Crispy Ginger Cookies

5 stars based on 1 votes

Ginger cookies 3

This is my all-time favorite ginger cookie, and believe me, I’ve tasted my fair share.  Over the past month, I’ve tried at least eight different recipes, all of which yielded cookies that were either too hard, too soft or overpoweringly spicy. This one is perfect: it’s got just the right balance of spices — ginger, cinnamon, cloves, allspice and black pepper — and a wonderfully buttery crisp texture.

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These cookies are also super easy to make, perfect any time of day (I’ve been eating mine for breakfast with a cup of coffee), and make your house smell heavenly.  With their sparkly golden color and crackled tops, they are perfect for the holidays.

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To say they’re addictive is an understatement; it’s literally impossible to eat just one. Enjoy!

Crispy Ginger Cookies

Servings: 36 cookies
Total Time: 40 Minutes


  • 2-1/3 cups all-purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup and leveled-off
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • Scant 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Pinch freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup sugar, divided
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened but still cool
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 cup molasses


  1. Set rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, ginger, allspice, cinnamon, cloves, baking soda, salt, and pepper. Set aside.
  3. Using an electric mixer, beat ½ cup of the sugar, brown sugar and butter until light and fluffy, 3-5 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Add the egg and beat for about 20 seconds, then scrape down the sides of the bowl; add the molasses, mix well and scrape down the sides of the bowl again.
  4. Add the dry ingredients, then mix on low speed until just incorporated. Do not over mix. The dough will be very soft; refrigerate it for about one hour, or until firm enough to roll.
  5. Place the remaining ½ cup of sugar in a shallow bowl. Form the dough into 1-inch balls and roll in the sugar to coat. Place the balls on the prepared baking sheet about 2 inches apart (they will spread), then flatten slightly with your fingers. Bake for 10-14 minutes, until set and golden on the outside and slightly soft on the inside. (As they bake, they will puff up and then flatten. Do not remove them from the oven until they are flat.) Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely. Refrigerate the dough between batches. The cookies will keep for several days in an airtight container.

Reviews & Comments

  • 5 stars

    We made these cookies 3 times. We are in love with them!!!!
    The first time we made them, they flattened and were crispy, the other 2 they were much thicker and softer. Any idea why? We can’t figure it out.

    - Miri on July 11, 2014 Reply
    • Hi Miri, It probably has to do with how long you chilled the dough: the cooler the dough, the thicker your cookies will be; the warmer the dough, the flatter your cookies will be. Hope that helps!

      - Jenn on July 12, 2014 Reply
  • I just made these this evening for Christmas Eve. Thanks so much for an excellent recipe that came out perfect. The house smells awesome as well. Due to various reasons, there are very few gifts this year but I made these for my husband who is really enjoying them.

    - Annie on December 24, 2013 Reply
  • I only have whole allspice. Is that ok?

    - Ann on December 21, 2013 Reply
    • Yes, you’ll just have to finely grate it. Hope you enjoy the cookies!

      - Jenn on December 21, 2013 Reply
  • if I dont add cloves will it affect recipe much

    - mirna on December 20, 2013 Reply
    • Hi Mirna, It’s fine to leave the cloves out.

      - Jenn on December 21, 2013 Reply
  • Just a few questions:

    1) Will they flatten as they bake
    2) Are the cookies really crispy?

    - Cosmic D on December 14, 2013 Reply
    • Yes and yes!

      - Jenn on December 14, 2013 Reply
  • Best ginger cookies ever. I like that you can make the dough ahead and keep it refrigerated (for a few days even) –I’ve been following Once Upon a Chef for years. Her recipes are fantastic.

    - alice on December 13, 2013 Reply
  • Awesome cookies. I make them every year and get rave reviews for them. Just the right amount of spice and bite for a ginger cookie. Yum! You can’t go wrong baking them.

    - Antoinette Cox on December 4, 2013 Reply
  • They look and sound amazing but can’t make right now as I don’t have some of the spices. I wondered if you have tried them without so much butter (one cup is a lot!)..say 1/2 butter and 1/2 oil..with any success.
    Also stem ginger and crystalized ginger are great for those who really want a very gingery cookie.
    Thank you for this recipee Jenn.

    - Patricia on February 18, 2013 Reply
    • Hi Patricia, They are wonderful cookies — I have even won a few holiday cookie contests with them! I haven’t tried substituting oil for some of the butter but wouldn’t recommend it. I’d worry they wouldn’t be as crisp and buttery.

      - Jenn on February 19, 2013 Reply
  • ok.thanks for the information,,

    - mala on February 16, 2013 Reply
  • hi jenn, i am dying to try this recipe.i dont have ground ginger but i do grow fresh ginger in my backyard.can i use that? i just simply grated or need to crush it until its very fine?
    and i dont have molases. what can i use for that?

    - mala on February 14, 2013 Reply
    • Hi Mala, I think you could substitute finely minced fresh ginger but, unfortunately, there’s no good substitute for molasses. It has a very distinct flavor. You might try Lyle’s Golden Syrup but the taste won’t be the same. Sorry!

      - Jenn on February 15, 2013 Reply
      • You are wrong about a substitute for molasses. I have been using dark karo syrup instead of molasses for the last 33 years. My husband does not like molasses. The dark karo works just as well as the molasses. I have never had a complaint. And I make cookies twice a week. Let me know if it works for you. Thanks. Roni E. Keller

        - Roni on May 15, 2013 Reply
  • The cookies probably did not spread out and flatten if you used baking POWDER. Baking soda has three times the effect of baking powder. Baking powder is made out of bicarbonate of soda, corn flour, and a few other stuff. Baking soda is just bicarbonate of soda.

    - Jen on February 12, 2013 Reply
  • I just made these Thursday night and the entire batch is already gone! Husband and family loved them. I did make a substitution because I did not have any molasses on hand. Instead I added almost 1/3 cup of honey and 2 heaping T. of dark brown cane sugar. They are fantastic. Perfect taste and chewy texture. Thank you!

    - Kathryn on January 19, 2013 Reply
  • Made these last year for Christmas and had rave reviews. My mom begged for the recipe (she now makes them year round for coffee dipping also!) And became a family tradition. Great recipe!

    - Shannon on November 25, 2012 Reply
  • Whenever I make ginger cookies, I always add a bit of candied ginger for an extra layer of ginger flavor. Chop the ginger fine for the best results. I’m looking forward to trying these.

    - Winston on October 4, 2012 Reply
  • I made these and they didn’t turn out like the photo at all-what went wrong? They didn’t puff up and drop, and are very solid, still taste good though!

    - susan on July 30, 2012 Reply
    • Hi Susan, I’m not sure…as you can see from the photos, my cookies are quite flat as well. They should be crisp. Did you make any substitutions?

      - Jenn on July 30, 2012 Reply
  • I have had trouble finding a ground ginger that tastes as good as fresh… I finally found Penzey’s ground ginger and it is INCREDIBLE!

    - Kat D on June 27, 2012 Reply
  • I buy my ginger cookies at whole food , the mi-del brand. But will defintely make these for their freshness.

    - Kk on March 1, 2012 Reply
  • Love these! My new favorite holiday cookie!!

    - Laura on March 1, 2012 Reply
  • Delicious and easy!! I had everything on hand. My kids think I’m a genius for this one. Thanks again for another great recipe.

    - Sara on October 6, 2011 Reply
  • your pictures are beautiful! i borrowed the seasonings from this recipe and added them to a very similar recipe that also uses fresh ginger. very tasty combination of flavors — especially during the holidays! thank you.

    - Michele on December 3, 2010 Reply
  • add a scoop of whipped cream to them (right out of the oven) and it is purely heaven in your mouth!

    - Cheree' on November 12, 2010 Reply
  • What will be the result if I don’t use molasses? Thank you!

    - Linh on February 12, 2010 Reply
  • Fresh ginger root is fabulous too:)

    - Laurie on January 20, 2010 Reply
  • So lovely! Beautiful photos. Happy New Year!

    - Shauna from Piece of Cake on December 30, 2009 Reply
  • these ginger cookies are beautiful. love the sprinkling of sugar that simple makes ‘em sparkle! :)

    - diva on December 26, 2009 Reply
  • These cookies look chewy and utterly delightful! Stunning photos :)

    - Lucy on December 23, 2009 Reply
  • OK…just whipped these up – EASY!!! and ohsosososgood. The best ginger cookie…ever.

    - Chris on December 23, 2009 Reply
  • Ahhhhhhhhhh!!!!!! I *just* made some butterscotch ginger cookies that are not that great – too cakey, not enough flavor, although the recipe sounded interesting….These sound delish, going to have to break out the butter and bowls one more time. Any type of cookie you just roll into a ball and plop onto a cookie sheet, has my seal of approval!

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