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Last Updated on December 24, 2020 by Chenée Lewis
Welcome to Day 6 of my #Chenees12Days 12 Days of Christmas Cookies celebration! Today we’re getting into one of the iconic holiday flavors with these ginger crinkle cookies!
These cookies have all the flavors you expect from a classic gingerbread cookie– molasses, ginger, and spices, all coated in a lovely crinkle layer of powdered sugar. But that’s not the best part! These cookies are SO easy because they’re made with cake mix! Yes, the base for this ginger crinkle cookies recipe is a boxed spice cake mix!
What makes a cookie crinkle?
Good question! The crinkle comes from the outside of the cookie setting and hardening in the oven before the inside. So as the inside of the cookie bakes and expands, it creates cracks and separations in the outside of the cookie.
This process is furthered by the addition of powdered sugar before baking. Powdered sugar draws out some of the moisture from the outer layer of the cookie, emphasizing the crinkle effect even more! That’s how we get those beautiful crinkly tops on these ginger crinkle cookies!
- spice cake mix – I used a 15.25-oz Betty Crocker Spice Cake Mix. We’ll just be using the dry mix, not a prepared cake batter.
- all-purpose flour – we’re adding some flour to thicken up the batter a bit.
- vegetable oil – helps to ensure soft, moist cookies!
- eggs – give a little lift and richness to our cookies.
- molasses – you’ll need unsulphured molasses for this recipe — I used Grandma’s Original Molasses.
- cinnamon and ginger – we’re boosting the spice flavors a bit to give these cookies the classic, spicy gingerbread flavor!
- powdered sugar – we’ll coat our cookies with powdered sugar before they bake to create that stunning crinkle effect!
This is a one-bowl and wooden spoon recipe! You don’t need an electric mixer, or even a whisk! These ginger crinkle cookies come together so easily so it’s the perfect low-key holiday cookie for beginners! Here are a few more tools you might need:
Tips for the best crinkle cookies
Fully chill your dough before shaping. The cold dough will help you form round cookie balls, and will keep the powdered sugar from melting into the dough. I’d recommend chilling your dough at least 30 minutes.
Press cookie dough balls firmly into powdered sugar. The method I use is to roll the dough ball into the sugar, pressing down firmly to allow the sugar to stick. This is better than simply tossing the dough with the sugar. Then you can allow the excess sugar to fall off before you place the dough ball on your baking sheet, so that you don’t end up with clumps of powdered sugar on your finished cookies.
Use the right kind of molasses! This is so important. Molasses can vary in sweetness, consistency, and ingredients. For this recipe you need mild unsulphured molasses. Unsulphured molasses is sweeter and doesn’t contain preservatives, and comes in mild, dark, and blackstrap varieties. I prefer mild unsulphured molasses for baking because it offers less bitterness, so for this recipe I recommend Grandma’s Original Molasses or something similar.
If you like this ginger crinkle cookies, then you should also try my Stout Gingerbread Cookies with Brown Butter Cream Cheese Frosting. They’ve got amazing spicy flavor in a soft gingerbread cookie, and they’re topped with a brown butter cream cheese frosting that you could eat with a spoon!
You should also check out the rest of the cookies in my 12 Days of Christmas Cookies! Like these perfect no-chill cutout sugar cookies with sprinkles and an easy dipped icing! Perfect for your family holiday baking!
Equipment you may need
- Preheat oven to 350°F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking liner.
- Mix together all ingredients other than powdered sugar in a large bowl with a mixing spoon, until fully combined.
- Cover bowl with plastic wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes.
- Roll dough into 1-inch balls. Roll into powdered sugar, pressing down to get the powdere sugar to stick to all sides of the dough ball.
- Place dough balls 2 inches apart on baking sheet and bake in preheated oven for 12-14 minutes.
- Allow to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
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