Pepparkakor is a Swedish ginger cookie like a ginger snap often made for Christmas cookies. A flavorful, thin cookie will become a favorite this holiday season! This cookie is featured in the book, Pippi Longstocking. You can also skip the recipe and buy a store-bought batch at Ikea!
What is a pepparkakor?
This Swedish ginger cookie is called Pepparkakor. There is no pepper included even though the name gives that suggestion. If you love ginger snaps then you will devour these!
The addition of molasses to the white granulated sugar in these cookies gives them a slight chewy feel in the middle even though it is still a crisp cookie which I love.
This cookie recipe is excellent for cookie tins, neighbor gifts, teacher gifts, and for baking ahead of time because the ginger cookies last for at least two weeks without needing refrigeration.
The thin cookies aren’t made for gingerbread house projects– they just don’t offer the sturdiness you’d need for building.
Maybe you’ll take this Swedish tradition and serve these fun cookies on Christmas eve? Santa would be appreciative for sure!
What ingredients are in pepparkakor cookies?
- unsalted butter
- granulaed sugar
- all purpose flour
- baking soda
- spices such as ginger, cinnamon, and cloves
- a pinch of salt
How can I make gingersnaps?
- Mix the dry ingredients of flour, baking soda, salt, and spices together in a large bowl and set aside the flour mixture.
- Beat the room temperature butter and sugar together with an electric mixer or a stand mixer then add the egg and add the molasses.
- Combine the wet and dry ingredients, cover in plastic wrap, then refrigerate the dough until firm.
- Roll out the dough on a floured surface, make shapes with your favorite cookie cutter, then place on cookie sheets. Or place rounds of cookie dough on prepared baking sheets covered with parchment paper.
- Bake at 350 degrees F in the middle of the oven then cool completely before serving. Store in an airtight container.
Do I have to make cut out cookies?
The scalloped edge you see on my cookies are a result of rolling out the dough and using a cookie cutter. I like that method because all of your cookies will be uniform. If you are putting cookies in a tin or on a cookie platter, it really helps if all the cookies are the same size.
One idea is to cut out little Christmas trees to add to the festive feel of these gingerbread cookies.
As always when making cut out cookies, make sure to refrigerate the dough before rolling it out. I like to take the added step of refrigerating the cut dough before baking as well.
If you don’t want the extra time it takes to roll out the cookies, you can make these ginger cookies as drop and bake cookies. That means you scoop a small ball of cookie dough that you place on your baking tray.
Your cookies won’t remain the same shape but they will be delicious either way.
Does Pippi Longstocking bake Pepparkakor? Yes!
I learned that it is often made for Christmas but I first came across it while reading the book Pippi Longstocking with my son.
His fourth grade class read it earlier this year and then had a Pippi Longstocking party in the classroom. In the book Pippi bakes these ginger cookies for a party– she even rolls out the pepparkakor dough on her kitchen floor!
While I didn’t feel the need to be quite that authentic, I did find a recipe shared by Cottage in the Oaks who baked this pepparkakor recipe with Pippi Longstocking in mind.
Where can I buy these in a store?
And if you don’t feel inspired to make these at home but still want to give the flavors a try? Well I saw that Ikea sells them too which has increased the cookie’s popularity in the United States. I am confident that this version tastes better but I’ll leave it up to you to decide.
Cookies seem to take a more prominent role as the holidays approach and it is fun to have more reasons to bake and share goodies!
More Holiday Recipes
Ginger cookies make a great homemade gift from your kitchen. Here are other recipes that fit the bill too. Giving a gift that you’ve baked yourself is a special way to show you care!
- Coffee Chocolate Crinkles
- Almond Flour Sugar Cookies
- No bake Cashew Chocolate Bark
- the most adorable Snowman Cookies
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What kitchen items do I need to bake cookies?
- baking sheets – Make sure you have reliable, sturdy baking sheets because you will use them again and again.
- parchment paper – Parchment paper is a must for consistent results in cookie baking
- spatula – This is one of my favorite and most used kitchen tools
- mixing bowls -Baking prep is a cinch with the right equipment!
- stand mixer -Makes a great gift for the serious baker.
- hand held mixer -Use a hand held mixer for small batches of cookies.
- wire rack -Cooling the cookies is an important step in baking.
This post was first shared in 2014 and updated in 2021.
- 3/4 cup butter, softened
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup molasses
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tsp. baking soda, dissolved into 1 tbsp water
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp cloves (I omitted the cloves)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- In a stand mixer or with an electric hand-held mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Next add the molasses and then the egg.
- In a separate bowl combine the flour, baking soda and remaining ingredients. Whisk to combine.
- Scoop the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix on low until well combined.
- Form the dough into a flat circle and cover with plastic wrap or put into a zip loc bag. Refrigerate for 2-4 hours. If you need to refrigerate the dough overnight, let it rest on the countertop for 30-60 minutes before you roll it out the next day.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Roll the dough to 1/8th or desired thickness. Use a cookie cutter to make cookies about 2.5 - 3 inches wide.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes then cool on a wire rack.
These are the ginger cookies that Pippi Longstocking makes in the book.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 78Total Fat: 3gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 12mgSodium: 76mgCarbohydrates: 12gFiber: 0gSugar: 6gProtein: 1g
This data is provided by Nutritionix and is an estimate only.
Holly Baker started the food blog, A Baker’s House, in 2011. She is the writer, recipe creator, and photographer for the site. Holly loves to bake and shares recipes for gluten free food, canning recipes, as well as traditional desserts too. Her recipes and food photography have been highlighted by BuzzFeed, Reader’s Digest, and She Knows.