Soft ginger cookies

In my kitchen, I want Christmas cookies to relieve anxiety, not create it. These soft ginger cookies check all the boxes for me: comfortingly pliable and buttery, with the festive spices of ginger and cinnamon, they are also easy (obvs), quick (no chilling/rolling/frosting) and long lasting (for sending/gifting). Adapted from Allrecipes.


  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup (12 tablespoons; 1 1/2 sticks) butter, softened at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar (granulated, brown, or a mix – see notes)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup molasses (light or dark)
  • 1 tablespoon orange juice (or water)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). In a bowl, mix flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, cloves and salt. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together softened butter and sugar. Add an egg and beat well. Mix in molasses and orange juice (or water). Gradually add in flour mixture and stir until just combined.
  3. Drop cookies by spoonful onto an ungreased baking sheet, spacing them about 2 inches apart.
  4. The cookies are best slightly underbaked, so bake until just done, 8-10 minutes. Tops should no longer look wet, and edges will be starting to brown. (And don’t worry if you overbake; the cookies will just be less soft, more chewy, but still good.)

Makes 24-30 cookies.


  • For a chunkier cookie: use 1/2 cup butter (instead of 3/4) and 3/4 cup sugar (instead of 1 cup). And if you want to use a mix of white and brown sugar, that would be 6 tablespoons of each (1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons).
  • Granulated sugar gives a lighter taste and slightly crispier texture; brown sugar gives a softer texture with a slightly stronger taste. Usually I split the difference and use 1/2 granulated, 1/2 brown. And if you want to use a mix of white and brown sugar, that would be 6 tablespoons of each (1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons).
  • In general, shortening makes a thicker cookie, but butter is better for flavor. I use all butter, even though it gives a flatter (but still nicely soft) cookie.
  • Rolling the balls of dough in sugar gives a nice effect, but be warned the dough is sticky. If you have time to chill it first, the dough will handle more easily.
  • I don’t find that refrigerating the dough helps the all-butter dough bake up thicker, but you can certainly refrigerate or freeze the dough ahead and bake it later. It also works well to freeze cookies after they are baked.
  • For a stronger ginger flavor, add crystallized ginger, roughly chopped (up to 3/4 cup).
  • Stored in an airtight container, these cookies stay perfectly soft and surprisingly fresh for a week or more, which makes them ideal for gifting.

Here’s a link back to the post and pictures.