This classic Gingersnap recipe is straight from my husband’s Swedish great-grandmother Prudy. It is a no-fuss recipe using butter and lots of spice. They are crispy yet chewy and probably the best thing that will ever happen to your glass of milk. Originally published December 17, 2015.

Dipping gingernsap cookie in milk close up.
Table of Contents
  1. You will love Grandma Prudy’s Gingersnap Cookies
  2. Gingersnap ingredients
  3. How to make Gingersnap Cookies
  4. Gingersnap Recipe variations
  5. How to store Gingersnaps
  6. Gingersnaps Recipe FAQs
  7. Other amazing holiday cookies to try:
  8. Grandma’s Gingersnap Recipe Recipe

I generally don’t like crisp cookies. When we were first married, I handed Eric a cookie and said, “Here, try this Soft Ginger Cookie I made for you,” and he said, “This is too soft to be a Gingersnap.” Thank you, Captain Obvious. You can see that his training runs deep.

I never had the chance to meet Gramma Prudy (Prudence Henrietta!) because she passed away before I married into the family. But she lives on through her many fabulous cookie recipes, most of which are Swedish of course. She had no problem sharing her recipes, unlike this lady:

Gramma Prudy's Classic Gingersnaps by The Food Charlatan(Photo courtesy of Tickld’s Facebook page.)

(Did you guys see this? I was cracking up. The first comment says, “But please, feel free to adjust the recipe to your tastes … it’s not like it’s written in stoooooo … oh wait.”)

You will love Grandma Prudy’s Gingersnap Cookies

My husband’s family absolutely loves these–they’re just one of Grandma Prudy’s many incredible Swedish cookies, like Spritz, Thin and Crispy Sugar Cookies, Cardamoms, Butter Pecans…the list goes on and on. Don’t get me wrong, I like soft molasses cookies just as much as the next person (ok, probably more) but these are just so snappy! So spicy! So strangely comforting, even though I didn’t grow up on them. They’re basically milk’s best friend (and you should absolutely stock up on the milk before you make these). 

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Crackled texture of gingersnap with sugar on it.
Focus on the cookie…focus on the cookie…be strong. (I have many talents. Photoshop is not one of them.) I’m never going to live this one down am I?

Gramma Prudy’s recipes are collected in a family cookbook. All of them are neatly typed, but most of them have handwritten notes adding salt. As Prudy grew older, her doctor told her she needed to cut back on salt so she literally stopped using it. But what’s a cookie without a little salt? (Terrible, according to everyone who tried them.) This recipe actually includes it though:

Page of old homemade cookbook with cookie recipes and personal notes added, clearly well-used.

Here it is, straight from the book and complete with notes and questionable stains. (Printable version below of course)

I don’t use margarine, even though I grew up on the stuff. (You noticed the Oleo in the tombstone recipe above, right? These people clearly lived in the 40s and 50s.) Kris (my mother-in-law, Prudy’s granddaughter) said that sometimes she does all butter and sometimes she does half butter and half shortening. I tried both ways:

Comparison of how gingersnap cookies turn out, one made from butter and one shortening.

Half butter on the left, all butter on the right. I like them both. The all-butter version is a little flatter and a smidge crispier, but not by much. The dough is a lot tastier with all-butter, but once they are baked I thought they both tasted fabulous.

I tried to get Eric to judge between them. “Come on, which one is better? Which one tastes more like Prudy’s?” But it was no use. He was lost in a Gingersnap haze of memories. Coherent opinions were not discernible. I say use whichever one you have on hand. DON’T use all shortening though. That would be gross.

Straight stack of several gingersnap cookies with glass of milk in the background.
Butter on bottom.

I mentioned that I don’t like crisp cookies but clearly that was a lie, because Oreos are crisp and I can go through an entire package as long as the milk is flowing. Gingersnaps fall into the same category for me. Milk is a NECESSITY.

gingersnaps that puff when baking but flatten when cool.
They puff up during baking, but they flatten when you take them out.

I also tested what kind of sugar to roll them in. Prudy used regular white granulated sugar, of course, but I love the extra crunch that comes with coarse raw sugar. But when you use raw sugar they don’t get that pretty sugary shine once they are baked. So I actually like using both: I roll them in coarse sugar before baking, then once they are out of the oven and still hot, I sprinkle them with granulated sugar. Perfect!

mixing gingersnap cookie dough in a mixer, and roling the dough in sugar to form the cookie balls.

Gingersnap ingredients

Here’s a quick shopping list for you to make sure you’ve got all the gingersnap ingredients. Check the recipe card at the bottom of the post for more details!

  • Unsalted butter
  • White sugar
  • Molasses
  • Eggs
  • Flour
  • Baking soda
  • Kosher salt
  • Cinnamon
  • Ground ginger
  • Ground cloves
  • Raw sugar (for rolling, optional – you can just use white sugar)
Stack of gingersnap cookies.

How to make Gingersnap Cookies

Here’s a quick overview of how to make these gingersnaps. Scroll down to the recipe card for complete, detailed instructions!

  1. Beat the butter in a large bowl or stand mixer until fluffy, then add sugar and beat thoroughly.
  2. Add the molasses and egg and beat well, scraping sides. Add the flour but don’t mix it in.
  3. Form a well in the center of the flour and add the baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves. Use a teaspoon to stir it into the flour. 
  4. Beat until the dough is just coming together. 
  5. Chill the dough for about an hour, or several days if you like.
  6. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare 2 large baking sheets with silpats or parchment paper.
  7. Roll dough into 1 ½ inch balls. Then put 1/2 cup raw sugar or white sugar in a shallow bowl and roll the cookies in the sugar.
  8. Line the cookies up on the prepared sheets, at least a couple inches apart.
  9. Bake in the preheated oven for 10-12 minutes, then remove from the oven and sprinkle with regular white sugar.

Gingersnap Recipe variations

These gingersnaps are very distinctive cookies. I can’t honestly recommend playing around with the recipe much, because the ratios create this very specific flavor and texture that is truly magical. But there are two things you can make your own decisions about:

  • Butter, or butter AND shortening?

If you make these with all butter, they’ll be little flatter and a smidge crispier, but not by much. The dough is a lot tastier with all butter, but once they are baked, both butter and butter + shortening are fantastic.

  • Raw sugar, white sugar, or both?

Gramma Prudy always rolled her gingersnaps in regular old granulated sugar, but I love the crunch that raw sugar adds. My solution is to roll these in raw sugar before baking and then sprinkle with white sugar when they come out of the oven.

Oh and one last thing: the only possible pairing contender? LEMON CURD. Try it guys:

a healthy dollop of lemon curd on a homemade gingersnap cookie.

How to store Gingersnaps

Gingersnaps can be stored on the counter for 3-5 days or frozen for 2-3 months. Just pop them in an airtight container or ziplock. 

Gingersnaps Recipe FAQs

What’s the difference between a gingerbread cookie and a gingersnap cookie?

Gingersnaps and gingerbread cookies are both spicy, sweet, brown cookies perfect for wintertime and holidays. The difference is this: gingerbread cookies are cut out cookies, where the dough is rolled out flat and cut with cookie cutters, and gingersnaps are rolled cookies, where a ball of dough is rolled in sugar and then spreads into a circle on the cookie sheet. Gingersnaps are also a crunchy, crispy cookie, whereas gingerbread cookies are chewy and softer (at least they are if you make my favorite gingerbread cookies!!). 

Why do ginger snaps crack?

Ginger snaps crack because they’re rolled in sugar. As the cookie bakes, the sugar pulls moisture away from the exterior of the cookie, causing it to crack. Cool right?? Now you know why all crackled cookies crack and you can win friends and influence people.

Why are my ginger snap cookies hard?

Ah, the difficult balance between a crispy gingersnap and a downright hard gingersnap. This is as much a matter of personal opinion as it is objective gingersnap truth. I recommend baking gingersnaps for 10-12 minutes, and then going 1-2 minutes more if you want them to be snappier. Consider a test batch where you bake just a few cookies for 10 minutes, pull one off and put them in for 2 more minutes, then pull one off and put them in for 2 more minutes. Let them cool (they’re more soft and flexible when they’re fresh out of the oven) and then test them to see which you like the best.
Also: don’t add too much flour. I like to use the fluff and scoop method: fluff up your flour with a spoon, then scoop it into the measuring cup and gently level it off.

Why are my ginger snaps not snappy?

If you’re not getting your desired level of snappiness, I recommend baking your next batch of gingersnaps a little longer. If what you’re actually describing is flexibility, in that you want your gingersnaps to have a certain satisfying bend to them, then it may be that you need to bake them for a shorter period of time. Experiment with the length of time that feels right for you!

If you make these Gingersnaps, snap a photo and share on social using the hashtag #thefoodcharlatan. I’d love to see it!!

Other amazing holiday cookies to try:

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Grandma’s Gingersnap Recipe

4.56 from 9 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 12 minutes
Total: 22 minutes
Servings: 28 Servings
This classic Gingersnap recipe is straight from my husband's great-grandmother Prudy, who was from Sweden. It is a recipe with butter and lots of spice.


  • 3/4 cup butter, 1 & 1/2 sticks*
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 & 1/4 cups flour, spooned and leveled
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/2 cup raw sugar, for rolling
  • more white sugar, for sprinkling


  • Beat the butter in a large bowl or stand mixer until fluffy, about 1-2 minutes.
  • Add sugar and beat thoroughly.
  • Add the molasses and egg and beat well, scraping sides.
  • Add the flour but don’t mix it in.
  • Form a well in the center of the flour and add the baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves. Use a teaspoon to stir it into the flour. (You can totally do the dry ingredients in a separate bowl if you want. I’m just lazy.)
  • Beat until the dough is just coming together. Make sure the flour is incorporated and then stop.
  • Chill the dough for about an hour, or several days if you like.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare 2 large baking sheets with silpats or parchment paper.
  • Roll into balls. I made mine 1 and 1/2 inches** and got 28 cookies.
  • Place 1/2 cup raw sugar (white sugar is fine) in a shallow bowl. Roll the cookies in the sugar.
  • Line the cookies up on the prepared sheets, at least a couple inches apart.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 10-12 minutes. If you want them super snappy, leave them in a couple minutes longer.
  • Remove from the oven and sprinkle with regular white sugar.
  • Eat with tons of milk!


*You can use half butter and half butter-flavored shortening, which would be 6 tablespoons of each.
**Kris says that Prudy’s cookies were about 2 and 1/2 inches when baked, so she probably rolled them into 1-inch balls. And her recipe says bake 10-12 minutes, so they were probably even crispier than mine turned out.


Serving: 1cookie | Calories: 134kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 20mg | Sodium: 186mg | Potassium: 61mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 162IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 12mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Calories: 134
Keyword: classic, gingersnaps, gramma, purdy’s
Did you make this? I’d love to see it!Mention @thefoodcharlatan or tag #thefoodcharlatan!

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  1. How do you think using light brown sugar would fare in these? or even demerara sugar? I have lots of bags of brown sugar lying around that i want to use up and i think they would add some great flavour to these cookies! especially since i don’t have molasses and would be subbing with golden syrup. Do you think the texture would still be fine?

    Many thanks!

    1. Hi Fatima, I think light brown sugar would be good! The texture may be different, but you might love it. Probably worth a try! The same amount of golden syrup can be substituted for the molasses. If you try it, we’d love to hear how it turned out!

    1. That’s awesome Priscilla! I wish I could kiss Grandma Prudy too! So glad you loved the gingersnaps, thanks for reviewing!

      1. My only regret is that I didn’t find these sooner. My Daddy would have loved them, his favorite cookie. I’m obsessed with Trader Joe’s triple ginger snaps. I think these would be perfect substitutes since the nearest one to us is four hours away! They add chopped crystallized ginger and fresh grated, along with the powdered ginger. Decadent. I also only used butter. My husband loved them too. 

      2. 2 stars
        Taste good, but dough was too sticky to roll. I even put it in the freezer for 30 min. What a mess. I finally gave up and made drop cookies which all spread out into a gingersnap pan sized cookie.

        1. Hi Dianne! I’m afraid something must have gone wrong! There is a picture of the dough that you can see in the post. Maybe you missed a cup of flour or something? This dough is pretty easy to work with. I’m sorry it didn’t work out!

  2. These cookies are wonderful! I used half shortening / half butter, and I ended up with perfectly round cookies with a great crinkly top to catch the extra sugar I sprinkled as they came out of the oven. And the taste doesn’t disappoint either. Soft, chewy, yum! Thanks for sharing the recipe.

    1. I’m so glad you enjoyed Prudy’s cookies Deana! They are a classic. I need to make these soon to get in the holiday spirit! Thanks so much for reviewing.

  3. My husband and I have been married for almost 21 years…and somehow I only just found out that his favorite cookie is gingersnaps. Fail. So this recipe will definitely be on repeat this winter!

  4. I made these numerous times last Christmas and gave some as gifts. Everyone loved them and we did too. This is now one of my favorite cookies recipes for the holiday season.

    1. I’m so happy to hear that Sandi! This is one of the first cookies we make every season :) I’m glad they will be a tradition in your family now too! Thanks for commenting!

  5. Oh, wow, that tombstone! Haha!
    These cookies are absolutely beautiful. That crackle on the top is just perfect! I’m definitely pinning this!

  6. These gingersnaps look perfect! I love going through my grandma’s old recipe books and trying them out, at least the ones I can read. I always get sentimental when I bake family recipes!

  7. You make an excellent point, I didn’t think I liked crispy cookies either, but I am grossly obsessed with Oreos.

  8. Gosh, that tombstone is hilarious! Just so you know I think the stains on my cookbook are either molasses or actual gingersnap dough. My whole Grammy Prudy cookbook is stained with the food I was making from it – mostly rye bread ingredients or cookie ingredients.

    Thanks for posting this Karen. And just for the record, Gramma Prudy and Grampa Carl were both born in Minnesota – both sets of thier parents were immigrants from Sweden. They met at Gustavus Adolphus – a Swedish Lutheran college. You can’t get more Swedish than this.

    1. I changed it Kris! Thanks for telling me! I couldn’t remember if she had been born here or in Sweden. I just knew she was full Swedish. Thank you for sharing the recipe Kris!!

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