South African Ginger Cookies

"Really nice ginger cookies, these, which have come a long way and are favourites for holiday times. It's a large recipe, meant for summer Christmas holidays on the sea! Please note that the cookie dough needs a couple of hours rest time in the fridge before baking. This was not added to the preparation time."
photo by katew photo by katew
photo by katew
Ready In:
180 cookies




  • Mix the golden syrup (or corn syrup), butter, eggs, vinegar, ginger, cinnamon and cloves in a large mixing bowl.
  • Stir in the sugar.
  • Sift the flour, baking soda and salt into a bowl.
  • Mix into the syrup-sugar mixture to make a dough or batter.
  • Cover and put in fridge for a few hours.
  • Heat oven to 200 deg C/400 deg F. Grease baking tins.
  • Roll the dough between your palms into little balls the size of walnuts. Place these balls with space between them on greased baking tins.
  • Press each cookie just slightly flatter with the tines of a fork.
  • Bake about 12 - 15 mins or until nicely browned, in centre of oven.
  • Cool slightly in the tins, then cool completely on wire racks.
  • Keep in airtight tins. About 15 doz cookies.

Questions & Replies

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  1. vruns
    Does anybody know if these cookies are the same as the ones known as Gemmer Jantjies in South Africa?


  1. Mirj2338
    I'm so proud of myself! I was a bit sceptical about this recipe, it's got vinegar in it, and no molasses, who ever heard of a ginger cookie without molasses? Not me? But I'm proud of the fact that I can eyeball a recipe I've never made before and just know if it's going to be a good one or not. And this one is not good, it's GREAT! I adore ginger cookies, and these are lovely. Not too hard, but just enough to be quintessential ginger cookies. I didn't have any ground cloves (I never do) so I just subbed some nutmeg and allspice (didn't measure). This recipe makes quite a lot of cookies, which have found a home in my freezer. I take one out to have with my cup of tea when I come home from a day at the office. And they're good frozen, too, if you like to gnaw. This recipe was perfect for me as well, as I usually work in metric, but hate to weigh flour. Thanks Zee, this feeds my ginger addiction!
  2. Anonymous
    My 1st attempt & I was impressed.Easy to follow.Clear instructions & tasty.It was less cloves because I didn't have
  3. C Bernideen C.
    WOULD THIS BE CORRECT FOR THE CONVERSION OF INGREDIENTS? Recipe by Zurie • LIST OF INGREDIENTS: YIELD 180 cookies • 2 cups of golden syrup (light syrup- not molasses) • 4 sticks butter, soft • 2 eggs • 1/5 cup vinegar • 1/3 cup ground ginger • 1 tablespoon cinnamon • 1 teaspoon ground cloves • 2 cups light brown sugar • 8 cups flour, unsifted • ¼ cup baking soda • 2 teaspoons salt
  4. Doon Potgieter Law
    If you are South African you will know lovely, gorgeous Golden Syrup. You will also know that the vinegar is essential just like our Moms use to make them. I had to laugh at the amount, that is so typical. Thank you for this awesome recipe. I hate molasses in my ginger cookies, too over powering.
  5. Just_Ducky!!
    As the Lucky Charms fellow says, they're magically delicious and unlike Lucky Charms, these cookies really are! :D I didn't have, nor had I ever heard of, golden syrup. I halved the recipe and used 5 oz golden corn syrup and 3 oz blackstrap molasses. With the half recipe I ended up with about 72 cookies but they were pretty big. The only change I may make next time is add more ginger as I like my ginger cookies very gingery :) but we enjoyed them a lot and so did everyone that had them at the boys school potluck picnic today :D. Thanks for posting Zurie! Made for team Mischief Makers - ZWT#7, Dinner & a Movie


I'm a widow, retired, and I love cooking. I live on the coast in South Africa and I love seafood. You're welcome to my recipes (all kinds, definitely not just seafood!) Just remember that no recipe is ever cast in stone -- adjust to your taste! The photo was taken at a rustic seaside restaurant on our West Coast, approx 1 year ago (2016).
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