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22 Ginger Desserts That Will Spice Up Your Winter Baking

You always have a knob of ginger on hand for quick marinades, dressings and stir fries. But have you ever thought to use it in dessert? Ginger—whether it’s minced, juiced, ground or candied—works wonders in sweets. It can make an otherwise cloying treat taste complex and balanced. Plus, it’s absolutely magical when paired with a wide range of fruits, from oranges to apricots to pears. Read on for 22 ideas that are sure to spice up your winter rotation.

45 Gingerbread Recipes That Will Spice Up Your Holiday Baking

1. Pineapple and Ginger Upside-Down Cake

Benito Martin/Always Add Lemon

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour and 45 minutes

  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, special occasion-worthy

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Place this beauty on the table and let the oohs and ahhs roll in. It’s sweet, spicy and practically decorates itself, thanks to the buttery brown sugar-pineapple topping.

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2. Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies

Katherine Gillen

  • Time Commitment: 45 minutes

  • Why We Love It: make ahead, beginner-friendly, crowd-pleaser

These are sort of like a hybrid of old-school molasses cookies, classic chocolate chip cookies and warm-spiced gingerbread. Be sure not to overbake them to maximize their chewiness.

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3. Rosé Poached Pears with Ginger and Vanilla

Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

  • Time Commitment: 50 minutes

  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, <10 ingredients, special occasion-worthy, gluten free

Steeping fresh ginger in the wine syrup keeps this dessert fragrant and balanced, since the root’s spice and aroma can hold its own against the pear’s sweetness.

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4. Vegan & Gluten-Free Dark Chocolate Ginger Tart

Nisha Vora

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour and 25 minutes (plus chilling)

  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, vegan, gluten free, special occasion-worthy

There’s ground ginger in the gingersnap crust, crystallized ginger in the pistachio topping and fresh ginger syrup in the chocolate filling—need we say more?

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5. Gingerbread Loaf with Cream Cheese Frosting

Katherine Gillen

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour and 15 minutes

  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, make ahead, beginner-friendly

Sweet, tangy, rich cream cheese frosting is the ultimate foil for warm winter spices like cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. Crown the loaf with a few strands of candied ginger for good measure.

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6. Ginger Cherry Pie

Photo: Mark Weinberg/Styling: Erin McDowell

  • Time Commitment: 3 hours and 10 minutes

  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, special occasion-worthy

Yup, gingerbread pie crust is a thing—and it just might overshadow the vanilla-ginger sour cherry filling. Use frozen cherries in the off season; just be sure to thaw them first.

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7. Lemon Ginger No-Churn Ice Cream

Matthew Septimus/Rose’s Ice Cream Bliss

  • Time Commitment: 35 minutes (plus freezing time)

  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, make ahead, <10 ingredients, gluten free

Acidity is spice’s best friend. In other words, fresh lemon juice and ginger are a match made in dessert heaven. Chill the ice cream for three hours if you want a soft-serve consistency or six hours for a firmer texture.

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8. Gingerbread Lattice Cookies

Erin McDowell

  • Time Commitment: 2 hours and 30 minutes

  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, make ahead, special occasion-worthy

The key to these adorable treats is using a fluted cookie cutter to cut the dough. The cookies are visually enticing without the help of icing, but a simple vanilla glaze couldn’t hurt.

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9. Upside-Down Pear Gingerbread Cake

Sally’s Baking Recipes

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour and 30 minutes

  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, special occasion-worthy, beginner-friendly

Upside-down cakes are always best served fresh, but you can prepare the brown sugar-caramel topping ahead if you must. Just cover it tightly and keep it in the fridge for up to two days.

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10. Caramel-Stuffed Gingerbread Crinkle Cookies

Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

  • Time Commitment: 3 hours

  • Why We Love It: make ahead, special occasion-worthy, crowd-pleaser

If just looking at these snow-topped delights doesn’t put you in the holiday spirit, we don’t know what will. (It may even get you ready to celebrate Christmas in July.) Don’t sweat the filling: It’s just store-bought soft caramels.

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11. Ginger Brown Butter Blondies

Grandbaby Cakes

  • Time Commitment: 40 minutes

  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, <10 ingredients, beginner-friendly

Freshly grated ginger and cayenne powder give these otherwise nutty, caramel-y blondies the kick they need. (P.S.: Browning butter is easier than you think.)

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12. Cashew-Ginger Chocolate Bark with Coconut and Sesame

Feasting at Home

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes

  • Why We Love It: make ahead, crowd-pleaser, beginner-friendly, <10 ingredients, gluten free

Crystallized ginger adds spice and chew to this simple-yet-giftable chocolate bark. Use dairy-free chocolate to make it vegan.

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13. Brown Butter Chewy Ginger Oatmeal Cookies

Ambitious Kitchen

  • Time Commitment: 35 minutes

  • Why We Love It: beginner-friendly, crowd-pleaser, make ahead

Sweet, chewy and adorned with crispy edges, these cookies are a far cry from humdrum oatmeal raisin. Add toffee bits or butterscotch chips to the mix for an extra dose of caramel flavor and salt.

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14. Pumpkin Gelato with Candied Ginger and Dark Chocolate

How Sweet Eats

  • Time Commitment: 6 hours and 30 minutes (includes chilling time)

  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, make ahead, beginner-friendly

Pumpkin puree, grated ginger, molasses and vanilla bean paste make for a deeply flavorful base, while chopped candied ginger and dark chocolate chunks offer texture.

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15. Gingered Pear Galette

Sally’s Baking Recipes

  • Time Commitment: 2 hours

  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, special occasion-worthy, beginner-friendly

Ah, the galette, pie’s less-fussy, easy-to-prepare cousin. Consider this sweet-and-spicy recipe a lazy baker’s dream.

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16. Brown Sugar Maple Ginger Cookies

Half Baked Harvest

  • Time Commitment: 35 minutes

  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, make ahead, special occasion-worthy

Dark brown sugar, blackstrap molasses and spices make the cookies tasty as is, but the four-ingredient maple glaze takes them way over the top.

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17. Ginger Lemon Bars

Broma Bakery

  • Time Commitment: 2 hours and 45 minutes (includes cooling time)

  • Why We Love It: make ahead, crowd-pleaser, beginner-friendly

Cream cheese shortbread + ginger-lemon curd + a dusting of confectioners’ sugar = a dessert bar for the books. We wouldn’t mind a drizzle of raspberry coulis on top either.

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18. Gingerbread Whoopie Pies

Sally’s Baking Recipes

  • Time Commitment: 3 hours and 30 minutes (includes cooling)

  • Why We Love It: kid-friendly, make ahead, crowd-pleaser

We love you, vanilla-spice cream cheese filling. Be sure to chill the cookie dough for at least a full two hours; if you don’t, the cookies will spread in the oven and turn out too crispy for whoopie pies.

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19. Triple-Ginger Spice Cookies

A Cookie Named Desire

  • Time Commitment: 25 minutes

  • Why We Love It: <30 minutes, beginner-friendly, crowd-pleaser

The cookies’ intense flavor is all thanks to candied ginger, ginger paste and ground ginger. Chocolate curbs the spice just enough with a touch of welcome sweetness.

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20. Gingerbread Millionaire Bars

Broma Bakery

  • Time Commitment: 2 hours and 45 minutes

  • Why We Love It: special occasion-worthy, crowd-pleaser, make ahead

Traditional millionaire bars are made up of layered shortbread, soft caramel and chocolate, sort of like a fancy Twix. These start with spiced shortbread, infused with both ground and fresh ginger.

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21. White Chocolate Ginger Cookies

Grandbaby Cakes

  • Time Commitment: 25 minutes

  • Why We Love It: <30 minutes, beginner-friendly, make ahead, crowd-pleaser

Sure, these festive molasses cookies *do* look cute topped with Christmas tree sprinkles, but they’re fair game year-round, if you ask us. (Just don’t skip the white chocolate.)

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22. Pumpkin Cake with Ginger Chocolate and Meringue

A Cookie Named Desire

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour and 10 minutes

  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, special occasion-worthy, make ahead

Beneath a toasty layer of light-as-clouds meringue hides a game-changing ginger-chocolate frosting that will wow your guests. Ginger is also used in the cake batter in the form of pumpkin pie spice.

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Do You Have to Peel Ginger? Here’s Why Our Answer Is ‘Heck No’

Taryn Pire is PureWow’s associate food editor. A former bartender and barista, she’s been writing about all things delicious since 2016, developing recipes, reviewing restaurants and investigating food trends at Food52, New Jersey Family Magazine and Taste Talks. When she isn’t testing TikTok’s latest viral recipe, she’s having popcorn for dinner and posting about it on Instagram @cookingwithpire.