Ginger-Molasses Crinkles

This is by far the most made recipe of the week. (And I just realized it’s only Wednesday.) I’ve cranked out dozens and dozens of these, starting with four batches with W’s grade one class on Monday afternoon, in preparation for their Christmas concert on Tuesday. The old sandstone school filled with the smell of baking cookies as we went up and down the stairs between classroom and staff room to bake sheet after sheet. And so yesterday there was a table of tea and homemade cookies outside the gymnasium for parents and kids to hang out and nibble before and after the performance.

If you’re a parent and have the opportunity to go help out in your kids’ classroom, and his or her teacher is up for an afternoon of baking, it may just be a few of the most rewarding hours you’ll ever spend. Some of the kids in W’s class had never cooked anything before. Rather than show up with premade dough to roll and cut, or prebaked cookies to decorate, I brought butter and eggs and flour and sugar and molasses and cinnamon and ginger, and printed out copies of this recipe – written out clearly, with simple steps. We talked about recipes and how they work – then talked about each ingredient and where it came from. Then there was measuring, learning about cups and spoons and halves and quarters of same. The kids were divided into four groups and did an amazing job following the instructions, measuring ingredients, cracking eggs, mixing and rolling balls of dough to bake. We talked about what happened in the oven, what made them rise and spread and turn from balls of dough into actual cookies. And at the end we sat around the tables and ate some while they were still warm. The kids took home their recipes and, eager to show their parents how they could bake from scratch themselves. (Of course some had kitchen experience already, but others hadn’t. I’m getting goosebumpy just thinking about it. Don’t wait for Jamie Oliver to show up at your school – get in there yourself. It’s amazing the impact you can make in an afternoon.

Later, I made more to boost quantities for the concert, and some may have wound up sandwiched with some leftover frosting. Try vanilla, cream cheese or lemon – just spread on a cooled cookie and top with another one.

This is the recipe we used, with simple wording for young kids.

Ginger-Molasses Crinkles


Yields1 Serving

1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup molasses
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp salt


Preheat the oven to 350?F. In a large bowl, beat the butter, sugar, and brown sugar until smooth. Beat in the egg and molasses.


Add the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger and salt. Stir by hand or beat on low speed just until well blended and smooth.


Roll the dough into balls about the size of a walnut. Put some sugar in a small dish, and roll each ball of cookie dough in the sugar.


Put the balls on a parchment-lined sheet and bake them for 12-14 minutes, until they are cracked and golden around the edges. Move them onto a wire rack to cool. Makes 2 1/2 dozen cookies.


 1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
 1 cup sugar
 1/2 cup brown sugar
 1 egg
 1/4 cup molasses
 2 cups all-purpose flour
 2 tsp baking soda
 1 tsp cinnamon
 1/2 tsp ginger
 1/4 tsp salt



Preheat the oven to 350?F. In a large bowl, beat the butter, sugar, and brown sugar until smooth. Beat in the egg and molasses.


Add the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger and salt. Stir by hand or beat on low speed just until well blended and smooth.


Roll the dough into balls about the size of a walnut. Put some sugar in a small dish, and roll each ball of cookie dough in the sugar.


Put the balls on a parchment-lined sheet and bake them for 12-14 minutes, until they are cracked and golden around the edges. Move them onto a wire rack to cool. Makes 2 1/2 dozen cookies.

Ginger-Molasses Crinkles

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33 comments on “Ginger-Molasses Crinkles

  1. Jennifer
    December 21, 2011 at 8:09 pm

    I love everything about this, what a fabulous thing to do with the kids! Someday, when my kids are in school, I will definitely volunteer to do this!

  2. AMY
    December 21, 2011 at 8:41 pm

    There are almost 2 cups of sugar in this recipe – I wonder if there are any parents who would be concerned about that – to say nothing of overwhelming focus on sweets during the holiday season.

  3. Anon
    December 21, 2011 at 9:16 pm

    Hey Amy,

    Read a different blog. Julie’s all heart and no grinch; and I seriously doubt any of the kids ate the entire batch…

  4. Erin
    December 21, 2011 at 9:27 pm

    I’m with Jennifer. I love everything about this! Hard to believe there are kids who had never baked cookies from scratch before. It’s chemistry experiments you can eat!

  5. Laura
    December 21, 2011 at 10:22 pm

    I swear we are on the same cookie timetable, after the nut balls last week (I made pecan rolls yesterday), I have an almost identical recipe for these crinkles that I made this afternoon with S (Grade 2). Only I hate my oven, as the 20 at the bottom were burnt on the bottom and the 20 at the top were not yet cooked. Yours look so much better!

    • Anonymous
      May 6, 2019 at 7:30 pm

      Some cookies sheets cause cookies to burn..don’t use dark nonstick sheets..use parchment paper on shiny sheets eg. Professional type aluminum cookie sheets..I bought mine at Costco.

  6. Carolyn
    December 22, 2011 at 4:45 am

    I agree – I love this post…. Hard to believe that kids haven’t baked before. One of the things under the Tree for my 11 year old is a copy of One Smart Cookie. She asked me for for favourite things from my kithen, and this cookbook is my favourite of all time.

  7. Jennifer Jo
    December 22, 2011 at 4:49 am

    Your crinkles are so perfectly crinkled! I can never get mine to crinkle like that. And your recipe looks fairly normal. Is there another secret?

  8. Melanie @ Melanie Cooks
    December 22, 2011 at 7:19 am

    The crinkles are picture perfect! Beautiful cookies!

  9. June
    December 22, 2011 at 7:52 am

    I agree – absolutely great blog and super cookies. It’s heartbreaking to think there are kids that have never spent time in the kitchen and how wonderful of you to teach them the “math” they’ll actually be able to make daily use of, never mind the gratification of creating something so delicious. As for ANON …couldn’t have said it better myself.

  10. Fiona
    December 22, 2011 at 9:08 am

    Oh, those and the nut balls are going in my Christmas baskets this year. Thanks! I love gingery, spicy cookies. Also, I love the idea that you baked with W’s class, and showed them how to read a recipe. That’s fabulous. I think understanding where food comes from and appreciating how good something tastes after you’ve put it together yourself far outweighs any potential freak-outs about sugar content. Not to mention that they’re sharing what they’ve made with everyone, which is probably the very sweetest thing of all.

  11. Ellen
    December 22, 2011 at 10:09 am

    Julie – I have to share this with you, it made me so happy. Our library (Beaverton, OR, US) doesn’t have a copy of your new cookbook, so I asked the library for an interlibrary loan, which could take several weeks. The head librarian just called me and said they couldn’t find one, so they’re ordering several copies for the permanent collection, and I’m at the top of the hold list! So excited to read your book. Happy Holidays.

  12. JulieVR
    December 22, 2011 at 10:13 am

    Ellen – you made my day! Thank you!! Happy holidays to you too!

  13. Scott at Real Epicurean
    December 22, 2011 at 11:00 am

    These looks truly amazing! I’ll be giving them a go over Christmas.

  14. Brenda
    December 22, 2011 at 12:13 pm

    where can I buy your new cookbook in Calgary?

  15. angela@spinachtiger
    December 22, 2011 at 3:12 pm

    You are a woman after my heart, teaching how to bake cookies like that. I still remember my first baking lesson was in school. And such a wonderful recipe.

  16. Brenda
    December 22, 2011 at 4:12 pm

    You Rock, Julie! And your cookies do too!!!

    • JulieVR
      December 23, 2011 at 12:07 am

      Aw, you’re so sweet!

  17. lovetocook
    December 22, 2011 at 7:30 pm

    Baking is 1/2 science and 1/2 magic. What lucky kids to have you do something with them that they’ll never forget. It will no doubt foster a lifelong interest in cooking for some and you have (again) left your mark. Kudos Julie and Merry Christmas.

  18. Heather
    December 22, 2011 at 11:01 pm

    I thought these were called Gingersnaps. I use the exact same recipe in the Company’s Coming Cookie cookbook.

    • JulieVR
      December 23, 2011 at 12:06 am

      Heather – I’m sure they go under a great many aliases! There are a bazillion versions of this same recipe – I’ve seen them called ginger crackles, and crinkles, and snaps – I think of gingersnaps as cookies that are thin and snappy, though. They all have pretty much the same ingredients, with slightly different ratios. I started with my old recipe, combined with a Martha Stewart version, then adapted so that the measurements were as simple as possible!

  19. Anonymous
    December 23, 2011 at 7:27 am

    That’s terrific Julie! Sounds like a great experience for the kids and you too. I’m making these right now to commit a Random Act of Cookies for a friend’s family. Stealing your cheese theme but substituting your cookies,

  20. mmac
    December 23, 2011 at 7:29 am

    Oops. Didn’t mean to be anonymous. Coffee hasn’t fully kicked in.

  21. Natalie B
    December 23, 2011 at 12:09 pm

    You don’t know how happy this post makes me. I teach high school science and math, and to me cooking and baking is one of the most effective ways to expose children (and teenagers!) to science and to using fractions. I know that may sound boring, but I’ve taught remedial math classes where the kids have such a hard time visualizing fractions. Drawing on life experiences like baking can be so helpful for then achieving understanding 🙂

  22. molly
    December 23, 2011 at 7:16 pm

    and here i was, just denouncing molasses…

    shame on me!

    more importantly, your words on kids and cooking hit me straight where it counts. for all my churning and creaming, i am no teacher, and am always wondering how best to break it down. i’ll be re-reading this one often. thanks, julie.

    and a very, very merry christmas to you and yours!


  23. LJR
    December 23, 2011 at 9:16 pm

    This is our favorite cookie recipe next to boiled raisin cookies. I am so happy that I taught my boys how to bake/cook and offer up the reasons for ratios and some times substitutions – speaking of which – my recipe card from Mom notes this one. Rendered Chicken fat makes an exceptionally crisp cookie.

    Lest anyone get upset,in he ’50’s,I grew up on a mixed farm – grain, cows, chickens (all organic,free range before it was a trendy thing to do)!!!! When we butchered the chickens, mom would render all the lovely fat. The cookies were the result With all the physical labour involved in such a farm, the rich treats were welcomed for coffee/tea breaks. My father lived to 85 and could still wear his 54 year old wedding suit and Mom just celebrated her 91st birthday, so I hope they had great genes or perhaps the exercise was key!!!!!!
    I so agree with the previous comments on the correlation of food, math, science, biology – life is so interconnected and working with your children to teach them what it is all about, is what it is all about!!!!!!!!!
    You are so special to be able to put it all out there for us, Julie. You are a treasure. Have a Merry Christmas.

  24. Ashley
    January 2, 2012 at 9:45 pm

    Those kids are lucky to have had you in their classroom teaching them how to bake! 🙂 How fun. I have a favourite ginger cookie recipe but think I’ll have to try this one too.

  25. Christine
    January 23, 2012 at 5:44 pm

    dude, what is in the middle?? The frosting! What about the frosting! I NEED the recipe for the frosting!!

  26. Celia
    December 1, 2012 at 1:42 pm

    These were so amazing! Perfectly crinkled. I doubled the ginger because I like spicy cookies! Thanks Julie. You’re like my idol haha.

  27. Michelle elford
    December 9, 2016 at 7:14 pm

    Don’t know if you’ll see this so many years later, but do your cookies get hard once they’ve cooled? How do you keep them soft?

    • Julie
      December 14, 2016 at 1:31 pm

      Just make sure you don’t overbake them! They should still be soft in the middle when they come out of the oven – they’ll firm up as they cool down.

  28. Dana
    July 23, 2017 at 2:00 pm

    Just thought I would let you know that I substituted whole wheat for regular flour this weekend to make these for a camping treat (they hold up so well) and they worked out great! I didn’t even adjust the amount. They had a really nice bite.

  29. Meg
    November 21, 2020 at 9:34 pm

    Julie, these are one of my all time favourite Christmas cookie. I thought about you and your lovely Lou tonight while I made these for my elderly neighbours. I’m sorry for your loss. I’m sure he’s still eating toast scraps amongst all the other goodies in heaven and loving every bite. xo.

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