Chewy Gingersnaps AKA Ginger Snaps were a childhood favorite. Those crinkled molasses cookies were spiced with cinnamon, ginger & cloves.

Scroll down for all sorts of delicious holiday cookies plus my tips for making perfectly crackled and chewy ginger cookies!  And if you’re planning ahead for Christmas, check out the Best Edible Gifts from my kitchen.

3 Chewy Gingersnaps on a square white  plate.

Why You Must Make

  • If you love boxed gingersnaps, you’ll go crazy for this homemade version.
  • The triple dose of spices, molasses, and sugar coating, make these super flavorful.
  • They’re soft and chewy, not to mention irresistible!
  • I’ve had to give away this recipe dozens of times!!! They’re one of my most requested recipes.

Ingredient Notes

Gingersnaps ingredients labeled on a metal baking sheet.
  • Kitchen Staples – Butter, Sugar, Brown Sugar, Flour, Salt, Baking Soda
  • Molasses – Mild molasses is key.
  • Spices – Ginger, Cinnamon, Cloves; Replace if they’ve been in your pantry for decades. Spices will lose flavor over time.

How to Make

Two numbered gingersnaps process shots.
  1. Make the cookie dough, cover, and chill. Use a medium cookie scoop and roll dough balls in sugar.
  2. Bake as directed, cool, and dig in!

Expert Tips

  • The original recipe called for shortening, but I’ve always made these gems with butter. The flavor is much better. But butter has changed over time. There is more water in some of the less expensive brands which then causes the cookies to spread.
  • PRO-Tip: Use a European-style butter or, at the very least, a name brand vs. generic. Less expensive brands tend to have a higher percentage of water and less fat. The cookies won’t be as puffy if you don’t use good-quality butter.
  • Chill the dough well before rolling it into balls. I chilled this batch overnight and they baked up perfectly.
  • PRO-Tip: Place dough balls on a cold baking sheet.  Allow used baking sheets to thoroughly cool before baking another batch or your cookies will spread.
  • If your cookies are still too flat, add a couple of tablespoons of extra flour to your dough.
Chewy gingersnaps in a white bowl with cinnamon sticks and cloves.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Difference Between Ginger Cookies and Gingerbread?

Both are spiced cookies, but ginger cookies are rolled into balls, then baked. Gingerbread dough is rolled flat, then cut into shapes before baking.

What Makes Ginger Cookies Crack?

Gingersnaps have a crackled exterior because they form a crust across their tops before they finish rising. Once they rise, the upward motion cracks the surface.

Why Did My Ginger Cookies Spread?

There are a few reasons that cookies spread. First, the dough may have gotten warm. Make sure to have your dough well chilled. Also, if the cookie sheets are warm when you add the dough balls, they will start to spread before they’re baked. The oven temperature may be off as well, so get an oven thermometer to see if your oven needs an adjustment.

Chewy gingersnaps in a white ceramic bowl.

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Chewy Gingersnaps on a square plate

Chewy Gingersnaps Recipe

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 27 minutes
Yield 36

These chewy gingersnaps are a childhood favorite and my most requested recipe!

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1 egg
  • 2 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves
  • Granulated sugar

Instructions

  1. Cream (mix) together butter and brown sugar. Mix in molasses and egg till well combined.
  2. Stir in flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves.
  3. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill for at least an hour (I usually chill overnight).
  4. Preheat the oven to 375º.
  5. Scoop out dough with a medium-sized cookie disher (about 1½ tablespoons of dough).
  6. Roll dough balls in sugar and place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  7. Bake for 12 minutes. Cool on a baking sheet, then remove the cookies to a cooling rack.

Notes

To avoid flat cookies, make sure to chill the dough before baking.

Use mild molasses for the best flavor.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

18

Serving Size:

2 cookies

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 114Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 10mgSodium: 208mgCarbohydrates: 26gFiber: 1gSugar: 14gProtein: 2g

HOW MUCH DID YOU LOVE THIS RECIPE?

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My mom would buy the occasional box of gingersnaps for us girls to munch on when we were growing up. It didn’t take long before there were only crumbs remaining. It was my best friend’s mom who introduced me to homemade, chewy gingersnaps. Well, maybe not her mom, but HER.

Mary had a tendency to get in a bit of trouble. I remember being addressed as “Elizabeth,” and sent home after she took a pair of scissors to her blue jeans to mimic those raggedy demins fashionable in the late 1970s. I’m sure her mother wasn’t thrilled when we raided their deep freeze and ate more than our fair share of frozen gingersnaps. That stash was certainly being stored for some future occasion.

They tasted incredible even cold and rock hard. I finally had my mom ask her dear friend, and Mary’s mother, for the ginger cookies recipe. I bake up at least a double batch each year to add to my holiday goodie boxes. Check out more of my best cookie exchange recipes.