Looking for gingerbread cookies without molasses for Christmas season? Here's one super easy and super yummy recipe for you!
These gingerbread cookies are soft and chewy, with a light crisp on the edges and are perfectly spiced with ginger, cinnamon and cloves. Cut into cute gingerbread men shapes and decorated with simply gold dragees, these classic cookies make perfect treats for Christmas time.
Unlike traditional gingerbread cookies, these classics I have here do not require molasses. Instead you can make them with homemade golden syrup or honey. Golden syrup can be purchased ready made from local supermarkets, and you can also easily and quickly make it on your own with just sugar, lemon and water. It's that easy and quick. See my recipe on how to make golden syrup here for detailed step by step instructions.
I have also used this very same gingerbread cookie recipe to make decorated gingerbread boys and girls cookies. For these boys and girls, I used royal icing (in piping bags) to decorate the cookies. Check out the full tutorial on how to decorate the gingerbread cookies (including a video) here.
❤️Why you will love this recipe
- This is a simple gingerbread cookies recipe with common ingredients and makes super delicious gingerbread cookies.
- With just this single recipe, you can bake yourself a perfect batch of soft and chewy gingerbread cookies if you like them that way, or you can also bake soft and crispy gingerbread cookies if you prefer them crispy.
- The cookies are perfectly spiced and you can use this recipe to make delicious cookies in any other shape by using different cookie cutter shapes.
- The mix of ginger makes this recipe perfect to for Christmas cookies.
If you like this recipe, here are my other recipes to check out:
- Snowflake Sugar Cookies
- Jam Filled Shortbread Cookies
- 3 Ingredients Shortbread Cookies
- Christmas Sprinkle Cookies
- Moist Light Fruit Cake (The Best Ever!)
- Coffee Chocolate Chip Cookies
- All purpose flour + baking soda + salt - mix and sift these together. Use fine salt.
- Self-raising flour - only used in very small quantity to give the cookies a slight puff.
- Soft dark brown sugar - contributes to the molasses taste in the cookies.
- Butter - I use salted butter. If using unsalted butter, you may need to increase the salt in the recipe slightly.
- Golden syrup - can be homemade or purchased.
- Egg - use large egg
- Ground ginger (ginger powder)
- Ground cloves (cloves powder)
- Ground cinnamon (cinnamon powder)
- Gold dragees for decoration (optional)
*Refer to the recipe card below for full list of ingredients and exact quantities. For best results, use a digital kitchen scale where applicable*
🧾Substitution and variations
- Golden syrup can be replaced with honey. Use exact same quantity as the golden syrup.
- For added flavor, you can add 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract after beating the egg in the creamed mixture.
- Cinnamon powder and cloves powder can be replaced with mixed spice. You can also completely leave them out if you wish. It will result in the cookies being less spiced, but will not alter the texture.
- Brown sugar is the best for making gingerbread cookies, more so if the gingerbread cookies are without molasses like this recipe. Unlike white sugar, brown sugar gives these cookies the dark color and depth in flavor (similar to molasses flavor) which is most befitting for these traditional gingerbread cookie recipe, almost like molasses cookies. Dark brown sugar can be substituted with light brown sugar.
- The gold dragees can be replaced with other decoration like raisins and cherries and glaze icing or royal icing.
This recipe has not been tested with other substitutions or variations. If you do try, please let me know in the comments section below!
👩🏻🍳How to make
Mixing the dough
- Start by creaming the butter and brown sugar in a large bowl on medium speed with a hand mixer until creamy. Use a paddle attachment if using a stand mixer.
- Add the egg and beat again until all traces of the egg are no longer visible. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl.
- Add the golden syrup and beat again until it is well combined into the creamed mixture. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl half way through.
- Sift the flour, ground ginger, ground cinnamon, ground cloves, baking soda, and salt. Add these dry ingredients into the creamed wet ingredients.
- Mix with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon until a soft dough is formed.
- The dough will be quite soft at this stage. For easy handling of the sticky dough, divide it into smaller sections. And wrap each section with cling film or wrap, and refrigerate them for about 10 minutes.
Rolling the cookies
- Remove the dough from the fridge and remove the plastic wrap. Roll each section out between 2 sheets of parchment paper on your work surface. For consistent thickness, place 2 dowel rods on either side of the cookie dough and roll on the dowel rods. That way, your rolled dough will be of a consistent thickness. Mine was ¾ cm thick.
- Cut out the cookie dough with a floured cookie cutter. I used a gingerbread man cookie cutter but you can use other cookie cutters you prefer.
- Carefully lift the cut cookies onto a baking sheet or baking tray lined with a piece of parchment paper. It is easier to lift them off the parchment using a flat rubber spatula. Press in the gold dragees for the eyes and buttons.
- Bake cookies in a preheated oven at 175 degrees Celsius for 6 minutes. Increase the baking time to 8 minutes if you prefer crispy gingerbread cookies. Remove the cookies from oven and let them rest in the tray for a few minutes before lifting them onto a cooling rack (wire rack) to cool completely to room temperature. Keep the baked cookies in an airtight container.
🍽️Serving & storage
- Once baked and completely cooled, store the cookies in an airtight container. The soft cookies can last up to 2 weeks.
- If baked to a crisp texture, the cookies can last up to one month if kept well.
- This gingerbread cookie dough is rather soft. To ensure it does not stick to your rolling pin, roll it between 2 sheets of parchment paper. Also, to ensure the cookies are of consistent thickness, use 2 dowel rods on either side of the cookie dough when rolling it. And I literally rolled my rolling pin on the dowel rod. That way, my gingerbread cookies will not go any thinner than the diameter of the dowel rods and remained constant for all cookies.
- The gingerbread men cookie cutter I used was not a very large one, so each gingerbread man measured 6.5 cm long (from head to the toes) and 5 cm wide (at the widest part of the cookies which is the feet). For this size, I managed to get a total of 50 gingerbread cookies for the recipe measure below.
Yes you can. Replace it in the exact same quantity as the golden syrup.
The key lies in the baking time. You can use this single recipe to make both soft and chewy cookies as well as crisp cookies. To make soft and chewy cookies, bake them for no longer than 6 minutes. Baking the cookies for too long with turn them into crispy cookies.
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Gingerbread Cookies without Molasses (Soft & Chewy)
For best results, use the metrics measurements. US customary measurements have not been tested and are only meant for guide.
- 340 g all purpose flour
- 170 g soft brown sugar
- 100 g butter
- 60 ml golden syrup
- 1 egg
- 2 ½ tablespoon ground ginger ginger powder
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon cinnamon powder
- ½ teaspoon ground cloves cloves powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Gold dragees for decoration optional
- Preheat oven to 175°Celsius and line baking trays with parchment paper.
- Sift the flour, ground ginger, ground cloves, ground cinnamon, baking soda and salt together and set aside.
- In a separate bowl, beat butter, brown sugar until creamy. Add the golden syrup and beat again until well combined. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl half way through.
- Add egg and continue to beat until the egg is well incorporated into the creamed mixture.
- Carefully add in the sifted dry ingredients and mix until it is all well incorporated and forms a soft dough.
- Wrap the dough with cling wrap and refrigerate for 10 minutes. Remove from the refrigerator and roll out between 2 plastic sheets or parchment paper to about ¾ cm thickness.
- Cut the dough with a gingerbread man cookie cutter. Transfer cookies onto prepared baking trays and press in gold dragees for the gingerbread man eyes and buttons.
- Bake the gingerbread cookies until they turn slightly brown, for about 6 minutes. This will yield soft and chewy cookies. Increase the baking time to 8 minutes for crispy cookies.
- Remove cookies from the oven and let them rest for 2 minutes in the tray before transferring them to a wire rack. Let the cookies cool completely before storing them in an airtight container.
- This gingerbread cookie dough is rather soft. To ensure it does not stick to your rolling pin, roll it between 2 sheets of parchment paper. Also, to ensure the cookies are of consistent thickness, use 2 dowel rods on either side of the cookie dough when rolling it. Place the rolling pin on the dowel rods on both sides as you roll the dough. That way, the cookies thickness will remain constant.
- The gingerbread men cookie cutter I used was not a very large one, so each gingerbread man measured 6.5 cm long (from head to the toes) and 5 cm wide (at the widest part of the cookies which is the feet). For this size, I got total of 50 gingerbread cookies for the recipe measure below.