Soft Ginger-Molasses Cookies and Ginger Syrup

Recipe by PJ Hamel

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  - select to zoom
Soft Ginger-Molasses Cookies and Ginger Syrup  - select to zoom
Soft Ginger-Molasses Cookies and Ginger Syrup  - select to zoom
Soft Ginger-Molasses Cookies and Ginger Syrup  - select to zoom


Prevent your screen from going dark as you follow along.
  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, 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 the ginger cookies 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.

Tips from our Bakers

  • To make your own ginger syrup: Slice 368g (13 ounces) fresh ginger root, unpeeled, into 1/8" or 1/4" slices (a food processor makes short work of this task. You should have about 4 cups. In a large, heavy saucepan, bring the ginger, 3 1/2 cups (695g) granulated sugar, and 3 1/2 cups (794g) water to a boil. Boil the mixture for 45 to 60 minutes, until it registers 216°F to 220°F on a digital 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. 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. 

  • 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.
  • 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.