Soft, Chewy Ginger Cookies

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Ginger cookies cooling on a rack


Dear friends,

This quarantine has brought out some powerful cookie cravings in our household. After we polished off the Girl Scout Thin Mints in the freezer and the honey graham crackers in the pantry, it was time to start baking.

For me, these cookies are everything I  need to survive a pandemic. They’re comforting, and they remind me of the wonderful homemade cookies our mom bakes. They’re soft and chewy, with a happy little crunch when you bite into them. Accompanied by a cold glass of milk or a cup of afternoon tea, they’re pure bliss.

Sweet, Spicy and Sassy

Two ingredients elevate this ginger cookie from classic to sublime. The first is chopped candied ginger, which gives each bite a sweet, spicy jolt. If you don’t have candied ginger, just omit it and your cookies will still be yummy. For this batch, I only put candied ginger in half the cookies because my son prefers the plain version. 

The second ingredient is molasses, which adds old-fashioned richness and sweetness. Molasses is a byproduct of the sugar-making process; it’s made from the brown, syrupy liquid that’s left over after boiling the sugar cane or beets and removing the sugar crystals. Regular baking molasses has the mildest flavor. Unsulphured molasses is made from the juice of sun-ripened sugar cane, and the juice is clarified and concentrated. Blackstrap molasses is very dark and less sweet with a strong flavor.

I like to use a blend of half unsulphured molasses and half blackstrap molasses for a deep, well-balanced flavor. Feel free to use whatever type of molasses you like or have on hand.

Shall we get cooking?

You begin by blending the butter, molasses and egg in one bowl and whisking the flour, baking soda, spices and salt in another bowl.


Two bowls of wet and dry ingredients


Next, you combine to two mixtures and stir until they gradually come together. 


mixing cookie dough


I use my hands to bring the mixture together into a smooth dough. (If you’re using the optional chopped crystallized ginger, add it now and and mix well.) Then it’s time to form the dough in walnut-sized balls and roll in granulated sugar.


cookie dough rolled in sugar


Flatten the balls slightly with the palm of your hand as you arrange them on the prepared baking sheet.


flatten cookie dough balls


After baking for 10 to 12 minutes, cool to room temperature on a wire rack.


ginger cookies cooling


Here’s the easy, printable recipe:


Yield: 36 cookies

Soft, Chewy Ginger Cookies

Ginger cookies cooling on a rack

Old-fashioned ginger cookies are studded with sweet, spicy candied ginger for a burst of flavor in every bite.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Additional Time 5 minutes
Total Time 32 minutes


  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons unsulphured molasses (or substitute regular molasses)
  • 2 tablespoons blackstrap molasses (or substitute regular molasses)
  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon powdered ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped crystallized ginger (optional)
  • granulated sugar for rolling


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Mix the brown sugar, butter, egg and molasses together in a medium bowl until well-blended.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger and cloves. Mix the dry ingredients into the egg mixture and stir until well blended. If you're using the optional chopped crystallized ginger, add it now and and mix well. The mixture will be somewhat sticky and can be refrigerated for a little while, but it’s not necessary.
  4. Using a dining teaspoon, shape the dough in walnut-sized balls (try to get a few pieces of candied ginger in each) and roll in granulated sugar. Arrange on prepared baking sheet 2 inches apart and sprinkle with a little more sugar, if desired.
  5. Bake just until edges are done, tops are crackly, and centers are still soft, about 10 to 12 minutes. (For chewy cookies, don’t overcook.) Cool on a wire rack. Makes about 3 dozen cookies.


You can also make larger cookies, using a dining tablespoon to measure and shape the dough approximately the size of golf balls. After arranging the balls on the baking sheet, flatten them a little with your fingers so they’ll spread more easily when they bake. Sprinkle the tops with a little more sugar to replace the sugar that came off on your fingers, and then bake as usual. You’ll get about 18 oversized cookies from this recipe.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

1 cookie

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 96Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 15mgSodium: 134mgCarbohydrates: 14gFiber: 0gSugar: 9gProtein: 1g

The recipes and nutrition info presented on The YOLO Blog are for entertainment and informational purposes only.

If you enjoy these Soft, Chewy Ginger Cookies, I’d be thrilled if you gave the recipe a 5-star rating.

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Soft Chewy Ginger Cookies


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I love seeing and sharing your culinary creations! If you prepare this recipe and post a photo, tag me on Instagram or Twitter at @elizacross or @theyoloblog or use #TheYOLOBlog hashtag.


What have you been cooking, baking and craving during this quarantine? I’d love to hear from you. And if you make these cookies, let me know what you think. You can leave a comment on this post or email me at mail @ elizacross . com.

Enjoy and stay well,

Signature for Eliza Cross

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4 thoughts on “Soft, Chewy Ginger Cookies”

    • Maybe we should get your pan banging sugar cookies and my sassy ginger cookies together and make a RUCKUS! Much love to you, my sweet friend Kathleen.

  1. The recipe states “Add the chopped crystallized ginger and mix well” and the ingredient list states “1/2 cup chopped crystallized ginger (optional)”. If the chopped crystallized ginger is not added, how does this affect the outcome?

    • Joan, thank you for a good question. If the chopped ginger is omitted, you’ll still have really good, chewy spicy cookies. The only difference is that you won’t have those little bursts of sharp ginger flavor. Not everyone likes candied ginger, so that’s why it’s optional.

      I’m always grateful for questions like yours that indicate a clarification needed in a recipe. Thanks to you taking the time to write, I’ve updated the directions.

      With gratitude,


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