In a large bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. About 2 minutes at medium speed. Add egg and molasses and mix until well incorporated.
In a separate bowl, mix together with a whisk the flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Add to the butter mixture with the mixer at low speed, mixing until combined and a dough is formed.
Divide the dough in half, wrap with plastic film and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 350°F and line baking sheets with parchment paper.
Take the dough out of the refrigerator, and flour a clean work surface. Roll the dough 1/8” to 1/4” thick. Cut out shapes with the desired cookie cutters.
Transfer cookies to lined baking sheets and bake for 10-12 minutes or until firm. Let the cookies cool in the baking sheets for a few minutes and then transfer them to a cooling rack. Cool completely.
Decorate cookies with royal icing.