Soft Ginger-Molasses Cookies and Ginger Syrup

Dark, rich, and soft/chewy, these are everything you'd expect in an old-fashioned ginger-molasses cookie. For a slightly lighter cookie with milder, more "gingery" flavor, substitute ginger syrup (or see the recipe below) for some of the molasses, as directed.

15 mins
10 mins
25 mins
about 3 1/2 dozen palm-size (abut 3") cookies
Soft Ginger-Molasses Cookies and Ginger Syrup


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease (or line with parchment) two baking sheets.

  2. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until they're light and fluffy.

  3. Beat in the molasses (or molasses and ginger syrup), baking soda, salt, and spices.

  4. Add the eggs, beating well and scraping down the sides of the bowl to make sure everything is incorporated.

  5. Stir in the flour.

  6. Scoop the soft dough into 1 1/2" balls; a tablespoon cookie scoop works well here.

  7. Roll them in granulated sugar, coarse sugar, or pearl sugar.

  8. Space the cookies on the prepared baking sheets, leaving about 2 1/2" between them.

  9. Bake them for 10 minutes. The centers will look soft and puffy; that's OK.

  10. Remove the cookies from the oven, and cool them on the pan for 10 minutes before transferring them to a rack to cool completely.

  11. To make easy, pretty shaped cookies, use a cutter smaller than the cookie to cut a shape from the center of each cookie, while the cookies are still mildly warm. Serve both the original cookies, and the shapes you've cut from them.

  12. To make ginger syrup, in a large, heavy saucepan, bring the ginger, sugar, and water to a boil.

  13. Boil the mixture for 45 to 60 minutes, until it registers 216°F to 220°F on an instant-read or candy thermometer. The lower temperature will give you a thinner syrup, one that's easy to stir into drinks; the higher temperature will yield a thicker syrup, better for baking. You can't tell how thick the syrup will be while it's still hot; you have to go by its temperature, as it'll thicken as it cools.

  14. Remove the pan from the burner and carefully strain the syrup into a non-reactive container. Store in the refrigerator indefinitely. Yield: about 2 1/4 cups syrup.

Tips from our Bakers

  • Which sugar is best for coating these cookies? Well, take your pick: granulated sugar (1/2 cup) will disappear as the cookies bake, leaving merely the faintest crunch on the crust. Coarse white sugar (1 cup) will add sparkle and mild crunch. Bright white pearl sugar (a heaping 1 cup) will add contrast and a more assertive crunch.
  • For a lighter-colored, even more gingery cookie, use 1/2 cup ginger syrup in place of the 1/2 cup molasses. Increase the ground ginger to 1 1/4 teaspoons, and decrease the ground cloves to 1/2 teaspoon. Add 1 cup diced crystallized ginger to the dough at the same time you add the flour. Bake the cookies for 11 minutes.