We’ve had our fun with gingerbread guys and gals, but it’s time to get down and dirty with these rad, graffitied-out gingerbread dudes.

Our Sweet Nerd headquarters moved for a day to the Rampart area of Los Angeles for a cookie decorating sesh with street artist, Juan Barajas.  In the middle of this urban jungle, there was a moment of sweet calm and merriment with these city slick graffiti-n-ginger cookies.  (Yeah, you could pretty much say, we ditched the carols and went for some rap).
Gingerbread Dudes

We began to brainstorm some decor ideas: urban plaids or city skyline?  Ruff-n- tough bow tie, or LA rag-tag suspenders? We even decided to create a helicopter circling the city – can you get more LA than that?!  You try and come up with a design that more accurately embodies Los Angeles, then let us know…

Gingerbread Dudes

To start off, we had a fresh batch of plain cookies – a few I decorated beforehand as a baseline, ‘classic-style’ gingerbread cookie. Then we got down and dirty into creating a brood of gingerbread dudes (and duddettes, obviously).

We looked to our trusty airbrush and edible marker collection to help us bring these treats to life. Juan is a master with the mixing Americolor dyes for the first layer, then he went in with an edible marker to refine his work of art.

Gingerbread Dudes

It was so intriguing – the idea of bringing together something inherently classic and beautiful, then layering over a raw, edgy flare of living in a real city like our diverse city of Los Angeles.

Gingerbread Dudes

Compared to their old-school, classic counterparts, ladies and gents are donning great panache – don’t you agree?  They’re delicious as hell, to boot!

Gingerbread Dudes

Which one is your favorite? Let us know in the comments! My personal favorite is the Angeleno ginger dudette with the graffiti’d brick wall.  My hubby dug the suspender dude with “LA” blasted on his stylish wardrobe (though I don’t think he’ll be donning such an outfit in his firm anytime soon).

Thanks, Juan as always for inspiring my love for street art and collaborating with this Sweet Nerd on my love for Graffiti & Grace!

Gingerbread Dudes

Photos by: Maria Hedrick Photography

Gingerbread Cookies

By TheSweetNerd  

December 1, 2018

  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 15 mins


2 sticks unsalted butter, softened

1 cup packed dark brown sugar

1 large egg

1/2 cup unsulfured molasses

2 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon

2 teaspoons ground ginger (or 1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger)

1 teaspoon ground allspice

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

4 cups all-purpose flour


1Beat butter and brown sugar with an electric mixer of medium-high speed until fluffy. 3 to 4. Add egg: mix well. Beat in molasses, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, baking soda, and salt. Reduce speed to low, and add flour. 1 cup at a time, mixing just until incorporated. Divide dough into quarters: shape into disks. Wrap each well in plastic; chill 3 hours or up to 1 day.

2Preheat oven to 375 degree Fahrenheit. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out 1 disk of dough to 1/8 inch thickness. Cut out shapes using gingerbread-people cutters and place on parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing 1 inch apart. Repeat with remaining dough; roll out scraps as needed. Cut out mini hearts from scraps using a tiny cookie or aspic cutter. Place hearts on shapes, and chill 20 minutes.

3Bake 2 sheets at a time, rotating halfway through until cookies are firm to the touch, 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool on sheets 5 minutes, then transfer cookies to wire racks to cool completely. With a piping bag, spread icing over hearts, then sprinkle with sanding sugar (or decorate as desired).


Gingerbread Dudes


  • 7 years ago

    Ah! I missed this post in all the Christmas craziness! I love, love, love the little gangster cookies. So fun. Of course, I would never even attempt such decorations myself, but a girl can dream.

    • Cindy "TheSweetNerd" Rodriguez
      7 years ago

      Yes, me too. I have a crush on these gingerbread city dudes. Thanks!

  • Kendall Haun
    7 years ago

    Christmas had me so swamped but I personally think that the dude with the helicopter into the skyline is my favorite. I love how well urban and baking meets at the Sweet Nerd!

    • Cindy "TheSweetNerd" Rodriguez
      7 years ago

      So glad you like the helicopter one. If you live in LA, you can’t help but relate.

  • Cindy "TheSweetNerd" Rodriguez
    5 years ago

    So funny! I love these ghetto fab dudes too.

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