Grandma’s Ginger Cookies

4.75 from 4 votes

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My Grandma’s ginger cookie recipe is a timeless tribute that showcases the very best in life. We make these Christmas cookies every year and now are kids make them.

Read on and we’ll show you how to make this magical recipe in just 25 minutes!

A Christmas cookie with a candy cane

About these Ginger Cookies?

My grandma imparted the love of baking, especially cookies.  She made a great variety of cookies every Christmas. I think that my entire family, far and wide, waited for her to work her way into her kitchen and create these little masterpieces.

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Each one of us had our favorite cookies that she made.  I happened to have 2 favorites – you can’t blame me, they were all delicious. The first one was her Christmas Cherry Cookies.  If you haven’t read my previous post or tried baking those yet, I urge you to do so.  My second favorite was her ginger cookies.

Grandma’s ginger cookies are actually a molasses cookie with a hint of ginger. Soft and chewy, these showcase the flavor friendship between ground ginger and molasses.

Ingredients and notes

(New to baking?  Learn how to make cookies from our own in-house professional chef, CIA-trained Chef Kat.)

Flour, sugar, molasses, and other ingredients for making ginger cookies.

These easy ginger cookies feature a short list of ingredients. Aside from the baking ingredients, this recipe features ginger and molasses.

  • For the Molasses: Use a light molasses to keep the flavor profile on the mellow side.
  • For the Ginger: We use 5 teaspoons of ground ginger in this recipe.

This is a great cookie recipe for people with egg allergies because we don’t use eggs in these.

How to make them

(See the recipe card at the end of this post for the complete recipe)

You’ll need a few basic kitchen tools for these homemade ginger cookies.

  • Mixing bowls
  • A rubber spatula
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Baking sheets
  • Parchment paper (optional)

Preheat your oven to 350° and then put your baking hat on!

Mixing cookie dough in a red mixing bowl.
  1. Cream the sugar and shortening together. Then add the combined water and molasses.
  2. Add the ginger.
  3. Stir in the flour, salt, and baking soda.
  4. Use a rubber spatula to stir it all together. Make sure you scrape the sides of the bowl well when mixing.
Rolling out cookie dough and putting it on a baking sheet.

5. Roll the dough out to a 1/4-inch thickness, on a lightly floured hard surface.

6. Use cookie cutters to cut the dough.

7. Use a spatula to transfer the cut-out cookie dough to a baking sheet.

8. Bake these on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet for 6-9 minutes.

Sprinkling sugar on ginger cookies.
Sprinkling sugar on an unbaked cookie.
Use any fun shape you want when cutting these ginger Christmas cookies!

Frequent recipe questions

How can I make these crisper or more chewy?

The cookie is very versatile and can be rolled a little thinner to make more of a crisper cookie, or for those of us that like a nice chewy cookie can be rolled a little thicker to make a more chewy texture.

How do I store these?

You can make these ahead of time and freeze for up to 2 months. Or, keep them in an air-tight container for up to 10 days at room temperature.

These cookies can be cut into any shape that you want. My kids prefer the ever so classic gingerbread man.

They can be decorated as simply as with a little granulated sugar, or can as elaborately with different colored sugars or icings. Your imagination is the only thing that can limit you from being as creative as you want.

A trio of ginger cookies with a candy cane.

Whatever shapes you decide to make them or however you decide to decorate them, these ginger Christmas cookies are surely going to become a staple in your holiday cookie collection.

When someone asks you where you got the recipe from, remember to say, Grandma Brotherton.

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Grandma’s Ginger Christmas Cookies

4.75 from 4 votes
These Christmas ginger cookies are inspired by my grandmother, Alice Marie Brotherton. I miss her dearly and still hold all the love in the world for her.
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 25 minutes
Yield: 24 Cookies


  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup Crisco shortening
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 5 teaspoon ground ginger


  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  • In a bowl cream together sugar and Crisco shortening
  • In a separate bowl mix together molasses and water, stirring to combine
  • Add molasses and water mixture to the creamed sugar and crisco
  • Next add the baking soda, salt and ginger to the mixture
  • Slowly add the flour into the mixture until the dough formed and all of the flour has been incorporated
  • Roll the dough on a floured surface until a 1/4 inch thickness has been achieved
  • Cut the dough with the open end of a glass or a cookie cutter of your choice
  • Place on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Instead of greasing the cookie sheet you may use a piece of parchment paper
  • Sprinkle with granulated sugar or with colored sugar
  • Bake for approximately 6-9 minutes



  • These ginger cookies will store for 10 days in an air-tight container.
  • They can be frozen for up to 2 months.
  • Use light molasses for this recipe.
  • For crispy cookies, roll the dough a bit thinner.
  • For chewy ones, roll the dough a bit thicker.


Calories: 205kcal, Carbohydrates: 30g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 9g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Sodium: 146mg, Potassium: 131mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 14g, Calcium: 18mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Cookies
Cuisine: Holiday
Tried this recipe?Mention @plattertalk or tag #plattertalk!

Meet the Platter Talk Guys

Dan & Scott split their time between Wisconsin and Southwest Florida and are dads to six boys. Good food runs through their veins, and they love showing others how to cook easy recipes.

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  1. Keep the recipes coming! Couldn’t find your latest post, so I selected this one.
    We want to wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas!!
    xo anna and Liz

  2. Hi, I did go ahead and used a one inch scoop to divide up dough, then rolled them smooth and then rolled in granulated sugar. They did not spread out as much as my old recipe but the taste was perfect as far as the molasses and spice measurements. They made a nice round, slightly fat, gingersnap with crinckles. Next time I may try flatteoing them slightly before baking.

  3. Have you ever made these as other than a cut out? I lost somewhere, somehow, my favorite
    ginger snap cookie recipe that I had for almost 40 years. It used Crisco like yours. Every time
    I try to find on the internet they are always using butter.

    You roll the dough in to balls, then roll in granulated sugar. They spread out and crinkle up.
    The recipe was originally handed out by the gas company.

    1. Hi Elizabeth. After talking to my Mom, she states that my Grandmother use to make these cookies as “snaps” as well. The big debate is how she did it. We are not certain if she used a small glass or if she rolled them into balls. However, we think that because this recipe has baking soda in it, that the cookie would expand and flatten as they cook if you roll them into a small ball. The general idea with rolling them into sugar is the same that I do when I sprinkle sugar on them. If you decide to try this recipe and form them into balls, let me know how they turn out. I would assume that you will have to increase the baking time to take into consideration the cookie flattening and crisping up. Either way as a snap or as a cookie, they are delicious. I just made a batch with my Mom today. Thanks for the comment.

  4. I’m totally in love with this! Yummy. Pinned and tweeted. We appreciate you being a part of our party, and I hope to see you on tonight at 7 pm. We love partying with you!
    Happy Monday! Lou Lou Girls

  5. I love handed down family recipes, and I love what you said about your Grandma, “kindness and cookies”. I have a whole host of recipes I inherited from my Nan and Mum but I’m sure I can make room for Grandma Brotherton’s too.

  6. G’day Thx for stopping by and sharing this at our #SayGdayParty Pinned Dan
    Please make sure to return if you haven’t already to G’day to the hosts and someone at the party! Cheers!
    Joanne @ What’s On The List

  7. Dan, These cookies look absolutely perfect. Way to go Grandma Brotherton! Thanks for sharing at Saturday Night Fever.