Fresh Ginger Cookies for Sweet Snacking

Ginger cookies with fresh ginger can’t be beat for flavor. Serve these easy ginger cookies with a glass of milk or a hot cup of tea, or give them as gifts.

If you love ginger, make up a batch of this easy ginger syrup, too!

square cookies with embossed pattern, tied with red and white twine.

I love the flavor of ginger, no matter the time of year. But as the calendar turns and the days become cooler, the warm spiciness of ginger is even more welcome — I love ginger cookies, especially if they’re served alongside a steaming cup of coffee.


Flour When I bake with all purpose flour I opt for the unbleached version. Bleached flour is very white, but it’s also treated with bleaching agents that I don’t really need in my food. 

Ginger Fresh grated ginger gives these cookies an extra burst of flavor. Choose fresh knobs of ginger and peel if desired, though it’s not necessary. If you opt not to peel, just be sure you wash them well.If you don’t have access to fresh ginger, you can certainly use dried ginger; just use one tablespoon of dried ginger to replace the ground ginger root.

Butter — Use salted butter or unsalted, either will work. If you’re concerned about the level of salt, simply omit the salt called for.

Sweeteners Dark brown sugar and molasses give this recipe the richness that we’ve come to expect with gingerbread flavor.

Spices Ginger cookies are all about that spice! In addition to the ginger, you’ll add cloves, cinnamon, and lemon zest to give these cookies lots of flavor.

cookies in a basket lined with brown linen.

Making the Dough

Combine the dry ingredients together in one bowl. Beat the butter, sugar, and egg in another bowl until creamed together. Add the molasses, vanilla, and lemon zest. 

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until you have a smooth dough. 

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Divide the dough into two dough balls and wrap each in a damp tea towel. Refrigerate for at least two hours or overnight. 

ginger cookie dough with a plain and embossed rolling pin

Shaping the Cookies

This is a rolled ginger cookie recipe, so the first step is to roll the dough. Remove one ball of dough at a time from the fridge and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Use a rolling pin to roll it to a quarter-inch thickness. 

cutting ginger cookie dough into squares with a cookie cutter

Use cookie cutters to shape these easy fresh ginger cookies. Gingerbread people for Christmas, of course, or simply cut into basic squares. You can use a square cookie cutter, or try a pizza cutter.

An embossed rolling pin makes even simple squares look elegant.

To use one, you’ll need to roll the dough out with a standard rolling pin first, then use the embossing rolling pin to leave pretty patterns. Do this before cutting the cookies into shapes.

ginger cookie dough cut into squares

While these easy ginger cookies are great for kicking off the autumn spice season, they’re also good to pack as a road trip snack for those who are predisposed to motion sickness. (The ginger helps with that!)

Make them for a holiday cookie exchange along with these rolled sugar cookies and chocolate cut out cookies and you’ll be the hit of the party!

square cookies on a tray.

★ Did you make these easy ginger cookies with fresh ginger? Give this recipe a star rating below! ★

square cookies with embossed pattern, tied with red and white twine.

Easy Ginger Cookies with Fresh Ginger

Yield: 24 cookies
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

If you love the flavor of ginger cookies like I do, you're going to want to add these to your baking list!


  • 3 cups unbleached organic all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons finely grated fresh ginger root
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar, not packed
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 cup molasses
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest, optional


Make the Dough:

  1. Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves together in a small bowl.
  2. Beat butter, brown sugar, and egg together in a large bowl until well blended. You can do this by hand or in the bowl of your stand mixer on medium speed.
  3. Add molasses, vanilla, and lemon zest; mix until well blended.
  4. Stir in dry ingredients gradually until the dough is smooth.
  5. Divide dough in half. Wrap each half in damp tea towel and refrigerate for two hours or overnight.

Roll and Bake the Cookies:

  1. Generously butter a cookie sheet, or line it with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.
  2. Remove one portion of the cookie dough from fridge. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Sprinkle flour on top of the dough and on the rolling pin.
  3. Roll dough to a quarter-inch thickness, using additional flour if necessary to prevent sticking. To give these easy ginger cookies a pretty pattern, use an embossed rolling pin over the rolled out dough.
  4. Cut cookies into shapes with cookie cutters, or simply cut into squares. Transfer cookies to the cookie sheet, spacing them two inches apart.
  5. Bake at 350F degrees for 7-10 minutes; less time for a soft cookie, more for a crisp one.
  6. Remove from oven; let cookies sit for a couple of minutes until they are firm, then transfer to a wire rack.


If you don’t have access to fresh ginger, you can certainly use dried ginger; just use one tablespoon of dried ginger to replace the ground ginger root.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 24 Serving Size: 1 grams
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 86Total Fat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 14mgSodium: 12mgCarbohydrates: 12gProtein: 1g

Did you make this recipe?

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Originally published in October 2017; this post has been updated.

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About the author: Kris Bordessa is an award-winning National Geographic author and a certified Master Food Preserver. If you want to send Kris a quick message, you can get in touch here.

5 comments… add one
  • Debra Bonham Dec 27, 2018 @ 19:51

    Thank you for the recipe. I am very disappointed in the two rolling pins I bought. They leave no dents in the cookies. The pictures you show have much deeper dents in the rolling pins. I’m so unhappy because I really don’t feel I will even use these. ☹️

    • Kris Bordessa Jan 5, 2019 @ 16:43

      Maybe you can return them?

  • Adrianna Deffes Dec 23, 2018 @ 12:42

    Would not recommend storing in a damp cloth – the ginger flavor of my dough completely evaporated overnight. Was excited at the idea of not needing to use plastic, but it’s probably a necessary step. Cookies are largely flavorless after a night in the fridge. Glad I made a test batch before my party so I knew!

    • Kris Bordessa Dec 27, 2018 @ 16:09

      Thanks for sharing your experience.

  • Michelle Mar 24, 2018 @ 17:08

    Great recipe!

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