Gingersnap Cookies


With their bold hit of spice and snappy texture, these easy treats are destined to become a holiday favorite.

Gingersnap Cookies

Caitlin Bensel; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Active Time:
16 mins
Total Time:
35 mins
25 cookies

You know what happens when you bake a batch of our gingersnap cookies? Your whole house gets filled with the fragrance of warm spices, conjuring the holiday spirit like nothing else.

These cookies are seriously beautiful—perfectly round, with a lovely crinkled top—and seriously easy to make. You just whip up the dough, roll it into balls and toss them in cinnamon sugar, and bake. There’s no dough chilling required, so the cookies are ready from start to finish in only 35 minutes.

Perfect with a cup of hot tea or a glass of milk, these cookies are sure to generate smiles and help you create new holiday memories and traditions.

How to Make Gingersnap Cookies

You only need a few minutes to whip up the dough for these cookies, and (unlike lots of cookie recipes) you don’t have to chill the dough before baking.

Start by arranging two oven racks in the upper and lower third of your oven (so that two pans can go in at the same time), and preheat the oven to 350°F. Line your pans with parchment paper so they’ll be ready for your dough.

The first step to making the dough is beating together the wet ingredients. First, combine softened butter and shortening with an electric mixer at medium speed, until they become a homogenous-looking mixture. Then beat in granulated sugar and beat until the mixture is fluffy. Next, beat in an egg and then some sorghum syrup. 

sorghum on butter and sugar

Caitlin Bensel; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Then whisk together the dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, and salt. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and beat on low speed just until the dough comes together. Roll the dough into balls, and roll the balls in cinnamon sugar before placing on the prepared pans. Then bake the cookies for at least 15 minutes so they’ll be crisp (you’ll rotate the pans halfway through the cook time). That’s it–no dough chilling, and the whole batch can cook at once.

Gingersnap Cookies Ingredients

  • Unsalted butter: For the rich, buttery flavor you crave in a cookie, you simply need some butter.
  • Shortening: For a crunchy texture (the “snap” of a gingersnap), you should use some shortening, too. All butter yields a chewy cookie (which is delicious but not a classic gingersnap).
  • Egg: Baked goods need a binder; egg is the most common choice.
  • Sorghum syrup: We love the complex, rich, tangy, almost buttery flavor of sorghum. You’ll find this syrup at farmers' markets or farm stands, or in specialty stores. You could also use molasses for a more traditional gingersnap, but make sure you don’t choose blackstrap molasses, which is extremely bitter.
  • All-purpose flour: All-purpose is the baking all-star, making for tender cookies and an easy-to-work-with dough.
  • Baking soda: The leavening here is baking soda, not baking powder; it helps to give these cookies their gorgeous crinkled texture.
  • Ginger and cinnamon: We don’t wimp out on the ginger here; gingersnaps should have a spicy, very gingery flavor. A little cinnamon adds some sweet notes to counter ginger’s spiciness.
  • Table salt: We add a fair amount to heighten all the other flavors.
Gingersnaps Cookies ingredients

Caitlin Bensel; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Equipment for Easier Cookie Making

Certain tools will make cookie-making a simpler process. An electric mixer is key, as are sturdy baking pans. Opt for light-colored, heavy-gauge aluminum pans; nonstick pans or dark ones tend to burn cookies. Cookie scoops of different sizes are incredibly helpful, making it easy to produce evenly sized cookies. Finally, parchment paper is a godsend; not only does it prevent your cookies from sticking to the pan, but it also helps to even out hot spots on your pan so that your cookies bake more evenly.

gingersnap cookies batter

Caitlin Bensel; Food Styling: Torie Cox

How to Store Gingersnap Cookies

Although they’ll probably get gobbled up well before, these cookies store well for up to one week in an airtight container at room temperature. For longer storage, you can freeze cooled cookies in a zip-top freezer bag for up to 3 months.

Gingersnap Cookie Variations

The recipe below yields a crisp, gingery-spicy cookie with classic holiday flair. You can try tweaking the recipe slightly with one of these suggestions:

  • Use one fat. You can use all butter or all shortening (¾ cup of either); we tried the cookies those ways, too. All butter yields a deliciously rich cookie with a chewy texture. All shortening yields a less rich cookie with a slightly crispier texture than the recipe below. 
  • Cook less. If you prefer a chewier cookie, you can use all butter as suggested above, and bake for less time—12 minutes should do it.
  • Add more spice. If you’d like more sweet spice, add ¼ teaspoon ground cloves and decrease the ginger amount by ¼ teaspoon. Be sure to go easy on the cloves; a little goes a long way.
  • Use a whole-grain flour. If you prefer cookies with a heartier, nuttier taste, you can use whole-wheat pastry flour in place of all-purpose flour. Unlike regular whole-wheat flour or white-wheat flour, whole-wheat pastry flour is milled to a very fine texture that works beautifully in baked goods.


  • 6 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened

  • 6 Tbsp. shortening

  • 1 cup plus 3 Tbsp. granulated sugar, divided

  • 1 large egg

  • 1/3 cup sorghum syrup or molasses

  • 2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour (10 1/2 oz.)

  • 2 1/2 tsp. ground ginger

  • 2 tsp. baking soda

  • 1 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon, divided

  • 1/2 tsp. table salt


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F with one rack in upper third of oven and one rack in lower third. Line 2 sheet pans or baking sheets with parchment paper.

  2. Combine butter and shortening in a large bowl; beat with an electric mixer at medium speed until combined, about 30 seconds.

    blended butter and shortening

    Caitlin Bensel; Food Styling: Torie Cox

    Add 1 cup sugar; beat at medium speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add egg; beat at medium speed until well blended, about 1 minute.

    sugar, shortening, and egg blended

    Caitlin Bensel; Food Styling: Torie Cox

    Add syrup; beat until thoroughly combined, 30 seconds to 1 minute.

    syrup blended into butter

    Caitlin Bensel; Food Styling: Torie Cox

  3. Whisk together flour, ginger, baking soda, ½ teaspoon cinnamon, and salt in a medium bowl. Add flour mixture to butter mixture; beat at low speed until just combined.

    blending flour into gingersnap cookies batter

    Caitlin Bensel; Food Styling: Torie Cox

  4. Combine remaining 3 tablespoons sugar and ¾ teaspoon cinnamon in a small bowl.

    sugar and cinnamon in bowl

    Caitlin Bensel; Food Styling: Torie Cox

    Scoop dough with a 1 ½-tablespoon cookie scoop, rolling into a ball. Roll dough ball in cinnamon sugar and arrange on prepared pan. Repeat with remaining dough and cinnamon sugar to yield 25 dough balls (12 on one pan and 13 on the other).

    cookie dough balls on parchment paper

    Caitlin Bensel; Food Styling: Torie Cox

  5. Bake at 350°F until lightly browned around the edges, 15 to 17 minutes, rotating pans after 8 minutes. Cool cookies on pans for 2 minutes; remove cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

    gingersnap cookies on pan

    Caitlin Bensel; Food Styling: Torie Cox

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