Ginger snap cookies are soft and chewy on the inside with a crisp exterior. The combination of ginger and cinnamon provides a sharp distinctive flavor. 

Ginger Snap Cookie with a glass of milk

I love cookies, thumbprint cookies, butterscotch chip cookies, or Linzer cookies, I love them all but these ginger snap cookies are one of my favorite treats. It’s an old recipe that was handed down through a friend’s family. The traditional flavor of molasses, ginger, and cinnamon with a snap when you bite into it can’t be confused with any other kind of sweet. 

This ginger snap cookie recipe makes a huge batch. It’s great for gift-giving, parties or even stocking your freezer because they freeze so well. 

What’s the difference between ginger snaps and gingerbread cookies?

Ginger snap cookies are a version of a traditional gingerbread cookie. They are both flavored with the spicy sweetness of ginger and cinnamon. The main difference is a longer cooking time for ginger snaps. This gives them their distinctive “snap.” 

Molasses is always in the recipe as well. Molasses was more affordable in colonial times when these recipes were developed and helps to harden the dough as it cools. 

Traditionally, these cookies are rolled in granulated sugar just before being baked. If you want something a little different, you can add cinnamon to the sugar. 

How to make Ginger Snap Cookies Collage

Ingredients for this recipe

  • Shortening: Shortening makes cookies more tender and chewy, I recommend sticking with it to get the best texture. But you could also use butter or a mixture of the two, the cookies will be crispier and spread more.
  • Granulated sugar: Only white sugar is used in this recipe, no brown sugar.
  • Molasses: This recipe works best with dark molasses. It gives it flavor without overpowering the spices.
  • Egg and Baking soda: Provide leavening and make the cookies puff up which produces the cracks when they cool down
  • All-purpose flour and salt
  • Ground ginger and Cinnamon: Adds the distinctive flavor and makes the cookies so flavorful.

How to make this recipe

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine shortening and granulated sugar. Add molasses and eggs and mix until combined. In a separate bowl combine flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. Add flour mixture to wet mixture and beat until combined. The dough should be soft but not be overly sticky.
  2. Pinch off small amounts of cookie dough and roll into 1-inch diameter balls between your hands. Roll each ball in granulated sugar and place 2 inches apart on the baking sheet.
  3. Bake until the cookies are rounded and slightly cracked. They will look slightly puffy.
  4. Let cookies sit on baking sheet for 5 minutes then transfer to a cooling rack. They will flatten and tops will crack more while cooling.

What kind of molasses should I use?

Molasses is a byproduct of making sugar from the raw ingredients of sugar cane and sugar beets. Boiling the sweetener creates what we know as molasses. 

There are five different types of molasses you will find in grocery stores. Each has a different color and use. 

  • Light molasses has only been processed once. It is the sweetest variety available. It is used as syrup for pancakes
  • Dark molasses has been boiled twice leaving a thicker consistency. It is not as sweet and even has a bit of bitterness to it. This is what we use for gingerbread and ginger snap cookies. 
  • Blackstrap molasses has been boiled a third time, leaving it with a strong bittersweet flavor. It is used almost exclusively in baking and cooking because of the bitter quality. 
  • Treacle is much sweeter with a very mild flavor. It is usually a blend of molasses and refined syrup.
  • Sorghum molasses comes from a different plant altogether. The juice from the sorghum plant is cook and clarified leaving it very clear and smooth. 

Dark molasses will provide the slightly bitter taste we associate with gingerbread cookies without overpowering the ginger. If you prefer a bold molasses flavor, you could also use blackstrap molasse. 

How to make the cookies crispier

If you follow this recipe exactly, you will have a cookie that is chewy on the inside and crisp on the outside. If you want a little more crunch, follow these tips:

  • Keep the dough pretty thin. You can add a splash of milk or water if it seems too thick. On the other hand, if it is too thin, you can add flour one tablespoon at a time until it is the desired consistency. 
  • Keep the cookies all the same small size. Use a cookie scoop to measure out enough the batter. If they aren’t all the same size, you will have some that aren’t as crisp as others. 
  • Be generous in rolling the ginger snap cookies in sugar
  • Flatten the cookie a bit before baking
  • Leave them in the oven for an extra minute or two. The cookies puff up while cooking and then will crack and deflate while cooling. 
  • Leave the container uncovered overnight
Cookies on a plate

How long do they last?

Ginger molasses cookies will last for up to two weeks when stored in a cool dry place. Keep them tightly sealed to avoid any moisture. 

One batch of ginger snaps makes about 60 one-inch cookies. That makes them great for gifts or desserts for a party. 

If you want to make them in advance, you can freeze them for up to three months. Just let them sit at room temperature for a few hours to thaw. 

Ginger Snap Cookie with a glass of milk
Servings: 60 cookies

Ginger Snap Cookies

Ginger snap cookies are soft and chewy on the inside with a crisp exterior. The combination of ginger and cinnamon provides a sharp distinctive flavor. 
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Course: Cookie
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Ginger Snap Cookie
Calories: 165kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 cups shortening
  • 3 cups granulated sugar, plus more for rolling
  • 3/4 cup molasses
  • 3 large eggs
  • 5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 Tbsp ground ginger
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 3 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C) and line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine shortening and granulated sugar. Add molasses and eggs and mix until combined.
  • In a separate bowl combine flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. Add flour mixture to wet mixture and beat until combined. The dough should be soft but not be overly sticky.
  • Pinch off small amounts of cookie dough and roll into 1-inch diameter balls between your hands. Roll each ball in granulated sugar and place 2 inches apart on the baking sheet.
  • Bake until cookies are rounded and slightly cracked about 10-12 minutes. Let cookies sit on baking sheet for 5 minutes then transfer to cooling rack. They will flatten and tops will crack more while cooling.

Notes

  • Instead of rolling the balls in sugar you can also roll them in cinnamon sugar.
  • This recipe makes lots of cookies. Perfect for edible gifts!
  • If the dough is too sticky add some flour, one Tbsp at a time.
  • A cookie scoop works well to divide the dough into balls.
  • Cookies will puff up in the oven and then crack while cooling down. 
  • If you like your gingersnaps crispy, leave them in the oven for one or two extra minutes or leave them out uncovered overnight.
  • They keep for 2 weeks stored in an airtight container in a cool place (I use cookie tins)

Nutrition Information

Calories: 165kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 8mg | Sodium: 89mg | Potassium: 80mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 12IU | Calcium: 13mg | Iron: 1mg
Did you make this recipe?Share it on Instagram and tag @platedcravings or #platedcravings!