These Big, Soft Ginger Cookies are the best of both worlds. They have all the flavour of a gingerbread cookie, but unlike traditional gingerbreads, these cookies are round and soft and chewy. This recipe can be modified for gluten-free, dairy-free diets as well.
Soft Gingerbread Cookie Recipe
One of the best cookie recipes I have in my collection of favourites is this recipe for soft ginger cookies.
These cookies are the perfect combination between a soft and chewy homemade cookie and a classic gingerbread cookie. They’re easy to make, and everyone always loves them.
I love the flavour of gingerbread – the warm spicy flavours of ginger, cinnamon and cloves always reminds me of the holidays.
What I don’t love about the classic style of gingerbread cookies is how hard and crunchy they are. And of course, the fact that people only ever make them at Christmas time.
Good news: this ginger cookie recipe makes a cookie that tastes like a soft and chewy gingerbread cookie, and because it’s not shaped like a traditional gingerbread cookie, you can make these ginger cookies all year round.
Great recipe for a cookie exchange!
Be sure to make some for your Christmas cookie exchange. Your friends will love you for it.
Give these ginger cookies as gifts for teachers and neighbours!
I make these cookies all year round because my family and my daycare hooligans love them.
We often package them up in cellophane bags, and give these cookies at Christmas to teachers, neighbours, the school bus driver, and they’re always a huge hit.
One of the things the kids love about making them is that they get to press a design into each cookie before we bake them. We use a heavy glass with a pattern cut into the bottom of it.
You can usually find glasses like this at the thrift shop, so look there before going out and buying new.
These cookies stay soft!
What I love best about this recipe, aside from the amazing flavour of course, is that these cookies stay soft for as long as you store them. Not that you’ll have to store them for long. If they’re as popular at your house as they are at mine, they’lll be gone in a flash.
Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Options
Edited to Add: My son recently developed an intolerance for gluten and lactose, so I’ve been experimenting with some of my favourite recipes to see if I can modify them for him. I’m happy to say, these soft ginger cookies turned out beautifully when I replaced the All-Purpose flour with gluten-free 1-for-1 flour and the margarine with vegan margarine.
Big Soft Ginger Cookie Recipe
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- 2 & 1/4 c. all-purpose flour (if making gluten-free, I use Bob’s Red Mill 1-for-1 Flour)
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 3/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3/4 c margarine (if making lactose-free, I use Becel Vegan Margarine)
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp water
- 1/4 c molasses
- 1/4 cup white sugar (or more) for tossing dough balls in.
How to Make Soft Ginger Cookies
Preheat oven to 350º F.
STEP 1: In a medium bowl, sift together your flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves and salt, and set aside.
STEP 2: In a large bowl, cream together the margarine and one cup of sugar.
STEP 3: Next, beat in your egg and then stir in your water and molasses.
STEP 4: Stir your dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.
NOTE: Once they’re blended together, cover and refrigerate the bowl for at least 20 minutes. This will firm up the dough so it’s not too sticky to roll into balls.
STEP 5: Once your dough has firmed up, roll it into walnut-sized balls.
STEP 6: Now, this is where the extra 1/4 cup of sugar comes in. Toss the balls of cookie dough in a bowl of white sugar until they’re lightly coated. I usually put 3 balls in a bowl at the same time, and shake them around until they’re nicely coated.
STEP 7: Place the balls of dough on a baking sheet and press them with the bottom of a patterned glass until they’re about 1/4 inch thick. If your dough sticks to the glass, press the glass into a bit of white sugar first.
Now, pop your cookies in the oven and bake for 8-10 minutes.
Note: I bake my cookies on a baking stone, and I leave them in for the full 10 minutes.
Store your big, soft ginger cookies in an air tight container.
Big Soft Ginger Cookies
- 2¼ cups flour
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ¾ tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground cloves
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¾ cups margarine
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp water
- ¼ c molasses
- ¼ cup white sugar to toss dough balls in
- Preheat oven to 350º F.
- Sift together flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, salt and set aside.
- In a large bowl, cream together margarine and the 1 cup of sugar.
- Beat in egg.
- Stir in water and molasses.
- Gradually stir in dry ingredients.
- Set dough covered in fridge for 20 mins to an hour until no longer sticky.
- Shape walnut-sized balls.
- Roll in Sugar and with the bottom of a pattterned glass, flatten each ball to ¼ inch.
- If dough sticks to bottom of glass, press glass into bowl of sugar first.
- Bake 8-10 minutes.
- Store in an air-tight container.
You may also enjoy these recipes:
- White Chocolate and Cranberry Cookies
- Pumpkin Chip Cookies
- Easiest White Chocolate-Dipped Gingerbread Cookies SaveSave
Jackie is a mom, wife, home daycare provider, and the creative spirit behind Happy Hooligans. She specializes in kids’ crafts and activities, easy recipes, and parenting. She began blogging in 2011, and today, Happy Hooligans inspires more than 2 million parents, caregivers and Early Years Professionals all over the globe.
bull in the kitchen
Beautiful. A must add to my ever growing christmas cookie list.
Glad you think so! Let me know how you like them if you make them!
Tried the delicious cookies with butter….Loved them but was disappointed that they did not keep the design….Looked like a normal cookie…Did everything to a tee except for the butter….Do you think that was the problem
That seems to be what others have found as well, Gail. You need to use margarine for the design to hold.
maggy,red ted art
Oh my! What a clever clever idea to use the glass!!!
Those look SOOOO delicious! My favorite kind of cookie…I’ll be trying them out this weekend!
YUM! Pinning this recipe!
Fabulous idea using the glass! I pinned this recipe also and will be making these for our Christmas party.
Glad you like! They’re perfect for a Christmas party!
These look beautifully delicious and I can’t wait to try them out. I’m wondering if you’ve ever made them with butter instead of margarine?
Pinning this recipe 🙂
I emailed you, Mary, with my answer to your question, but in case anyone else is wondering, no, I haven’t tried them with butter just in case it affected the way they turned out.
Thanks for sharing this delicious recipe! I tried it with butter today… took a bit more effort to whip but other than that, no complaints! I’m not sure whether the margarine makes them softer but mine were just chewy enough 😀 And my daughters loved it!
I am going to have to look for a drinking glass with a pretty bottom.
I love how you got the pattern on them. So fab
That’s brilliant Jackie, they look very professional. Now you got me hunting around for a decorative glass. All purpose flour is the Self raising flour or plain flour?getting into the spirit of Christmas with your help. :0
Thank you for linking to ~afterschoolFun
Those are almost exactly like our favourite family cookie! Just one tiny difference. I love the way you’ve presented them, Jackie!
Hi! Going to try these with my 2.5-year-old son for giving to our family friends. Do you know if they freeze well?
I’ve never tried freezing them Janet, sorry. I really don’t know if they’d do well or not in the freezer.
OK, thanks! I guess that’s a good sign… they don’t last long enough!
Haha! Yes, with a husband, 2 teenage boys and a day-care, nothing lasts long enough to freeze around here. Except maybe broccoli…
They freeze okay; I microwaved them to make them softer, and they were good, but they’re definitely better pre-freezing.
I have two boys (only 1 and 2.5 at this point), so I anticipate this not being an issue with us either soon enough. 🙂
We made these to give to all our friends at Christmas! They were a hit, and we’ll make these every year.
Good to know, Janet! (not that I’ll ever find myself with enough left to freeze lol)
About how many cookies does this make?
A couple dozen, Mindi.
Making these as we speak! Delish! First batch did not hold beautiful design from glass I picked up at thrift store today. Any ideas? Going to try to chill after pressing to see if it helps.
Did you chill the dough first, Lois? I usually put mine in the fridge for an hour or so to let it firm up.
I used a ceramic cookie stamp instead of a glass to flatten the cookies, and so I really wanted to make sure they would hold their shape. I used shortening instead of margarine because it tends to hold shapes better (and margarine holds better than butter) and I switched baking powder for baking soda so they wouldn’t rise as much and lose the stamp imprint. It worked great!
Thanks for the recipe. I made them last night for office gifts and they were a hit! These reminded me of when I was very young and made ginger snaps with my mother….the smell in my home was warm and cozy! Thank you for the memory!
Just a couple of tips…I kept the dough in the fridge while cookies were baking. Otherwise the dough was too sticky. The size balls I rolled were about an inch in diameter & they came out about 2″ big…not as big as what yours seem to be, but I did get 4 dozen cookies out of your recipe! Awesome AND delicious!
Glad the cookies were a hit, Kathryn! I usually put the batter in the fridge between batches too. I should mention that in the post. I think I’ll try making mine a little smaller next time. The big ones are great, but they go so fast! Maybe more, smaller cookies would last a little longer. Thanks for the tip!
To the lady who asked about using butter… my sister (a veteran cookie baker at age 82) says that the shape of the cookie won’t hold up using butter. In her experience the butter makes the cookies ‘spread out’. The lady above, who tried it, didn’t mention anything about their shape.
I am allergic to cloves. Do you think I would I need to adjust the recipe in any other way if I omitted the cloves? I love soft ginger cookies! Thanks.
There’s such a small amount, I don’t think I’d worry about substituting anything in its place, Andrea. You’ve got the ginger and cinnamon in there for plenty of flavour.
I live in South Africa so our Decembers are very hot, but I am so excited and am going to try them. Thanks.
I have fresh ginger, do you think I could sub that in this recipe for the (powdered) ground ginger? I have that too, but thought I’d try fresh. Any thoughts?
I love ginger so added some fresh grated ginger along with the powdered ginger, However as a powder it is mixed all in the dough so do not think fresh by its self will give the same flavor. I also used butter as it will always taste better.
Any chance you have a metric conversion for the measurements? We Brits don’t tend to use cups for baking! Thanks
I don’t, Rachel, but if you google “measurement converter”, you’ll find plenty of sites that you can use to convert any measurement you need.
Thanks! I’m on it, they look delicious!
Could you use something other than molasses? Just wondering if I could substitute for something I have on hand, agave syrup, maple syrup, honey?
A friend posted this on FB & I can’t wait to give them a try. Also, I love that the pretty shape is made by simply using the bottom of a glass, no fancy equipment needed!
Have you ever lightly frosted them? If so, do you have a recipe for frosting?
I haven’t frosted them, Susan. I image you could, though. Wish I had a recipe to share with you, but I’m sure if you google “cookie frosting”, you’ll get plenty of suggestions. Good luck!
My son absolutely LOVES these cookies. I make them with whole wheat flour. He and his friends scarf them down!
Great to hear that the healthier version is just as delicious. I’ll have to make them that way and try them out!
When you put baking soda, do you mean baking powder or bicarbonate of soda? Bit different here in uk. Not sure which to use!
It would be the same as your bicarbonate of soda, Emily. 🙂
These are the best ginger cookies I have ever made, easy recipe. Thank you so much. I give them 5 stars
These are awesome!!!!! I didn’t have any molasses on hand, so I used honey. Taste fabulous and they are so soft!!! Love!
Great idea, Kara! Thanks for the suggestion!
They are absolutely delicious, made for my nieces birthday party. Even my non-ginger loving husband likes them! X thank you
Can you post this with quantities in g or oz for uk readers please x
Natalie, I am in Canada, I don’t know what your measurements are there, but if you google “conversions” there are lots of sites what will convert for you.
Look delicious! Is there an easy way to print the recipe? I tried highlighting — no success. Clicking print gives me 11 pages. Suggestions?
I really have to figure out how to do printables, Myrna. I’m sorry. 🙁 I wonder if you can take a screen shot of it, and post that?
If you right click on the recipe, you can go to print preview and print the 2 first pages, and leave out all the comments
Thank you, that worked. I also saved it in Mastercook.
I had trouble finding a glass with a nice bottom pattern, until I looked at home and discovered my seldom-used crystal wine glasses have a beautiful pattern! Will try these soon!
these taste wonderful and the house smells amazing! However, the pattern did not show up anything like yours. thoughts?
I’m not really sure what might’ve happened Joyce? You may need to apply more pressure when making your prints next time. Glad you loved the taste though!
I have the exact same glass and used it but the pattern disappeared. I used butter, maybe that’s why, taste is good though.
I can’t use margarine. Would butter or coconut oil be better you think? Or even lard for that matter.
I’ve heard people say they’ve used butter, and the cookies taste great, but they won’t necessarily hold the pattern that you press into them.
Next time I will try using margarine. The pattern just makes them look so festive. 🙂
How many does this recipe make?? I need to make 9 dozen so need to know….lol
Depends on how big you make them. I make them using whole wheat flour and I get 5 1/2 dozen.
I’ve had this basic gingerbread cookie recipe for years, and years, and years, but never thought of “fancying” it up like this. What a terrific idea.
These are my son’s favorite and his best friend’s favorite. I make them with 100% whole wheat.
I literally do not have a single glass tumbler to do this with. The day I found out I was pregnant I bought all plastic restaurant style cups. haha
I made a vegan version of these by replacing egg with flax egg & Earth Balance margarine. Turned out beautifully! Flax is 1 tablespoon ground flax mixed with 1.5 table spoons water.
okay, I just made these and they were successful with butter. I divided the batter into 40 even balls and coated the balls in sugar. I returned the balls to the fridge and only took out one dozen at a time. cooked at 350 for 9 minutes. I didn’t press them (although that is what appealed to me) but the flavor was excellent, they cooked evenly, and the color uniform.
These were yummy!! I also used butter (margarine is scary). I made mine a little small I think. I got almost 60 cookies. The whole family loves them! They’d also make good ice cream sandwiches with vanilla or cinnamon ice cream. 🙂
This is the third time I make these and they don’t hold their shape. I flatten the m with the bottom of a glass and they swell up when cooking and the glass imprint is gone. What should I do????
Are you using butter instead of margarine, Claudette. They won’t hold their shape if you are. Also, did you refrigerate the dough after mixing it?
Sorry Didn’t mean to be so rude….yes I did use margarine and I chilled the dough for an hour after mixing. They are delicious the kids love them but they look nicer when did hold their shape, maybe if I use shortening?
Haha. No worries. I imagine readers don’t always realized that it’s just a regular mom here behind the blog. Just me, and me alone. 🙂 Interesting that the shape didn’t hold even though you used margarine. I’ve only heard people say that happens when they use butter because the cookies tend to spread/flatten out more. I’m not sure if shortening would make a difference or not. Let me know if you try it though, Claudette!
Didn’t get a response to my question…..
Well, I do have a husband and kids and a life. Sorry it took me a couple of hours to get to you. lol I’ve responded to your first question just now.
This is just like the “Big Soft Ginger Cookies” recipe on Allrecipes. Any coincidence?
No co-incidence that I’m aware of, Brooke. I’m sure there are many recipes out there under the same name, as recipes get shared among friends and family, and like me, people love to blog about their favourites.
They are delicious and I flattened them with the bottom of my drinking glass and the imprint stayed after they were cooked..WTG..
Charlotte from AZ
WOW! I will definitely be trying these…love Ginger Cookies! Sounds like they were a hit with 99.9 of your readers. I am amazed tho when readers have to comment such straaaange ones…Really? Criticizing the author of the Blog cause they didn’t get their question answered sooner than 2 hours? Many times I see that questions aren’t answered at all..so what…figure it out! And you found another similar recipe on another site…Man ‘o man…Really? And you’re going to put that in print? Oh well, if we were all alike it would be boring! I love your blog Jackie! Been checking out all of your Christmas ornaments that little ones can make…very cute! Thanks for sharing!!
Aw, thanks for your support and encouragement, Charlotte. 🙂 I think people really forget that bloggers are real human beings with real lives. lol In addition to writing and maintaining my blog, I’m trying to keep up with my facebook page, which has 1/2 million followers, and of course – then there’s my life as a mom and wife, the house-work, the errands… so, you know…. a little bit busy here. Heehee. Glad folks like you can appreciate that, and see the humour in the comment thread. xx
I have been making this recipe for a couple years now and each time I make it, it’s always the same. There is no way you can make balls with this, even after its been in the fridge for 20 minutes. It’s still sticky.
So, what I just do is put spoonfuls on the cookie sheet and sprinkle a little sugar on top and bake them like that and they still come out yummy.
If anyone else has had a similar situation as me, please let me know or if you’ve been able to get your dough to be able to rolled into balls.
How strange that you can’t form balls with your dough, Kristina. I make these cookies every couple of months, and I never have a problem rolling the dough into balls with my hands. I’ve actually blogged the recipe twice, and the dough balls that you see in the photos, are of me rolling my dough into balls.
Wow! This was the weirdest thing to pop into my Facebook feed via a friend. It’s a total case of “I thought I was the only one.” We use similar recipes but both of us use the star bottomed glass to press the cookies and I also bake them on stoneware. The star bottom of the glass really makes the cookies look so pretty and the stoneware is what makes them soft, I swear by it. I also use the star bottom glass to make my shortbread cookies. Thanks for putting this out there so it could find it’s way to me and make me smile. Happy baking!
It make me so happy to know I brought a smile to your face today, Richelle! So crazy that we both do the same thing with the same type of cookie. I’m definitely going to try it with my shortbreads now that you’ve mentioned it! <3
These cookies are truly AMAZING ! They are soft and scrumptious. I used butter instead of margarine. That is a preference of mine. I didn’t get the design from the glass but it doesn’t matter to me. It’s all about the flavor/taste. My husband loves them as well. This will be my go to recipe for ginger cookies.
FYI, I made your carrot cake a week or so ago and it was VERY GOOD and will make again.
Next I will be making your peanut butter cookies for my husband to take to the office.
I have many recipe books as well as my own and I can truly say you have wonderful recipes.
Oh my goodness! Your comment just made my week, Nancy! I’m thrilled that you loved my cookies and my carrot cake. Hopefully you love the PB cookies too. You have to try my crazy banana cake! I can never decide which is better – that or the carrot cake. They’re neck and neck! Blessings to you. x
These cookies were delicious, however they were flat as pancakes. They only thing I did differently was to use dark corn syrup instead of molasses. & I used butter instead of margarine. Could either of those be the cause? Otherwise they are delicious!!! PS I have been making the “Best Ever Carrot Cake & Banana cakes for a couple of years now & they are my families favorites! I was also told that my carrot cake was better than a local restaurant’s. Like it says…Best Ever!! Thank you for all your recipes!
Yes, butter and margarine yield different results when you’re making cookies. I’m not sure if the corn syrup and molasses would as well, but it’s possible. I’m so glad you enjoyed them though, and really happy that you love our carrot cake and banana cake!