These classic ginger snap biscuits are thin and crispy with soft centres, packed full of spices and rolled in sugar for extra crunch and sparkle. These ginger snaps are made dairy free and make the perfect companion to a cup of tea and are even better enjoyed around Christmas time.
There is just something super festive about spiced baked goods around Christmas. While in Australia we enjoy our warmest time of the year over December, it doesn’t mean that we should miss out on the flavours of ginger, nutmeg and cinnamon that are more traditionally associated with the cosy fall and winter months in the northern hemisphere. And while I think these flavours should be enjoyed year round, what better way to enjoy them than within a traditional Christmas cookie!
Ginger snaps are such a classic recipe, and one that probably most people have a recipe for hiding somewhere in their family. With a rich molasses flavour and warm spices, these biscuits are best baked just long enough so the outside is crispy but the middle remains soft. The biscuits form a perfect crackle on the top as they bake and if you want to level up, enjoy them dunked in your cup of tea.
Now ginger snap biscuits get their name from the ‘snap’ the traditionally thin, crisp biscuit makes when you break it in half. My preference for biscuits is always more towards the soft and chewy vs the hard and crisp so that’s what this recipe is. Soft centres and crispy edges is what I call balance when it comes to my ginger snap biscuits! But if you prefer a harder, crunchier biscuit, just let them bake a few minutes longer.
For this recipe, you’ll need a few pantry staples plus a couple of key ingredients that is going to give us that gingerbread taste to our biscuits.
Note all ingredients and their quantities are laid out in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
- Dairy-free butter – I use Nuttelex Buttery in replace of butter in most of my recipes as it is the best replacement I have found for flavour and texture, however any dairy-free spread will work. In the US I believe the best alternative is Earth Balance.
- White sugar – gives these biscuits their sweetness but also helps them spread to give them the crispy edges. We also rolls the balls of cookie dough in extra sugar to give them that iconic sparkle and crunch.
- Egg – gives our biscuit structure and helps provide that chewy centre when slightly underbaked.
- Molasses – the key to the rich flavour of these biscuits. You could use golden syrup instead but the molasses gives that extra rich and unique flavour.
- Plain flour – also know as all purpose flour in the US.
- Spices – to give these biscuits more than just a ginger flavour, we are combining the classic gingerbread spices of ground ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg.
- Bicarbonate of soda – known as baking soda in the US, this is going to help our cookies puff up while cooking creating that crackle top.
To make these ginger snap biscuits you’ll need an electric hand help or stand mixer, mixing bowl and spatula and a large baking tray. A cookie scoop will also help but isn’t necessary.
Start by beating together the dairy free butter and sugar in a large bowl with your electric mixer until it’s smooth and creamy. The butter should slightly lighten in colour. Add in the molasses and the egg and continue to beat until combined.
In another bowl, whisk together all of your dry ingredients and then slowly add them bit by bit to your butter mixture, mixing well between each addition until a soft dough forms. Use your spatula to scape down the sides of the bowl and ensure everything is combined.
From here, chill the dough for 30 minutes to an hour to make rolling the dough into balls easier.
Once the dough has chilled, use your cookie scoop or a spoon to roll out 1 inch in diameter balls. Coat each ball in extra white sugar and place on a prepared baking tray at least 2 inches apart to allow for spreading.
Bake the biscuits in a preheated oven for 10-12 minutes. After about 8 minutes, remove the tray for the oven and gently tap the tray on the counter to deflate the cookies. This will help achieve the perfect crackly top. Return the tray to the oven and finish cooking.
Depending on how crispy you want your biscuits, I find about 11 minutes to be the sweet spot. I get crunchy edges and a soft and chewy centre which is perfect for me. But cooking times may vary based on your preferences and your oven.
Let the biscuits cool on the tray to set as they will be soft when you remove them from the oven. Once set, remove from the tray and let cool on a wire rack completely before storing.
I love baking classic recipes that I grew up making such as this cinnamon tea cake or melting moments and while I don’t have a story that comes to mind when I think about ginger snaps I do feel a sort of nostalgia when I taste the flavours that seem to transport me straight back to my childhood.
These biscuits are pretty simple and make great gifts or plates to bring to friends and family or even work morning teas. Everyone knows the classic ginger snap biscuit and homemade always feels a little more special around the holiday time.
More holiday cookie recipes:
Ginger Snap Biscuits
- ¾ cup (185 grams) dairy-free butter
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 egg
- ¼ cup molasses
- 2 cups plain flour
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- 2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ⅓ cup sugar extra for rolling
- Preheat oven to 180°C and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, using an electric stand or hand held mixer, beat the dairy-free butter and the sugar until creamy. Add in egg then molasses and continue mixing.
- In a separate bowl, sift flour, spices, bicarbonate of soda and salt. Add dry ingredients to the wet bit by bit, mixing in between until the mixture forms a soft dough. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides and make sure everything is combined.
- Place the dough in the fridge to chill for 30-60 minutes to make rolling out the balls easier.
- Once the dough has chilled, using a spoon, scoop out small amounts of dough and roll into 1 inch diameter balls between your hands. Roll each ball in extra sugar, and place 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet to allow for spreading.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the tops are cracked and the edges are set. At about the 8 minute mark, take the tray out and tap on the counter to deflate the cookies. Return to the oven to finish baking.
- Let the biscuits cool on the tray so they firm up before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely. Store biscuits in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
Nutritional information is provided as a guide only and is calculated using automated online tools, therefore we cannot guarantee the accuracy. We encourage you to make your own calculations based on the actual ingredients used in your recipe.