Once summer hits, I crave all things lemon. And I especially love when lemon meets ginger in a cookie! Ginger Molasses cookies are some of my all-time favorite cookies, and I crave those non-stop in the fall, so think of these Ginger Lemon Cookies like a summer version!
There is something about that lemon-ginger combination that is so refreshing and keeps you coming back for more. I have to share them with my neighbors (which is exactly what I did with this batch) since I WILL eat them all by myself. These cookies are THAT good.
These lemon ginger cookies are soft and chewy in the center but still have crispy edges making them the perfect cookies, in my book. Bonus: they are super easy to make and store very well.
Alright, now onto the recipe.
The Best Ginger Lemon Cookies Recipe
This makes approximately 3 dozen cookies (which is perfect for any gatherings that are starting to happen again!)
2.5 cups all-purpose flour, sifted 2 teaspoon baking soda 3 teaspoon powdered ginger 1 teaspoon cinnamon 3/4 cup room temperature butter, softened (that’s 1.5 sticks) – a non-dairy option is noted below 1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed 1 egg 1/4 cup molasses 1 Tablespoon lemon zest 1/4 cup granulated sugar
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
In a medium-sized bowl, sift the dry ingredients, including the flour, baking soda, ginger, and cinnamon, until well combined. Set aside
Mix the room-temperature butter and brown sugar before beating in the egg using an electric mixer in a large bowl until light & fluffy.
Add molasses and lemon zest into the large bowl
Add flour mixture into the liquid mixture bowl and stir until combined
Roll dough into balls (I used a mini ice cream scoop….it should be about 1 teaspoon) and roll in the 1/4 c sugar
Place dough balls 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. You can use baking sheets with parchment paper here, too.
Bake for 10 minutes or until the outside is lightly browned
Remove to a cooling rack and enjoy warm or cooled. I like them best chilled, but I’ll never say no to warm cookies!
Lemon Ginger Cookie Variations
Molasses is just refined sugar cane in a syrup form. You could try using honey or maple syrup here, although that will change the flavor of the cookies. I wouldn’t suggest substituting the molasses for sugar since that molasses is liquid, and this swap would alter the texture of the cookies. And Molasses is what gives these cookies a nice, deep flavor that pairs perfectly with ginger.
You should be able to substitute the all-purpose flour for all-purpose gluten-free flour to make it gluten-friendly. I haven’t tried making these gluten-free, so let me know if you do! Or, you may like this gluten-free ginger cookie recipe!
I used powdered ginger baking since that actually gives a stronger ginger flavor than fresh ginger. (Yep!) If you want more ginger flavor, you could add crystallized ginger (found in most grocery stores) to the dough or roll them in it before baking. The crystallized ginger is strong, so I would only suggest using about 2 tablespoons to sprinkle in your dough. If you use fresh ginger, reduce the amount of chopped ginger to only one tablespoon.
The lemon zest is what really makes the lemon flavor pop, and I wouldn’t suggest subbing lemon juice for the zest.
The butter needs to be room temperature (rather than cold and straight from the fridge) for the butter to cream properly when mixed.
You can easily make these dairy free by substituting coconut oil for the butter. In fact, I’ve made the last two batches with coconut oil since I’m dairy free while breastfeeding. To use coconut oil, slightly soften it in the microwave – don’t fully melt it to liquid!
If you don’t have a lot of people around to eat all the cookies (before you do) and don’t want to bake the entire batch for yourself, just freeze the remaining cookie dough! The dough doesn’t even need to thaw before popping them into the oven the next time you decide to bake these yummy ginger lemon cookies.
You can store leftover cookies in an airtight container on the counter for a few days or in the fridge for longer. You may need to let them soften a bit before eating if you store in the fridge, especially if you use coconut oil rather than butter.