Ginger Spice Cookies

I am in love. With these soft and chewy ginger spice cookies.

These are the kind of cookie that you need in your cookie jar. And if you don’t have a cookie jar, it’s the type of cookie you should buy one for. I didn’t even know I was a ginger-spice-molasses type person until I ate these. I looked at the recipe and it looked pretty basic so I was trying to think of something to snazz them up. I thought about sandwiching them with cream cheese frosting, adding orange zest, dipping them in white chocolate etc. But that all changed when I took a bite of a cookie warm out of the oven and I knew that these little beauties needed to stay exactly like they were. Some ginger cookies are soft, some are puffy and cakey. These are are chewy. They’re a little on the thinner side and they crisp just around the edges and then get soft and perfectly chewy in the middle. My kind of cookie.

ginger spice cookies from Our Best Bites

These cookies are so simple and inexpensive–you probably already have everything in your house, and if you don’t, you should because they’re pantry staples. You’ll need flour, sugar, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, baking soda, and table salt.

ginger spice cookies dry ingredients

You’ll also need an egg, some molasses, and some butter-flavored shortening.

ginger spice cookies moist ingredients

Yes, we are aware that shortening is a controversial ingredient. My position is that a) it’s nearly trans fat-free and b) there are a few recipes where shortening usage (in my opinion) is a must–pie crust, fried chicken, and these cookies and c) if you’re eating any of those foods often enough to cause health problems, it’s probably less about the trace amount of trans fats and more about the fact that you’re eating pie crust and fried chicken and cookies in alarmingly large quantities. You’re welcome to substitute something else for the shortening, but if you come back and say, “I used coconut oil and my cookies tasted gross, kind of coconut-y” or “I used butter and my cookies fell flat and were as hard as rocks” or “I used the tears of virgin unicorns and now my friends and family say that virgin unicorns don’t exist and I have become a social outcast,” I might be a little bah-humbug-ish. 


Preheat your oven to 350 F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper (these sheets are fantastic!) or Silpat liners. Cream your shortening and sugar together for a couple of minutes until it’s light and fluffy.

creamed shortening and sugar for ginger spice cookies

Add your molasses…

adding molasses to ginger spice cookies mixture

and your egg..

adding egg to ginger spice cookies

and then mix until combined. While the egg/sugar mixture is mixing, whisk together your dry ingredients.

adding spices to ginger spice cookies

adding baking soda to ginger spice cookies

Then add them to your creamed shortening mixture.

Using a standard-sized cookie scoop, scoop the dough…

scoop of ginger spice cookie dough

and then roll the dough ball in sugar.

rolling ginger spice cookie dough in sugar

and then place it on baking sheets. Repeat with the remaining dough.

ginger spice cookie dough rolled in sugar

If desired, you can use a flat-bottomed cup or mug to gently press them down.

pressed ginger spice cookie dough

Aside from measuring out brown sugar, I’m not sure there’s a more satisfying cooking task.

baking sheet of ginger spice cookie dough


They will puff up a bit while baking and then flatten out when they cool.

baked ginger spice cookiescloseup of ginger spice cookies
Perfect for stacking, packing, and snacking.

stacked ginger spice cookies

My breakfast of champions: a Diet Coke and one (okay, three) of these cookiesginger spice cookies from OUr Best Bites

And I know I said they shouldn’t be messed with, but the one thing they’re practically begging for is to be turned into ice cream sandwiches. Under cook them just a bit and then smoosh them with pumpkin ice cream, or homemade vanilla with cinnamon would be awesome. And we also have this scrumptious variation!

Ginger Spice Cookies

5 from 1 vote

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings2 dozen


  • 3/4 cup butter-flavored Crisco
  • 1 cup granulated sugar plus more for rolling
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 2 cups flour lightly spooned into measuring cups and leveled with a knife
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt


  • Preheat oven to 350 F. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper or Silpat liners. Set aside.
  • Combine sugar and shortening in the bowl of an electric mixer and mix until light and fluffy (about 2 minutes). Add the egg and molasses and beat until completely incorporated.
  • While the sugar mixture is mixing, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and salt. Add them to the creamed shortening mixture and mix until combined. 
  • Using a standard cookie scoop, scoop the dough into balls and roll in sugar. Place 12 dough balls on each cookie sheet. If desired, use a flat-bottomed glass or mug to gently flatten the dough. 
  • Bake for 8-10 minutes or until just set around the edges and you start to see crackling on the top. Be sure not to overbake! Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before removing from the baking sheets.


Author: Sara Wells
Did You Make This Recipe?Snap a picture, and hashtag it #ourbestbites. We love to see your creations on our Instagram @ourbestbites!


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Meet The Author

Sara Wells

Sara Wells co-founded Our Best Bites in 2008. She is the author of three Bestselling Cook Books, Best Bites: 150 Family Favorite RecipesSavoring the Seasons with Our Best Bites, and 400 Calories or Less from Our Best Bites. Sara’s work has been featured in many local and national news outlets and publications such as Parenting MagazineBetter Homes & GardensFine CookingThe Rachel Ray Show and the New York Times.

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Questions & Reviews

  1. After they come out of the oven put a Pumpkin Spice Hershey Kiss (you can get at Target right now but only for a limited time). Heaven!!! It just puts them over the top.

  2. Thank you for posting these!! I have kept these bookmarked for the right time and today is that day! Delish!! 🙂

  3. Once again…YOU HAVE DONE IT! Seriously a piece of heaven! I don't know if I will ever make Gingerbread cookies again becuase these are so amazing! My kiddos are seriously running circles for them! I don't know if there will be any for Christmas!

  4. Just made these beauties to put in tins to give as gifts to clients. They look so pretty all wrapped in ribbons, and the few we taste tested were scrumptious! Next time I am going to plop a pumpkin spice hershey kiss on top when they come out of the oven for my take on your pumpkin ice cream sandwich. Would have this time, but wanted to wrap in a pretty Christmas ribbon. Thanks for the great ideas!

  5. I made these today for neighbor gifts for Christmas and LOVED them! I made them with half butter and half shortening. They turned out perfectly, just like the picture. Thanks for this wonderful recipe!

  6. This is very similar to my recipe, and they are one of my absolute favorites! Thanks for all of your wonderful ideas. This is the most awesomely beautiful cooking/baking site ever. And this is the first time I've ever been inspired to Blog. Yay.

  7. Ok, I made these the other day and am ADDICTED! Seriously, one of my favorite cookies ever!! I was freaked out because I was on the phone (I do the weirdest things while I'm on the phone… like I put cereal in the fridge and milk in the pantry once) while making these and accidentally put in 1 full tsp of cloves… they still turned out delish! These would be PERFECT for neighbor gifts. Thank you!!

  8. This is exactly like my grandma's recipe (she called them cookie jar gingersnaps) that she made all the time when I was growing up, except she used regular crisco because they didn't have the butter flavor around then, and 1/2 t more cinnamon. I made them that way until about seven years ago when I finally discovered butter flavor crisco. So, for Heavenly Housewife, I can tell you from experience that they are still delicious with the regular crisco. Perfectly soft and chewy.

  9. Um, this is a good way to gain a LOT of weight. I could eat about 20 of these in one sitting. Thank you, once again! You've made me become addicted to trying new recipes (because your's are ALL so yummy!)

  10. Holy cannolli Batman! These are good! I have been looking for a soft ginger cookie recipe. I don't have to look anymore

  11. I made these hoping to have a replacement for the Amish molasses cookies I get from a bakery in my hometown. They were good but with a bit too much molasses flavor for me. The texture turned out great though! Next time I may cut down the molasses a bit.

    I also made the pumpkin ice cream to make sandwiches with. It just came out of the ice cream freezer and tastes delish! I can't wait to put the two together.

  12. These look georgous, i saw them on foodgawker. I totally want to make them. I live in the Uk. I can find crisco here, but not butter flavour. Do you think that would be ok?

    1. Heavenly housewife…you could try half crisco and half butter. I have had success in other recipes using half and half.

  13. x0xnotoriousx0

    I’d say there’s a 99% chance that your problems are directly related to your lack of molasses. Try it as the recipe is written and if you still have problems then we’ll talk!

  14. I have a serious question.
    I tried making these yesterday(the dough was EXTREMELY good by the way. Really spicy), but the problem was that the dough was entirely too sticky. I would try and roll it in sugar and it was a mess.

    So, I added about a half cup more flour but it was STILL too sticky. I figured I shouldn’t add more flour if I didn’t want them to be too tough, so I just rolled them in sugar the best I could and flattened them as instructed.

    When they came out of the oven, they were delicious, but the dough thing is a problem because I have some left over in the fridge and I would like to make another batch but…

    I just wanted to know if you really meant TWO cups of flour in your recipe and not three. Because I was sure something wasn’t right. Maybe it’s because I substituted maple syrup for mollases…?

    1. Try chilling the dough before you scoop and roll in sugar. My recipe says to chill for 2 hours before rolling, although I stick it in the freezer for a shorter time. It makes the dough much more manageable.

  15. These were very good, even the batches i slightly overbaked.oops. I used butter instead of the shortening and they seemed fine to me.

  16. I have a very similar recipe from my MIL and we love them! Warm out of the oven, they are so soft!

  17. Awe, thanks Erin!

    camille- I bet kids will love these. I am a cub scout leader and someone brought cookies last week that tasted just like this and the 8yr old boys just gobbled them up SO fast. Plus, my 3rd old loves them!

  18. I just wanted you two to know that I have been looking at your blog for a little while and I really like it so I have nominated you for an award over at my blog You can see all the details for the award by going to my blog.

    Thanks for your website.

    I am Frugal

  19. thanks Sara, I am going to make them today! I have to make “fall” cookies for ds’s preschool class (no halloween cookies allowed, LAME-O). I hope the 3 year olds like them, cross your fingers!!

    and if they are really fantastic (which of course they will be, everything you guys do is fantastic) I will make another batch to take to a gal from church who just had a baby. =)

  20. My daughter and I just made these, and they ARE as good as you say! We ate them just plain, and as ice cream sandwiches, and either way, they are delicious! And now my house smells yummy…thanks!

  21. Camille- these are for you. They are just barely crisp around the very edge and then they’re super soft and the longer they sit the chewier they become, especially when they’re really thin.

    Amber- I haven’t tried with butter. Normally I’m an all butter all the time type of gal, but the exception is cookies, when often crisco yields a better texture. Butter may make these cookies spread more and become crispy instead of soft. But I don’t know- if you give it try let us know!

  22. Have you tried making these with real butter? I don’t have any crisco, but I would love to make these… Just wondering.

    1. I make ginger spice cookies with butter – my recipe is very similar to this one and everyone absolutely loves them. The trick with butter is creaming it when it is cold. If it gets too warm and soft it will flatten in the oven. You can even refrigerate the dough before you roll it into cookies if you want. My cookies never flatten, so it is impossible.

  23. *I’ve* been looking for the perfect ginger spice cookie, so I cannot WAIT to make these!! Yum!