Giant Ginger Cookies

My friend Suzanne’s daughter Audrey loves to cook. When Audrey and I were first getting to know each other she made me a batch of her favorite giant ginger cookies. (She thinks she got the recipe from an old Sunset magazine, but I haven’t been able to find the actual source.) The first time Audrey made these cookies for me she was about 10 years old. Now she’s almost 15 and still making these fabulous cookies. Here’s what she told me about them when she was 10:

“I wanted to make these cookies because my mom always made these cookies when I was little and they tasted soooo good. The first two times I made them they didn’t turn out so good (forgot to add the baking soda). The third time’s the charm though. This time they turned out perfectly. I made them all by myself, without any help from mom.”

Giant Ginger Cookies

Giant Ginger Cookies Recipe

  • Yield: Makes two dozen 4-inch cookies


  • 4-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons ground ginger*
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon*
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves*
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/2 cups butter (3 sticks), room temperature
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 3/4 cup coarse sugar or granulated sugar

* Can substitute the ground ginger, cinnamon, and cloves for an equal amount of pumpkin pie spice.


1 In a medium mixing bowl stir together flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and salt; set aside.

2 In a large mixing bowl beat together butter with the 2 cups granulated sugar. Beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in eggs and molasses. Beat in the flour mixture, using a wooden spoon.

3 Shape dough into 2-inch balls using 1/4 cup dough. Roll balls in the 3/4 cup coarse or granulated sugar. Place about 2-1/2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.

4 Bake in a 350°F oven for 12 to 14 minutes or until cookies are light brown and puffed. Cool on cookie sheet for 2 minutes. Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool. Store in a tightly covered container at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

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  1. Jennifer

    Are these soft cookies or crunchy cookies when they are done?

  2. Sherpa

    This made my day. Just in time for the long weekend!

  3. Nic

    Cute post, Elise and Audrey! The cookies look just wonderful.

  4. Kevin

    Keep up the good work Audrey! My daughter is 3 and I can’t keep her out of the kitchen!

  5. Elise

    Hi Jennifer – they are about half-way between chewy and crunchy. If you want them chewy, you can substitute shortening for the butter. Crisco sells a trans-fat free shortening, by the way. If you want them cruncher, cook them longer.

    Hi Sherpa – thanks for saying hello, and thanks for reminding us that there is a long weekend this weekend. No mail tomorrow.

    Hi Nic – Thanks Nic, Audrey did such a great job on these cookies.

    Hi Kevin – I love it. Isn’t great when kids are actually interested in where food comes from and how we prepare it?

  6. Anderson

    Three sticks of butter? OMG :(

  7. Kevin

    Three sticks of butter! MMMMMmmmmmm Buttterrrr…. ;-)

    Kids teach me in the kitchen as well. They show me how to have fun again!

  8. Elise

    Hi Anderson – those three sticks of butter go with 4 1/2 cups of flour to make two dozen 4 inch wide cookies. It seems like a lot because it’s a big recipe.

    Hi Kevin – Kids do put delight in things, don’t they?

  9. Tina

    Great cookies! They were soft and tasted awesome and were really easy to make. I love the idea of GIANT cookies! Thanks for the recipe…

  10. Eric

    I made these this weekend (with some modifications) with my 3 and 4 years olds over the weekend, and they turned out wonderful.

    My modifications were to increase all ingredients, except for the butter by half, and I substituted 2 cups of brown sugar for the granulated to help keep the cookies chewy.

  11. Caroline

    I made these cookies this weekend and they were a huge HIT with friends and family! Thanks so much for sharing this recipe- I am going to make these cookies over and over again this holiday season!

  12. ashley

    Wow, I am going to have to try these after reading all these wonderful comments. I have had this recipe bookmarked online for about a month now. I will try it tomorrow when the stores open!

  13. Lillian Wengerd

    I ate one of the most wonderful gingerbread cookies when I was 16 years old and have been looking for the recipe ever since(I’m 23 now). I have no idea if this is the same recipe but it definitely tastes like the one I remember. WOW!!!! THANK YOU! It is just sooooo delicious!!

    I used the large Pampered Chef scoop and it made 50-52 cookies…I think I had 3 or 4,LOL! My 2 toddler daughters love them too. Needless to say this recipe will stay in my family cookbook.

    P.S. I baked some harder than others since I enjoy the crunchier texture more than my husband. Very easy to do and it only takes a minute or two more.

  14. AB

    I just wanted to say THANK YOU for an excellent website and THANK YOU for helping me win my family’s annual Cookie Contest this year! I made your Giant Ginger Cookies and won two prizes– “Most Delicious” and the “Grand Prize.” I now have a new Silpat and a gift card to Sur la Table thanks to you! Everyone loved them. I made them as written, but I used organic sugar (evaporated cane juice) instead of regular white granulated, and it actually improved the recipe, which I didn’t think possible. I used a small scoop to make golfball sized balls, and they were perfect. Thank you!

  15. Anonymous

    hello, thanks for the recipe.
    I am not native english speaker and the amounts you have written in cups are not familiar to me. I havea few questions:
    1-When you say ‘cup’ do you mean the cup we use to drink coffee?
    2-how big is your teapooon? for example is it big enough to eat ice cream or is it something smaller just to stir tea? some people call desert spoon teaspoon that is why I am asking.
    3- I hate cinnamon what if I omit cinnamon and just add ginger?
    4- is there an alternative to baking soda??

    yesim THANKS!

  16. Elise

    Hello Anonymous – this website uses American standard measurements which are different from most of the rest of the world. To convert to grams and liters, use the “Measurement Converter” in the left side bar. Regarding the use of baking soda (a leavening agent). Usually you cannot substitute. But in this case, if I didn’t have access to baking soda, but I did have access to baking powder, I might try making the cookies with 1 teaspoon of baking powder. Otherwise, I would skip it all together and see it worked. The eggs will provide some leavening.

  17. Darlene in Nova Scotia

    Hi there Elise and Audrey, I just couldn’t believe it when I saw these fabulous cookies. I have been looking for this recipe for 3 years now. A young lady made these for my boyufriend Garry after he wrote her a glowing letter of reference. She arrived at the door with a hugh plate of these wonderful cookies. She was always going to give him the recipe, however….you know teens are rather busy these days. I was so excited to see these in the picture. My last sheet of cookies are still in the oven. Thanks to both of you. They are so delicious. I had to cook mine appoximately 20 minutes, however every oven is different. We are enjoying your cookies here in Pictou County, Nova Scotia. Kind of you ladies to share these Giant Ginger Cookies.

  18. Garion

    I just made them for an early Thanksgiving dinnner thing. They came out great. I LOVE them!

    I didn’t make them as giant cookies. And therefore I got 54 cookies out the batch.

    They were chewy on the inside and a little bit hard on the outside.

    So good.


  19. Meg

    Wow–These are great! I just finished making them and they were a hit with my husband, who is a picky sweet-eater. Thanks for the wonderful recipe!

  20. April

    SO good! Thank you for yet another wonderful recipe. I just made these with my 3 year old, and she loves them too.

  21. Dewi

    These are fantastic! I added about a 1/2 TBS. of grated fresh ginger, and it gave them a nice bite.

  22. ecstatic

    I just whipped these up and they are fantastic! Soft and very richly flavoured. Thanks for a great recipe that I will be using again and again.

  23. Juan Ortiz

    My girl, your recipe turned out great. Thank you a lot for sharing, my family loved them :)

    Take Care

  24. tracy

    I am beginning to gain local fame for these awesome cookies. Thank you for the recipe – these are my favorite cookies to bake ever and SO good for the holiday season!

  25. lorraine a. tait

    Yummy. Made them this afternoon while my husband was shoveling outside all that snow. His comment was that those were the best cookies I had ever made.
    From the north in Canada .
    p.s. They are awesome.

  26. Kate

    WOW! these were just perfect! I halved the recipe to make a bout 2 1/2 dozen average sized cookies. They were perfect with just the right amount of chewiness and crunch. mmmmm….

  27. Rachel

    Hey there Elise and Audrey!

    I’m new on the oven, and I never bake. So I was wondering if you could help me on this:

    1. Can I use the recipe to make ginger breadman cookies?

    No, you should use this gingerbread man cookies recipe.

    2. Can i use fresh ginger instead of ground ones? Will it taste better if i were to use fresh ones? How much of the equivalent?

    No, for this recipe you should use ground powdered ginger.

    Thanks a whole lot! I feel so encouraged to see the positive comments on this recipe! I’d love to be a living testimony to this! Hehe.. THANKS!

    Good luck! ~Elise

  28. elaine

    Just made these cookies. They are delicious. I have the recipe and it made 19. Will definitely make again. They are very gingery which I really like. Thanks so much for the great website!

  29. Delena

    These are great cookies, my family loves them, but I do use fresh ground ginger, equal amount to what is in the receipe.

  30. Psydad

    Very delicious!! I was taken aback at first by the instruction to measure out the dough in 1/4 cup amounts, but hey, this has to be to most delicious cookie I have ever made. Elise, you and Audrey are to be congratulated :)

  31. Heather Harmon

    I made these cookies several times last winter! These are my new favorite gingerbread. I like really spicy cookies.

  32. Anne

    Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

    I just made these cookies with my dad for Christmas yesterday and they were AMAZING! My mother and grandmother don’t like anything similar to gingerbread and they loved these. They kind of reminded me of a softer gingerbread cookie.

    Thank you so much for the recipe!

  33. Leslie

    I just made these! I halved the recipe and made them normal-sized (heaping tablespoons of dough), baked for about 11 minutes, and they came out great! I got 27 cookies out of a half recipe. Very nice. Thank you!

  34. Amanda

    I made these cookies last night and they are soooo yummy! And they were very easy to make except stirring the dough at the very end gets a tad difficult because of all the tackiness from the molasses.

  35. Andrea

    Hi, just wondering, if I dont have access to molasses what can I subtituded it with? Where I live is basically non available.

    You might find a product similar to molasses called “treacle” or “black treacle”. Or you might try substituting the 1/2 cup of molasses with 6 Tbsp of dark brown sugar, packed. ~Elise

  36. Roberto

    Dear Audrey

    Greetings from Argentina.

    Thank you so much for this wonderful cookie recipe ! I tried them 3 times with my rather small oven and everybody loved them here in BA, Argentina in the Southern Hemisphere.

    We congratulate you

    Thanks again and all the very best !

  37. Lauren

    These cookies are perfection. I am in seventh heaven with a belly full of giant ginger cookies, and my co-workers are going to be one happy bunch tomorrow — if they even make it to work!

  38. Natasha

    Hi Elise,

    I was just wondering how well these freeze. I want to get started early on my Christmas baking this year, and would love to add these into the rotation of cookies that I give to my co-workers. I have made them lots of times before, but they never last long enough for me to test out freezing them. Thanks in advance for any help you can offer, and thanks for the wonderful recipe.

    Hello Natasha, I haven’t tried freezing these so don’t know what to tell you. If you do try them that way, please let us know how they turn out for you. ~Elise

  39. Patricia Muncie

    I had a recipe just like this one back in the 1980’s and lost it. I have been trying to find it since. The one’s I baked were called Alaskan Ginger cookies and they were very large just like this recipe. I sent cookies to my parents and grandparents and these were their favorite. I was trilled to find this one because it is so simular to the one I lost. Just in time for Christmas. My parents will be trilled to see them again. Thankyou

  40. TS

    I’m a ginger junkie, and enjoy experimenting with recipes containing it.
    These are great cookies! However, I think they could be kicked up a notch with the addition of chopped crystallized ginger for texture and more gingery goodness. Crystallized ginger is an awesome thing.

  41. Erin Feichtinger

    Wonderful! I brought these to a crayfish boil and they were a huge hit.


  42. pricklypear

    I love these cookies so much! I just made them again yesterday and they really hit the spot.
    Thank you for your blog, it is my all-time favorite and I get super inspired to cook and experiment when I read it. It’s so great!

  43. Cecilia

    I am not a cookie baker as they never turn out right.However I decided to give these a try besause when I saw them my mouth watered –my mom used to make molasses cookies like these.They turned out just PERFECT.They are SO good with a hot cup of tea.I am sticking this recipe on my fridge.Again,THANKS.

  44. Katherine

    These are the most amazing cookies! I just found this recipe a few nights ago and had to make them right away. Since then I’ve taken them to two Christmas parties and they were a hit both times. I happily pointed people to your site. Thank you for your wonderful recipes!

  45. Monica

    Delicious cookies! Made them for my son, but ate already four of them! Thank you!

  46. Zachary Hadley

    I love ginger cookies and need to try these. They look extra chewy, and of course, extra large! Do you think crystallized ginger could be used in the batter or as a topping somehow?

    • Sarah

      I don’t know if you tried it already or not, but I just made a batch with some crystallized ginger mixed in and the cookies turned out great.

      Love this recipe and this site! I always go here first when I’m looking for something to bake. :)

  47. Alex

    Bravo!!! Elise, these are simply delightful. Chewy, lightly sweet, gingery (without being too spicy), with a slight crunch from the sugar. I made them with my Christmas cookies for my co-workers, and they RAVED. Your website is a treasure trove of information and every recipe of yours that I’ve made has been delicious and looked just like the picture! Thank you for another winner- it’s going into the rotation!

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