With their sparkly, crinkly tops and super soft chew, these chocolate ginger sparkle cookies are as delicious to eat as they are beautiful to behold. Dip these spiced cocoa molasses cookies in dark chocolate, and finish each with finely chopped crystallized ginger for extra flavor.
This recipe is part of my annual holiday cookie countdown called Sally’s Cookie Palooza. Every year since 2013, I work on a handful of new cookie recipes and publish the 10 best ones for readers to enjoy. It’s the biggest, tastiest event of the year on my website!
This cookie recipe was, quite simply, a JOY to create. It only took a couple of test batches to get it right, and how often does that happen? (The answer is: not nearly often enough.) The flavors of chocolate, ginger, and molasses come together so perfectly—an underrated flavor trio!
Why You’ll Love These Chocolate Ginger Sparkle Cookies
- So soft & chewy—and stay that way for days
- Chocolate & ginger pair beautifully, just like these chocolate gingerbread sandwich cookies, for a slightly sophisticated flavor profile. A unique addition to any platter of Christmas cookies!
- Flavorful warm spices balance the sweet
- An elevated twist on classic ginger molasses cookies
- Dip in melted dark chocolate for a truly luxe cookie
- Roll in sugar + finish with crystallized ginger for double the sparkle!
This is a classic drop cookie dough that comes together with basic ingredients. Pick up a few holiday baking spices like ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves—all ingredients you need for a batch of gingerbread oatmeal cookies, too!
Here Are the Ingredients You Need & Why
- Flour: All-purpose flour provides the main structure in this cookie dough.
- Cocoa Powder: We’re adding just enough cocoa powder to the dough to give it a chocolatey flavor, while still letting the other flavors come through. Don’t expect a fudgy chocolate flavor like a batch of chocolate crinkle cookies; it’s mild here.
- Baking Soda: A touch of extra baking soda helps the cookies puff up in the oven, then fall and develop that crinkly texture when they cool. Don’t worry if yours don’t crinkle—you can see in the photos that they all look a little different.
- Spices: This careful blend of ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves is exactly what every molasses cookie needs! Fresh grated ginger is too strong for these cookies—in testing, we found that its sharp flavor overpowered the chocolate.
- Salt: To balance the sweetness.
- Butter: Creamed butter forms the base of these soft cookies.
- Dark Brown Sugar: Brown sugar is what helps produce the softest cookie ever. You can use light or dark brown sugar, but I like using dark for the extra molasses flavor it provides.
- Molasses: Make sure you’re using a dark molasses, aka “robust” molasses, but avoid blackstrap, which is too intense.
- Egg: For structure and richness.
- Vanilla Extract: Feel free to use homemade vanilla extract in these cookies.
- Granulated Sugar: To coat the dough balls before baking. Sweetness and sparkle!
- Chocolate: Melt chocolate once the cookies are cool, and dip or drizzle to take the chocolate-ginger flavor to the next level.
Plus, an optional garnish: Finely chop candied ginger for a dazzling (and flavorful!) finishing touch. I love using crystallized ginger in baking for that unexpected sweet-yet-spicy flavor, like in these lemon ginger cookies and this ginger pear galette.
Like many cookie doughs prepared with molasses (looking at you, gingerbread cookies) this is a sticky dough mixture and must chill in the refrigerator before you shape it into balls:
It solidifies after a 2-hour nap in the refrigerator, and a cookie scoop makes portioning the dough really easy. Use about 1.5 Tablespoons of dough per cookie, roll into a ball, and then coat generously in granulated sugar just as if you were making a batch of peanut butter blossoms.
Arrange 9–12 cookie dough balls on a lined baking sheet. If you’re shopping for new baking supplies, I use and love these baking sheets.
The cookies will puff up in the oven from all the baking soda, and then fall as they cool. The rising and falling helps create those beautiful crinkles. Some will have more cracks than others.
Don’t Forget the Chocolate Dip!
The best chocolate for dipping is the “baking chocolate” bars found in the baking aisle of the grocery store. I typically use Bakers or Ghirardelli brands, either semi-sweet or dark. Do not use chocolate chips because they contain stabilizers, which prevent them from melting into the correct consistency.
Make sure the cookies have fully cooled before you dip them into the melted chocolate. I had extra chocolate, so I drizzled the rest on top. Sprinkle the finely chopped crystallized ginger onto the chocolate-dipped cookies while the chocolate is still melty, then let dry.
Once the chocolate has set, the cookies can be stacked, stored, transported, or gifted.
Can I use white chocolate instead? Absolutely! White chocolate is another delicious pairing with ginger, like in these soft white chocolate chip molasses cookies.
3 Success Tips for Perfect Chocolate Ginger Cookies
- Use proper room temperature butter. Cold or melted butter can’t cream properly.
- Chill the dough for at least 2 hours. Unless you want over-spread gingery puddles.
- Melt pure chocolate, not chocolate chips. Save those for chocolate chip cookies!
Perfectly spiced cocoa ginger molasses cookies come together with basic baking ingredients, and taste even better after a dip in melted chocolate. The cookies will puff up in the oven from the baking soda, and then fall as they cool. Some will have more crinkles and cracks than others.
- 2 cups (250g) all-purpose flour (spooned & leveled)
- 1/4 cup (22g) natural unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 and 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup (12 Tbsp; 170g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 3/4 cup (150g) packed light or dark brown sugar (I recommend dark)
- 1/3 cup (80ml) unsulphured or dark molasses (do not use blackstrap; I prefer Grandma’s brand)
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup (67g) granulated sugar, for rolling
- 4–6 ounces (113–170g) semi-sweet or dark chocolate, finely chopped (see note)
- optional: 2 Tablespoons (30g) finely chopped crystallized ginger
- Whisk the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and salt together in a medium bowl until combined. Set aside.
- In a large bowl using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and brown sugar together on high speed until creamy and combined, about 2 minutes. Add the molasses, egg, and vanilla extract and beat until combined, about 1 minute. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl and beat again as needed to combine. The mixture may look a bit curdled; that’s ok.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix on low until combined. Dough will be thick and sticky. Cover dough tightly and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours and up to 3 days. Chilling is imperative for this sticky cookie dough.
- Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Set aside.
- Remove cookie dough from the refrigerator. If the cookie dough chilled longer than 2 hours, let it sit at room temperature for 10 minutes. The cookies may not spread in the oven if the dough is that cold. Roll cookie dough into balls, about 1.5 Tablespoons (30g) of dough each (I use this medium cookie scoop). Roll each in granulated sugar and arrange 3 inches apart on the baking sheets.
- Bake cookies for 12 minutes or until edges appear set.
- Remove from the oven and allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely.
- Dip in chocolate: When the cookies are cooled, melt the chopped chocolate, either in a double boiler or use the microwave. Microwave in 20-second increments, stirring after each until completely melted. Dip half of each cooled cookie into the chocolate, and use any leftover chocolate to drizzle on top, if desired. Sprinkle chopped crystallized ginger on chocolate.
- Allow chocolate to completely set at room temperature or in the refrigerator.
- Cover leftover cookies tightly and store at room temperature for up to 1 week.
- Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: You can make the cookie dough and chill it in the refrigerator for up to 2–3 days. Baked cookies, cooled but undipped, freeze well for up to 3 months. (For best taste and texture, chocolate dip should be fresh!) Follow recipe through step 7 before freezing. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature before continuing with step 8. Unbaked cookie dough balls (before rolling in sugar) will freeze well for up to 3 months. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes, preheat the oven, then roll in granulated sugar. Bake as directed. Read my tips and tricks on how to freeze cookie dough.
- Special Tools (affiliate links): Glass Mixing Bowl | Whisk | Electric Mixer (Handheld or Stand) | Medium Cookie Scoop | Baking Sheets | Silicone Baking Mats or Parchment Paper | Cooling Rack | Double Boiler or Glass Measuring Cup (for dipping)
- Molasses: I use and recommend unsulphured or dark molasses. (I like Grandma’s brand. The kind I use is labeled “original” molasses.) Blackstrap molasses is extremely bitter and not ideal in this recipe.
- Chocolate: The best chocolate for dipping is the “baking chocolate” bars found in the baking aisle of the grocery store. I typically use Bakers or Ghirardelli brands, either semi-sweet or dark. Do not use chocolate chips because they contain stabilizers, which prevent them from melting into the correct consistency. 4 ounces is enough for a light dip and 6 ounces is plenty for a dip and a little drizzle on top, too. You can use white chocolate if desired instead.
- Be sure to check out my top 5 cookie baking tips AND these are my 10 must-have cookie baking tools.
Keywords: chocolate ginger cookies