Ginger crinkles DSC5031

Ginger crinkles recipe

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 holiday cookies (even my Aunt Julie’s pumpkin spice recipe) whether they were pumpkin spice 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.

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


  • Preheat the oven to 350° F.
  • Cream the oil, sugar, egg and molasses. Mix together the flour, soda, salt, cinnamon and ginger and add to the liquid ingredients.
  • Roll dough into walnut size balls (about 1/2 a tablespoon) and dip into sugar.
  • Bake until slightly brown for about 15 min. 


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.

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Recipe Rating


  1. Anonymous says:

    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

  2. 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.

  3. 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 🙂

  4. Boysey Boy UK says:

    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

  5. 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.

    1. Lisa Fain says:

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