Chef John's Gingersnap Cookies


The amazing spicy-sweet flavor and irresistible texture of these gingersnap cookies will please even a non-cookie eater like me. I like to add candied ginger, ground ginger, cayenne, and black pepper. You can adjust the spices and cooking time to suit your tastes but remember, they're called ginger snaps for reasons other than texture!

Prep Time:
30 mins
Cook Time:
20 mins
Additional Time:
1 hr
Total Time:
1 hr 50 mins
4 1/2 dozen cookies


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger

  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon

  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda

  • ½ teaspoon fine salt

  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves

  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

  • teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

  • cup white sugar

  • cup finely minced candied ginger

  • ¼ cup molasses

  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1 large egg, beaten

  • ½ cup white sugar, or as needed for rolling cookies


  1. Whisk 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons flour, ground ginger, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, cloves, black pepper, and cayenne together in a large mixing bowl until thoroughly mixed.

  2. Cream together butter and 2/3 cup sugar in a separate bowl until pale yellow and creamy, about 2 minutes. Add candied ginger, molasses, vanilla, and egg. Whisk mixture until well blended. Add flour mixture to butter mixture and stir just until the flour disappears. Cover dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled, about 1 hour.

  3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Pour 1/2 cup white sugar into a shallow dish for rolling cookies.

  4. Scoop out about 1 1/2 teaspoons dough with a small scoop or teaspoon. Form dough into balls and roll in white sugar. Place cookies on the prepared baking sheet. Slightly flatten cookies to about 1/4-inch thick; sprinkle with a pinch more sugar.

  5. Bake in batches in the preheated oven until cookies are your desired crispiness or chewiness, 10 to 15 minutes.

    close up view of a stack of Gingersnap Cookies on parchment paper
    Chef John

Cook's Note:

Depending on the exact size of your dough balls, and how crispy, or chewy, you want these, the baking times will vary from 10 to 15 minutes. So start with a small batch and adjust for doneness and texture. For me, cookies baked for 14 minutes were perfectly crisp. Those baked for 11 minutes were chewy on the inside and crisp on the outside.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

64 Calories
3g Fat
10g Carbs
1g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 54
Calories 64
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 3g 3%
Saturated Fat 2g 8%
Cholesterol 7mg 2%
Sodium 54mg 2%
Total Carbohydrate 10g 4%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Protein 1g
Vitamin C 0mg 1%
Calcium 7mg 1%
Iron 0mg 2%
Potassium 45mg 1%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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