the BEST Soft Ginger Cookies Recipe (no molasses)

Soft ginger cookies full of warm spices and flavor...without using molasses. A family favorite that we make multiple times a year!

ginger cookies without molasses.

Even though these cookies usually make their debut in the fall I have made them many times to bring for new babies, neighbors, or other hospitality trips. When my husband was super sick for many months I tried to keep a stash of these on the counter for my son. These cookies smell and taste like a warm hug. Make them anytime you need to give or get a bit of comfort.

Ginger Cookies in a Jar

Add the dry ingredients for these cookies to a mason jar with a cute tag and the recipe. These cute jars make a great gift idea!

soft ginger cookies

Once the weather cools down, ginger cookies are one of the best sweet treats you can have. They're sweet, spicy, and warm up your throat and soul when the temperatures outside do the opposite. And here in our family, we love ginger cookies and eat them every year once the pants start coming out (OUT, guys... not off :)).

These ginger cookies are one of the first recipes I learned to make. After the divorce of my parents (and even before), my siblings looked forward to celebrating holidays at my house. In the early years, it was probably because I provided yummy meals and treats.

These cookies were one of the first I learned to make because they were so traditionally Christmas and fall (we YEARNED for traditions). And because my siblings loved them so. I remember them walking into the house and smelling the ginger...."YES! I was hoping you would be make ginger cookies!". They would congregate in the kitchen waiting for them to come out of the oven willingly burning their little fingers to get them right away. Chaos and competition in the best version! --decades later I still make these at least once or twice a season.

a big batch of ginger cookies on a cooling rack

Can I use Gluten-Free flour?

Go ahead and sub gluten-free flour for regular flour in these cookies...they will still turn out great.

A little history about ginger:

When I wrote about these cookies I thought to do a little bit of research on the history of ginger in baking. Apparently, ginger was used in cooking during the Middle Ages because it could disguise the taste of preserved meats. We mostly know ginger for gingerbread, and the term gingerbread was coined in Medieval England and originally just meant preserved ginger--it wasn't until later that the word was used to describe desserts.

Ginger, and ginger baked goods, have been around forever. In fact, the first known recipe for gingerbread dates back to 2400 BC! In the late Middle Ages, Europeans had festivals where the ginger cookies were so popular that the festivals were eventually known as Gingerbread Fairs, and the ginger cookies you could buy there were called "fairings". Even the first American cookbook had three variations of gingerbread recipes.

mixing up ginger cookies

We can understand why ginger baked items have had such a long history...they simply taste sooo good. They are warm, comforting, sweet, savory, and all the good adjectives that warm your belly and heart.

Can I use fresh ginger instead of the powder?

YES! It will take on a stronger flavor (which most people love!). Try using 1 ½ teaspoons fresh minced ginger for the powder.

Try my Gingerbread'll love the warm flavors and how easy it is to make!

This recipe is Levi's favorite cookie recipe and he asks for these cookies often, all year long.

Can I freeze the ginger cookie dough to bake later?

Yes, for sure. In fact...I recommend making a big batch of dough for this purpose. Create the cookie dough balls and put them into a large freezer bag and pop them into the freezer. When ready to bake simply take them out, set them on a cookie sheet, and let them thaw. Bake as usual. They may need an extra minute or two if they are super cold.

Sometimes I will mix a bit of cinnamon, cloves, and ground ginger into the sugar I use to roll the cookies in. Adding those spices ups the flavor. But lets be honest, most of the time I simply use sugar and call it a day.

Go ahead and skip rolling them in sugar if you are in a hurry. Just sprinkle a little bit on top after they have been pressed.

If you have kids helping you this will be their favorite part! Have them gently press the cookies down into flat little wheels. You'll probably turn around to find them licking their palms to taste that sweet sugar. Ignore them ;).

For kids:
-Ask them to count the cookies on the pan and be sure there are 15 with 5 rows of 3 each.
-Make sure they wash their hands and then ask them to gently press the cookies flat.
-Skip the sugar and go for colored sugar. Ask them to lightly sprinkle the sugar over the cookies.
-Have kids taste the ginger and ask them if they can guess what kind of plant ginger comes from. Have them google it and see how close they were.

Sprinkle a bit of cinnamon on top of the finished cookies and enjoy them with a cup of milk, coffee, or tea. I dare you to only eat one!

To store these ginger cookies:

These cookies won't last long. But, if they do...keep them in a closed container or bag for a few days on the counter. Or freeze them and pop them out for about 15 minutes before you want to eat them.

the BEST homemade ginger cookies

easy Ginger Cookies

| 24 cookies
Prep Time | 20 mins
Cook Time | 10 mins
Total Time | 30 mins
Print Recipe Pin Recipe
These ginger cookies are soft, full of flavor and don't require molasses. Quick, easy, and soon to be a family favorite!


  • 2 ¼ cup flour
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • cup brown sugar
Check out our Kitchen Reference Guide for help with unfamiliar terms.


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Sift flour,  spices, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  • Cream together the butter and sugars, beat in the egg.
  • Gradually stir in the flour mixture into the sugar mixture. Stir well.
  • Gently form 1 inch balls from the dough and roll them in sugar, if desired. 
  • Put them on a ungreased cookie sheet and press down gently. 
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.



Calories: 141kcalCarbohydrates: 21gProtein: 2gFat: 6gSaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 22mgSodium: 124mgPotassium: 24mgFiber: 1gSugar: 11gVitamin A: 187IUCalcium: 8mgIron: 1mg

37 thoughts on “the BEST Soft Ginger Cookies Recipe (no molasses)”

  1. 5 stars
    Made these today in BC, Canada. So happy to find a ginger cookie recipe without molasses. This recipe is solid and holds up well to modifications - we substituted cloves for cardamom and swapped the amounts of white/brown sugar for a deeper flavour. They turned out delicious and look so pretty with the cracked surface! Proud to give these to neighbours and friends for the holidays (we celebrate Festivus). Thank you for the recipe!

    1. You are so welcome! I'm glad to hear you were gifting favorite thing is sharing yummy food. I am loving the cardamom substitution...sounds good!

  2. YUMMM! I literally just sat down after having two freshly baked cookies! The best I have had! Thanks so much!
    I made 1/2 the recipe and added 3 or 4 pieces of crystallized ginger from Whole Foods. I'm in love! Can't wait till Christmas to add these to the desert table!

    1. Love the addition of crystallized yummy! Glad you loved these as much as we do and thanks for coming back and commenting!

  3. 5 stars
    These were amazing! I substituted 6 tablespoons of white sugar for 6 more of brown sugar for a deeper flavour, and let the dough chill for a bit before baking and they turned out so pillowy and soft. This is my favourite gingerbread recipe now!

    1. Would it work to use 1/2 cup granulated sugar and 1/2 cup dark brown sugar? I’m overseas and can’t find molasses... but we have “black sugar” which has a rich, molassesy flavor. I usually cut sugar in half for most American cookie recipes, but don’t want to change too many variables at once.

  4. 5 stars
    Thanks for this recipe. My family enjoyed them. We are very light on sugar though so, I used honey 1/4 cup, and 3 Tbsp of brown sugar instead. I also did not use egg, because I have a thing about eggs :(, but I used some ground flax seeds instead. They turned out delicious.

  5. 5 stars
    Yesterday I baked your Ginger Cookies for the first time. I know I am not the only person who bakes for family or friends that include someone who is diabetic and search for recipes for favourite treats either specifically designed for diabetics or allow for adjustments to accommodate them. My husband LOVES ginger cookies and grew up with them in England before diabetes was diagnosed. I have repeatedly searched for a recipe for him both during the many years we lived in England as well as here in the U.S. With a failure to bake ones that satisfied either his tastes and/or texture yesterday I adjusted yours substituting Splenda for the white sugar, white whole wheat flour for all of the flour and from other reader comments, used only a pinch of salt.No other changes were made. I rolled them in Splenda with additional ginger, cinnamon and cloves as you wrote you often do. I did not make any other changes and THEY WERE SO AMAZING in every way. WE LOVED them so much! Proof is that with only three of us eating them, we all want another batch baked so we won't have a gap between finishing the last few and having new ones to satisfy our cravings!

    You have made us so happy that I had to share this in the hopes of helping others who are either diabetic, or simply want or need to watch their weight without missing Ginger Cookies! Sorry for the long length! 5 Stars are not enough!! Off to search your excellent site for more of your recipes!

    1. I am so very glad to hear that! It can be a challenge to find recipes to fit dietary needs. So glad you enjoyed them as much as we do.

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