These Chewy Gingerbread Cookies are the next level version of my ever popular ginger cookies. With a little added treacle and a dash of cinnamon, they’re a delicious riff on the classic cake flavours. This one bowl recipe which needs no chilling or rolling is a serious contender for best ever cookie!
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I hate cinnamon. And I detest “pumpkin spice”. There I’ve said it. Autumn is a living breathing nightmare for me on the baking front.
But there is one ray of sunshine on the classic cold weather flavour front. And that’s ginger. I make a batch of my original Chewy Ginger Cookies roughly once a week for 4 months of the year.
I know by now that you are royally confused. I mentioned cinnamon in the introduction and then declared my hatred. So yes, I have to confess, gingerbread is the one and only time that I allow cinnamon into my life. Just a tiny little bit mind.
We won’t discuss my love of Biscoff biscuits and Biscoff spread. I’ll leave that revelation for another day.
Other than a tiny little bit of cinnamon, the other flavour that really makes gingerbread gingerbread is black treacle. Black treacle is a really classic ingredient of British baking and can largely be used interchangeably with molasses.
With these two tiny changes to the recipe, ginger cookies go to gingerbread cookies in no time at all.
How to Serve Gingerbread Cookies
Mostly I just steal them off the counter at every opportunity but I think you’re looking for some more specific ideas.
The point to really note is that when the cookies come out of the oven, they are nuclear hot. And you cannot pick up the floppy little suckers.
So super hot out of the oven isn’t an option. But give them 10 minutes to cool a little and there is nothing better than a soft warm cookie. They really don’t need anything else.
I am a big biscuit dunker and I love to dunk these cookies in milk, tea, coffee or hot chocolate. Especially in a Baileys spiked hot chocolate. I highly recommend giving it a try.
It isn’t really a serving suggestion but these cookies make an ideal gift. There is barely anyone who knows me that hasn’t received a batch at this point and I’ve no complaints so far.
One of the reasons they’re such a great gift, especially around Christmas is that they last really well. There is no worrying about baking them the night before they’re delivered or that they’ll spoil before they can be enjoyed.
Make Chewy Gingerbread Cookies into a Feast
I truly believe that you can make any dish into a proper feast! Whether thats a feast for one after work on a Tuesday, a casual feast for four on a Friday evening or a feast for 12 for a special occasion!
A couple of biscuits and a cup of tea is a feast to me. But for a bigger spread, you could add some Sticky Toffee Cupcakes, a batch of Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies (for variety) and maybe something savoury like Mini Sausage Rolls or a cheeky Quiche Lorraine.
Don’t forget to head over to my Feast Collection pages to find all of my tips and tricks to help you host a fun and stress-free feast. Plus remember to check out my recipe index to create your own awesome Feast!
Ingredients for Chewy Gingerbread Cookies
As I’ve touched on below, black treacle is a British product made from cane molasses and syrup. It isn’t quite the same as molasses which are a common baking ingredient in the US however. Black treacle has a slightly bitter edge in comparison.
The nearest direct equivalent is blackstrap molasses which is darker and more bitter than the regular variety.
Please don’t skip this ingredient – it is worth sourcing. While you will end up with delicious cookies, they will really be ginger cookies with a hint of cinnamon rather than having the distinctive gingerbread taste that dark treacle brings.
I am aware that Golden Syrup really is another uniquely British product with no direct equivalent often available in other countries.
If you are already subbing molasses for the black treacle, I would recommend simply using more molasses in place of the golden syrup.
Alternatively corn syrup will give you a lighter, less rich cookie. Honey would be another alternative but obviously that is going to change the flavour profile a little.
Or, you can make your own homemade golden syrup. Who knew!
I only use salted butter in my baking. If you insist on using tasteless unsalted, please add a little salt to the mix.
I use both ground ginger and cinnamon in this recipe. The balance of spices has been tested endlessly and trust me, they’re perfect. If you want to experiment by using more or less of one of them, please try my quantities first then make changes if you need to.
The recipe uses self raising flour which includes baking powder. The double whammy of raising agents in this recipe creates a unique texture. If you can’t get hold of self raising (self rising) flour – you can make your own.
Bicarbonate of Soda
Also known as baking soda, this gives the cookies that unique crackle effect and is part of creating that delicious chewy texture. Don’t be tempted to add extra as it will affect the flavour of the cookies.
I’ve taken this base cookie recipes and made several versions already. It’s so easy to adapt for various flavours. Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies are a little different and my Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies are great for chocolate lovers.
To keep within the gingerbread theme, you could add extra spices such as allspice, ground cloves and/or nutmeg.
Alternatively you could use a spice mix like mixed spice or pumpkin spice in place of the cinnamon. I would add that in addition to the ginger, not instead.
I know that one of the most popular adaptations of my Chewy Ginger Cookies is to add some chopped stem or crystallised ginger. That would be brilliant to do with this recipe too. Simply stir into the dough with the dry ingredients.
Make it Vegetarian or Vegan
This gingerbread cookie recipe is vegetarian but a few adaptations will be needed to make it vegan suitable.
Firstly you will need to switch the butter for a dairy free alternative. I would try to use a block type option rather than a softer margarine type.
Secondly the egg can be replaced with 1tbsp neutral flavoured oil. This will make the cookies a little flatter and more crispy but they are still good.
Make it Allergy Friendly
This recipe is free from nuts.
Gluten Free: To make gluten free gingerbread cookies, you can simply replace the flour with a gluten free flour blend. If you don’t have an option which includes a raising agent, you will need to add baking powder.
Dairy Free: To make dairy free gingerbread cookies you will simply need to use a dairy free butter alternative.
Egg Free: You can replace the egg with 1tbsp of vegetable or other neutral flavoured oil. Or use a liquid vegan egg replacer.
Please note that this recipe may contain other allergens not referred to above and any variations suggested have not been tested unless otherwise stated. For more information regarding any dietary information provided on this website, please refer to my Nutritional Disclaimer.
Equipment Notes for Soft Gingerbread Biscuits
I make this dough in just one mixing bowl or pan by putting it onto my electric scales and resetting them before adding each ingredient. This is a huge saver on washing up.
A good set of measuring spoons are invaluable in any kitchen and no less so in this recipe.
I am a huge fan and always recommend using silicone spatulas when baking. I find that they are far superior at scraping ingredients from the sides of bowls which minimises waste and ensures everything is properly mixed.
A comprehensive list of the equipment used to make this recipe is included in the main recipe card below. Click on any item to see an example. There are no hard and fast rules so many items can be sensibly substituted to achieve the same results.
I find that these gingerbread biscuits keep incredibly well in an airtight container. They’re usually still soft for a good couple of weeks.
To get even further ahead, they’re also perfect to keep in the freezer. You can do this either by freezing the rolled balls of dough and baking from frozen. Or by freezing the baked cookies.
If freezing the dough, you will need to add a few extra minutes into the cooking time.
Leftover Molasses Cookies
I’m not sure I’ve ever experienced leftover cookies!
But if you do have some that are starting to go a little stale, they are ideal to make ice cream sandwiches.
Or to crumble over ice cream, use as a cheesecake base, or use in the base of a cheeky trifle.
Chewy Gingerbread Cookie Tips
I know that it is common for many people to use a cookie scoop to portion out dough. It is fine to do that but please make sure to roll them into smooth balls afterwards or they may not spread in the right way.
Remember that the more you press down the dough balls, the more they’ll spread and thinner the final cookies will be.
Don’t be alarmed when the cookies are still super soft and a bit puffy at the end of the cooking time – this is exactly what’s supposed to happen. They will settle and harden a little.
Don’t forget to let me know in the comments if you try making this recipe – I want to know what you think and if you made any substitutions, how did it turn out?
Still Have Questions?
Simple! Just contact me and I will do my best to help as quickly as I am able. Head over to my Contact Me page, any of my social media channels or post a comment at the bottom of this page and I’ll see what I can do.
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More Ginger Recipes
Chewy Gingerbread Cookies
- 50 g Golden Syrup
- 50 g Black Treacle
- 120 g Salted Butter
- 1 Egg
- 200 g Caster Sugar (Superfine Sugar)
- 350 g Self Raising Flour (Self-Rising)
- 2 tbsp Ground Ginger - – use less for a more subtle flavour
- 1 tsp Cinnamon
- 1 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda (Baking Soda)
- Preheat the oven to 170c fan | 190c | 340f or equivalent.
- Line 2 baking sheets with grease-proof paper.
- Add 50g Golden Syrup, 50g Black Treacle and 120g Butter to either a large bowl or a large pan.
- Melt the syrups and butter in either the microwave or over a medium heat on the hob. It only needs to melt and not boil/get super hot or the egg will scramble.
- Add 1 Egg to the butter/syrup mix and mix until fully combined. If you've overheated the syrup/butter or used a saucepan rather than microwave, allow the syrup/butter to cool a little first.
- Weigh 200g Caster Sugar and 350g Self Raising Flour directly into the mixture.
- Add 2 tbsp Ground Ginger, 1 tsp Cinnamon and 1 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda.
- Stir until the whole mixture resembles a slightly wet and shiny dough.
- Turn the dough out onto a board, even it up and cut it into 16 equal size pieces. You could also cut it into more or less pieces for smaller or bigger cookies.
- Roll each of the pieces of dough into a smooth ball.
- Place each ball on the baking sheets making sure that you give them plenty of room to spread.
- Press down the balls to flatten them slightly with the palm of your hand. The more you press, the thinner and crispier the biscuits will be. Don't press at all for thick cookies with less spread.
- Bake for 10 minutes. They will be very soft when removed from the oven but they will harden considerably on cooling.
- Leave to cool on their trays for 5/10 minutes and when they are firm enough to handle, move them to a cooling rack.
These turned out very well, although mine had a more cakey than chewy texture, but maybe that’s because I used half the amount of sugar (they were still pretty sweet!). Other than that, I didn’t vary the recipe although I might try without the bicarb next time, as I found the taste slightly overpowering (even with all the ginger!).
Hi Deborah. This is the problem with changing recipes. Sugar isn’t in recipes purely to add sweetness. It adds volume and moisture too. So unfortunately there is little surprise that the texture was affected. Changing the balance of flavours has also resulted in the bicarb overpowering – this wouldn’t be the case if the correct amount of sugar is used. Maybe try making them correctly and having half a cookie rather than trying to reduce sugar in sweet baking recipes?
Kate - Gluten Free Alchemist says
These must be the most perfect-looking ginger cookies ever! They are all identical (Paul Hollywood would be proud) and the crackle is amazing! xx
I love your ginger cookies so can’t wait to make these! I like to make a batch for the freezer so I have tasty cookies ready in minutes!
Just don’t forget to roll them smooth after scooping – I know what you’re like!!!
Rebecca - Glutarama says
I’ve never tried chewy ginger cookies before! Hard ones that snap your teeth in two but ont chewy ones. I must right this wrong immediately! Fab recipe, will defo be giving this a go.
You won’t go back!
Carrie Carvalho says
Love a good chewy cookie for dunking and your suggestion of pairing these with a Bailey’s Hot Choc is perfection!
You won’t be dissapointed!
I’ve just made these Gingerbread Cookies and they are fantastic! So easy to make and they turn out exactly like your photos. I’m very impressed, thanks for another great recipe.
Thanks Janice, I’ve seen the pictures and they do look fab, I’m so pleased you’re enjoying them!
I already love your ginger cookies, so these are next on my bake list. Any cookie with ginger and treacle is a winner for me!