Our favorite homemade gingersnap cookies are soft and chewy with the perfect amount of spice. Ready in under an hour - no chilling required!
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In my house, it isn't really Christmas until I've made a batch of these gingersnap cookies. They're crisp around the edges and chewy in the center, with the most beautiful, sparkly texture from a dusting of sugar just before baking.
This recipe is perfect for the holidays (or any day!) with plenty of cozy spices (cinnamon, ground ginger, and cloves, OH, MY) and a rich, slightly-bitter bite from a bit of molasses. These cookies are also pretty sturdy, so they travel well: They're the perfect contribution to a cookie care package or cookie exchange!
We originally posted this recipe in 2012; it was updated in 2022 to include additional step-by-step photos and notes.
Our basic order of operations
These gingersnaps are pretty straightforward: We recommend using a stand mixer or a hand beater for best results (we used our trusty hand mixer in these photos!) Cream softened butter and brown sugar together, then add an egg and molasses and beat until you have a nice, fluffy mixture.
Note: No electric mixer or stand mixer? That's ok! Whisk the butter, sugar, and molasses together with a large whisk and a bit of elbow grease. It will take a few minutes of vigorous whisking, but it's worth it!
Fold in the dry ingredients and beat on low speed until everything is just combined. The mixture will be crumbly and a bit rough, but not dry - it should feel soft and hold together when you squeeze it!
Use a cookie scoop to portion out your dough, then roll each dough ball between your (clean!) hands to smooth it out.
We used a 3 Tablespoon cookie scoop in these photos, but you can use any size scoop you like!
Roll cookie dough balls in a bit of granulated sugar to give them that perfect, crackly crust, then pop them onto a cookie sheet and bake away!
Use a kitchen scale for best results
Measuring dry ingredients by volume (with cups) is notoriously unreliable: for example, each person measures a cup of flour a little bit differently, which makes it very easy to accidentally use too much and alter the texture of your cookies. For best results - and perfect-every-time measurements! - use a kitchen scale to follow the gram measurements in the recipe below. (No kitchen scale? Measure your flour with the scoop and level method for best results!)
Riffs and Substitutions
- Dial the spices up or down to suit your own tastes! The flavors in this recipe as written are pretty well-balanced, but if you want more deep clove flavor or a more cinnamon-forward version (like our cinnamon brown sugar cookies!), feel free to adjust the spices here.
- Add a pinch of chili powder or smoked paprika for a spicy note.
- For extra texture, roll cookie dough balls in turbinado sugar, raw sugar, or a cinnamon sugar blend!
- Dress these cookies up by drizzling them with melted white chocolate or a bit of thin maple fudge frosting once they're cooled.
A few FAQs
Yes! Mix the dough as directed, shape it into dough balls, and store an airtight container in the fridge for 1 day or in the freezer for 3-4 months. Defrost frozen gingersnap dough balls overnight in the fridge before baking. When you're ready to bake, roll dough balls in sugar, place them on the baking sheet and reduce the oven temperature to 350° Fahrenheit (a lower temp helps the cookies spread out more evenly if you're baking them straight from cold!) We don't recommend chilling the cookie dough before shaping the dough balls, as it can seize up and become a bit difficult to scoop.
Nope! We've tested this recipe with light and dark brown sugar, Wholesome Organic Molasses, and Grandma's Molasses - they've all been fine. The biggest difference we notice between brands/types of these ingredients is in the color of the final cookies. Darker molasses and brown sugar will also make the cookies a tad more bitter.
If you're keeping cookies on the counter for a few days, they can start to dry out a little bit. To keep them fresh and help them retain moisture, throw a slice of fresh bread into the airtight container with the cookies: The sugar in the cookies will draw the moisture out of the bread, keeping the cookies fresh (and the bread will quickly go stale!)
Yes! Just use the handy 2x or 3x buttons in the recipe card below to scale this recipe for a bigger batch.
This recipe makes about 17 large cookies (formed with a 3-Tablespoon cookie scoop) or 35-40 small/bite-sized cookies (formed with a 1-Tablespoon cookie scoop). Use any size cookie scoop you like here! Depending on the size of your cookies, you may need to adjust the baking time: Gingersnaps are done when the edges are set and the centers develop big cracks (the cracks will form in the last few minutes of cooking!)
These easy, chewy gingersnaps are perfect for holiday baking!
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 240 grams brown sugar (1 packed cup + 2 Tablespoons)
- 85 grams molasses (¼ cup)
- 1 large egg
- 300 grams all purpose flour (about 2 ½ cups when measured by scooping and leveling)
- 7 grams baking soda (1 teaspoon)
- 2 grams ground ginger (1 teaspoon)
- 5 grams ground cinnamon (1 Tablespoon)
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves (measure this by volume - it’s such a small quantity that most scales won’t register it)
- 3 grams kosher salt (½ teaspoon)
- ¼ cup white sugar, for rolling cookies (you can eyeball this - the amount doesn’t have to be perfect!)
- Heat oven to 375° Fahrenheit.
- Use an electric hand mixer (or use a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment) to cream butter and brown sugar together in a large mixing bowl until you have a soft, fluffy mixture. Start on a low speed so sugar doesn't fly everywhere, then slowly work up to a medium-high speed and beat for at least one minute to ensure everything is smoothly incorporated.
- Add molasses and egg to butter mixture; beat until everything is well-combined and you have a dark, fluffy mixture.
- Add flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and salt. Stir or beat on low speed until ingredients are just combined, and no dry flour remains. The dough mixture should be slightly crumbly and rough, but not dry: it should hold together when you press it (see the photos in the post above for a visual guide!)
- Use a cookie scoop to divide dough into evenly-sized portions. Roll each dough piece between your (clean!) hands to form a smooth ball.
- Fill a small bowl with sugar. Drop each dough ball into the sugar and roll it around until sugar covers the surface. Repeat until all dough has been rolled and dipped in sugar.
- Line a cookie sheet with a nonstick baking mat or a piece of parchment paper. Place sugared dough balls on cookie sheet, leaving 2 inches between each piece (cookies will spread out as they bake). You will likely need to use two cookie sheets or to bake in batches.
- Bake cookies at 375° F for 10-13 minutes, until the edges are set and the centers have developed large cracks. How to know when your gingersnaps are done: Keep an eye on the cookies through your oven window - as they bake, they will first spread out into a flat cookie, then puff up and develop smooth domes on top before developing long, deep cracks across the surface. When these big cracks begin to form, the cookies are just about done! The inside of these cracks might look a bit dough-y still, but they will set as the cookies cool. The cookies may still have slight domes on top when you remove them from the oven; they will settle and flatten as they cool. If you measure your flour by volume (with cups) instead of with a scale, your cookies may have more of a domed top, and the cracks may not be quite as pronounced as they are in these photos - that's ok!
- Let cookies cool on the sheet pan for 5-10 minutes, then move them to a wire rack to finish cooling. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container on the counter for up to 4 days.
Use any size cookie scoop you like here! We used a 3-Tablespoon cookie scoop to portion the dough in these photos, which gives us 15-17 cookies, each about 4" in diameter. We have also tested this recipe with a 1-Tablespoon cookie scoop, which yields 40ish cookies that are each about 1.5" in diameter (for a 1T scoop, we reduced the bake time to 8-10 minutes). If you use a different sized cookie scoop, you'll likely need to adjust the bake time: Keep an eye on the cookies as they bake and watch for those telltale surface cracks to form!
Use a kitchen scale! Measuring dry ingredients by volume (with cups) is notoriously unreliable; for perfect-every-time measurements, use a kitchen scale to measure by weight and follow the gram measurements in the recipe above. If you don't have a scale, be sure to measure your flour with the scoop and level method for best results.
If the dough sticks to your hands while you shape it into balls, run your hands under some cold water periodically to help the dough slide right off without sticking. This is typically not a very sticky dough though!
Additions and Substitutions. You can adjust the spices (cinnamon, ginger, cloves) in this recipe - feel free to dial them up or down to suit your tastes! We used light brown sugar and Wholesome Organic Molasses in these photos, but we've also tested this recipe with dark brown sugar (works fine, just makes these cookies a little more bitter!) and Grandma's molasses (also good). The molasses is a key ingredient here - we don't recommend trying to substitute it for something else. For extra texture, roll the dough balls in turbinado sugar or demerara sugar instead of granulated sugar.
- Serving Size: 1 cookie
- Calories: 209
- Sugar: 23.4 g
- Sodium: 85.3 mg
- Fat: 5.9 g
- Carbohydrates: 37.4 g
- Protein: 2.3 g
- Cholesterol: 25.2 mg
Keywords: Christmas, cookies, dessert, holiday