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The Ultimate Ginger Cookie

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I’ve made many-a-ginger-cookie, and finally discovered this version from Ina Garten, which really is the “ultimate” ginger cookie!

Ultimate Ginger Cookie

A little crispy on the outside, but then perfectly chewy in the middle. And wonderful, distinct gingery flavor! I doubled the recipe, because I think you’ll find that one batch simply isn’t enough. By the time you’ve tried one—or two, or three—just to make sure they are perfect… and then had your “tasters” try one… you get the picture… And… they are even better the next day. Another reason to love this recipe—I am a huge fan of anything that can be made ahead. You might be surprised that I listed these as kid-friendly, but these are Aja, my toddler’s favorite cookies that I bake.


When I visited my brother, Gary, at his house or furniture factory in Johannesburg (Jo’burg), there was always a big tin of delicious, crunchy, homemade “ginger biscuits” that looked like giant ginger flying saucers!

What? You must be thinking… Well, in South Africa, a “biscuit” is actually what’s known as a cookie here in the U.S., and a “cookie” is what’s known as a cupcake here. I know, pretty confusing. It took me a long time to learn the new lingo! I tried to recreate the experience, but I think sometimes when you convert recipes from “the old country” they just aren’t the same.

I LOVE grating my own nutmeg—it makes me feel very fancy! My microplane grater is one of my favorite tools. I happen to love the taste and smell of nutmeg, and it is definitely much fresher and more flavorful if you grind it yourself. And there’s something so cute about those little nutmegs—look like acorns.

The Ultimate Ginger Cookie

Ina Garten
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes


  • 4 ½ cups 22oz or 1 lb 6 oz all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 4 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 scant teaspoons cloves
  • 1 generous teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 cups 9 1/2 oz dark brown sugar, lightly packed
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • cup unsulfured molasses
  • 2 extra-large eggs at room temperature
  • 2 ½ cups 12oz finely chopped crystallized ginger
  • Granulated sugar for rolling the cookies


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 4 sheet pans with parchment paper.
  • In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, ginger, and salt, and then combine the mixture with your hands.
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the brown sugar, oil, and molasses on medium speed for 5 minutes.
  • Turn the mixer to low speed, add the eggs, and beat for 1 minute.
  • Scrape the bowl with a rubber spatula and beat for 1 more minute.
  • With the mixer still on low, slowly add the dry ingredients to the bowl and mix on medium speed for 2 minutes.
  • Add the crystallized ginger and mix until combined.
  • Scoop about 1 1/4 - 1 3/8 oz of dough, using a small cookie scoop.
  • With your hands, roll each cookie into a 1 1/2-inch ball, and then flatten them lightly with your fingers.
  • Press both sides of each cookie in granulated sugar and place them on the sheet pans—about 12 per pan.
  • Bake for 13 - 16 minutes.
  • The cookies will be crackled on the top and soft inside. Let the cookies cool on the sheets for 2 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.


You can find crystallized ginger in most markets these days - but uncrystallized will work fine too - just chop it up with a bit of sugar.
The cookies should still be soft to the touch when you take them out, as they will harden as they cool.
If you like your cookies to stay soft and moist, I recommend storing them in a tupperware. Separate each layer with wax or parchment paper in a cookie tin to keep them more crisp.
Adapted from Food Network

*This post may contain Amazon Affiliate links whereby I earn a tiny commission at no additional cost to you.

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2 Responses

  1. These look and sound delicious and I can’t wait to try making them; I’m going to start with just a singled recipe because I’m afraid I will devour them all myself. I too don’t love cloves, so I’m thankful that you mentioned reducing the cloves in the recipe; I’m wondering if it’s okay to omit them altogether. Also, I don’t have a paddle attachment for a mixer…I’m assuming I can buy one cheaply anywhere that sells kitchen supplies (maybe Target?) Thanks for this!!!

    1. Hi Cheryl,
      So glad to hear that you’re going to try the ginger cookies – you won’t be sorry! Let me know how they are without the cloves – I’m guessing it will be okay. Or you could even just put half the amount just to balance the flavors. I always look online first for parts – the paddle attachment is just the standard flat beater that is required for most recipes – as opposed to the whisk or dough hook attachments. Here’s a link to a kitchenaid one on Amazon. Let me know how you do!

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