Gingersnap Cookies

Gingersnap Cookies

 The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 12 mins
Total: 22 mins
Servings: 18 servings
Yield: 36 cookies
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
157 Calories
9g Fat
17g Carbs
2g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 18
Amount per serving
Calories 157
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 9g 12%
Saturated Fat 4g 18%
Cholesterol 15mg 5%
Sodium 146mg 6%
Total Carbohydrate 17g 6%
Dietary Fiber 1g 2%
Total Sugars 6g
Protein 2g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 16mg 1%
Iron 1mg 5%
Potassium 91mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Gingersnaps have been enjoyed for centuries. In fact, the early versions of these spiced cookies were likely invented by medieval monks in Germany as early as the 13th century. The recipes were passed down through the generations and found their way to America with the early colonists. They are still enjoyed to this day, especially around the holidays.

The moment you smell the aroma of molasses, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and nutmeg wafting from the oven, you know the holidays are near. These classic cookies make the perfect edible holiday gift. They're easy to roll and bake and they keep well in an airtight container. Bake up a few batches to give away to friends and family and take a batch along to your next holiday cookie exchange. The spiciness of the ginger and the richness of molasses pairs well with a warm cup of tea or coffee. Of course, during the holidays they also taste great when served with a hot mug of mulled wine.

For added flair, these gingersnap cookies can be rolled in other types of sugar besides the granulated kind. Try rolling the cookie dough in coarser demerara sugar or turbinado sugar for additional texture and sparkle to the finished cookies.


  • 3/4 cup shortening, or softened butter

  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar, plus more for rolling

  • 4 tablespoons molasses

  • 1 egg

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 2 teaspoons baking soda

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves

  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger

  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Gather the ingredients
     The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Prepare two cookie sheets by lining with parchment paper.

  3. Combine the butter or shortening, sugar, molasses, and egg in a large bowl until light and fluffy. 

    Mix shortening, sugar, molasses, and egg
     The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  4. Stir together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and nutmeg in another bowl.

    Mix dry ingredients
     The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  5. Stir the flour mixture into the molasses mixture. 

    Mix dry and wet ingredients
     The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  6. Form the dough into 1-inch balls using a 1 tablespoon scoop, and roll in additional granulated sugar. 

    Roll gingersnap dough in sugar
     The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  7. Place each ball 2 inches apart on prepared cookie sheets. Bake for 12 minutes for a softer cookie and longer for a crisper cookie.

    Bake Gingersnap Cookies
     The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  8. Cool on a wire rack.

    Cool Gingersnap Cookies
     The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  9. Store in an airtight container.

    Gingersnap Cookies Recipe
     The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

Softened Butter vs. Shortening

  • This recipe works well with either softened butter or shortening.
  • Shortening tends to yield a higher, lighter-textured baked goods, while butter tends to result in cookies that are flatter and crisper.
  • Butter imparts more of its own rich flavor in a recipe while shortening remains a neutral flavor, allowing spices to really shine.
  • Shortening is soft at room temperature, so if time is of the essence and you don't have any butter softened, it is a good option.
  • You may be pleased to know that many major shortening brands now make all of their shortening products without trans fats.