Fresh Family Meals Made for Everyday Life

Soft Gingerbread Cookies

Recipe At-A-Glance
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Holiday Recipe45 minutes
The smell of fresh gingerbread baking is unmatched. Make a batch of these soft gingerbread cookies with your family this holiday.
Chewy Gingerbread Cookies

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These soft gingerbread cookies are one of my favorite non-chocolate cookies ever! They are just…perfect. They are the perfect texture (slightly crunchy on the outside, but totally gooey and tender on the inside). They are the perfect flavor (rich and warm, with a little bit of added kick thanks to black pepper). They even look perfect. Like perfect little pillows of sugary deliciousness.

Chewy Gingerbread Cookies

Should gingerbread cookies be hard or soft?

This comes down to gingerbread semantics. In some people’s minds, the word gingerbread means soft and chewy—you know, like bread. But in my opinion, gingerbread is all-encompassing of the flavor, but most frequently refers to the crispy cookies (like gingerbread men or gingerbread houses). If someone says, “here, have a gingerbread cookie” the first thing that pops in my head is a crunchy gingerbread man—which I’ll pass on.

But these tender, soft, chewy gingerbread cookies? These, I’m all over.

Chewy Gingerbread Cookies

What makes these soft gingerbread cookies so great?

I think what makes these cookies so spectacular is that they are spectacularly simple. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing cookies with sprinkles and candy and add-ins galore, but all these cookies need as far as accoutrements is a quick roll in granulated sugar before baking to give them a sparkly shine that looks a little bit like a frosty snowfall. That’s it. The dough does all the talking.

Chewy Gingerbread Cookies

In case you were wondering, my tasting group was very pleased with these cookies. So much so, it put an end to the gingerbread definition debate. It was decided that whatever the previous definition of gingerbread was, it should be erased from the books and replaced with a description of these cookies, because this is what gingerbread should be.

Enjoy!

Soft Gingerbread Cookie Recipe

Soft Gingerbread Cookie Recipe

Yield: 36 cookies
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Additional Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 8 minutes

The smell of fresh gingerbread baking is unmatched. Make a batch of these soft gingerbread cookies with your family this holiday.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 sticks butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • Granulated sugar, for rolling

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add in the molasses, egg, and vanilla and mix until well-combined.
  3. Add in the baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, pepper, and salt, and mix until just combined. Add in the flour and mix until well-combined, scraping the sides as needed.
  4. Chill the dough for at least 30 minutes. Then roll the dough into 1-inch balls, and roll each dough ball in granulated sugar. Place on an ungreased baking sheet, spacing them 2-inches apart.
  5. Bake in preheated oven for 7-8 minutes, or until the cookies just begin to crack and crinkle, and the edges barely start to brown. Do not overbake or they won't be chewy!
  6. Let cookies cool for a minute or two on the cookie sheet, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 18 Serving Size: 2 cookies
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 168Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 31mgSodium: 267mgCarbohydrates: 22gFiber: 1gSugar: 11gProtein: 2g

At Wholefully, we believe that good nutrition is about much more than just the numbers on the nutrition facts panel. Please use the above information as only a small part of what helps you decide what foods are nourishing for you.

Cassie is the founder and CEO of Wholefully. She's a home cook and wellness junkie with a love of all things healthy living. She lives on a small hobby farm in Southern Indiana with her husband, daughter, two dogs, two cats, and 15 chickens.

Leave a Reply

77 Responses
  1. Angelique

    I made these tonight and tried using 1/2 white whole wheat flour. I have to say, the substitution made them a bit disappointing. I don’t think it’s fair to rate the recipe based on my substitution. They came out flat (despite chilling for over an hour) and more dense than intended. I’m not real familiar with baking with white whole wheat flour, so it was definitely an experiment. I can tell they will have a nice flavor when I try the recipe as intended. I’ll give them another go next week, with all purpose flour.

  2. THESE WERE AMAZING. Chewy, fluffy, moist. I kept them in a rubbermaid and they stayed good and soft for 5 days. I’m already making a second batch. I’m printing the recipe for easy access. I will be eating these all winter long. I might share them with others but I’d rather they just make their own so I’ll share the link to the recipe.

  3. Mara

    Love this recipe- I made 2 batches, one following recipe religiously. I made medicinal honey for my kids a few weeks ago (simmering fresh ginger slices in honey) and in the second batch, I added the reserved sliced honeyed ginger- it made a much spicier, even chewier cookie that was a huge hit. If you get a chance, try it out.
    Thanks for sharing this- I love ginger but hate hard cookies, so you are a big help.

    1. Mara

      Oh, I lied- I did do one other difference- I shook a dusting of powdered sugar over the baked cookies just to make them look a bit more festive. Still perfect.

  4. Oh My, my new favorite cookie. Shared on Facebook its so good. If there were a Santa and he had a house, this is what it would smell like! My whole house smells wonderful not to mention these tender tasty morsels! Thank you for the recipe!

  5. Anita

    Bridget, how are you dumbfounded by our confusion on butter. I am still confused. She said 1 1/2 sticks – what size sticks? One comment says 1 1/2 cups butter and another comment says 3/4 cup butter. From those of you that made this, how much butter did you use?

  6. Bridget

    I am so dumbfounded as to why I’m reading so many comments left by people who were confused how to measure their ingredients. Really? You can’t understand what one and a half sticks of butter means? You honestly don’t know the difference between actual butter and margarine?
    I have made dozens of batches of these cookies ever since I was fortunate enough to find this recipe, and they come out PERFECT every time. Chewy, spicy, Christmasy, delightful.

    1. Julie

      Outside of the US, butter is not in sticks.

      Here in Canada, butter is sold as a 1 pound block, which equals 2 cups. We measure butter in cups or in grams. We are not stupid, simply have different formats for ingredients.

      Sticks of butter is a meaningless unit of measurement for many people in the world.

  7. I would love to make these tomorrow for a group of friends that I ma hosting, but unfortunately I am missig two of the ingredients! Vanilla and molasses; do you know what I could substituite them for? And would they taste the same?

    1. Cassie

      Vanilla you could get by without, but molasses is the key flavor ingredient to Gingerbread cookies (well, other than ginger!). I wouldn’t skip or replace it (unless you might have sorghum around, that might work).

  8. Danni

    Was looking for a simple gingerbread cookie recipe to make with my 3 yo daughter when stumbled upon this one. All the other recipes I had found used a ton of Molasses (too messy for a small kid) &/or required the dough to chill for upwards of an hour (too long a wait for an impatient toddler). This recipe looked too good to be true, but it wasn’t! The cookies were SO EASY to make & tasted SO GOOD! We ended up making 3 batches & printing the recipe out to make sure we don’t lose it!!

    Followed everything to a T (baked for exactly 7 minutes) & our cookies look identical to the ones pictured here. Thanks for a great recipe, it will hence forth be a family favorite 😀

  9. Joshua

    I just made these cookies and I tried the batter and it was SOOOO GOOD. But question, if I made a royal icing to decorat with would it be too sweet all together? Thanks!!!

  10. Hannah

    I made these for a Christmas party and added drizzled dark chocolate on top, everyone was raving about them. Excellent thank you so much!!!

  11. Angie

    Hi Cassie – I’m a bit confused – in the comments there is a reference to 1 1/2 sticks being 1 1/2 cups of butter, then further on you mention the sticks are 1/2 cup each and that its a total of 3/4 cup butter.
    What is the exact cup amount of butter?
    Many thanks!

  12. anonymous

    These were pretty good before I had to throw them away, I’d really suggest stating the amount of butter in cups instead of “1 1/2 sticks” for idiots like me who put in a 1/2 cup stick of butter and then 1/4 stick of butter from cutting another 1/2 cup stick in half. Phew. I will try these again some other time when I’m not emotionally and physically drained from Christmas music and tree decorating.

  13. These cookies are OUT OF BOUNDS good. I am hooked. I gave almost all of them away and am bothe sad and thankful because all I want to do is eat them. Thank you so much for this recipe. I did add one tablespoon of finely chopped candied ginger.

Meet Cassie
Meet Your Host

Hello. My name is Cassie, and I’m a healthy home cooking expert.

I'm a Certified Holistic Nutritionist, and I've been developing healthy recipes professionally for over 15 years. Food is my love language, and my kitchen tips and nourishing recipes are my love letter to you!

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