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Ginger-Lemon Crinkle Cookies

Love gingerbread? Try these crinkly cookies instead.
Love gingerbread? Try these crinkly cookies instead.TODAY
3 dozen cookies

Chef notes

Nothing signals a start to the holiday season quite like gingerbread. We all love those sweet gingerbread cutouts that are piped with icing and donned with cinnamon candy buttons, but it can be fun to switch things up every now and then. You’ve probably made chocolate crinkle cookies during the holidays — they are called crinkle (or sometimes crackle) cookies because their powdered sugar coating cracks as the cookies expand, making them look just like snow-capped mountains. While chocolate is a classic flavor, crinkle cookies come in all kinds of variations. We’re partial to this sweet ginger, molasses and lemon-spiced variation. 

The dough itself is quick and can be made in the bowl of a stand mixer. In fact, you’ll spend more time waiting for the dough to chill than you will mixing it. A combination of white and brown sugars gives these soft, buttery cookies the perfect amount of sweetness — not to mention they create the perfect chewy texture. Molasses adds even more sticky sweetness, giving the cookies an almost caramelized sugar flavor. But most of the flavor comes from citrus and dried spices. Ground ginger, cinnamon and cardamom bring plenty of warmth and make these cookies taste and smell like gingerbread. A good deal of freshly grated lemon zest — six teaspoons to be exact — is also incorporated into the cookie dough, lightening up the flavors of the warming spices ever so slightly. 

So whether you are prepping for a holiday cookie swap or just baking up a batch with family and friends, give these spiced crinkle cookies a try.


  • cups all-purpose flour
  • teaspoons ground ginger
  • teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 6 teaspoons lemon zest (about 2 lemons)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup unsulfured molasses
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
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In a large bowl, whisk together flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda, cardamom and salt until combined. Set aside.


In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, add butter and both sugars and mix for 3 minutes or until light and fluffy.


Turn speed down to low and add the egg yolk, lemon zest and vanilla and mix until well incorporated.


Add molasses and mix thoroughly. Then add flour mixture in three increments and mix until just combined. Scrape the bottom of the bowl as needed to combine all ingredients into a soft dough.


Tightly cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate dough for 1 hour.


While the cookies chill, preheat oven to 375 F and line a baking sheet with a sheet of parchment and set aside.


Once the dough has been refrigerated, pour powdered sugar into a separate bowl.


Use a tablespoon-sized cookie scoop or spoon to measure out dough into balls. Using cold hands, roll dough into a ball using your palms. Next, thoroughly roll the cookie ball in powdered sugar to coat and place on the prepared cookie sheet. Repeat with remaining dough and place cookies two inches apart as they will spread while baking. 


Bake one sheet at a time for 10 to 12 minutes until cookies are puffy and cracked with a soft center.


Cool cookies on the baking sheet for at least 5 minutes so they can set, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.