-shaped cookie cutter. Cut out insides on desired cookies with smaller heart cutter.


Place on parchment covered cookie sheet – about 1” apart.


Bake for 8 to 10 minutes.


Cool and decorate with Royal Icing.


Make Royal Icing:


Combine meringue powder and water, whip to soft peaks (if using fresh eggs, just whip to peaks).


Add vanilla, then powdered sugar. Whip to combine.


If icing is too soft, add more sugar, if it gets too stiff, mix in more water by the tablespoon.


Separate into bowls, and add food coloring.

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1 Comment

  • Reply
    February 10, 2022 at 9:08 am

    How cute! I especially love the white cookie with the pink hearts 💕. So adorable. The perfect gift.
    I didn’t get around to baking gingerbread and sugar cookies last Christmas. I was busy sewing 🧵 a quilt.
    These are fun to make with a group. For many years I would invite nieces and nephews to a cookie decorating party. After, I delivered them to the Veterans Home in Yountville with my nephew. It was rewarding to see happy faces get platters of beautifully decorated cookies.
    Thanks for sharing your recipe. I remember baking with you and your aunties, sisters and mom when we were in high school. Your family gets serious about their cookies! And i loved the cookie jar with recipes that you gifted Ken and me for our wedding gift. So creative and something that will last for generations.
    Valentines Day is this Monday. I guess I’d better get baking! Thanks for the inspiration Tammie.
    Love you

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