Triple Ginger Cookies

These are the ginger cookies you want to make. A special triple ginger cookie made with three kinds of ginger and a hit of lemon zest. Cracked and sugar-crusted on the outside, dense and moist within.

Triple Ginger Cookies

These are the ginger cookies you want to make. Little cookies spiked with lemon and three kinds of ginger. I can't get enough of them. Cracked and sugar-crusted on the outside, dense and moist within, these chewy, tender ginger gems invigorate the senses with every bite. Helped, no doubt, by the lively combination of freshly grated ginger, powdered ginger, AND minced crystallized ginger.
Triple Ginger Cookie Recipe
Texturally they are far from being ginger snaps, but calling them ginger puffs wouldn't accurately describe them either - they maintain a certain heft that belies their tiny size. They pair nicely with cold, blustery afternoons. They pair nicely with hot tea.

I should also mention, these are the types of cookies I like to make for parties - the perfect grab-and-go sweet. I say this in part because they deliver a single bite of spicy deliciousness without being too-much - too sugary, too big, too fussy, too ornate, etc. And if that wasn't enough, the smell that emanates from the oven while they are baking is enough to make one swoon.
Triple Ginger Cookie Recipe
It took me a while to get this recipe right where I like it - and I've found using one of two flours works best. I had great results using spelt flour, and great results using whole wheat pastry flour. The version you see in the photos is the whole wheat pastry flour.
Triple Ginger Cookie Recipe

Technique (A Little Secret)

And for those of you who read this to the little secret when it comes to making these cookies is this - I mince the crystallized ginger to death. I go at it like I'm trying to turn it into some sort of paste. Some ginger is moister than others, so you'll have varying results, but really go at it. A dramatic mince.
Triple Ginger Cookie Recipe

I love these alongside classic shortbread cookies. And there are dozens of cookie recipes to explore beyond that! Happy baking all.

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Triple Ginger Cookies

4.27 from 65 votes

Feel free to use all-purpose flour if that is what you have on hand. Again, in regards to the ginger - mince it as if you were trying to turn it into a paste. Two sugar coating. In my most recent batch of these I used a big, flaked, smoked sea salt along with sugar to finish the cookies, so that is something to experiment with as well, but totally optional. I grind whole star anise in my spice grinder and then do a bit of sifting.

  • 1/2 + cup large-grain sugar (i.e. turbinado)
  • 2 cups spelt flour OR whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground star anise (or allspice)
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup unsulphured molasses (I use Wholesome Sweeteners brand)
  • 2/3 cup fine grain natural cane sugar, sifted
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1 large egg, well beaten
  • 1 cup crystallized ginger, then finely minced
  • 2 lemons, zest only
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F degree - racks in the top and bottom 1/3 of the oven. Line a couple baking sheets with unbleached parchment paper or a Silpat mat, place the large-grain sugar in a small bowl, and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, star anise, ground ginger, and salt.
  3. Heat the butter in a skillet until it is just barely melted. Stir in the molasses, natural cane sugar, and fresh ginger. The mixture should be warm, but not hot at this point, if it is hot to touch let it cool a bit. Whisk in the egg. Now pour this over the flour mixture, add the crystallized ginger (make sure it isn't too clumpy), and lemon zest. Stir until just combined.
  4. I like these cookies tiny, barely bite-sized, so I scoop out the dough in exact, level tablespoons. I then tear those pieces of dough in two before rolling each 1/2 tablespoon of dough into a ball shape. From there, grab a small handful of the big sugar you set aside earlier and roll each ball between your palms to heavily coat the outside of each dough ball. Place dough a few inches apart on prepared baking sheets. If you like a slightly larger cookie, use 1 tablespoon of dough for each. Bake for 7-10 minutes or until cookies puff up, darken a bit, get fragrant and crack.

Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
30 mins
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Recipe Rating


heidi, these are divine. so small and elegant and packed with ginger flavor. love the turbinado crunch. baked these to give to my farmer who grows ginger. thank you!5 stars


    Thanks Jude! We might need to up things to quadruple ginger for the ginger farmer!

    Heidi Swanson

Hi Heidi – I’m not sure if you check comments on these old recipes, but I’m curious… Is fine grain natural cane sugar meant to be analogous to confectioner’s/powdered sugar? Or like standard white sugar? I use evaporated cane juice as my standard kitchen sugar but I don’t know if that’s what’s called for here, and I’m sure the sweetness level will be markedly different if I pick the wrong one! Thank you for the beautiful recipe.


    Hi Elizabeth – not powdered sugar, you want to go with a fine grain evaporated cane juice or standard white sugar if that’s what you have. Happy holidays!

    Heidi Swanson

Made these delightful ginger gems! They came out delicious!5 stars

happy cyclist

    Yay! Fanastic!

    Heidi Swanson

Just made these cookies using whole wheat pastry flour and they are amazing! Really satisfy that ginger craving that arises from time to time. I rolled each cookie ball in some sparkling sugar (after rolling in raw sugar) before baking and got a very “professional” looking shimmer. Thanks for sharing.5 stars


    Thanks for the note Mary!

    Heidi Swanson

Wow these are delicious. So ginger-y and chewy. The candied ginger is such a good move, I can’t believe I’ve never come across a ginger cookie recipe that uses it.
I used allspice instead of star anise. Makes a lot of cookies.5 stars


These are the best ginger cookies I have made in a while.
Chewy, spicy, crispy and packed full of ginger.
I used all spelt and they turned out great.5 stars


This has been a favorite for years. Always make it around the holidays, but baked another batch for quarantine snacking!5 stars

Anja Riebensahm

These were Great, This as a great recipe! Seriously – thank you for this easy delish recipe. Thank You for sharing this with us. this is a great blog. I appreciate You.


I just made this tonight and my family and boyfriend asbolutely adored them! For example he had them for the first time and, without even knowing, he exclaimed: “these would be perfect dunked in tea” and i smirked because, oh yeah, that was exactly the reason i made them for. Breakfast (and any other time of the day) heaven. My fave cookies, thank you because this recipe works like a charm even without the candied ginger (i had none on hand!), and also i added some cinnamon bark, a pinch of pepper and used both star anise and allspice, and grinded them up by hand with mortar and pestle! I was looking for a recipe where i could use my freshly bought spices and this suit perfectly! your blog is one of the first ones i go to when looking for inspiration! thank you xxx


    So happy you’re enjoying them! xx, -h

    Heidi Swanson

This is a great ginger cookie recipe…..we loved them!! I used all-purpose flour as that is all I had. I couldn’t find the larger grain sugar that you used for rolling the cookie in before baking. I used a sanding sugar that I found. If you know of any online sources for the large grain, I would appreciate it. You have great recipes….thank you so much!!5 stars

Susan McCluskey

Just made these with 2 cups of Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free all purpose baking flour, and 2 teaspoons of guar gum, worked very well, delicious. Perfect as a Christmas cookie!


    Thanks for the report back Shawn! Much appreciated.

    Heidi Swanson

Mmmm love how gingery these are!

I veganized the recipe (vegan butter, MELT brand, and 1 T flax+3 TBSP of water for the egg) and they came out very well. As with most cookies, I preferred the batch that was made the next day after the dough had rested in the fridge for 24 hours.

Used allspice but will def try the star anise next time. Great idea!5 stars


is there a way to prep these ahead? For example, is the dough freeze-friendly? Do they freeze well baked? Thank you!


    I freeze them (pre-shaped) before baking. Add a few extra minutes in the oven. Enjoy!

    Heidi Swanson

First time at baking cookies and these turned out fantastic. I have always loved ginger snaps from the supermarket these dont compare they are so delicious. Im busy preparing gifts of them for friends for Christmas. .5 stars

Linda Purcell

I have the large coins for crystallized ginger. Can you give an approximate amount in ounces?


    Hi Renee – not sure about the weight. But, 2 palmfuls is probably about right.

    Heidi Swanson

These look really good. I’ve never tried making ginger cookies before, but I’d like to try this recipe out.


Do you think these could be vegan?

Dawn Jasinski

Thanks for this recipe! This is one of the best cookie recipes I’ve ever tried, although mincing all that crystallized ginger does take a while.
Ignore the star anise haters – the star anise gives these cookies a wonderful, unusual licorice flavor that has intrigued everyone that I’ve served them to.
I feel fortunate to have discovered this great web site, with so many delicious-looking recipes on it! Thank you very much for your hard work in compiling it.


Update on the veganization: I used Earth Balance for butter, and En-Er-G egg replace for the egg. Less fluffy than yours look, but they’ve stayed nice and chewy in that way that’s hard to achieve with vegan cookies for now 2 days after. Awesome!


I made these cookies a couple of days ago and as of 5 minutes ago, they are all gone! I gave them out as “thank you” cookies at school…I had no choice but to share their multi-faceted gingery goodness; I was eating them all myself! They are hands down the best ginger cookies I have ever had in my life!

orange pippin

I made a batch of these yesterday, and my husband and I both agree–they are the best cookies we’ve ever eaten! Perfect amount of sweet and spice. Love them.


I’ve started producing these ginger cookies professionally, and they are selling like hot cakes!!


Yum! I made these last night. They are so yummy. I love them. My husband thinks they are too ginger-y, but that means more for me to eat!!!


I made these because I absolutely adore ginger cookies…it wasn’t until I had half of them in the oven that I realized I had forgotten to mix the sugar into the butter-molasses mixture. Luckily they came out just fine without it and I have been enjoying them ever since!


These were fantastic. I did make these with all purpose flour, regular granulated sugar and left the anise. With this combination of ingredients I found chilling the dough in the fridge a bit helped. They are definetly flatter than the photo, but are wonderfully chewy!


I adore ginger cookies! Thanks for this recipe.


These are incredibly yummy! I made them yesterday and took them to a meeting. Everyone kept saying “ooooh, these are wonderful!” They ate every last one, so I’ll have to make more for myself. 🙂

Heather Carver

I am planning on making these cookies this evening and could only find aniseed at my grocery store. Can I use this instead, or Heidi did you intend for us to buy the dried fruit and grind it ourselves? I would really appreciate any help! Thanks!


When mincing crystallized, spray your knife with cooking spray. It works like a charm!


What is it about cold weather that makes me want to dip ginger cookies in my tea? Thanks for the great post…these look delicious!

Donna from Stuff Cooks Want

I love have my meal with a ginger tea.
As it has hot taste and smell pleasantly, I can’t control my mind to drink it.


You are an inspiration!!! I am hooked!!! I try at least 3 recipes a week! You mentioned trying to perfect a quinoa cookie…I can’t wait to try that out!!!


Yes, these look amazing. I always enjoy dessert ideas that aren’t too sweet and these cookies fit the bill perfectly.


These cookies sound delectable! I often add crystallized ginger to my molasses crinkles but these sound so much better.




You can never have enough ginger. Nope, never!!!

The Duo Dishes

Ginger and Heidi on one webpage. A good thing! Thanks for this recipe, tonight perhaps…

Julia Wiley

lovely. perfect winter cookie recipe. I will cook this, no doubt!

heidi leon

wow! i have had some crystallized ginger in my pantry just waiting to be used in such a recipe. I made these cookies last night and they are wonderful. i left out the ground ginger and put in a bit extra of the candied and fresh. after sitting overnight the star anise really came out and its a wonderfully flavorful cookie. my office loves it!


I made these last night using whole wheat flour and dropping the anise. Fantastic. Perfect little cookies for the cold.


These look incredible! I’m really curious to try a ginger cookie that is not crisp like a snap. I really like the idea of using spelt flour for these as well. Very well done!


For our vegan friends, I am wondering if the recipe would work with 1/2 cup apple sauce instead of the egg?


I have to take food to a memorial service saturday and there will be a lot of pies. These look like a wonderful pop of treat to take. The taste of ginger is comforting.

Angela@Spinach Tiger

oh great goodness! cannot wait to make these. you are a recipe goddess.


Most gluten free flours work pretty well in cookies, but I would try amaranth flour, quinoa flour, or a mixture of both. You could even add a bit of tef flour…can you have agave? You could try taking the sugar out and replacing with 1/3 cup coconut sugar and 1/3 cup agave, or some such combination, and they would still be plenty sweet. If the dough is too runny, add a bit of ground flax or finely ground nuts…




these look delicious. there’s something about ginger that tricks me into thinking cookies like these are good for me. because ginger is good for you… sooo TRIPLE ginger cookies must be triply good for you, no?


As someone who is addicted to ginger in all its incarnations, you have just made my whole day! Can’t wait to try them!


Regarding how to mince ginger, its slow going. Use a small paring knife, slice it into 4 slices, turn, slice those. Take this final pile and cut into tiny dice. I was using kitchen shears, but tired quickly, and it gooed up the shears. Using a small knife kept contact at a minimum.


Ginger is definitely my fave flavor du jour (dont know ‘month’ in French) so I look forward to making a batch of these cookies. Question – have you tried agave nectar here? I think you have to reduce the amount by 25% and it might provide a different texture. But I don’t have cane sugar in the house.


The combination of lemon, ginger and molasses will surely bring some much needed warmth and comfort to my apartment this evening. Thanks for the recipe! These look fabulous!

Jada Ach

You’ve read my mind (and taste buds) with this one! I’m mad for ginger biscuits and I’ve been working on making crystallized ginger with agave nectar instead of sugar… I’ve almost got it right! I’ll let you know how I go making these with my own home made crystallized ginger! Yum


I’ve always disliked ginger snaps because of their crunch, and always wished they were a bit softer. These sound like a perfect balance of the two.


These sound wonderful. I love the warming spiciness of ginger.


Can i suggest the addition of Colemans English mustard powder along with the dry ingredients…if you can source it there. One teaspoon really gives the ginger that extra little kick and no-one can ever guess! Just made a batch of Parkin, soft, squidgy and very gingery. Looking forward to trying these next.

sally Smallwood

Oh My! I think I have died and gone to heaven! Triple Ginger!!!
You have no idea what a ginger junkie I am. Just need to convert to a gluten free mix and I am golden! Plus you have got to know these will be great for digestion too. Thanks again Heidi!


Mmmm. The power of suggestion. I’ve never used star anise before. My small town didn’t carry sassafras for the gumbo, so I bet I’ll have to wait for a trip to the ‘bigger city’ of Portland.


MMMMmmmm! These look great. As a kid I didn’t like Ginger, but when I got older I realized how extraordinary it was. Great recipe!


I’m a sucker for anything ginger, ginger chews, ginger soups, gingerbread men or a slice between sushi rolls. WWP flour only makes them that more tempting.


Chiot’s Run…Ginger Sugar? Please share!
I love how these use crystalized ginger. I’ve been making some “dramatic mince” myself to add to some chocolate for ginger truffles.
The sea salt and sugar finish is a really nice touch. Ginger goes so well with a little sweet a little salty.


I love love love any kind of ginger cookies. I too have a recipe for triple ginger cookies I love, but I’ll give these a shot.
I occationally make ginger sugar to use on mine.
I also use a tiny ice cream scoop to shape then, easy as can be.

Chiot's Run

Wow, these are a ginger lover’s dream. When you say spelt flour, do you mean white spelt flour? Or regular spelt flour?


These cookies look very appetizing. Ginger in any form has a very refreshing taste. Since this recipe uses only one egg, is there any subsitute apart from the ready-made egg substitutes available in the market?


I just made these amazing cookies, and veganized them by adding 1 tablespoon flax, 3 tablespoon water instead of the egg, coconut oil instead of butter and they came out great.

Baking Fairy

Yum. I love candied ginger in cookies.


“Dramatic mince” – nice 🙂
The delicate cracks and beautiful coloration are enough to make me drool over these even without knowing they’re filled to the brim with one of my favorite ingredients. I am definitely making these before I return to school!


Okay, I made some adjustments to make the cookies friendly for those of us who are intolerant of gluten and/ or refined/ simple sugars:
For the molasses, I used 1/4 blackstrap molasses. This is still a simple sugar, but with greater nutritional value.
In place of the 2/3 cup sugar, I used 1/4 cup yacon syrup.
My lemons had very little zest to give, so I threw in 1/4 tsp lemon extract as well.
I used 2 cups of Pamela’s gluten free baking and pancake mix, with some sorghum flour thrown in (2 cups total).
I coated half the cookies in turbinado sugar, and left the other half bald.
Baked on parchment paper at 350 for 7 minutes…. they are beautiful and tasty. The sugar-sparkles make the cookies look enchanted.
Blue Oakie – thanks for the ginger ale recipe! I have missed it since giving up simple sugars. I will try your recipe with the yacon syrup in its place.


I generally don’t go for ginger cookies but your description is so divine I’m ready to dive in and start baking!

Michelle @ What Does Your Body Good?

Oh, wow- I’ve been looking for a wonderful ginger cookie recipe, since my husband has become perfectly obsessed with some his brother brought back from Philadelphia. I’m so looking forward to trying this! (after a trip to the grocery store, though- three types of ginger isn’t something I’ve got on heand at all times)

Kellie Hill

This recipe reminds me so much of my grandmother it made me cry. I used to make gingersnaps for her for Christmas every year. I’ve used cayenne and crystalized ginger, but never fresh ginger root — I’m looking forward to trying this triple-dose of ginger. BTW, you can also make great homemade ginger ale with fresh ginger root: slice a couple of thumbs of ginger root into thin slices and simmer with a slice of lemon zest in 2 c. water w/ 1 c. sugar for about 30 minutes (add a couple of dried chilis if you like it really spicy). Mix a couple of tablespoons in a glass with sparkling water and voila! Yummy soda with no creepy corn syrup 😉

Blue Oakie

Oh wow these look amazing. I have a similar recipe so i must compare the two.. Hehe more cookies for me to eat!!


I have a request. If you think of it, when you have a flour preference will you mention what qualities have you prefer the flour for the particular recipe? This will help gluten-free readers who are not experienced with the traditional flours, figure out what g-f flour(s) to use in the recipe.
Thanks for the great recipes!


Trader joe, eat your heart out. I would much rather make my own and have the wonderful smell fill my kitchen than go to TJ’s and get their bin (which I luuuuuuv). Thanks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Try freezing the crystallized ginger before mincing. ; )

The EastistK

If you have star anise extract, I suppose it might, but regular anise has a very different flavor profile than the star anise. The star anise is more woody and rich and smells far more like black licorice than regular anise. It’s some seriously potent stuff. But, the volatile oils in it degrade pretty quickly, so it’s best to grind it fresh, as Heidi recommends. But you probably won’t be able to use that grinder for much anything else (at least for a while) if you run star anise through it! Spoken from a person who doesn’t like it, though.


I think you and David Lebovitz are on the same wave length. Except a different texture.
HS: I know! I can’t wait to give his version a go as well. I think January is a good month for ginger, no?


First the online pastry chef posts about crystallising your own ginger and now I see this recipe. There is a message there for me (though, really, I don’t need messages to convince me to make anything involving ginger!). I also like the small cookie size – means you can eat more of them 🙂

Daily Spud

I like the idea of this. I generally dislike ginger snaps because they have that “pumpkin pie” type spice mix that I love in curries and hate in sweets. But just lots of ginger and a little anise? That might be good…
Does anyone know if I can substitute anise extract for the ground anise?
HS: I like the freshly ground anise over extract. Also, if you aren’t an anise fan feel free to leave it out, or play around a bit with your own spice blends.


Is the crystalized ginger measured before or after grateing. That would make a difference in volume I think.
HS: Hi Pat, thanks for the question. I measure it, then mince. If I were being super-precise about it, I would prob. weigh it, but roughly a cup, pre-mince is what you’re after. I’ll update the text to make it more clear.


Thanks! I have a very yummy recipe for ginger cookies (also with crystallized ginger) that i use ALL the time; it will be fun to try a different one.


Ginnnngerrrrrr. Mmmmmm….. These look heavenly.


I can’t stand star anise… I’m planning on using cinnamon or nutmeg, personally. Nutmeg may play better with the lemon.
But I don’t think it would hurt a thing to omit it entirely. Your flavors just might not be quite so rounded, at a guess.


These look delicious, and I have lots of ginger lying around from holiday cooking. However, I’m not a fan of anise in baked goods, would it ruin the recipe to leave it out?


That’s it. I’m making these today, provided I make time to go buy a few things. They look and sound so good!
Sidenote: I would love to see how your baking pantry/cupboard/shelf is organized.


Oh, gluten-free friends, what alternative flours would you use in this recipe? I can’t have wheat or spelt, unfortunately. I’ve never been adept enough at baking to be able to figure out what non-wheat substitutions would be appropriate.
Also, I have to limit my sugar, so I was thinking of nixing the 2/3 C sugar (adding just enough, if needed, to cut the bitterness of the molasses). I can have molasses, in very small amounts, so I’d leave that in. Will the omission of the sugar present problems in the consistency of the cookie/dough?
It’s just that these cookies look and sound SO delectable, I want to try to make them whatever way I can!


This sounds and looks great, but I think I will have a problem finding crystalized ginger and molasses here in Portugal. Do you think these would be ok without the crystalized stuff? And what could I substitute the molasses with?
Thanks for inspiring me at every post 🙂


I love ginger cookies and your version sounds nice too 🙂




Oh man, I’m a complete sucker for ginger cookies. The gingerbread and gingerbread cookies from this site went over so well before, I can’t wait to try these!


Ginger and lemon, great combo! I have this unnatural aversion to crystalized things on my food (salt and sugar). I’m one of those weirdos who knocks the salt off pretzels. . .
However, here in the UK we have a wonderful thing called stem ginger – which is chunks of ginger preserved in a syrup. Gorgeous stuff, and no crunchy crystals to drive me nuts. It is also less prone to sticking to your knife if you chop it. I think I’ll have to experiment.


Huzzah! I have a mild obsession with ginger cookies and have been looking for a good triple ginger recipe. (Yes, seriously, I have been looking for one using all three kinds.) I will definitely be trying this out!
Please do share ginger-mincing tips, though. I have the same problem as HAH.

Laurel from Simple Spoonful

Thank you so much for such amazing recipes! My daughter’s Bat Mitzvah is fast approaching and I’d like to make cookies/cakes that will last a few days in airtight containers. Will this recipe work? Will you please recommend other recipes that I can make in bulk and that will last from Tuesday or Wednesday to Saturday? Maybe cookies that will freeze & thaw well? I’m baking for about 120 guests, so I’ll need to start early! Thanks so much! Happy New Year and Be Well!


These look great. I made a ginger cookie with crystallized ginger to post on my own blog during the holidays. They were spicy sweet!

ashley (sweet & natural)

I must make these. Is it weird that I have the three required kinds of ginger but am missing any kind of flour right now?


How perfect. Since I’ve recently started crystallising my own ginger, I’m always looking out for cookies using it. These do sound delicious. Thank you for the secret at the bottom too…Beautiful post!


I was looking recipes with ginger. Your cookies look delicious.


Oh my – these look heavenly! And I like that you can use either wheat or spelt.

Tabitha (From Single to Married)

ok. So what is the secret to mincing crystallized ginger? I find it sticks to my knife and generally drives me crazy when I attempt to mince it. 🙂


clearly the universe really, really wants me to make ginger cookies. That is the only explanation for you and David posting recipes on the same day.


I LOVE ginger, and I love baking with spelt flour–these look awesome. Also I really appreciate all your tiny cookies, Heidi. It’s a great way to not go overboard on the sweets!


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