Crispy Ginger Cookies

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.

Ginger cookies 4

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

Print Recipe
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.
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  • 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!

  • Chris

    OK…just whipped these up – EASY!!! and ohsosososgood. The best ginger cookie…ever.

  • These cookies look chewy and utterly delightful! Stunning photos :)

  • these ginger cookies are beautiful. love the sprinkling of sugar that simple makes ‘em sparkle! :)

  • So lovely! Beautiful photos. Happy New Year!

  • Laurie

    Fresh ginger root is fabulous too:)

  • What will be the result if I don’t use molasses? Thank you!

  • Cheree'

    add a scoop of whipped cream to them (right out of the oven) and it is purely heaven in your mouth!

  • 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.

  • Sara

    Delicious and easy!! I had everything on hand. My kids think I’m a genius for this one. Thanks again for another great recipe.

  • Laura

    Love these! My new favorite holiday cookie!!

  • Kk

    I buy my ginger cookies at whole food , the mi-del brand. But will defintely make these for their freshness.

  • Kat D

    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!

  • susan

    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!

    • Jenn

      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?

  • Winston

    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.

  • Shannon

    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!

  • Kathryn

    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!

  • Jen

    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.

  • mala

    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?

    • Jenn

      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!

      • Roni

        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

  • mala

    ok.thanks for the information,,

  • Patricia

    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.

    • Jenn

      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.

  • Antoinette Cox

    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.

  • alice

    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.

  • Cosmic D

    Just a few questions:

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

    • Jenn

      Yes and yes!

  • mirna

    if I dont add cloves will it affect recipe much

    • Jenn

      Hi Mirna, It’s fine to leave the cloves out.

  • Ann

    I only have whole allspice. Is that ok?

    • Jenn

      Yes, you’ll just have to finely grate it. Hope you enjoy the cookies!

  • Annie

    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.

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