Hojicha Gingerbread Cookies

By: takestwoeggsPosted: 14/12/2021 Updated: 30/11/2023
Prep 15 minutes
Cook 20 minutes
Total 1 hour 35 minutes
Celebrate the holiday season with a fresh batch of these hojicha gingerbread cookies. This spin on the traditional gingerbread cookie recipe is easy to make, fun to decorate, and delicious!
Hojicha Gingerbread Cookies

Celebrate the holiday season with a fresh batch of these hojicha gingerbread cookies. This spin on the traditional gingerbread cookie recipe is easy to make, fun to decorate, and delicious!

Looking down at a pile of iced hojicha gingerbread cookies

Holiday baking is the best part of the holidays in my opinion. Christmas music is blasting in my kitchen, there are so many sprinkles everywhere and my hair and face are constantly dusted with flour. My favorite part of all of it though is gifting my family and friends with a box of delicious homemade cookies and seeing the reaction on their faces when they try out my new recipes.

I am so excited to share with you my absolute favorite gingerbread cookie recipe! The hojicha brings out a nutty aromatic flavor that keeps me reaching into the cookie jar for more. These hojicha gingerbread cookies are soft and chewy and packed with hojicha powder, spices, and molasses. The dough is really easy to work with and they are the perfect canvases for holiday decorating. If you loved these hojicha gingerbread cookies, be sure to check out my matcha crinkle cookies, yuzu Linzer cookies, and homemade thin mint cookies for more holiday baking inspo!

Someone grabbing a gingerbread cookie from a plate of cookies

Gingerbread Cookies

Gingerbread is a baked cookie containing ginger and sometimes cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, cardamom, and anise, and sweetened with any combination of brown sugar, molasses, light or dark corn syrup, or honey.

Its origin can be traced back to ancient Greeks and Egyptians who used it for ceremonial purposes. Gingerbread made its way to Europe when 11th-century Crusaders brought back ginger from the Middle East for the aristocrats’ cooks to experiment with.

Someone holding up a start shaped gingerbread cookie

What is Hojicha?

Hojicha is a type of Japanese green tea. However, unlike traditional Japanese green tea, hojicha has a reddish-brown color. Hojicha is made by slowly roasting tightly rolled dried tea leaves, stems, stalks, or twigs. It can also be ground into a superfine powder used for baking.

Traditionally, loose-leaf hojicha is made by steeping the tea leaves for about 30 seconds in 80°C (175°F) water. The rich tea deepens the water but may turn bitter if steeped for too long.

Start shaped gingerbread cookies on a linen table cloth

What does hojicha taste like?

Hojicha has a mellow, nutty flavor. Hojicha powder has a natural sweet taste and smoky flavor with distinct notes of cocoa. Moreover, Hojicha has a soothing, therapeutic earthy, and smoky aroma.

A bag of hojicha powder for baking

Kitchen Equipment Essentials

  • Kitchen Scale: a kitchen scale is NECESSARY if you want to have foolproof bakes. This will ensure you have the exact measurements for each ingredient. My little pink kitchen scale is both aesthetic and precise.
  • Stand Mixer or Hand Mixer: you can use either a stand mixer or an electric hand mixer to cream the butter together with the ingredients. It may need a lot of elbow power if you decide to do this by hand.
  • Rolling Pin: you will need a rolling pin to roll out the dough to 1/4 inch thickness
  • Baking Rolling mat: I love using these silicone baking rolling mats for baking because it allows me to have an easy cleanup and it helps when the dough is too soft it allows me to lift the dough without too much breakage.
  • Christmas Cookie Cutter Set: you can use any type of cookie cutter or biscuit cutter you’d like. I chose to use the little man, Christmas tree, and snowflake cookie cutters.
  • Half-sheet Baking Sheet: you will need multiple baking sheets for this recipe. I have always used Nordicware aluminum baking sheets and they have never failed me.
  • Slipmat: slipmats are a baking tool that was sent from heaven. They never stick to any bake which makes the process so seamless.

Ingredients

  • Unsalted butter: the butter moistens the cookie, binds it together, and adds the base flavor.
  • Light brown sugar: You can also substitute this with dark brown sugar. The brown sugar holds a bit of molasses and adds a deeper richer flavor.
  • Molasses: this is one of the secret ingredients in gingerbread cookies. It adds moisture and keeps the cookie soft.
  • Large Egg: the egg binds the ingredients of the cookie together.
  • Vanilla Extract: adds a depth of warmth to the flavor.
  • All purpose flour: all purpose flour gives the cookie a strong foundation.
  • Baking Soda: the baking soda allows the cookie to have a subtle amount of rise
  • Salt: the salt balances out the strong sweetness from the molasses and brown sugar
  • Hojicha powder: Hojicha powder for baking adds a delicious tea flavor to these cookies. You can buy hojicha powder online or if you are lucky at your local Asian Grocery store.
  • Ginger, Cinnamon, Cloves, All-spice: these are the warm spices that give the cookies their delicious holiday flavor.
  • Cookie Icing: I used store-bought cookie icing for this recipe for quick cookie decorating.

How To Make Hojicha Gingerbread Cookies

This recipe for hojicha gingerbread cookies is pretty straightforward. Simply follow the steps laid out below and you will have the most satisfying hojicha flavored holiday dessert.

  1. Whisk the dry ingredients. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, hojicha powder, ginger, cinnamon, allspice, and cloves until combined. Set aside.
Whisking together the dry ingredients for gingerbread cookies
  1. Cream the butter with sugar and molasses. In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the room-temperature butter on medium speed until creamy. Add the brown sugar and molasses and beat until combined.
  1. Add the vanilla and egg. When the butter is combined with the sugar and molasses, add the egg and vanilla and beat on high speed for 2 minutes.
The wet ingredients for gingerbread cookies blended together in a stand mixer
  1. Mix in the dry ingredients. Working in 3 batches, add a 1/3 of the dry ingredients into the mixing bowl and mix on slow speed until combined. Continue until all the dry ingredients are incorporated.
The final cookie dough blended together in a stand mixer
  1. Chill the cookie dough. Divide the dough in half and wrap each half into a disc about 1/2 inch thick with plastic wrap. Chill the discs for at least 1-2 hours or overnight.
Two disc of cookie dough wrapped and ready to chill in the fridge
  1. Preheat oven. Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Place your oven racks in the center of the oven. Line 2-3 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
  1. Shape the cookies. On a well-floured work surface, roll out one of your discs until it is about 1/4 inch thick. If the dough cracks use your fingers to meld the dough back together. Cut the dough into shapes and place them about 1 inch apart on the baking sheet.
  1. Bake the cookies. Bake the cookies for about 8-10 minutes or until the cookies are crisp around the edges. Cool the cookies on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
Up close of a pile of hojicha gingerbread cookies

Tips for the Best Hojicha Gingerbread Cookies

  • Use room-temperature butter. Using room-temperature butter will allow you to cream the butter much easier than cold butter.
  • Measure your dry ingredients with a scale. I will say this for every bake. The most accurate method of measuring ingredients is with a scale. That will yield the exact flavor that I have envisioned. If you don’t have a scale, fluff your flour with a spoon, carefully drop it into your measuring cup and level it off. Do NOT pack the flour into the measuring cup.
  • Make sure to chill the dough! Chilling the dough allows the baking soda time to fully integrate into the batter. Moreover, the chilling time allows the dough to harden making it easier to mold into shapes.
  • If the dough is too sticky to roll out, you can either chill the dough again to firm up the dough or use another sheet of parchment paper to roll on top of the dough.
  • If the dough cracks, simply press the dough back together with your fingers to seal the dough back together.
  • Don’t overbake: Your cookies are done when the edges are slightly darker than the center and crisp. If you pull your gingerbread cookies just when the edges are done, then allow them to cool completely, it will yield an ideal combination of soft and chewy cookies.
  • Cool completely before decorating! Wait until your cookies cool to room temperature before decorating. Decorating warm cookies will yield a gloopy mess!

Storage Instructions

You can store these hojicha gingerbread cookies in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 6 days.

Alternatively, you can freeze the baked hojicha gingerbread cookies in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Did you make these hojicha gingerbread cookies?

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Up close of a pile of hojicha gingerbread cookies

Hojicha Gingerbread Cookies

5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 35 minutes
Celebrate the holiday season with a fresh batch of these hojicha gingerbread cookies. This spin on the traditional gingerbread cookie recipe is easy to make, fun to decorate, and delicious!
Servings: 2 dozen
Print Recipe

Ingredients

  • 3 ½ cup (440 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ tablespoon (10 g) Hojicha powder
  • 1 teaspoon (5 g) baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon (2 g) salt
  • 1 tablespoon (5 g) ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground all-spice
  • 1 tablespoon (6 g) ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 10 tablespoon (145 g) unsalted butter room temperature
  • ¾ cup (150 g) light brown sugar packed
  • cup (200 g) molasses not blackstrap
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg room temperature
  • Optional cookie icing for decorating

Instructions

  • Whisk the dry ingredients. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, hojicha powder, ginger, cinnamon, allspice, and cloves until combined. Set aside.
  • Cream the butter with sugar and molasses. In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the room temperature butter on medium speed for 1 minute or until smooth and creamy. Add the brown sugar and molasses and beat on medium speed until combined and creamy. Scrape down the bowl for even mixing.
  • Add the vanilla and egg. When the butter is combined with the sugar and molasses, add the egg and vanilla and beat on high speed for 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  • Mix in the dry ingredients. Working in 3 batches, add 1/3 of the dry ingredients into the mixing bowl and mix on slow speed until combined. Continue until all the dry ingredients are incorporated. The cookie dough should be thick and sticky.
  • Chill the cookie dough. Divide the dough in half and wrap each half into a disc about 1/2 inch thick with plastic wrap. Chill the discs for at least 1-2 hours or overnight.
  • Preheat oven. Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Place your oven racks in the center of the oven. Line 2-3 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
  • Shape the cookies. On a well floured work surface, roll out one of your discs until it is about 1/4 inch thick. If the dough cracks use your fingers to meld the dough back together. Cut the dough into shapes and place them about 1 inch apart on the baking sheet. Re-roll the dough scraps and repeat until all the dough is cut. Repeat with second disc.
  • Bake the cookies. Bake the cookies for about 8-10 minutes or until the cookies are crisp around the edges. Rotate the pan halfway through. Cool the cookies on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing onto a wire rack.
  • (Optional) Decorate the cookies when completely cooled.

Notes

  • Use room-temperature butter. Using room-temperature butter will allow you to cream the butter much easier than cold butter.
  • Measure your dry ingredients with a scale. I will say this for every bake. The most accurate method of measuring ingredients is with a scale. That will yield the exact flavor that I have envisioned. If you don't have a scale, fluff your flour with a spoon, carefully drop it into your measuring cup and level it off. Do NOT pack the flour into the measuring cup.
  • Make sure to chill the dough! Chilling the dough allows the baking soda time to fully integrate into the batter. Moreover, the chilling time allows the dough to harden making it easier to mold into shapes.
  • If the dough is too sticky to roll out, you can either chill the dough again to firm up the dough or use another sheet of parchment paper to roll on top of the dough.
  • If the dough cracks, simply press the dough back together with your fingers to seal the dough back together.
  • Don’t overbake: Your cookies are done when the edges are slightly darker than the center and crisp. If you pull your gingerbread cookies just when the edges are done, then allow them to cool completely, it will yield an ideal combination of soft and chewy cookie
  • Cool completely before decorating! Wait until your cookies cool to room temperature before decorating. Decorating warm cookies will yield a gloopy mess!

Storage Instructions

You can store these hojicha gingerbread cookies in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 6 days.
Alternatively, you can freeze the baked hojicha gingerbread cookies in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Nutrition:

Serving: 1g | Calories: 348kcal | Carbohydrates: 50g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 49mg | Sodium: 120mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 15g

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Recipe Rating




  1. 5 stars
    These cookies are delicious! I added a teaspoon more of hojicha powder and the flavor is really nice. They’re not overly sweet too.

  2. 5 stars
    Absolutely loved this recipe – and anyone who tried it thought the cookies were delicious. I’ll be baking these frequently for sure!

  3. The ginger and hojicha combination sounds great! Was wondering why the molasses says “not blackstrap” in the recipe. What type of molasses should be used? Is treacle also okay?

    • I used regular unsulphured molasses for this recipe. Regular molasses is sweeter whereas blackstrap molasses is inky, salty and very bitter. Treacle can be substituted for molasses but I personally haven’t tried it myself! Molasses has a sweeter and more intense flavor than treacle so the flavor may turn out differently.