Old-Fashioned Ginger Spice Cookies

Tested & Perfected Recipes Cookbook Recipe
Ginger Spice Cookies

Soft and chewy with a crackled sugar crust, these ginger spice cookies have just the right balance of spices to please kids and adults alike.

As a special treat for the holidays, I’m delighted to give you a sneak preview of one of my favorite recipes from my upcoming cookbook, Once Upon a Chef, The CookbookPerfect for all your upcoming festivities or a sweet gift for friends and family, these old-fashioned ginger spice cookies are a real crowd pleaser. Every year, my daughter and I bake them for her holiday bake sale and every year, they sell like hotcakes.

Soft and chewy with a crackled sugar crust, they have just the right balance of spices to please kids and adults alike. You’ll note that the recipe calls for black pepper. I promise, no one will know it’s there, but it adds a delightful little kick that lingers on the palate. Allow a few hours for the dough to chill in the fridge before baking.

Old-Fashioned Ginger Spice Cookies

Soft and chewy with a crackled sugar crust, these ginger spice cookies have just the right balance of spices to please kids and adults alike.

Servings: 38 cookies


  • 2-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp packed light brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup molasses, such as Grandma's Original
  • 1/2 cup raw sugar (also called turbinado or demerara sugar), for rolling cookies


  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, allspice, cloves, and black pepper.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or beaters), beat the butter and the granulated and light brown sugars until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the egg and molasses. Add the flour mixture and mix until combined. Chill the dough in the refrigerator until firm, a few hours.
  3. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350°F and set two racks in the centermost positions. Line two 13-by-18‑in baking sheets with parchment paper.
  4. Form tablespoons of dough into balls and roll in the raw sugar to coat generously. Arrange the dough balls about 2-1/2 in apart on the prepared baking sheets. Bake for 9 to 10 minutes, rotating the sheets from top to bottom and front to back midway through, until puffed and set. Let cool on the baking sheets for a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
  5. Freezer-Friendly Instructions: The Cookie Dough can be Frozen for up to 3 Months: Roll the dough into balls, let set on a baking sheet in the freezer, then place in a sealable bag and press out as much air as possible. Bake as needed directly from the freezer. (Allow 1 to 2 minutes longer in the oven.) To Freeze After Baking: Let the cookies cool completely and store in an airtight container separating layers with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Before serving, remove the cookies from the container and let them come to room temperature.

Nutrition Information

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  • Serving size: 1 cookie
  • Calories: 97
  • Fat: 4 g
  • Saturated fat: 2 g
  • Carbohydrates: 15 g
  • Sugar: 9 g
  • Fiber: 0 g
  • Protein: 1 g
  • Sodium: 70 mg
  • Cholesterol: 14 mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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Reviews & Comments

  • Perfect recipe! Crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. So yummy.

    • — Sarah Bertrand on September 11, 2021
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  • Delicious and came out looking beautiful, and will definitely make again.
    I made them a little smaller to feel less guilty when having with morning coffee! (baked for 10mins as recipe)
    Just as information to others.. in UK, I used “black treacle” instead of molasses. They look less flat and came out shaped more like an amaretto biscuit, but gorgeous either way.
    Thank you, Jen!

    • — Jo Khan on April 29, 2021
    • Reply
  • Delightfully soft cookie with a nice outside crunch which is exactly what I was looking for. I found that putting the dough in the fridge overnight resulted in a better spice flavor balance.

    • — Rachel on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • I made these for Christmas this year and they were wonderful. I decided to freeze most of the batch and cook only a few at a time so they were always fresh. This year (2021) one of our favorite places to go is shutting its doors after nearly (goodbye Fly Creek Cider Mill) 150 years in business, they make a cookie which tastes exactly like these. So even though I am very sad I can at least have a taste of the cookies they made and sold.

    • — Susan Stevenson on January 28, 2021
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  • I must admit, I do not enjoy baking with molasses. BUT, gingerbread cookies are my husband’s favorite sweet treat. So, I decided to make these (they’re super easy to make), and they were an instant hit in our home! Kids and husband were happy! I did decide to freeze half the batch, and they tasted super fresh even after pulling them out of the freezer. Enjoy, and happy baking!

    • — Emily on January 28, 2021
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  • These are my no-fail go to ginger cookies. I made 4 batches for Christmas gifts. I do make one change, I add a couple tablespoons of finely chopped crystallized ginger, which adds an additional chew and spice to the cookie. They freeze beautifully, and I’m not infrequen caught eating one straight from the freezer. 😉

    • — Janet Gates on January 28, 2021
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  • Delicious, soft and the perfect amount of spice! Great with a cup of coffee! I’ve never made cookies with molasses before, I could tell it really made a big difference. Baking these cookies filled the house with the wonderful scent of the holidays!

    • — Jen on January 28, 2021
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  • My family and I love so many of your recipes and they always turn out well, so I was really surprised these cookies didn’t. They had nice flavor and were slightly crunchy on the outside and chewy on the inside but they didn’t flatten out at all. They seemed very heavy and I had to smash them flat with the bottom of a glass after I baked them. I used butter and did the chilling- any suggestions?

    • — Jessica on December 28, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Jessica, I’m wondering if you used too much flour in these. Did you use the spoon and level method to measure the flour? Even a few extra ounces can make a big difference. This article/video explains it nicely.

      • — Jenn on December 28, 2020
      • Reply
  • Another HIT with this recipe! Jenn, you are amazing! I love these cookies and after giving my neighbor some, she begged for the recipe! Thank you so much!

    • — CHRISTINE on December 25, 2020
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    • These cookies had a good texture and the recipe was very easy to follow. Unfortunately, my cookies had a strong bitter flavor. Maybe I’m just sensitive to the taste of baking soda, although I did only use half the amount the recipe called for to try to avoid this. Or maybe it’s a result of using cooking molasses (only had this and blackstrap molasses), but I’ve used cooking molasses in muffins and didn’t get the bitteriness that these cookies had. Any idea where I went wrong?

      • — Karen on December 27, 2020
      • Reply
      • Hi Karen, sorry to hear this came out with a better flavor. I strongly suspect it was the molasses you used. From what I understand, cooking molasses is partially made with blackstrap molasses which can add that bitter flavor. If you try these again, I’d use molasses like this. Hope that helps!

        • — Jenn on December 28, 2020
        • Reply
  • I have a question- I didn’t have molasses, all sold out everywhere, so I looked it up and used 1/4 cup of dark brown sugar and same amount of water, since the dough seemed dry and clumpy. Kept it in the fridge for several hours and cooked as instructed- they came out doughy, still soft but not chewy cookie like. Is it just the molasses? Did I do something else wrong? What do you advise to substitute if no molasses? Thanks so much for this and for all of your recipes! 🙂

    • — Raha on December 25, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Raha, Unfortunately, there really is no good substitute for molasses — and that’s what gives these cookies their wonderful flavor and texture. I’d hold off making them again until you can get molasses. Maybe order online?

      • — Jenn on December 26, 2020
      • Reply
  • Perfect old-fashioned deliciousness! I always need to make these 2 or 3 times during the holidays. Thank you!

    • — Donna on December 23, 2020
    • Reply
  • Yum!!!! This recipe is also in the Once Upon a Chef cookbook. It’s so good. They have the prefect blend of sweet and spice, and a nice moist but still crisp texture. They smell amazing while they are baking!

    • — Cathe on December 17, 2020
    • Reply

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