Spicy Sugar-Crusted Ginger Cookies

This chewy spice cookie is flavored with a healthy dose of ginger, both crystallized and ground, and tangy lemon. The crystallized ginger adds texture and a bit of a sweet-hot quality and cardamom in the sugar coating brings a subtle, peppery hint to the mix.

Spicy Sugar-Crusted Ginger Cookies

Spicy Sugar-Crusted Ginger Cookies

Yield: about 3 dozen
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

These chewy spice cookies have a subtle lemon flavor and a bit of a kick from crystallized ginger.


  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup crystallized ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • Zest of 1 lemon, finely grated
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon extract

For the sugar coating:

  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon


  1. Whisk together the two flours, crystallized ginger, baking powder, baking soda, salt and ground ginger.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine the applesauce, 1 cup of the sugar, the vegetable oil, grated lemon zest, lemon juice and lemon extract.
  3. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour the applesauce-oil mixture into it all at one time. Gently combine the wet and dry ingredients until just blended. Don't over mix. Form the dough into a ball, wrap tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a minimum of one hour.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  5. Place the 1/4 cup sugar in a pie plate. Add the ground ginger, cardamom and cinnamon and combine.
  6. Lightly coat your hands with flour and form the dough into approximately 36 round balls, 1-1/2 tablespoons each. Roll the balls in the spiced sugar mixture and place 2 inches apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes, or until set and very lightly browned. Cool for 1 minute on the baking sheet, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.


If you don't have ground cardamom on hand, substitute ground cloves or omit it completely.

Recipe adapted from Cooking Light Magazine