My soft and chewy spice cookies are infused with five different spices and topped with an easy vanilla drizzle. This is such a warm and cozy cookie recipe–perfect for fall or your Christmas cookie tray! Recipe includes a how-to video!
So, What Exactly Are Spice Cookies?
Well for starters, spice cookies are not the same thing as gingerbread men or gingersnap cookies. We won’t be adding any molasses to this recipe (besides what is in the brown sugar!), and the resulting cookies will have a softer, chewier texture.
If you’ve ever had my spice cake (another fantastic fall recipe!) these cookies are very similar flavor-wise. They are so warm and cozy with plenty of spices and a sweet vanilla glaze on top.
What you’ll love:
- Bright flavor: infusing the spices in warm melted butter helps to intensify their flavor, much like blooming cocoa powder. This also means you won’t have to soften cold, straight-from-the-fridge butter before you can begin!
- Customizable: you can chill the dough for just 30 minutes, but if you like thicker cookies, chill it for an hour. You can of course chill longer (several days) as long as you keep the dough covered. Note that the dough will be a bit hard to scoop and may need to sit at room temperature a bit if you let it chill for more than an hour.
- Easy glaze: my foolproof vanilla glaze rounds out the spice flavor so nicely!
What You Need
Don’t be overwhelmed by the amount of ingredients below–most of them are spices and other pantry staples you’ll already have on hand. Here are the key ingredients in my spice cookies.
- Spices. I’m sticking with warm spices here today like ginger, allspice, nutmeg, cinnamon, and clove. Some of these are also in the butternut squash soup I recently shared!
- Dark brown sugar. While we won’t add molasses to these spice cookies, we will be adding brown sugar, which contains molasses. This gives the cookies a richer flavor and complements the spices nicely.
- Butter. Just as with my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe, this recipe starts with melted butter. Not only does this mean you won’t need a mixer (yay!), but it also means the cookies will have a more buttery flavor.
- Egg + egg yolk. An extra egg yolk contributes to the soft and chewy texture we’re going for here. Save your leftover egg white for making candied pecans!
- Cornstarch. I love adding cornstarch to cookies to keep them tender and soft, I consider it my secret weapon. It also helps them keep their shape so they don’t spread too much in the oven.
SAM’S TIP: Let your butter cool down before adding the sugars (it should not feel warm to the touch, at all!), otherwise you could end up melting them. If this happens, your dough will be greasy and run all over your baking sheets–in other words, you will have a total mess on your hands! So have a little patience, and you will be rewarded 😊
Remember, this is just an overview of the ingredients I used and why. For the full recipe please scroll down to the bottom of the post!
How to Make Spice Cookies
- Melt the butter, then immediately stir in the spices. Let the butter cool completely before proceeding.
- Add the sugars, eggs and vanilla to the cooled butter and stir to combine.
- Whisk together the dry ingredients in a separate bowl, then gradually add them to the wet ingredients until everything is combined.
- Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge to chill for 30-60 minutes.
- Roll 1 ½ tablespoon scoops of chilled cookie dough between your palms before placing 2″ apart on parchment lined baking sheets.
- Bake for 11-12 minutes and let cool completely before topping with glaze.
- Make the glaze: whisk together the powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon of milk, and vanilla extract. If needed, add more milk until the glaze ribbons off your whisk; it should hold its shape for several seconds before melting back into the bowl.
- Drizzle the glaze over the cooled cookies. Once the glaze has hardened, enjoy!
SAM’S TIP: If your glaze is too thick, simply add more milk, a splash at a time, until it thins out again. If it ends up too thin, don’t fret–simply add more powdered sugar until it reaches the right consistency. Alternatively you could omit the glaze altogether and just roll the cookies through granulated sugar before baking!
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes! These spice cookies freeze well, both baked and unbaked. To freeze the dough, simply follow the chilling step in the recipe, then head over to my how to freeze cookie dough post and follow the instructions for drop cookies.
Yes! It won’t be quite as hard royal icing would be, but it will be firm enough to stack.
I specifically designed these spice cookies to be soft and chewy and not crispy. While the edges may have a touch of crispness to them, the centers will be melt-in-your-mouth soft. The cookies are also designed to not be thick cookies, I wanted them flatter so that we could achieve a chewy texture and a powerful punch of flavor from the spices.
With their cozy flavor and have gorgeous crackly surfaces, these spice cookies are so perfect for fall. I recommend enjoying them with cup of hot chocolate or apple cider for the full experience 🥰
Let’s bake together! I’ll be walking you through all the steps in my written recipe and video below! If you try this recipe, be sure to tag me on Instagram, and you can also find me on YouTube and Facebook
- 1 cup (226 g) unsalted butter
- 1 ¼ teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground cloves
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon allspice
- 1 cup (200 g) dark brown sugar firmly packed
- ¾ cup (150 g) granulated sugar
- 1 large egg + 1 egg yolk room temperature preferred
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 ¾ cups (350 g) all-purpose flour
- 2 Tablespoons cornstarch
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (125 g) powdered sugar
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1-2 Tablespoons milk
- Cut butter into Tablespoon-sized pieces and place in a large, microwave-safe mixing bowl. Heat in 15-second intervals until butter is melted then immediately stir in ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and allspice. Stir well and allow butter to cool before proceeding.1 cup (226 g) unsalted butter, 1 ¼ teaspoons ground ginger, 1 ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon, ½ teaspoon ground cloves, ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg, ½ teaspoon allspice
- Once butter is cooled (no longer warm to the touch) add sugars, egg, egg yolk, and vanilla and stir until completely combined.1 cup (200 g) dark brown sugar, ¾ cup (150 g) granulated sugar, 1 large egg + 1 egg yolk, 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- In a separate medium-sized bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.2 ¾ cups (350 g) all-purpose flour, 2 Tablespoons cornstarch, ¾ teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon baking powder, ¾ teaspoon salt
- Gradually add dry ingredients to wet. Stir until completely combined.
- Cover cookie dough with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 and preferably 60 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350F (175C) and line baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Once dough has finished chilling, scoop by level 1 ½ tablespoon-sized scoop and roll into a ball between your palms. Place cookie dough balls on prepared baking sheet, spacing at least 2 inches apart.
- Bake at 350F (175C) for 11-12 minutes or until edges are beginning to turn a light golden brown. Allow to cool completely before decorating with glaze.
- In a small mixing bowl, whisk together powdered sugar, vanilla, and 1 tablespoon of milk. Add more milk as needed, glaze should be smooth and ribbon of your whisk, holding its shape for several seconds before dissolving into the bowl.1 cup (125 g) powdered sugar, ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract, 1-2 Tablespoons milk
- Drizzle glaze over cookies and allow to harden. Serve and enjoy.
StoringOnce glaze has hardened completely, store in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Note that glaze will harden on the surface after several minutes but will take longer to dry completely, allow to sit for at least an hour perhaps several (it depends on your kitchen conditions and the exact consistency of your icing) before stacking.
Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered an estimate only. Actual nutritional content will vary based upon brands used, measuring methods, cooking method, portion sizes, and more.