Cinnamon Brown Sugar Stamped Cookies

Sweetened mostly with brown sugar and spiced with cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cardamom, these stamped cookies are just as flavorful as they are beautiful. If you’ve never stamped cookies before, see all of my cookie stamping success tips below.

stamped cookies

Here’s a gorgeous cookie that requires zero decorating skills. I’m always up for that!

Tell Me About These Cinnamon Brown Sugar Stamped Cookies:

  • Texture: The centers are a little soft, but the edges have a crunchy crumbly texture that you don’t always get with soft-baked cookies. They remind me of these crisp molasses cookies, but aren’t quite as crunchy.
  • Flavor: There’s a glaring absence of chocolate, sprinkles, and candies, but I wouldn’t necessarily call these stamped cookies plain. They’re sweetened mostly with brown sugar and are generously spiced with cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cardamom. A bit of molasses, honey, or maple syrup (your choice) adds a touch of flavor too. They remind me of Biscoff (Belgian Speculoos) cookies. Sometimes a simple cookie without all the excess fluff is what really hits the spot. They’re fantastic dipped in hot cocoa or coffee!
  • Ease: This is a pretty standard cookie recipe– no crazy ingredients or mixing methods. The only thing we’re doing differently is stamping the dough balls before baking. You’ll appreciate that there’s no extra decoration required. The stamp does it all.
  • Time: Set aside enough time to chill the cookie dough. I know it’s a drag, but 2 hours in the refrigerator firms up the dough. If you skip it, the cookies will over-spread and the beautiful stamped design will be ruined– wasting all your efforts and ingredients.

Can You Make These Without a Cookie Stamp?

Yes. Follow the recipe exactly as written but skip the stamping step. Simply bake as round cookie dough balls, like you would any other drop cookie. You can even roll in cinnamon sugar or chai sugar before baking, just like we do with snickerdoodles and chai snickerdoodles. (In fact! I actually did that with a few of these pictured stamped cookies, but the stamp just pressed the cinnamon sugar down into the cookie and you can’t really see it after baking.

I don’t recommend these as cut-out cookies. If you want to use your rolling pin, stick with sugar cookies, chocolate sugar cookies, maple cinnamon star cookies, or gingerbread cookies.

stack of cinnamon brown sugar cookies

Overview: How to Make Stamped Cookies

The full printable recipe is below, but this overview should help you understand the process before you get started.

  1. Make the cookie dough. This is a pretty straightforward recipe. Whisk your dry ingredients together including the spices. Cream the butter and both sugars together, then add 1 Tablespoon of molasses/honey/maple syrup, an egg, and vanilla extract. Liquid sweetener slightly thins out the dough. I used molasses in the pictured cookies, but honey or pure maple syrup work too. Bring the dough together by combining the wet and dry ingredients.
  2. Chill the cookie dough. I’m a broken record here. Don’t skip the chilling step!
  3. Roll dough into balls. Measure 1 Tablespoon of chilled cookie dough per cookie and roll into balls. Feel free to roll the cookies in cinnamon sugar, just like we do with snickerdoodles, but know that the sugar coating gets stamped right down into the cookie. I did that for some of the pictured cookies and you can’t even see it!
  4. Stamp the dough balls. Grab your cookie stamps. I used Nordic Ware’s “starry night” cookie stamps for the pictured cookies. Place the cookie stamp directly on top of each cookie dough ball, centering the ball as best as you can, then firmly press down until the dough extends nearly to the edges of the cookie stamp. Lift straight up. Most cookie doughs, including this one, are a little sticky. That’s expected. If your cookie dough is sticking to the cookie stamp (mine does!), lightly dip the cookie stamp in a bowl of flour before stamping the cookie dough ball. If dipped lightly, the flour bakes right off the cookie.
  5. Bake. Remember one of my cookie baking tips? Use your eyes as the timer, not the clock. Cookies are done when the edges are set.

Glaze always adds a lovely finishing touch, but I skipped it for these. If desired, feel free to lightly dip each cooled cookie in vanilla icing or even this eggnog icing.

cinnamon brown sugar cookie dough in glass bowl

stamping cookie dough balls

stamped cookies before baking spaced apart on a baking sheet

One Thing to Note: Cookies naturally puff up and spread out in the oven, so the design will never be quite as defined on a baked cookie. You can see how defined they are above (before baking) compared to below (after baking).

close up photo of stamped cookies

Success Tips for Stamped Cookies

I include most of these above, but let me summarize each. It’s important to remember that the amount of definition your stamped design holds depends on the recipe, how firm the cookie dough is, and the stamp you use. Like I mention above, cookies naturally puff up and spread out in the oven, so the design will never be quite as defined on a baked cookie.

  1. Recipe: Not all cookie doughs are ideal for cookie stamps. Avoid using cookie stamps on thick and fluffy cookies, which will likely puff up in the oven instead of holding onto the stamped design. Follow the recipe as written below because it yields a relatively flat cookie. Additionally, darker cookies show the stamped design better than lighter cookies.
  2. Place the Stamp Centered Over the Dough: Center the stamp as best you can on top of the cookie dough ball before pressing down.
  3. Flour Your Cookie Stamp: Cookie dough can stick to the stamp. Dip your cookie stamp in flour before stamping. If dipped lightly, the flour bakes right off the stamped cookies.
  4. Firm Cookie Dough: Don’t skip chilling this cookie dough. You could even chill the stamped cookies before baking. It wouldn’t hurt to stamp the dough balls, preheat the oven, then chill the stamped cookies in the refrigerator as your oven preheats.
  5. Stamp: There’s really no way of knowing how well your cookie stamp works until you test it out. This isn’t sponsored, but I’m a genuine fan of Nordic Ware cookie stamps. They’re good quality, heavy duty, and work wonderfully. I used the Starry Night ones in these photos. (You can find them online and some stores including Target.)
Print
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stamped cookies

Stamped Cinnamon Brown Sugar Cookies

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes (includes chilling)
  • Cook Time: 13 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours (includes cooling)
  • Yield: 32 cookies
  • Category: Cookies
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Sweetened mostly with brown sugar and spiced with cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cardamom, these stamped cookies are just as flavorful as they are beautiful. Chill the cookie dough in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. Feel free to skip the cookie stamp and bake them as round cookie dough balls.


Ingredients

  • 2 cups (250g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled), plus extra as needed for stamping
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick; 115g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3/4 cup (150g) packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup (65g) granulated sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon (15ml) molasses, maple syrup, or honey
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Whisk the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cardamom together in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  2. Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat the softened butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar together on medium-high speed until creamy, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Add the molasses, egg, and vanilla extract and mix on high speed until combined, about 1 minute. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl again as needed.
  3. Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients, then mix on low speed until combined. Cover and chill the dough in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours (and up to 4 days). If chilling for longer than a few hours, allow to sit at room temperature for at least 15 minutes before rolling because the dough will be quite hard.
  4. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Set aside.
  5. Roll and stamp: Measure 1 Tablespoon of chilled cookie dough per cookie and roll into balls. The dough may seem crumbly, but will come together as you roll. Arrange dough balls 3 inches apart on the baking sheets. Place the cookie stamp directly on top of each cookie dough ball, centering the ball as best as you can, then firmly press down until the dough extends nearly to the edges of the cookie stamp. Lift straight up. If your cookie dough is sticking to the cookie stamp (mine does!), lightly dip the cookie stamp in a bowl of flour before stamping the cookie dough ball. If dipped lightly, the flour bakes right off the cookie.
  6. Bake cookies until the edges are set, about 13 minutes.
  7. Remove from the oven and allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
  8. Cover leftover cookies tightly and store at room temperature for up to 1 week.

Notes

  1. Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: You can make the cookie dough and chill it in the refrigerator for up to 4 days (step 3). Baked cookies freeze well for up to 3 months. Unbaked cookie dough balls freeze well for up to 3 months. Thaw completely at room temperature, then stamp and bake as directed in the recipe. Click here for my tips and tricks on freezing cookie dough.
  2. Spices: Feel free to make spice substitutions as needed, keeping in mind some spices have a stronger flavor than others. For best results, I recommend following the spices and measurements listed.

Keywords: stamped cookies, cookie stamp, spice cookies

77 Comments

  1. The cookies were very good but only on the day they were made. They were very crispy, but after putting them in an airtight container they were very soft and not so good.

    1. I have had this happen to me when I don’t let the cookies fully cook before putting them in an airtight container. They seemed cool but weren’t, so moisture built up in the container. I’ve learned I need to let most cookies sit out for a good hour or two at least, sometimes I even leave them between two sheet pans overnight, before I put them in a sealed container.

  2. Delicious! I had to make a modification since I didn’t have cardamom—I used half nutmeg and half cinnamon to match the amount of cardamom called for in the recipe. I also kept the nutmeg and cinnamon as written in the recipe.
    I rolled the cookie balls in cinnamon sugar before stamping. These had a delightful spice tone…it was just enough to give a nice flavor without being overpowering.

  3. Shari A Pfeil says:

    I’m making these right now and I’m having trouble with the design staying on the baked cookies. I’m using the Starry Night stamps you recommended because they’re gorgeous! I’m on my third sheet now and I’m going to try and refrigerate the stamped cookies for a while before baking them to see if that helps. I just can’t figure out how you got such distinct stamp marks in yours!! They do taste wonderful though.

    1. I hope that worked for you! I personally have found that I need to always refrigerate my cutout/stamped cookies before baking, even if the dough was refrigerated first. I’m kind of OCD now and I refrigerate at least an hour after cutting out/stamping, sometimes longer! It gets the best results. And I pop the actual baking sheet into the refrigerator or freezer for a few minutes before every bake as well.

  4. These cookies taste great – like ginger snaps. But I chose the recipe to use my stamp. The cookies did not hold the stamp when cooking AT ALL. I had chilled the dough, even put it in the freezer for 5 minutes after stamping. I used the 1 T molasses called for in the recipe, not sure if that was the problem. Tasty, but not the festive look I was going for in my cookie box.

  5. OMG, delicious! Thank you so much for sharing. I will be making this recipe again for sure!

  6. I was excited to make these with all the great reviews, but found the taste rather boring. The dough does work well for stamping – it released-and i appreciate the tips for how to do that! Also, my designs held up well with this dough.

  7. Can I use artificial maple syrup?

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      We don’t suggest it. Use molasses or honey instead!

  8. Gina Osterkorn says:

    Everyone enjoyed the taste of the cookie. When baked the stamping disappeared. Not sure what went wrong.

  9. Made these for my cookie boxes this year and they turned out perfectly. They stayed crispy and delicious until they were all eaten. Thanks so much!

  10. Sylvia A Flood says:

    The cookies are very flavorful, crispy, crunchy with a strong flavor of Ginger. Strong taste that holds you back to eating only a few at a time.

  11. Can I use a cookie press for this recipe or will the dough not be soft enough after having it in the fridge for 2 hours?

    1. Hi Kirti, we haven’t tested this dough with a cookie stamp. I fear it will be too soft and sticky. Chill it first, then give it a try. Let us know how it goes if you test it.

  12. After reading the recipe and the comments…I’m not sure about the texture of the cookie? Sally says crispy on the outsides but softer on the inside. Some comments say crispy..They LOOK crispy..but are they? I’m looking for a crispy cookie. Thanks!

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Sandi! They’re crispy on the edges and softer inside. Baking them slightly longer will yield a crispier cookie.

      1. Thank you!! Can’t wait to try it!

  13. Hi Sally, this recipe was so awesome. These cookies were mind-blowing. The recipe was easy to follow. My whole family enjoyed it . I had a request for making a coffee cake. Thank you so much!

  14. Would these hold their shape if I used cookie cutters?

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      We don’t suggest using cookie cutters with this recipe. You may love these maple cinnamon cut out cookies!

  15. Recipe looks delicious and will be making it within the next few days. But size of dough ball question, do you know what cookie scoop/disher would be equivalent to 1 Tbsp dough?
    I’ve looked on the internet and sizes range from #40 to #60!
    Thanks

    1. Hi Barb, besides an actual Tablespoon measuring spoon, I don’t know of a cookie scoop that measures exactly 1 Tablespoon. (If someone else knows, please add it!) I use OXO brand and the small holds a couple Tbsp and the medium holds 1.5 Tablespoons. I would use the small and make it a heaping scoop to yield 1 Tablespoon.

      But, again, I usually just use an actual Tablespoon measuring spoon then roll the dough into balls using my hands.

  16. Hi,

    Absolutely delicious recipe!!! Is it possible that I can use the stamp on sugar cookies or would that not be ideal?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Reeyah, We used this sugar cookie recipe to make stamped snowflake cookies and they came out beautifully! You can see them in the post on Sugar Plum Fairy Cupcakes (the cookies are on top of the cupcakes).

  17. Literally my go to baking site! If it’s on here I trust it 10000000%! & these did not disappoint I used the recommended put in fridge 15 min after stamping and they turned out perfectly! The taste is amazing! Thank you for all of these recipes you truly have a gift in the kitchen!!!!

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