Soft, sweet, and spiced, my Gingerbread Cookies are a wintertime delight. This easy recipe is made with whole wheat flour for an added boost of nutrition during an otherwise indulgent season. Make these yummy treats in just 15 minutes of active time — you’ll have a whole plateful ready to eat in under an hour.
About Gingerbread Cookies
Gingerbread Cake, gingerbread cookies, and gingersnaps are quite popular in the west during the winter. Every year around this time, I make some kind of ginger treat and another wintertime favorite, Fruit Cake.
These cozy treats all share something in common: a heavy flavor with warming spices and a dependence on ginger, which is one of our favorite flavors. In fact, we add ginger to our tea every day!
These gingerbread cookies are sweet with a soft, firm texture. The fragrant ginger, cinnamon, and cloves infuse a great deal of flavor into the cookies. Our whole house smells delicious when I have a tray in the oven!
This ginger cookie recipe has been loosely adapted from a long-lost baking book I found. While Gingerbread cakes or cookies are usually made with molasses, I have opted to use a uniquely Indian ingredient known as kakvi instead.
Kakvi is a molasses-like thick syrup made from sugar cane juice. In fact, like molasses, kakvi is also a syrup that is made as a byproduct of preparing jaggery.
The sweetness in kakvi is comparable to that of honey, and it can be found in some parts of the state of Maharashtra in India.
You can easily make these gingerbread cookies with molasses. I would not suggest using honey, however, as it becomes toxic when heated according to Ayurveda.
Even jaggery or brown sugar can be used as a substitute if you prefer. I have mentioned the jaggery and brown sugar proportions in the recipe card and step-wise photos below.
Serve these gingerbread cookies as a dessert snack or as a tea-time snack this winter. You’ll be so happy you did!
How To Make Gingerbread Cookies
Prep and Make Cookie Dough
1. First, grease the baking tray with some butter and keep aside. Preheat oven at 180 degrees C/356 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes before you begin to bake the cookies.
2. Now take ½ cup softened butter (100 grams) in a mixing bowl. I have used salted butter. If using unsalted butter, then add a pinch of salt when sifting the whole wheat flour.
You can also use semi-solid ghee, coconut oil, or plant based butter instead of butter.
3. Add ½ cup of molasses, kakvi or maple syrup.
If using jaggery in place of the liquid sweetener, then add ½ cup powdered jaggery in 3 to 4 tablespoons hot water. Mix well till the jaggery melts. If impurities are there, then filter the jaggery syrup.
For brown sugar, if using it, add ½ cup of it directly on the butter. Also add 3 to 4 tablespoons of water at room temperature.
4. Begin to mix and beat this mixture.
5. I have used wired whisk to mix the butter with the kakvi. You can also use an electric beater.
6. Mix until the mixture is smooth. Set aside.
7. In a separate bowl or plate, sift the following dry ingredients:
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons ginger powder
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon powder
- ¼ teaspoon clove powder
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg powder
Instead of ginger powder, you can add 3 teaspoons of fresh ginger paste or minced/grated ginger.
8. Here are the sifted dry ingredients.
9. Now add the entire sifted dry ingredients to the lightly beaten butter+molasses mixture.
10. Gently mix.
11. Then add ¼ cup of hot water.
12. Mix everything together and gather to form a dough. Do not knead, just gently mix or fold.
If the mixture is loose or sticky, then add 2 to 3 tablespoons more flour. If the dough looks dry or crumbly, then add 1 to 3 tablespoons hot water and mix again.
Cover and place the dough in the refrigerator for 30 to 45 minutes.
Bake Gingerbread Cookies
13. After the dough has rested for at least an hour in the fridge, remove and pinch small balls from the cookie dough. Roll to a neat ball and then gently press to flatten them. Place them an inch apart on the baking tray.
14. Sprinkle some sugar granules on the cookies. Lightly press the sugar granules on the cookies.
You can use granulated sugar, brown sugar, or even turbinado sugar. You can also mix and match. For one batch, I used cane sugar and for the second one, I used brown sugar.
15. Bake the cookies at 180 degrees celsius/356 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 to 25 minutes or till the cookies appear light golden. Do not over bake the cookies.
Since oven temperatures vary, it may take less or more time so be sure to keep your eyes on them after about 18 minutes in the oven.
For convection ovens use the preheating and baking temperature of 160 degrees Celsius/320 degrees Fahrenheit.
In an OTG or a regular oven, keep the tray on the center rack with both the top and bottom heating elements on.
16. The base should be golden as you see in the photo below. I baked the cookies in two batches as I have a small oven. If you have a big oven, you can bake these cookies in one go.
17. After cooling for one minute on the baking sheet, remove the gingerbread cookies to a wired tray and let them cool.
18. Once cooled to room temperature, store gingerbread cookies in an airtight jar for up to a week.
The recipe yields about 500 grams of cookies. Serve these cookies as a sweet snack or you can even gift them to family and friends.
Yep! Since the dough needs to chill for at least an hour before baking, you can easily make it the night before you plan to bake them off. You can also pinch the cookie dough into balls, then refrigerate them in a single layer on a sheet or plate covered with a lid or foil.
If you have a loved one who lives a few cities or states away, these gingerbread cookies are a great thing to add to a care package. To ship, place in a zip-top bag in a single layer, then remove as much air as possible using a straw.
Be sure to cushion the cookies for transit using some crumpled paper or packing peanuts.
Absolutely! Simply swap in 3 tablespoons of fresh minced or grated ginger for the powder.
You can certainly try! Dust them with a bit of flour before adding to the cookie dough. If you try this method, let me know how it turns out in the comments below!
Oops! Sounds like you might’ve over-mixed the dough. Unlike a roti or naan dough, cookie dough should NOT be kneaded. Rather, it should just be mixed until uniform then left alone. Over-mixing causes too much gluten to develop, which results in a tough treat.
Please be sure to rate the recipe in the recipe card or leave a comment below if you have made it. For more vegetarian inspirations, Sign Up for my emails or follow me on Instagram, Youtube, Facebook, Pinterest or Twitter.
Gingerbread Cookies Recipe
- ½ cup molasses or kakvi or ½ cup jaggery dissolved in 3 to 4 tablespoon hot water *check notes for brown sugar
- ½ cup softened butter – 100 grams, salted or unsalted
- 2 cups whole wheat flour – 240 grams whole wheat flour + 2 to 3 tablespoon if required
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoon ginger powder (ground ginger)
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon powder (ground cinnamon)
- ¼ teaspoon clove powder (ground cloves)
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg powder (ground nutmeg) or grated nutmeg
- 1 pinch salt – skip if using salted butter
- ¼ cup hot water or add as needed
Prep and making cookie dough
- First grease the baking tray with some butter and set aside.
- Now take the softened butter in a mixing bowl.
- Add the molasses or kakvi. If using jaggery, then add the jaggery powder in 3 to 4 tablespoons hot water. Mix well till the jaggery melts. If impurities are there, then filter the jaggery syrup. Then add it to the butter.
- Begin to mix and beat this mixture.
- I have used wired whisk to mix the butter with the kakvi. You can also use an electric beater.
- Mix and lightly beat this mixture. Keep aside.
- In a separate bowl or plate, sift whole wheat flour, baking soda, ginger powder, cinnamon powder, clove powder and nutmeg powder.
- Now add the entire sifted dry ingredients to the lightly beaten butter+molasses mixture.
- Gently and lightly fold or mix.
- Then add hot water. Mix everything together and gather to form a dough. Do not knead. Just gently mix or fold.
- If the mixture is loose or sticky, then add 2 to 3 tablespoons more of the flour. If the mixture looks dry and crumbly, then add 1 to 3 tbsp of hot water and mix again.
- Cover and place the dough in the refrigerator for 30 to 45 minutes.
Baking gingerbread cookies
- Later, remove and pinch small balls from the cookie dough. Gently roll to a neat ball. Then press and flatten them.
- Place the cookies with an inch space between them on the baking tray. Preheat oven at 180 degrees C/356 degrees F for 15 minutes before you begin to bake the cookies.
- Sprinkle some sugar granules on the cookies. Lightly press the sugar granules on the cookies. You can also use brown sugar to sprinkle on the cookies.
- Bake the cookies at 180 degrees C/356 degrees F for 20 to 25 minutes or till the cookies appear light golden. Do not over bake the cookies. I baked in two batches.
- Wait for one minute after removing the cookies from the oven. With a spatula remove each cookie and place on a wired tray to let them cool.
- Once cooled at room temperature, store them in an airtight jar. The recipe yields about 500 grams of cookies.
- Serve Gingerbread Cookies as a sweet snack or a tea time snack.
- * If using brown sugar, add about ½ cup of it. Also add 3 to 4 tablespoons of water at room temperature when you add the sugar to the butter.
- You can skip cinnamon, clove and nutmeg powder if you prefer.
- Instead of ginger powder, you can also add 3 teaspoons of fresh ginger paste or finely minced/grated ginger.
- The recipe can be halved or doubled easily.
- If you are not a fan of whole wheat flour, use all-purpose flour. For cookies made with all-purpose flour, you will need to add less water.
- The approximate nutrition info is for 1 gingerbread cookie made from this recipe.
Nutrition Info (Approximate Values)
This Gingerbread Cookies recipe from the archives first published in December 2015 has been republished and updated on January 2023.