Gingerbread Crinkle Cookies

An absolute Christmas classic, these Gingerbread Crinkle Cookies offer an unexpected flavor twists: lemon and cardamom! These crackly-topped cookies are delightfully chewy, fat with flavor and incredibly easy to make!!

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Gingerbread cookies on a white background with powdered sugar on top

Have you ever wondered why we leave cookies for Santa on Christmas Eve? There are lots of theories behind one of our favorite holiday traditions so I’ll just share my favorite one. During the Great Depression, parents couldn’t afford extravagant gifts but they could afford to bake or buy small snacks. Rather than indulge on their treats, parents encouraged their children to share with others by offering a share of their goods to Santa and his reindeer. Sweet, right?

I know that story is a bit on the sad side of the tracks but it speaks to a very important piece to the holiday puzzle. The Christmas season can be distracting; there are flashy lights, extravagant decorations and, of course, gifts. It can be hard to remember to appreciate this season’s true gifts: family, friends and tradition. Acts of almsgiving and kindness are a way to express gratitude and remind ourselves of what truly matters. A simple cookie can be an offering, an expression of love and peace. At least that’s my two cents!

Ginger cookies are a staple in my family around the holidays. These Gingerbread Crinkle Cookies remix the traditional ginger cookie like never before! They are incredibly soft and chewy with the perfect balance of spice that we know and love. The addition of cardamom adds a citrusy yet fragrant compliment to the classic ginger and molasses flavors. But that lemon zest really sets it apart! Serve these with hot cocoa or a warm mug of apple cider, sit around the fireplace and, if you’re so inclined, make an extra batch for someone who might need a little extra love this season.

Gingerbread cookies with powdered sugar on top resting on a wire rack with a bite taken out of one

Perks and Highlights of the Best Gingerbread Crinkle Cookies

Cuisine Inspiration: Holiday Classics These Gingerbread Crinkle Cookies are all about bringing that timeless holiday magic right to your kitchen. Inspired by traditional festive flavors, these cookies are a nostalgic nod to Christmases past but with a crinkly twist that’ll have Santa coming back for seconds!

Primary Cooking Method: Baking It’s all about the bake, baby! These crinkly delights need a nice, warm oven to transform from gooey dough to crackled perfection. Preheating is paramount, and a baking sheet lined with parchment paper is your BFF in this cookie journey.

Dietary Info: Indulgent Listen, it’s the holidays – a time for a bit of indulgence. These cookies are a sweet treat that’s worth every calorie. They’re not gluten-free, dairy-free, or low-carb, but they are 100% delicious. Remember, it’s all about balance!

Key Flavor: Spiced Sweetness Gingerbread is the star of the show here, with its rich molasses sweetness and a symphony of spices like ginger, cinnamon, and cloves that dance on your taste buds. The sugar coating adds that extra sparkle and sweetness, making these cookies a festive flavor explosion.

Skill Level: Easy Peasy Don’t let the fancy look fool you; these cookies are super simple to make. If you can mix, scoop, and roll, you’re already on your way to crinkle cookie mastery. Great for baking beginners and a fun project for the kiddos too!

Special Perks:

  1. Aesthetic Appeal: These aren’t just cookies; they’re a statement piece. With their unique cracked tops and snowy sugar coating, they’re sure to stand out on any cookie platter.
  2. Make-Ahead Magic: Got a lot on your plate? No worries! Make the dough ahead of time, freeze it, and bake when needed. They’re perfect for planning ahead!
  3. Versatile Spicing: Feel like jazzing things up? You can tweak the spices to your liking. A little more ginger for a kick, perhaps? Go for it!
  4. Perfect for Gifting: Cookies in a jar, anyone? These beauties are the ideal candidate for homemade holiday gifts. Just pop them in a festive jar, slap on a bow, and voilà!
  5. House Filling Aroma: Oh, we can’t forget the best perk — the warm, spiced scent of these cookies baking is enough to fill the whole house with holiday spirit. It’s like a Christmas-scented candle, but better because you can eat it!
 

Ingredients

Now, I love a good sugar or shortbread cookie but, let’s be honest, they can be a bit time consuming. And y’all, when the Christmas season is in full-swing, I just don’t have the hours to spare! That’s where this simple, delicious gingerbread crinkle cookies recipe comes in to play.

Here’s how we get it done:

  • All Purpose Flour is what creates the structure for your cookies. For tender, soft cookies, I highly recommend thoroughly sifting the flour before use.
  • Baking Soda serves as a rising agent, be sure to use fresh, active baking soda.
  • Salt creates balance and gets all of our other tasty flavors to really POP!
  • Ground Cinnamon is warm, fragrant and oh so delicious.
  • Ground Ginger tends to lose its flavor quickly! So if you want very gingery cookies, pick up a fresh bottle of the stuff if yours is over a year old.  This ingredient makes the best gingerbread inspired recipes like this Gingerbread Cake and Cupcakes and Gingerbread Pancakes!
  • Cardamom produces a zesty citrus flavor that can be somewhat sweet and spicy at the same time.
  • Unsalted Butter needs to be softened for this recipe. Not frozen, not melted but smooth enough to be easily creamed.
  • Granulated Sugar is what makes for the perfect sugary bite!
  • Dark Brown Sugar is deep, rich and full of necessary moisture; it helps to create that chewy but not dense texture.
  • Egg Yolk has necessary fat that tenderizes the dough by shortening the gluten strands, resulting in cookies that have a richer flavor.
  • Vanilla Extract acts as a flavor enhancer; without it baked goods tend to be a bit flat and bland.
  • Molasses has a warm, sweet, somewhat smoky flavor. Dark and medium molasses boast a very robust flavor, light molasses has the mildest flavor, and blackstrap molasses is considerably less sweet with a distinct bitterness. Choose your molasses based on this information!
  • Lemon Zest adds an unexpected burst of tangy citrus that compliments the cardamon perfectly.
  • Powdered Sugar, also known as confectioner’s sugar, is what makes for that beautifully snowy-white exterior. You can’t skip this part!

An overhead of ginger crinkle cookies on a wire rack

How to Make Gingerbread Crinkle Cookies

  1. Mix It Up:
    • Whisk the dry stuff (flour, spices, you know the drill) in a big bowl. Set it aside ’cause it’s butter time!
    • In your stand mixer (paddle attachment, please!), cream butter and sugars until they’re like fluffy clouds. Low speed’s the key for adding egg yolk, lemon zest, and vanilla. Mix, mix, mix!
    • Molasses goes in next for that deep, rich sweetness. Then, it’s time to introduce the dry ingredients. Slow and steady, in three parts, until just buddies.
  2. Chill Out:
    • Wrap that dough up tight and let it chill in the fridge. We’re talking one whole hour of zen.
  3. Prep Time:
    • Preheat the oven to 375 F. Parchment paper is your friend, so line that baking sheet.
  4. Roll & Rock:
    • Dough’s chill? Sweet! Now, pour some powdered sugar into a bowl.
    • Scoop out that dough and roll it into happy little balls. A snowy roll in the powdered sugar, and they’re ready for their baking debut. Space ’em out, folks; they need room to groove!
  5. Bake & Shake:
    • Into the oven they go, one sheet at a time, for 10-12 minutes. Look for puffy tops and those signature cracks, but keep the centers soft and dreamy.
    • Cool your jets (and your cookies) on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then move ’em to a wire rack.
  6. Repeat & Eat:
    • Got more dough? Then, we’re not done! Keep the cookie train rolling until you’ve baked ’em all.

FAQs

This recipe (just as with any other crinkle cookie recipe) calls for rolling the dough in confectioner’s sugar. As the cookies bake, the confectioners’ sugar coating crinkles and cracks as the cookies take their shape. Hence, the cute crinkle name!

However, these particular crinkle cookies are extra moist so the sugar ends up melting a bit. Not a problem, but if you want stark white confectioners’ sugar on top, coat the cookie dough balls in a little granulated sugar first. Just a light layer– then go heavy on that powdered sugar topping!

PRO TIP: Don’t be shy with the powdered sugar! If you want super white sugary looking cookies like in the photos, you need a heavy-handed roll!

Can I make these ahead of time?

During the holiday season, I’m a big fan of stirring up large batches of cookies (both raw and fully baked) and storing them in the freezer. Last minute cookie swap? I’m covered. Office Christmas party? I know exactly what I’m bringing. Santa’s got a craving a few days past the holidays? He hits me up for the goods!

These crinkle cookies are great made in advance as they stay chewy on the inside even a few days later! 

To freeze the baked cookies, let them cool completely first. Freeze in single layers between sheets of parchment paper for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight or on the counter for about an hour.

To freeze the raw cookie dough, chill the cookie dough as directed in the recipe below. After that, roll into balls, and chill the cookie dough balls in the refrigerator for 1 hour. Then, place the solid and cold cookie dough balls into a large zipped-top bag. Freeze cookie dough for up to 3 months. When it’s time to bake the cookies, remove them from the freezer and thaw on the counter for at least 30 minutes. Roll into powdered sugar and bake as directed.

gingerbread crinkle cookies stacked on top of each with one biten

Storage

It’s best to keep these Gingerbread Cardamom Crinkle Cookies in an airtight container; they will stay fresh for up to a week. If the cookies begin to go stale early, take a slice of sandwich bread and stick it in the container. The moisture from the bread will release and rehydrate the cookies!

Best Christmas Cookies

‘Tis the season of Christmas cookies galore! From thumbprints to shortbread, I love ‘em all and I’m not afraid to show it (neither is my waistline).

Check out a few of my finest holiday-inspired confections:

Gingerbread cookies on a white background with powdered sugar on top

Gingerbread Crinkle Cookies

These Gingerbread Crinkle Cookies are crackly-topped cookies are delightfully chewy, fat with flavor and incredibly easy to make!
3.94 from 143 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Resting Time in Refrigerator 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 32 minutes
Course: Dessert
Servings: 38 cookies

Ingredients

  • 2 1/3 cup all purpose flour can go up to 2 1/2 cups if you want a puffier cookie. If you want it flatter, go for the 2 1/4 cups
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 6 oz unsalted butter room temperature but still firm to the touch
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup dark brown sugar packed
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 5 tsp lemon zest from 2 lemons
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup molasses unsulfured
  • 1 cup powdered sugar

Instructions

  • In a large bowl, whisk together flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda, cardamom and salt and whisk until combined. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, add butter and both sugars and mix for 3 minutes or until light and fluffy.
  • Turn speed down to low and add egg yolk, lemon zest and vanilla and mix until well incorporated.
  • Add molasses and mix thoroughly then add flour mixture in three increments and mix until just combined. Make sure you scrape the bottom of the bowl making sure to thoroughly combine all ingredients into a cohesive yet soft dough.
  • After the dough is complete, tightly cover the bowl and refrigerate for an hour.
  • Preheat your oven to 375 F and line a baking sheet with a sheet of parchment and set aside.
  • Once the dough has been refrigerated, pour the powdered sugar into a separate bowl.
  • Use a tablespoon sized cookie scoop or spoon to measure out dough. Using cold hands, roll it into a ball using your palms. Next, thoroughly roll the cookie ball in powdered sugar and place on the prepared cookie sheet. Repeat with remaining dough making sure to space cookies 2 inches a part.
  • Bake 1 sheet at a time for 10 to 12 minutes until cookies are puffy and cracked. The centers should still be soft however.
  • Cool cookies on the baking sheet for at least 5 minutes so they can set, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Repeat steps 8-10 until all cookies are baked and enjoy.

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 101kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 15mg | Sodium: 67mg | Potassium: 77mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 119IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 15mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this Recipe? Tag me Today!Mention @GrandbabyCakes or tag #grandbabycakes!
Filed Under:  Christmas, Cookies, Dessert and Baking, Holidays, Oven, Winter Recipes

Comments

  1. Loved this recipe. I didn’t have any cardamom so just increased the ginger. I didn’t have to flattened them and they came out great! Huge hit. My family loved them!

  2. Very pleased with the outcome! Love the lemon and cardamom additions. Perfect combination of crunchy and chewy. 10 mins was definitely enough in my oven though.

  3. These came out perfect and delicious! Will be serving them on Christmas eve but will have to hide them until then! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe. Have a blessed Christmas.

  4. I made these and my family all loved them. I had a hard time getting enough powdered sugar to stick to the cookies but my second batch were better & they were super delicious!

  5. These taste really amazing! The dough is on the crumbly side, just mash & roll into balls. Press them down a little. I used a non-melting powdered sugar from King Arthur flour. They turned out really nice. Thank you for a great recipe!

  6. Oh my goodness!!! If you are looking for an amazing gingerbread cookie recipe, look no further!!! The crunchy outside and soft inside makes for the perfect cookie!!!!❤️

  7. Sent this to the 20 people in my family text thread;
    Have I shared my love of grandbaby cakes, chef out of Atlanta? She’s the best. Follow her IG. And her ginger crinkle cookies are THE BOMB. Summer and I made them last weekend and dropped off on friends’ porches (Jimmy and summer refused to sing carols lol) and every friend texted me for recipe

  8. These came out really well – great flavour and texture. Except they didn’t crack as much as I expected. I’ll try flatten them first next time. I’m also going to try orange zest, more ginger and less cardamom for my next batch.

    Oh – another tip – don’t heat your oven at the start. The dough will be in the fridge for an hour, so a serious waste of electricity if you going to keep your oven on for all that time!

3.94 from 143 votes (114 ratings without comment)

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