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Johan’s Joe Swedish Gingersnap Recipe


Johan’s Joe welcomes our West Palm Beach Food Tour guests everyday with a cup of Swedish Coffee and delicious Swedish treats. This Christmas, they are sharing their Pepparkakor Recipe (Swedish Gingersnap).

Spicy, crispy, and cut into traditional Swedish shapes like pigs and hearts, nothing says “God Jul”, or “Merry Christmas” quite like Pepparkakor. While most Swedes have their traditional Pepparkakor shapes, any cookie cutter will work. The trick is they are supposed to be thin and crispy, so roll them out as thinly as possible. The dough must be refrigerated overnight, so plan accordingly.

Johan’s Joe Swedish Gingersnap Recipe


  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons dark baking sirap (may substitute molasses)
  • 1 ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 ½ teaspoons cardamom seeds, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup water



1. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, sugar, and molasses.

2. Stir in the cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, pepper and baking soda and mix until creamy and well blended.

3. Mix in the flour, ½ cup at a time. When you have added about half the flour, blend in the water. Then add the rest of the flour and work together with your hands until a sticky dough forms. It will be fairly sticky, but you should be able to shape it into a large log.

4. Cover the log in plastic wrap, or wrap it in wax paper, and let sit in the refrigerator overnight.

5. When ready to bake the cookies, pre-heat the oven to 325 degrees.

6. Grease a baking sheet. You can also use parchment paper or a silicone baking mat, but the cookies get a nicer crispy texture on the underside with a greased sheet.

7. Cut off a section of dough from the log, and roll out on a flat, generously floured surface. To avoid sticking to the countertop, roll a little, then flip the dough over roll some more. Add more flour to the surface as needed. Continue in this way until you have rolled the dough as thin as you can get it. The dough is easy to roll out when it’s cold, and much stickier as it warms up, so return it to the refrigerator as needed. It’s also easiest to roll it out in small batches.

8. Cut out the dough with the cookie cutter and place on the baking sheet.

9. Bake for 5 to 8 minutes, depending on the thickness. These cookies burn easily, so keep an eye on them.

10. Remove from the oven and let sit 1 – 2 minutes before removing them to cool.

11. Store in an airtight container.

recipe courtesy of Johan’s Joe Swedish Coffee House & Cafe located Downtown West Palm Beach at 401 S. Dixie (corner of S. Dixie & Fern St.)