Ginger cookies are a holiday staple in my family, and these crinkle cookies remix the traditional version. They are incredibly soft and chewy, with the perfect balance of spice that we know and love. Cardamom adds a citrusy yet fragrant complement to the classic ginger and molasses flavors, but it’s the hint of lemon that really sets them apart.

Serve these with hot cocoa or a warm mug of apple cider, sit around the fireplace and enjoy the beauty of the holidays.

Recipe notes: The cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days; they do not freeze well. The confectioners’ sugar coating may get sticky after a few days.


  • 2 2/3 cups (335 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup (6 ounces/170 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature but still firm to touch
  • 1/3 cup (67 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup (75 grams) packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 5 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest (from 2 large lemons)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (120 milliliters/185 grams) unsulfured molasses (do not use blackstrap)
  • 1 cup (125 grams) unsifted confectioners’ sugar

Step 1

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda, cardamom and salt until combined.

Step 2

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the butter and granulated and brown sugars and beat on medium-high until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.

Decrease the speed to medium and add the egg yolk, lemon zest and vanilla and mix until well incorporated.

With the mixer running, add the molasses and mix thoroughly; you may need to stop the mixer a few times and scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl with a silicone spatula.

Step 3

Stop the mixer and add the flour mixture in three parts, mixing on low until just combined, and pausing the mixer to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl between additions. The dough will be very soft and pliable. Cover the bowl tightly and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 24 hours.

Step 4

About 15 minutes before you’re ready to bake, position a baking rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees. Line 2 large, rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.

Step 5

While the oven is heating, place the confectioners’ sugar in a medium bowl.

Using a 2-tablespoon cookie scoop (No. 30 disher) or measuring spoon, scoop out the dough and, with cold hands, roll it into a ball between your palms. Thoroughly roll the ball in the confectioners’ sugar and transfer to the prepared baking sheets. Repeat with the remaining dough, spacing the balls 2 inches apart.

Step 6

Bake one sheet at a time for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the cookies are puffy and cracked but the centers remain soft.

Cool the cookies on the baking sheet until set, 5 to 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Repeat with the remaining cookie dough.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 155; Total Fat: 5 g; Saturated Fat: 3 g; Cholesterol: 21 mg; Sodium: 73 mg; Carbohydrates: 26 g; Dietary Fiber: 1 g; Sugar: 14 g; Protein: 2 g.

Adapted from food blogger Jocelyn Delk Adams of Grandbaby Cakes and author of “Grandbaby Cakes” (Agate Surrey, 2015).

Tested by Olga Massov; email questions to

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