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These irresistibly soft and chewy Ginger Cream Cookies are a perfect cookie for the holiday season and beyond. No electric mixer necessary so the cookie dough whips up in just minutes. A brown sugar buttercream pairs with the ginger and spices of the cookies so perfectly!

Ginger cream cookies with brown sugar buttercream frosting and festive sprinkles on surface.
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Frosted molasses and ginger cookies are hands down my favorite cookies during the Christmas season. I will pass up every sugar cookie for a soft and chewy ginger spiced treat with a nice spread of icing.

These ginger cream cookies are all I need from here on out. Chewy sugar coated cookies that are so simple to make and topped with a rich brown sugar buttercream. How could they get any betters?

Well, you could make them into ginger sandwich cookies–I mean that would just be a party for your taste buds wouldn’t it??

This recipe was based off of my pumpkin spice molasses cookies and if you love those then these will be your new favorite cookie!

Why You Will Love These Ginger Cream Cookies:

  • They are soft and chewy and irresistible. Great flavor, great texture, these cookies have it all once you pipe buttercream over top!
  • Easy to make ahead of time. This cookie recipe uses melted instead of softened butter so no electric mixer is needed for the cookie dough. Makes for a simple recipe!
  • Freezer friendly. If you like to make lots of cookies and ahead of time, these soft ginger cookies can be frozen before or after baking.
  • Great for the holiday cookie exchange but also all year long! These are the perfect Christmas cookies! They will complement the festive cookies on the tray as well! Some red and green sprinkles can make them extra festive.
Bite taken out of cookie with icing on top.
  • butter: Unsalted butter is my preference in these ginger cookies. If you only have salted butter, just half the amount of salt later in the recipe.
  • sugars: regular white sugar and brown sugar. Light or dark brown sugar should be fine, the dark will have a stronger molasses flavor which to some is all the better!
  • vanilla: vanilla extract is preferred over imitation, but both will work
  • egg: a large egg, room temperature
  • molasses: the key ingredient to any molasses or ginger spiced cookie. I usually use Grandma’s brand, but have used others and love them as well.
  • flour: all purpose flour is what I use. If not using a kitchen scale to weigh your flour, spoon and level the flour when measuring. A gluten free 1: 1 all purpose baking flour should substitute well.
  • spices: I prefer a combination of cinnamon, cloves and ginger. You can also add a bit of nutmeg if desired.
  • baking soda: make sure it is fresh! Expired baking soda can ruin these cookies or any baked good. Here is how to test yours.
  • salt: I prefer sea salt, but table salt is fine as well

Brown Sugar Buttercream Frosting Ingredients:

  • salted butter: I prefer to use salted butter in buttercream frosting lately. You could use unsalted but if doing so, add a pinch of salt to the frosting.
  • confectioner’s sugar: makes the buttercream more sturdy and stable so you can pipe the frosting while also sweetens.
  • vanilla: vanilla extract is ideal
  • brown sugar: brown sugar adds a touch of sweet molasses flavor. It makes for the perfect topping for your chewy ginger cookies. You have to really beat the frosting to get it super smooth but I actually prefer a slight crunch from adding the brown sugar and not allowing it fully dissolve into the frosting.
  • cream: heavy cream is ideal to make these ginger creams their true namesake, right? The heavy cream’s higher fat content will help the frosting hold together better than other options such as milk. However, if you do not have heavy cream, you still should be safe to substitute half and half or whole milk.

Step-By-Step Instructions:

  • Start by whisking together the brown sugar, melted butter and white sugar until smooth.
  • Add in the molasses, egg and vanilla and whisk until fully incorporated.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt and spices. Slowly add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and stir to fully incorporate.
  • Once cookie dough is mixed, chill for at least 30 minutes and up to about 2 hours. (You can certainly chill overnight, but you may need to let the ginger cookie dough sit out for a few minutes before scooping and rolling into balls.
  • Once the cookie dough has chilled, use a 1.5 tablespoon cookie scoop to scoop cookie dough, or simply roll into about 1 1/2 inch cookie dough balls. Roll in sugar to fully coat.
  • Arrange cookie dough on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and bake in preheated oven for about 8-10 minutes or until slightly puffy but starting to form crinkles, edges are set and starting to become golden brown. For me about 8 1/2 minutes is the sweet spot.
  • Allow the cookies to cool for several minutes before transferring to a wire rack. Wait until cookies are cooled completely before frosting.
Ginger cookies on wire cooling rack.

Prepare the Brown Sugar Buttercream:

The key in making this buttercream frosting is making sure the brown sugar dissolves completely (unless you like a little crunch) and that will take a bit of time!

  • Start out by beating the butter on medium speed using an electric hand mixer or stand mixer. Beat just until smooth and creamy
  • Add in the brown sugar and vanilla and beat for about 3-4 minutes or until the brown sugar has dissolved or almost all the way.
  • Begin to add the powdered sugar in slowly and beat until smooth. Add the cream about 1 tablespoon at a time to desired thickness.
  • Spread on cookies or pipe on each as desired and decorate with sprinkles or other fun toppings.

Recipe Tips:

  • Do not skip chilling the cookie dough. You should be able to easily roll the cookie dough into balls. If the dough is still too sticky after chilling, you can chill longer or stir in a bit more flour.
  • For an even stronger molasses flavor, use dark brown sugar. Dark brown sugar has more molasses in it so if you love that super strong rich flavor, opt for the dark versus light brown sugar.
  • You don’t have to roll the cookie dough in the sugar if desired. If you want a softer outside to your cookies, you can omit it. You can alternately roll the cookie dough in raw sugar for a lot of crunch.
Frosted ginger cookies with sprinkles arranged on surface with cookie crumbs.

Storage:

Baked Cookies:

To store baked, frosted cookies, keep in an airtight container for about 2-3 days at room temperature or 1 week in the refrigerator. Unfrosted cookies can keep for closer to 5 days at room temperature.

To freeze baked cookies, it is important to know that unfrosted cookies will more easily freeze, but you still can freeze them. Allow cookies to cool completely.

Flash freeze them by lining a plate or cookie sheet evenly with the cookies and freezing for 1-2 hours before transferring to an air-tight container. You can put wax paper between cookies if desired.

To store cookie dough, roll into balls first for to make it easier when ready to bake. Chill covered for up to 3 days and allow to sit out for about 15-30 minutes before baking. Roll in sugar just before baking.

To freeze the cookie dough, roll into balls and then line evenly on a tray or plate and freeze about 1 hour and then transfer to a freezer safe container. They can be frozen up to 3 months. Allow to come to room temperature before baking.

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5 from 2 votes

Ginger Cream Cookies with Brown Sugar Buttercream

These irresistibly soft and chewy Ginger Cream Cookies are a perfect cookie for the holiday season and beyond. No electric mixer necessary so the cookie dough whips up in just minutes. A brown sugar buttercream pairs with the ginger and spices of the cookies so perfectly!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Chill: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings: 28 cookies (approx.)

Ingredients 

For the Cookies:

  • ¾ c butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • c brown sugar, packed
  • c granulated white sugar, plus more for rolling (approximately 1/3 cup more)
  • 1 large egg
  • c unsulfured molasses
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ tsp baking soda
  • 2 ¼ c flour (315 g) , spooned and leveled
  • 2 tsp ginger, ground
  • tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp cloves, ground
  • ½ tsp sea salt

For the Brown Sugar Buttercream Frosting:

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Instructions 

For the Cookies:

  • Whisk together the melted butter and sugars in a large mixing bowl until combined. Add the vanilla, egg and molasses until fully incorporated.
  • Whisk together flour, sea salt, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and baking soda to combine. Slowly stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, only until combined. Chill for at least 30 minutes but ideally 1- 2 hours and up to 3 days covered. If chilling more than two hours, allow the dough to sit out for about 30 minutes before spooning into balls.
  • Once dough is chilled, preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • Roll dough into approximately 1 1/2 inch balls (or use a 1 ½ T cookie scoop) and toss in sugar to coat. Place the cookies about 2 inches apart on a parchment lined baking sheet.Bake for 8-10 minutes or until edges are just barely browned–they may not seem like they are done, but grab them just before you think they are done.
  • Allow to cool for several minutes before transferring to a wire cooling rack.

For the Brown Sugar Buttercream:

  • In a medium bowl, cream the butter with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy. Add the brown sugar and vanilla and beat for about 3-5 minutes or until creamy and brown sugar is dissolved into the butter.
  • Add the powdered sugar about 1 cup at a time and beat to mix in. Add the powdered sugar until desired thickness. Add the cream one tablespoon at a time until smooth and creamy. Pipe frosting or spread it on completely cooled cookies and decorate with sprinkles or make into ginger cream pies/sandwich cookies.
  • Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the refrigerator for about 1 week. If storing in the fridge, allow to come to room temperature before eating for best chewiness!

Notes

Storage: To store baked, frosted cookies, keep in an airtight container for about 2-3 days at room temperature or 1 week in the refrigerator. Unfrosted cookies can keep for closer to 5 days at room temperature. Freeze for up to 3 months. See notes in post above in post on freezing.
  • Do not skip chilling the cookie dough. You should be able to easily roll the cookie dough into balls. If the dough is still too sticky after chilling, you can chill longer or stir in a bit more flour.
  • For an even stronger molasses flavor, use dark brown sugar. Dark brown sugar has more molasses in it so if you love that super strong rich flavor, opt for the dark versus light brown sugar.
  • You don’t have to roll the cookie dough in the sugar if desired. If you want a softer outside to your cookies, you can omit it. You can alternately roll the cookie dough in raw sugar for a lot of crunch.
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Nutrition for this recipe is based off a cookie with heavy piped frosting. Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only and should be construed as an estimate rather than a guarantee. Ingredients can vary and Lemons + Zest makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information.

Nutrition

Calories: 241kcal, Carbohydrates: 33g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 12g, Saturated Fat: 8g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3g, Trans Fat: 0.5g, Cholesterol: 38mg, Sodium: 196mg, Potassium: 27mg, Fiber: 0.3g, Sugar: 24g, Vitamin A: 379IU, Vitamin C: 0.02mg, Calcium: 12mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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4 Comments

  1. Crystal Hardy says:

    It doesn’t say how much molasses to add…

    1. Lorie says:

      Hi! 1/3 cup—forgot to add the c for cup, thanks for finding that!

  2. Autumn L. says:

    OK so I’m confused about the recipe, it calls for Ginger and Cloves and then the directions in #2 call for Pumpkin Spice…. WHERE does that come from?!??!

    1. Lorie says:

      Oh my!! Thank you for catching that!!!! All fixed—I think it autofilled from a different recipe!