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Giant Ginger Cookies

To preserve the appearance of the sugary tops, layer cookies between parchment or wax paper when packing them for school lunches or as gifts. Freezing the dough for twenty minutes makes it easier to work with.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Yield: Makes 12
Giant Ginger Cookies

Source: Everyday Food, December 2003


  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar, plus 1/3 cup for coating
  • 6 tablespoons molasses
  • 1 large egg


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, with racks in upper and lower thirds. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, allspice, and pepper.

  2. With an electric mixer, cream butter, brown sugar, and 1/2 cup granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in molasses and egg. With mixer on low, gradually beat in flour mixture until just combined. Flatten into a disk, wrap in plastic, and freeze for 20 minutes.

  3. Divide dough into twelve 2-inch balls. Place remaining 1/3 cup granulated sugar in a bowl. Roll balls in sugar to coat; place at least 4 inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Flatten into 3-inch rounds. Sprinkle with sugar remaining in bowl.

  4. Bake until brown, rotating sheets halfway through, 12 to 15 minutes. Cool cookies on a wire rack.

Reviews (40)

  • Christine Walling 5 Jul, 2015

    Can you use demerera instead of the light brown sugar? If so any suggestions for modifications thanks!

  • claudiabismark 23 Feb, 2015

    I'd love to know if Martha has secrets for those yummy oatmeal cookies that have the salted tops. Any suggestions? Thanks!

  • leliabug1965 4 Dec, 2013

    I make these cookies every year for about 8 years. Mine are never as dark as the picture, but they are beautiful. Instead of regular sugar for the outside, I use the sparkly sugar (it comes in a canister by the baking goods; looks like "jimmies" but only clear and sparkly). I also make them much smaller. I have never had a batch that wasn't a success, and I am not a partiuclarly good baker.

  • jazz19_riggs 16 Apr, 2013

    hi i would like to know what you mean by all spices.

  • usics 4 Nov, 2014

    Kaur, all spice is a type of spice. Google it.

  • cvinka 87 21 Mar, 2013

    Giant Ginger Cookies

  • lisafravel 3 Mar, 2013

    Average taste. I'd like to know how they got the crackling effect in the picture, when they indicate the flatten the dough. Also, interested how they got the white sugar to look that way in the picture too.

  • SociallySusan 27 Jan, 2013

    I don't have a mixer so it was a labor of love to make these delicious cookies. It was worth all of the effort. I used blackstrap molasses and followed the recipe step by step. They looked just like the picture. Actually, the cookies are a little bigger in real life than in the picture! If you like gingerbread cookies, then you'll love Martha's giant version!

  • vlangmay 7 Feb, 2012

    I have never taken the time to review any recipe until now...these are the BEST cookies ever! Double the recipe and plan to overdose on the softest, chewiest, most delicious ginger molasses cookies you have ever tasted!

  • knfvmd 20 Dec, 2011

    Wow! These are yummy!
    I'm not a big spicy cookie fan, but these were delicious AND easy to make. These are going to be on the official Christmas cookie roster from now on!

  • classymom 30 Sep, 2011

    there is a big problem with these cookies. Once you make them, you will not be able to stop yourself from eating them. Really. You will become a cookie monster, so bake these with caution! I can never stop myself -- I made these today and scarfed down about 10...yes...10. It's ok, I'm thin but I still feel a bit piggish! But hey! I'll get over it and bake another batch another day! Tally ho! Enjoy!

  • madison aitken 11 Sep, 2011

    These cookies are obnoxiously big and I love them. Next time I will follow other reviewers' suggestions and double (or one and a half times) the spices. I followed the recipe exactly (except used salted butter and just 1/4 tsp. salt) and they came out perfectly, nice and chewy. Will make again for sure!

  • laurie0222 10 Sep, 2011

    Good cookie, but I'm doubling the spices & using dark brown sugar (I used the Robust Molasses) next time, as I would like to see them darker, richer looking. Also, I used ground white pepper as it's spicier, I think.

  • Jen1211 21 Dec, 2010

    I've made these cookies for the last two years and they're one of my favorites! I follow the directions and use an ice cream scoop so the cookies are the same size and cook evenly. I love that they stay chewy and never get crunchy.

  • Gollywog66 19 Dec, 2010

    I make these at Christmas and this was the first Martha recipe I ever made - they turned out EXACTLY like the picture - I was so pleased.
    For future times that I've made them I usually make about 30 cookies from this recipe as they are huge, you will need to adjust the cooking time for a smaller cookie - use the black pepper (I even double the spices now - so good) and make sure to use black strap molasses or they wont be as dark!
    My husband who isn't a ginger fan LOVES these cookies!

  • mimioc27 8 Dec, 2010

    After some trial and error I keep the apperance of those pictured by cooling the dough as recommended and keeping it refrigerated while the others are baking. I also cool the cookie sheets with cold water between each batch and only do 3 cookies per parchmented cookie sheet. This obviously takes longer but they turn out beautifully.

  • terryhadalittlelamb 24 Nov, 2010

    OMG these are delicious!

  • slspittler 14 Nov, 2010

    Ok, so I take my comment underneath back. These cookies are awesome, (I thinK I just wasn't in the mood for them when I made them). I love the pepper in them and they were still soft 10 days later! Very recommended!

  • slspittler 4 Nov, 2010

    I was not the biggest fan of these cookies, though my family seemed to like them. It might just be that I was in the mood for something sweeter, and also I didn't have any molasses, though I tried to compensate for that. If I were to make them again I would definitely cut back on the pepper.

  • jeancham 15 Sep, 2010

    Thank you Smoothis for this!! I have been looking for recipes that have reduced fat and sodium, since my heart attack, and still enjoy some treats!! Thanks for making these substitution. Can't wait to try this recipe with your subs.

  • v-wojcik 28 Mar, 2010

    These were great! I made a few substitutions though to increase the nutritional content.
    I used 1 1/4C AP flour, 10tbls oat flour, and 10tbls whole wheat flour for more fibre and protein.
    6tbls butter and 6tbls canola oil for less saturated fat and more poly and monounsaturates.
    For the salt requirement, I used 3/4 tsp sea salt. Additionally, I used half an egg plus 1tbls of egg whites to reduce the cholesterol.
    With the substitutions, they were still fabulous.

  • acollins23 19 Feb, 2009

    These cookies are excellent. I would also tone down the black pepper and with all that baking soda leave plenty of room between cookies on the baking sheet.

  • ellaraejones 22 Dec, 2008

    These are gorgeous just based on size and color. Tasty too, but make sure to use the entire 1/3 cup sugar called for before baking, otherwise they lack necessary sweetness.

  • Tasnim 18 Dec, 2008

    is there a substitute for the molasses that you can use?

  • donnabee 16 Dec, 2008

    use the dark molasses

  • bubblygirl 10 Dec, 2008

    I love these cookies and so did everyone else at my cookies exchange. BUT mine have never turned out this dark... anyone else have this issue?

  • Deannetownsend 21 Nov, 2008

    I've made these cookies several times--always to rave reviews. They have crispy edges and chewy centers. I prefer to half or even quarter the amount of pepper suggested. The cookies are magnificent 5-inch beauties, but also work well when made about half the size.

  • Justine2008 1 Nov, 2008

    WOW! These look so good!
    =O =O

  • Justine2008 1 Nov, 2008

    WOW! These look so good!
    =O =O

  • annwane 28 Oct, 2008

    Oh Boy I have been buying these cookies at our local farmers market for the last two weelend but now it is done for the season. These look like the real deal and now I will bake my own! Thank you.

  • nayeli 27 Feb, 2008

    These cookies stayed chewy for days. I didn't make them super large so I ended up with a huge batch, but no one was complaining. I didn't have allspice so I ended up throwing in cinnamon and ground cloves into the mix and it still resulted in a perfect cookie. And, I definitely agree with easolluna, do NOT leave out the pepper!

  • easolluna 29 Jan, 2008

    I made these at Christmas, and they are absolutely wonderful! I didn't watch the time closely enough so they came out crunchy instead of chewy (always my problem with baking cookies), but the flavor was soo yummy. DON'T leave out the pepper.

  • megb 14 Jan, 2008

    They were a huge hit. They have the right blend of sweet and savory flavor that was a hit with adults who don't like a lot of sugary sweets. I quadrupled the batch for Christmas sharing. Instead of rounds I pressed the dough into large rectangles and sliced to make square cookies.

  • skyrudich 22 Dec, 2007

    These might be some of the best cookies I have ever made. Came out super big, but they were a definite hit!

  • engineeringirl 20 Dec, 2007

    These cookies were so tasty! They were very buttery and chewy. I divided the dough into 24 balls instead of 12 and they still were rather large. For 24 smaller cookies, I baked only 10-11 min. I also left out the pepper because that seemed like a very strange ingredient. I guess I am not so adverturous.

  • violetteverte 15 Dec, 2007

    These have a great texture - the freezer trick really works! However, my friends

  • tizinu 13 Dec, 2007

    These cookies are divine! I've also added finely chopped candy ginger (2 tbsp) and a dash of cayenne pepper as an extra kick and it gets rave reviews at Christmas cocktail parties. There's something inherently Christmas-y about these cookies that brings us all back to a time when cookies were baked more often than bought.

  • outofthebox 2 Dec, 2007

    These were a hit when I made them last year during the holidays.

  • katyscarlette 23 Nov, 2007

    I made these for my aunt who was THE baker in the family and she LOVED them. I asked her if she wanted the recipe and she told me no, she wanted me to make her some more cookies. LOL

  • JulieS 14 Nov, 2007

    I love ginger cookies!

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