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!

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Ginger Spice Cookies

  • Author: Sara Wells
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 2 dozen 1x



  • 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.




  1. 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.

  2. 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!

  3. 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!

  4. 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. =)

  5. 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

  6. 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!

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

  8. 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.

  9. 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!

  10. 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.

  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. 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!)

  13. 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.

  14. 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!!

  15. 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.

  16. 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!

  17. 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!

  18. 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!

  19. 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.

  20. I love ginger snaps . . . one of my all time favorite cookies, and this recipe is Easy and Super Yummy! My four year old son and I made some today . . . SUCCESS! THANK YOU!

  21. I made these the other day and the whole process was just a comedy of errors.

    Once I started I realized I was almost out of sugar. Not wanting to go to the store I used what I had and made up the other 75% by using brown sugar. When I moved to the dry ingredients, I realized I was out of flour! Not much to do but head out to the store (after lunch and nap time), both kids in tow. Got home, started making them again when I realized I couldn't find my GINGER! So I substituted pumpkin pie spice.

    All that being said, as soon as I took a bite I was hooked. My husband made me sit down and copy the recipe over from the scrap of paper I had written it down on, to my book of recipes right then and there. These were worth all the trouble it took me to make them and then more. My new favourite cookie!

  22. I love these kinds of cookies too, but I'm anti-Crisco. I found a similar variation years ago which calls for oil instead (doesn't flatten for me…nice and chewy!) The brown sugar does something nice for them.

    2-1/4 cups flour
    1 cup packed brown sugar
    ¾ cup cooking oil (I use canola or extra virgin olive oil)
    ¼ cup molasses
    1 egg
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1 teaspoon ground ginger
    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    ½ teaspoon ground cloves
    ¼ teaspoon salt
    ¼ cup granulated sugar (for rolling cookie-dough balls in)

    Mix half the flour with everything but the rolling sugar, then beat the other half of the flour in. Bake sugared 1" balls at 375 F for 8-10 minutes, or use a small ice cream scoop for larger cookies, and bake a few minutes longer, until crackled on top.

    I want to try your orange zest & white chocolate version with these!

  23. I just made these (amazingly enough, i had EVERYTHING on hand!) for some last minute gifts, and I had to hurry and package them up before i ate all of them! I was able to get 30 cookies out of the batch (definitely could have gotten 31 or 32 had I not eaten some of the dough) using a cookie scoop.

  24. I baked about 7 different treats at Christmas this year, but THESE were the biggest hit of all. My family loved them! I was absolutely smitten with the Candy Cane brownies, but my boys begged for more of these. Thanks for sharing. I have a feeling I'll be making them year round!

  25. Just like my mom’s recipe—the BEST!!! Get a little daring and dip half in chocolate or white chocolate. The combo with the spices will make your taste buds sing!

  26. Growing up, my Grandpa and Grandma always had Gingersnaps in their camper and in their boat – we didn’t know that they were called Gingersnaps until we were older, we just always knew them as Grandpa Snow cookies. These look super yummy and like something nostalgic at the same time. Thank you for sharing!

  27. These are my favorite type of cookie, I make them every Christmas.

    Butter in cookies is so much better than shortening. The key is to thoroughly chill your dough. If you do that, the cookies will stay almost in balls the whole time they’re baking. I use a baking stone, bake them at the minimum time on the recipe (I always use a thermometer in my oven, too—you’d be surprised how far off even the most expensive ovens are!) and take them out. I use a spatula and gently press them down to get the air out, and they are perfect every time. I don’t do many things well, but cookies are one thing I **do** do well. 🙂 Try them with butter, and don’t add more flour. Molasses cookies will be very sticky, but this problem is resolved by chilling the dough. When you roll them, don’t handle them more than you have to so the fat stays solid. If they get hard to roll, put them back in the freezer or fridge for 10-15 minutes until they’re cold again.

    1. This is absolutely true – I have been making cookies for years and everyone wants to know why theirs always flattens and mine aren’t and I always tell them the same thing – the butter has to be stiff. If you have a stand-up mixer with a paddle, you can cream the butter just until it’s not lumpy and get the same result.

  28. I’m craving this taste of Fall so much I used my Weight Watchers etools to figure out the points. These are 3 points plus per cookie ( 36 cookies per recipe). Woohoo! I can work that in to my day – just have to exercise some self control OR use all 29 points and eat cookies all day : ) lol

  29. these cookies have been a favorite for Christmas since I was a kid. My recipe is identical, except I use butter (still perfectly crispy-chewy), and I skip the cloves in favor of a little extra ginger 🙂

    1. Lisa…do you use a 1:1 ratio of butter or is it less? I finally figured out a way to get my choc chip cookies perfect w/butter, but I have to use half as much. I was wondering if it’s the same for these cookies….thanks!


  30. These have been a favorite for Christmas since I was a kid. My recipe is identical, except I use butter (still perfectly crispy-chewy), and I skip the cloves in favor of a little extra ginger 🙂

  31. I made these today. So yummy and just the right texture. Perfect cookie for a rainy fall day. These will definitely become a family favorite! Thanks for the recipe!

  32. I had a friend that made these cookies once for me years ago…only she doesn’t’ share recipes. I have been trying to find it ever since/recreate it. This is the prefect replica of them…THEY ARE DELISH!!!! Your pictures are beautiful…and the recipe is so good I made a 2nd batch right away!!! YUMMY! Thanks so much

  33. I made these exactly as directed. They looked perfect and the texture turned out as advertised with crispy edges and chewy centers. That said, these are not my favorite tasting ginger cookies. I think the crisco is what ruined it for me. I would recommend making these but substituting real butter for the crisco.

  34. Love, love the taste of these cookies! I followed the recipe exactly, but my cute little sugared dough balls never flattened. Help! They crackled on top, but remained soft and plump. I used a shiny, substantial aluminum baking sheet with no silpat. Any suggestions, friends? Thanks for all of your wonderful recipes!

  35. I would like to make these for some friends and family at Christmas. How long will they keep for? (I mean how many days before Christmas should i bake them?)
    I also have a couple of questions regarding the recipie/instructions –
    What’s shortening? It’s not on the recipie list but is mentioned in the directions.
    And what kind of measurements are ‘T’ and ‘C’ please?

    1. Hi Mat,

      T = tablespoon
      t = teaspoon

      In the ingredient list, “Butter flavored Crisco” is the same as shortening. It is a type of fat used in baking. Do you live outside of the US? If you don’t have access to shortening you could use margarine or butter. I do think the shortening helps keep them soft and gives them a good shape. They are best fresh, but you could make them a couple of days ahead if you store them well in an airtight container. You could also bake them farther in advance and freeze them. Let me know if you have any more questions!

  36. Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you for these cookies! My FAVOURITE cookies EVER! My only change to the recipe is that put like 3 times the spices and mix them up a bit. So good and spicy!

  37. I made these cookies and the pumpkin ice cream for Thanksgiving. I set them out for people to eat separately or make sandwiches out of them. Everyone loved them!! I was so happy how they came out, thanks so much for a different idea!

  38. Our kitchen is egg free, dairy free and gluten free, so I made these with a few adjustments – and they still turned out great!

    Spectrum brand shortening instead of Crisco
    Flax gel to replace egg (1 T. ground flax + 3 T. warm water)
    Bob’s Red Mill GF flour mix to replace white flour
    plus 3/4 tsp. xanthan gum

    Thanks for the great recipe!

  39. Perfecting my second batch of these for a cookie exchange in two weeks. My family is loving it. I used half butter and half shortening. Also, I brushed half of the cookie with fresh orange zest and then dipped that half in white chocolate. My family likes these the best. Thanks!

  40. I”ve made this recipe for years w/ the exception of oil instead of crisco (which is what I usually use in cookies). The oil doesn’t make them flat and I LOVE these at Christmas time. Thanks for sharing this recipe w/ the world!! Sometimes I even roll them in red or green sugar for the holidays.

  41. Great submit, very informative. I wonder why the other specialists of this sector do not notice this. You should proceed your writing. I am sure, you have a great readers’ base already!|What’s Taking place i am new to this, I stumbled upon this I’ve found It positively useful and it has helped me out loads. I hope to give a contribution & aid different customers like its helped me. Great job.

  42. I made these just now for our church social and can’t wait to here how they like them! I just ate two and they were the best ginger/molasses type cookies I’ve ever made.

  43. I just made these and slathered them with pumpkin spice cream cheese. Oh. My. Goodness. They were incredible and will be the perfect treat for pumpkin carving tonight… If any make it that long! Thank ladies!

  44. I have made these delicious cookies 4 times now. The first two batches, the cookies were fluffy. The second two batches were flat. I used the same ingredients, so i am not sure what happened…any thoughts???

  45. i have made these delicious cookies 4 times – the first two were fluffy and rhe second two were flat. Same ingredients, only thought is weather?? Any thoughts…

  46. Great recipe.But it doen’t say anything about cream in the ingredents.Why does it say add cream in the directions?Proboley a dumb question.But I have not made cookies in a while.;)

    1. Anne- “cream” is actually a verb here, not an ingredient! It just means you want to beat those things together until light and fluffy, that’s all 🙂

      1. Sara,I am ssssoooo sutpid.I KNEW that was a dumb question.So sorry.I just moved here from Mexico and I am tring to learn the English lanquage.(and spelling :)) Oh,and I guess I should tell you,the E mail that I put in really isn’t my email,I do not have one.It wouldn’t let me post a comment with out it,so I put one in that I had seen on a website.So please do not send E mails to that person.But my name IS Anne.

  47. Yum. These are awesome. I made them teaspoon sized and turned them into sandwich cookies/ whoopie pies with your perfect cupcake filling and frosting (doubled, of course) everywhere I take thm they get gobbled up!!

  48. these are amazing. Thank you for sharing! Made the little pizookies with them… yum yum yum! Best part is that now I have all the ingredients to make these again and again and again 🙂

  49. If you had ANY idea how many searches I did for Gingerbread (from scratch) ANYTHINGS today – and came up short…. Then I came to see the crock pot giveaway and over to the right? lo and behold?! These lovely darlings <3 Guess what meself will be doing tomorrow? (hint) making my kitchen smell DIVIIIIII- HINNNNNEEE! TY

  50. I made these cookies this weekend. My 6 year old asked when I was going to make ginger cookies and since I had never made them for him I decided to try out this recipe. My 4 year old son says, “Oh cookies! Can I have one?!” I tell him of course, but that he might not like them because they are a different kind I’ve never made for him before. He tries one bite and says, “Oh yum! Can I have them all?!” =) When my 6 year old got home I thought he was going to be so pleased when I told him I made him ginger cookies. Turns out he wanted ginger bread cookies…or so he thought…until he took one bite and grabbed three more cookies and ran out of the room as fast as he could so I wouldn’t stop him. Needless to say they were a hit! Thank you!

  51. Disappointed in this recipe. I was looking for a chewy molasses cookie which the author has claimed and these are NOT. I even tried the recipe twice thinking I did something wrong. Both times they turned out cake like and very dry on the edges.

  52. I’m not a molasses/ginger type person but I went ahead and made these anyway. I used plain crisco because I had it. Mine did flatten, just not as much as yours. SO. GOOD. 🙂

  53. Hi! Just curious what the smooshing step does. If I left them in balls would they be negatively affected, or maybe just thicker and less thin? 🙂
    Thankya for the help and recipe! I learned I liked chewy ginger cookies at the Barnes & Noble cafe last Fall, where they had huge ginger cookies that were amazing; excited to learn to make them myself!

    1. So sorry!! We’re having some trouble with our printable recipe card feature and we’re doing some work on it last night when traffic was slow; it should be working now.

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