Ginger crinkles recipe

Ginger crinkles DSC5031

My grandma recently told me that she paid a visit to her 95-year-old sister in an assisted living home. “To brighten Aunt Frances’s day,” she said, “I brought her some ginger crinkles.”

Ginger crinkles? I had never heard her mention before this treat so I asked what they were.

She told me that that they’re a cookie that has been made spicy with ginger, cinnamon, and molasses. They’re chewy with a bit of a crunch from being rolled in sugar. And they’re called crinkles since cracks and fissures form on the cookie’s surface. As a ginger snap tends towards elegance with its smooth surface and crisp texture, a ginger crinkle is more roughhewn and homey—but it’s no less delicious.

Ginger crinkles | Homesick Texan
My grandma also mentioned that she had taken a batch to of the cookies to a church function. And wouldn’t you know it, the ginger crinkles were so popular the plate was empty before she even had a chance to grab one for herself. Well, if they’re a hit with the church ladies, I knew they had to be good!

“I was going to send you some crinkles but got lazy,” said Grandma. “But there will be some at Thanksgiving.”

Now, as is my wont whenever I return to Texas, I eat more meals in a day than is healthy to make up for all those tastes of home that just can’t be found anywhere else. And last Saturday was no exception. In one afternoon I feasted on cheese enchiladas dripping in chile gravy, endless baskets of warm salty chips served with bowls of peppery hot sauce, a Whataburger with cheese and jalapenos, tender carne guisada nestled in a fresh flour tortilla, and a heaping plate of brisket, sausage, pickles, and black-eyed peas.

Ginger crinkles | Homesick Texan

I was stuffed and cookies were definitely not on my mind.

But as my grandma and I were watching “Book Talk,” she reminded me that she had baked some ginger crinkles for me.

My belly was full, but I knew it would be disrespectful not to try them. So I grabbed one from the freezer (where she keeps everything). It was cold, but it still had a nice chew to it. But what really excited me was the burst of ginger and dark sweetness of the molasses. For such a rustic cookie, there was a real sophistication to its flavor.

Ginger crinkles | Homesick Texan

Holiday baking season has begun and these warm, spicy cookies are a simple way to bring joy into people’s lives. Of course, be sure and save yourself a few as they will go fast.

Ginger crinkles DSC5031
5 from 2 votes

Aunt Frances’s ginger crinkles

Servings 32 cookies
Author Lisa Fain


  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/4 cup sugar for dipping


  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F.

  2. Cream the oil, sugar, egg and molasses. Mix together the flour, soda, salt, cinnamon and ginger and add to the liquid ingredients.

  3. Roll dough into walnut size balls (about 1/2 a tablespoon) and dip into sugar.
  4. Bake until slightly brown for about 15 min. 

Recipe Notes

Note from Aunt Frances: Do not overcook! Note from me: I was out of regular sugar so I used turbinado sugar, which was very tasty.

  1. Abi Jones

    My apartment building is hosting a bake-off this Saturday and I think I just found a contender. Thanks for posting these, they look delicious.

  2. Kelly @ EvilShenanigans

    What pretty cookies!! Ginger cookies are a MUST this time of year. I make a Ginger Chew that is really nice, and very popular with the folks I give them to. Speaking of family, I was with my Great Aunt Ruby down in Houston the weekend before Thanksgiving and she shared a few family recipes with me including one for oatmeal cookies that make me glad I have tastebuds!

  3. RecipeGirl

    Hmmmm… trying to decide what to bake today, and these are looking like they might be on the list! Gotta put some of that chunky sugar on them for sure!

  4. Mmmm!…loved that you mentioned whataburger! There's nothing like a whataburger found only in Texas!

  5. Whitney

    My BF is obsessed w/ ginger cookies so I will have to give these a try.

  6. Fresh Local and Best

    These cookies are so beautiful! I'm sure they are as delicious as good looking.

  7. OH LISA! I absolutely must make these this weekend, hot damn! Beautiful photos and I can taste the cookies already 🙂

  8. Chef Gwen

    My husband loves chewy ginger cookies, and I didn't get the recipe from his granny, so maybe this is similar. I'll give it a try. Thanks.

  9. Gabriela

    The cookies look great, ones my dad would love. But what made me so happy is the story about your sweet granny.

  10. Silentmeow

    My grandma's recipe is identical but we call them Grandma Jean's Molasses Cookies. They're so easy and so good.

  11. Marjorie

    I am crazy about anything with ginger in it. I am going to bake these first thing tomorrow morning.

    Thank you for sharing your Aunties recipe 🙂

  12. Lisa Fain

    Abi–Oh, I hope you win!

    Kelly–Aren't great aunts wonderful? Can't wait to hear about the oatmeal cookies!

    RecipeGirl–They chunky sugar really makes them special.

    Evy–Don't I know it! It's always a first stop whenever I'm home.

    Whitney–Hope he enjoys them!

    Fresh Local and Best–They are indeed pretty tasty!

    Matt–Thank you! And hot damn indeed–I love them!

    Chef Gwen–I reckon it is pretty similar. Hope they work!

    Gabriela–She is very sweet.

    Silentmeow–That's funny, my grandma is also a Grandma Jean!

  13. Lisa Fain

    Marjorie–Hope you enjoy them!

  14. My Mom is a pie baker and my Grandma didn't bake. So I didn't really grow up on a variety of cookies, just the standard chocolate chip, peanut butter and oatmeal. A coworker's wife was a wonderful baker and made all kinds of cookies but never chocolate chip which up until then were my favorite. He would bring in these dark, spicy cookies that sparkled with sugar and I would complain about the lack of chocolate chip cookies while single handedly devouring the entire bag of what they called gingersnaps. They look just like yours. They gave me that recipe and it makes 3 dozen which I binge on for breakfast, lunch and dinner until they are gone. I know refer to the gingersnap as "the best and only cookie that should ever be baked". Yes, overkill but I do love them.

  15. midwestmom3

    These look so great! My 93 yo Grandma just gave me her recipe for her ginger cookies a few weeks ago. She and I both love cookies that are soft with lots of flavor. Thanks for helping me think of her today/

  16. Oh My! These look gorgeous and make me want to try my very first batch of ginger cookies. Also… I miss Whataburger. Badly. My brain's been full of the smell and taste of a bacon egg cheese taquito ever since I read this post earlier.

    Makes me long for home!

  17. Laine Moore

    I'm a homesick Texan about to go home for the first time in TWO YEARS. Do you have any restaurant recs for San Antonio?

    Love your blog xx

  18. Sharon M

    I love ginger cookies! I have a recipe, but they're really soft (more like cookie-cake), not crunchy. Could you use fresh grated ginger instead of the powdered stuff?

  19. bananacakes

    You and your aunt are my heroes! My house smells great and these came out perfectly. Chewy and the perfect amount of sweetness. Plus, they're GORGEOUS! I like these way better than the Magnolia iced molasses cookies that have been my standby. Thank you so much!! 🙂

  20. yes these are a delicious cookie. My husband makes a batch every year for xmas.

    and omg the load of junk I eat when I go home to Texas. All the mexican food and oscar meyer bologna, it has to be oscar meyer for me, and tons more.

    I'll have to compare this recipe to my husbands. He makes his cookies very large. 🙂

  21. Tasty Eats At Home

    Ginger and molasses are the keys to my heart. This sounds so delicious. Love that you had to get some Whataburger when you were here in Texas – I wouldn't know what I'd do without it!

  22. I've developed a molasses 'thing' in the last year or so. It's like caramel to me now–love it. So, these cookies look incredible.

  23. These sound fabulous but one question – 1 tsp powdered ginger or actual chopped up ginger?

  24. i love spice cookies!!!

    for christmas my mom always makes "spreckle cookies" which are crunchy nut cookies with sprinkles on top. so i understand ginger crinkle 🙂

  25. These are ABSOLUTELY the best cookies ever, thanks Lisa.

    As a child my grandmother used to make these for us to eat while playing canasta. I always loved sweets as a child, but these are the ONLY cookies that I ever got sick from eatting too many of them. Didn't stop me from the next batch, though, they can truely be addictive.

    They burst with flavor in your mouth but stay soft from the molasses. If you have never had one… YOU MUST TRY THEM!!!!!

    Lisa, I have fallen in love with your blog. You bring back so very many happy memories from my own childhood in Midland/Odessa, and recipes that I haven't thought about in forever. Merry Christmas Gal…

  26. Lisa Fain

    Robin–That's funny. My grandma initially described these as chocolate chip cookies without the chocolate chips and molasses instead.

    Midwestmom3–You're very welcome. Aren't grandmas grand?

    Flea–I miss Whataburger, too. Always a stop whenever I'm home!

    Laine Moore–These are places I'd go to if I were in SA: La Tuna, La Tierra, La Fogota, El Mirador, Taco Taco, Taquitos El Guero, Ray's
    Aldaco, Los Barrios, Mexican Manhattan, Bracken Store Cafe with a drive out to Luling for BBQ. And a reader recently recommended Cristan's for breakfast tacos. Have fun!

    Sharon M–I've read that for baking you shouldn't substitute fresh for powdered, but I've never tested this theory.

    Bananacakes–Wonderful news! I'm so happy y'all enjoyed them!

    Jo–Nothing wrong with large cookies–they give you a better handle for dipping the cookie in milk!

    Tasty Eats at Home–Thank you! And I agree–I don't know what I'd do without it either.

    Lisa–Isn't it incredible? I just want to cook and bake with it all the time.

    Tina W–I used powdered ginger

    Julia–Oh! Now those sound amazing!

    Kevon–Aww, thank you! And you are correct–these cookies are indeed VERY addictive!

  27. Anonymous

    Enjoyed your comments. Your cookies were puffy; mine always "fall flat". What is the difference I wonder. Your great-uncle Bill [now 90 and in Salt Lake City]liked to jump on the floor to make our Mother's cakes collapse!
    Grandma J.

  28. bluejeangourmet

    mmm….spicy molasses cookies. now I need a cup of tea. and a nap.

    so impressed by the amount of food you managed to pack in while down here! I love a woman who isn't afraid to eat 🙂

    re: the cookies–do you think it would mess with the "feel" to throw in some candied ginger? I love the chew and extra bite.

  29. Anonymous

    I've found my new favorite cookie….thank you! Also, as a fellow Texas-gal I heartly agree about having a Whataburger…minus the jalepenos since I'm a wimpy gal. DoubleMeat/Double Cheese, mayo, mustard, ketchup…no vegies. Yum-O!

  30. I have made these for years and agree the taste just makes your taste buds dance with joy. Being a cookie lover I try to always keep some kind of cookie in the freezer also.

    Have a wonderful holiday season.


  31. Kimberly

    I make ginger cookies that are almost the same recipe, except that I use brown sugar instead of white, butter instead of oil, and I add 1/2 cup of finely chopped candied ginger to the dough. They are the most addictive cookie ever.

    To bluejeangourmet: Addition the candied ginger. 🙂

  32. Oh yum. I make something like this, but with butter. Never tried it with oil, but I will use my pretty sparkly sugar for rolling next time I make these.

    What I want to know is where the heck are you getting BBQ and black-eyed peas at the same joint? I am in the TX Hill Country and need to know! 😀

  33. the fashionable traveler

    Thanks! This is perfect, I needed a quick cookie recipe, and thanks for the tip about the alternative sugar.

  34. Oh, perfect cookies for my friend who can't have dairy! Yum yum yum 😀

  35. wanderluck

    These were awesome – crispy outside, chewy in the middle. The turbinado was perfect, that golden on brown plus the crunch.

    The only problem I had was that mine spread. I was hoping for each little nugget of cookie, like your pictures show. Maybe next time use butter?

    Thanks for the recipe. We'll be using it a lot in the future!


  36. Lisa Fain

    Grandma–Maybe my dough was colder? I have no idea!

    Bluejeangourmet–I say go for it! I love candied ginger, too.


    Amelia–I like to always keep cookie dough in the freezer as well. That way you'll always have fresh cookies when guests drop by. And you also have a wonderful holiday season!

    Kimberly–Yay for candied ginger! I'm definitely adding some next time.

    Ben–I need to try them with butter and see what happens. And we got barbecue in Van Alstyne Texas at Bucksnort's.

    The Fashionable Traveler–You're very welcome, enjoy!

    ZH–I hadn't thought of it that way, but yes, they are!

    Kate–I think that butter would make them spread more. Perhaps my dough was more cold than yours.

  37. Anonymous

    This is a great cookie recipe. I have made 4 batches for family and friends and everyone loves them!

  38. Thank you for sharing this wonderful cookie recipe!

  39. Anonymous

    Hey are you a professional journalist? This article is very well written, as compared to most other blogs i saw today….
    anyhow thanks for the good read!

  40. Deliciously Organic

    mmmm…These look delicious. Love your blog.

  41. Melissa

    I think Santa would really enjoy these with a big glass of milk.

  42. i made those cookies on friday night– one word– AWESOME– was going to share them with the rest of the extended family but hubby and i are saving them for ourselves!! Excellent recipe!

  43. Anonymous

    Just made these cookies and loved them. Easy to make and made the house smell like Christmas. Forget the milk- these were eaten with Hot Buttered Rum.


  44. To: Bluejeangourmet, Kimberly, Lisa

    My mom made a recipe similar to this (add candied ginger) and packed them with me on a bus trip. I ate practically all of them but was going to dinner when I got off the bus, so I wanted to keep my appetite. I turned around to the girls sitting behind me, asked them if they wanted the two I had left. They were still in the not accepting food from strangers mode, so I said "These are the best #%&@ ginger snaps you will ever eat and it would be silly of me to throw them away."

    They both took them, and after a bite, agreed.

  45. Lisa,
    Made these yesterday. Winner. They will become regulars in the Christmas cookie repetoire – and year round as well. They are so good that they're really hard to share! They will appear on my site – with attribution to you, of course, as part of the seasonal cookie post. Thank you.

  46. Hi!
    I made a vegan version of these cookies by using Ener-G egg replacer instead of the 1 egg. I had to add a little water to the dough to get it to come together, but they baked up just fine. They were so yummy! I took them all to a party, and now I wish I had some at home. Thanks for sharing!
    PCD in NC

  47. Jenna @ Newlyweds

    I just love ginger cookies, the spicier the better!

  48. Ed 'n' Breakfast


    I have been reading your blog for several months now. I really can't remember how I stumbled upon it. Needless to say, I finally broke down and made something from your site. I always want to but never seem to have time to take on a new recipe. Well it is finals week, and I am doing some cooking for a study break. Your Ginger Crinkles, were perfect. My study group loved them, and loved dough raw straight from the bowl!

    I am sure to start trying a lot more of the recipes after school lets out!

    Ed (Lubbock, Tx)

  49. This is a perfect cookie recipe! I made them for my students, but I'm not sure 22 of them are going to survive til morning…

    I'm vegan so I used a flax egg (2T ground flax whisked with 6T warm water). They turned out beautifully!

    Thanks for the recipe!

  50. Anonymous

    I've been using Paula Deen's ginger cookie recipe, which uses vegetable shortening instead of oil and includes 1/2 teaspoon of ground cloves. They look a lot flatter than your recipe, which I'll have to try now. Happy Holidays! : )


  51. Danielle

    These are by far the best ginger cookies I have ever eaten! Mine came out flat, not round balls like your picture, but they were delicious. My first batch went to a bake sale for my daughter's school and they were the first thing sold so I had to come home and make another batch for the family. I have also made your peanut butter pie and queso cookies (which were both awesome). I cannot remember how I stumbled upon your site, but I LOVE your recipes. Thanks so much for sharing. Happy Holidays to you! 🙂

  52. made these last night and love them. my 3yo loved helping me by rolling the balls in the sugar too.

  53. My grandma (in Illinois) made a very similar cookie, but she called them Molasses Crinkles. She used brown sugar instead of white and shortening instead of oil and added 1/2 tsp cloves (I have the recipe in her handwriting – she passed away about 15 years ago). And the big secret — after rolling the ball of dough in sugar, she'd dip her finger in a glass of water and tap the ball a couple times. She said it made the crinkle crinklier!

  54. Just found this recipe and made it last night – absolutely adore it! I have made chocolate crinkle cookies before but the ginger crinkle cookies beat chocolate hands down!

  55. what kind of oil should you use for this recipe? Just curious 'cause I'm new to baking and this sounds delicious

  56. how to keep them round?

  57. Dixie Gypsy

    Catching up around here. Now I'll be putting that jar of molasses in the pantry to good use. Thanks!

  58. Anonymous

    My family has a recipe almost exactly like this, however we use lard (pork from our farm) 3/4 cup instead of oil, give it a try.

  59. Stephanie

    Hi Lisa,
    These cookies look yummy! I am planning to bake these for our upcoming cookie swap.

    How many cookies does this make?

    Thanks, Stephanie

  60. Lisa Fain

    Stephanie–About 32.

  61. Anonymous

    It's the Sunday before Christmas, got James Taylor's holiday CD on and the house is filled with the aroma of these tasty cookies. Nice texture and not so spicy that the ginger-challenged among holiday eaters would be put off.

    Thanks for a nice addition to my cookie platter.

    Abi in Pittsburgh, PA

  62. I bastardised these, I didn't actually have any ground ginger so I used a mix of ground cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg to make a spice cookie instead. These are delicious, I admit I was somewhat sceptical of the use of oil but it helps the dough bake beautifully into soft, chewy cookies. Definitely a recipe I will be making again and again.

  63. In my family, these are called sarah's sugar crisps. The recipe handed down to me uses crisco instead of oil. The crisco is melted on the stove and the sugar mixed in and then mixed with everything else in the ever wonderful kitchen aid. I find it best to chill in freezer for 30 minutes before I roll them out. Never, ever overcook! And serve with fresh whipped cream flavored with almond or orange extract 🙂

  64. Boysey Boy UK

    These Biscuits are amazing cooked them last night. we had some hot with ice cream. yum, yum.
    I did add a another teaspoon of ginger as i like ginger.
    Lee from england

  65. You had me almost in tears as I read the litany of food you were eating. If you had said you were hearing the cry of mourning doves while sitting outside, I would have had to hop the next plane to San Antonio. Dang, I miss home.

    I make a similar cookie at the holidays, but add candied ginger. They disappear as fast as I can put the plate on the table.

    • Lisa Fain

      It was so wonderful to be home! I hope you can make it back soon, too!

  66. Carolyn Miller Crofford Golden

    I like this new format for your blog!! Thanks for the update.

  67. OMAGHERD!!! !! I so love ginger cookies and this is one I will be trying this weekend…and I KNOW they will be good! Lisa, you are FIRE!! Thank you!

  68. I had to make these twice over Christmas weekend because the first batch was gobbled up almost immediately by the family! Great recipe and I love that you don’t need anything more than a bowl to make it. Even my Dad, who usually doesn’t like cookies of *any* kind gobbled one of these down. Thank you!

  69. Lisa, this made me cry! I loved these growing up and have made them for dozens of bake sales. I’m sure I have her hand-written recipe around here. One time when you’re in Houston, we should go through her recipe box.

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