This is the recipe you were looking for if you like molasses cookies with a kick from fresh ginger. They are super easy to make, eggless and spicy. They keep well and you can freeze the dough and have freshly baked cookies any time you want.
Chewy and soft at the same time, these are the cousins of gingersnap cookies but with a kick.
The ginger flavor is amazing, strong but sweet from the molasses and sugar, with that particular flavor we all love.
This recipe is great for a cookie exchange or a holiday gift as they keep and travel well, especially if you give them away in metal tins.
- Ginger: this recipe uses both fresh and dried ground. The mix is fantastic to add a slightly spicy kick.
- Molasses: I use dark unsulphuered molasses, but you can use light molasses if you favor a lighter color and less sharpness.
- Cinnamon: any ground cinnamon you normally use works fine. I like Frontier Vietnamese cinnamon and Simply Organic Ceylon cinnamon.
- Other spices: ground allspice and sometimes a dash of nutmeg. And, optional but encouraged for spiciness, we're adding cardamom (that amazing peppery lemony spice) and white pepper.
- Vanilla: I use pure vanilla extract or pure vanilla paste when available, but a good vanilla essence (artificially flavored) also works and is infinitely cheaper.
- Brown sugar: light or dark.
- White granulated sugar.
- Coffee extract: or a few teaspoons of strong coffee because it rounds up the whole thing. It's not essential, but it's a nice touch.
- All-purpose flour.
- Salt: I like using kosher salt or fine sea salt when baking. But regular table salt works just fine.
- Baking powder: make sure it isn't expired.
For quantities check the recipe card towards the end of this post.
This is the type of cookie that you make the dough and form into a log before chilling it (as shown in the video below), or refrigerate the bowl with the dough and then scoop and bake it, similar to the Almond Butter Cookies.
I like to go the extra mile and add another step: rolling them in white sugar before popping them into the oven so that they bake with a crisp and crunchy coating. Your choice.
Watch our step-by-step videos
Containers with airtight lids are recommended so the cookies don't become too soggy. I love tins or metal containers, first and foremost.
After that, cookie jars work well, as do plastic containers.
But consider that they all allow different moisture levels, so the cookies might become softer or gosh-forbid soggier more quickly.
I love how these spicy ginger cookies can be frozen and baked to order.
- Freeze the whole unbaked logs (my favorite way) and then take them out 15-20 minutes before baking so they can be cut easily. Or freeze the already-cut cookies (before they are rolled in sugar). They need some minutes at room t° so they can be rolled in sugar before baking.
- Freeze the scooped portions: if you decide to chill the dough in the bowl and then scoop walnut-sized cookies, the best way is to freeze the baking sheet and then transfer the pieces to a bag when they have become rock solid. That way they will take up less space in the freezer.
It makes them soft and chewy. And, of course, that brown color is thanks to the molasses and the spices. Molasses is like dark honey, and it adds a lot of moisture to baked goods.
A few common issues that cause this: all-butter recipes (as opposed to those that use part shortening) and a too-high or too-low oven might also expand the cookies too fast.
It depends on your personal palate. The darker the molasses the more bitter the flavor. So you have to balance that with the amount of sweetness and spice in your recipe to know which one will work best.
Not exactly. There are three common types: light which is the mildest in flavor and color, dark molasses which is slightly more bitter and dark, and blackstrap which is the deepest colored and most bitter one.
They look similar but gingersnaps are usually less chewy. They might be soft on the inside but crunchier on the outside. My favorite recipe for Gingersnap Cookies has an egg in the batter and that creates a different texture.
No, it doesn't. And it will probably be too thick because of the cold so you will have to bring it to room temperature before using it. I have mine in the pantry and it lasts months. What does happen as time passes by is that it becomes more bitter.
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- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground allspice
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup unsulphured molasses
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
- ¾ cup light brown sugar
- 12 tablespoons (170g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 8 fresh cardamom pods, ground (if you use ground cardamom make sure it's very fresh)
- Pinch of ground white pepper, optional
- ½ teaspoon coffee extract (or very strong coffee), optional
- Additional white sugar, for rolling cookies, optional
- In a large bowl, by hand or with an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until creamy.
- Add molasses and vanilla. Mix.
- Add spices, fresh ginger, and coffee if using, and mix well.
- Sift the dry ingredients (flour, salt, baking powder) over the batter in 2 or 3 additions. Mix well but don't overbeat, that's why I recommend switching to a spatula. The dough will be shiny but not sticky.
- Take a large piece of plastic wrap, make a cylinder in the middle with half of the cookie dough, wrap the dough in the plastic, and roll until it's tight. Prick in a few places to release air bubbles that might have formed. Repeat with the rest of the dough.
- Refrigerate the logs for at least 3 hours, or until firm. You can leave it refrigerated for a day or two. Or freeze for up to a month, wrapping the logs in aluminum on top of the plastic.
- Preheat oven to 350º.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Take out the dough from the fridge and put about a ½ cup of sugar in a shallow plate or bowl.
- Roll the cylinder of dough, still wrapped, a few times on the counter to round out the parts that touched the refrigerator floor and are probably more square than round.
- Cut the dough into ½ inch slices and coat each one with sugar. Alternatively, you can bake them plain, without rolling in sugar.
- Arrange on the prepared baking sheet, leaving some space to grow between each cookie.
- Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until crackled and dry.
- Let cool on wire rack.
- Store in an airtight metal container.
- - I use dark, but you can use light molasses if you favor a lighter color and less sharpness.
- Spices - cinnamon is a must and I like to use the best one I can afford (usually a deep-colored Vietnamese). I also include allspice and sometimes a dash of nutmeg. And optional but encouraged for spiciness, we're also adding cardamom (that amazing peppery lemony spice), and white pepper.
- Extracts - vanilla extract mellow the other flavors so I always add it. And a dash of coffee extract or a few teaspoons of strong coffee because it rounds up the whole thing. The latter is not essential, but it's a nice touch.
- Freeze the whole unbaked logs (my favorite way) and then take them out 15-20 minutes before baking so they can be cut easily. Or freeze the already cut cookies (before they are rolled in sugar). They need some minutes at room t° so they can be rolled in sugar before baking.
- Storing: containers with airtight lids are recommended so the cookies don't become too soggy. I love tins or metal containers. After that, cookie jars are my choice.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Refrigeration time: 3 hours
- Cook Time: 12 minutes
- Category: Cookies
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: ginger molasses cookies