These gingersna cookies are based on a recipe by Eric Shelton, the pastry chef at Montage restaurant in San Francisco.–The Editors of Williams-Sonoma

LC Snap! Note

Chewy within and crisp without, these gingersnap cookies, true to their name, practically snap when you take a nibble. To make the cookies even crisper, roll them a touch thinner and leave them in the oven a little longer.

A variety of iced gingersnaps cookies cut into different shapes.

Gingersnap Cookies

5 / 3 votes
These lovely gingersnap cookies made with ground ginger, ground cinnamon, and molasses, make the best holiday cookie. You'll be the hit of the cookie swap.
David Leite
Servings48 cookies
Calories86 kcal
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time1 hour


  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 tablespoons molasses
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for the work surface
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger


  • Preheat the oven to 325°F (163°C).
  • In a large bowl, beat the butter, 1 cup sugar, and salt until fluffy. Scrape the bowl and stir in the vanilla.
  • Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the molasses until combined.
  • Sift the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and ginger in a large bowl. Stir in the molasses mixture until it comes together, taking care not to overmix. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
  • Divide the dough into 4 portions and flatten each into a disk. Wrap 3 in plastic and refrigerate while you roll the remaining portion on a lightly floured work surface or between 2 sheets of parchment or wax paper. The dough should be 1/4 inch thick for softer cookies, 1/8 inch thick for crisper ones. Use a cookie cutter to cut the dough. Place the cookies on parchment-lined baking sheets and refrigerate for 10 minutes. (The dough becomes quite sticky when it loses its chill, so if you find it difficult to work with, simply return it to the fridge.) Roll the scraps into a flattened ball, wrap, and refrigerate, then repeat the rolling and cutting.
  • Bake the cookies for 12 to 15 minutes (the longer you leave the cookies in the oven, the crisper they will be). Remove the cookies from the oven and sprinkle with the remaining sugar while still warm. Let cool on a wire rack. Find information on storing cookies here.
Williams-Sonoma The Best of Taste

Adapted From

Williams-Sonoma: The Best of Taste

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Serving: 1 cookieCalories: 86 kcalCarbohydrates: 11 gProtein: 1 gFat: 4 gSaturated Fat: 2 gMonounsaturated Fat: 1 gTrans Fat: 0.2 gCholesterol: 18 mgSodium: 134 mgFiber: 0.3 gSugar: 5 g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2001 Williams-Sonoma. Photo © 2020 Rostislav Sedlacek. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

The dough is very easy to assemble, but even after refrigeration, it gets quite sticky and soft when it’s rolled out. Rolling the cookies on a cold surface such as granite or marble, if possible, would be helpful. Also be sure to flour both the rolling surface and the rolling pin. I rolled the cookies to 1/4 inch thick, which produced more of a cakelike texture. For a crisper cookie, I suggest rolling the dough to no more than 1/8 inch thick.

Delicious smells came from my kitchen while these gingersnap cookies were baking! My kitchen smelled like the holidays. These wonderful cookies were crisper when rolled 1/8 inch thick and had a softer texture when rolled 1/4 inch thick. Some gingersnap cookies are too intense for our taste, but these had just the right amount of ginger and cinnamon for the perfect ginger taste. The dough kept sticking, even while using a “lightly floured work surface.” I’ll try parchment next time. I sprinkled the suggested remaining sugar when pulling the cookies out of the oven, but it wouldn’t stick. They stayed moist for the longest time. These will be a staple around the coming holidays!

These are great, although the dough becomes very soft very quickly. If I were making these again, I’d probably place the dough between 2 sheets of plastic wrap to roll, then press with the cutter but not pull the cookies out. I’d return it to the fridge for 10 minutes, then take it out and put them onto a sheet.

So good, so good, so good! Enough said? I don’t usually like gingersnap cookies; they’d never be my first choice. These cookies, however, are exceptional. The dough was soft, moldable, and came together quickly and simply. I was able to roll out the dough with ease. The cookies smelled so good in the oven. The sprinkle of sugar at the end gave them a nice crisp surface. These will definitely be on my Christmas cookie plate this year! I can’t wait to make them again.

About David Leite

I count myself lucky to have received three James Beard Awards for my writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. My work has also appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

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Recipe Rating


    1. shreya, unfortunately molasses has a rather unique taste and texture that I think contributes greatly to the finished gingersnaps. I suppose you may have luck substitute a dark, thick, real maple syrup, but as we haven’t tested the recipe with that substitute I’m hesitant to suggest it since I can’t tell you with certainty how it will result. I’m sorry I don’t have a better answer for you, but baking is such a tricky and exact science, it doesn’t take much divergence to throw a recipe off and into disappointing and inedible territory…

  1. Two ways of dealing with soft dough: 1. Roll the dough, freeze it, and then slice it; 2. Cut the sides of a gallon (or larger) resealable plastic bag, slip the dough in the bag, roll the dough in the bag, lift off the top layer, and cut out your shapes. (You can use the bag over and over again. I keep one rolled up in the fridge.)

    1. Brilliant tips, Nerissa! We’ve used them both with great success. Greatly appreciate you taking the time to share these godsends with our other readers.

  2. 5 stars
    These look yummy! In order to freeze before baking, can I roll and cut out the cookies and then freeze on cookie sheet, then being able to just stack them in freezer bags and cook as many as needed? I’m trying to get a headstart on my Christmas cookies before my 12 houseguests arrive.

    1. Marilyn, you sure can. Just make sure that you put pieces of parchment in between each cookie as you stack them. You don’t want them to stick together in the freezer.

      1. 12 houseguests?! Marilyn, perhaps you could coach me on the intricacies and niceties of hostessing for large numbers…!