This recipe for cardamom cookies will blow you away! Imagine a chewy ginger molasses cookie except cardamom, orange, espresso and browned butter are the main flavor players. Get ready to sink your teeth into the most glorious chewy cardamom cookies!

brown chewy-looking cookies stacked on a wire rack on a blue table

These cardamom cookies have got it all going for them. They’re chewy, buttery, flavor-packed and feature a crunchy, sugary coating. Plus, they’re BIG! Each cookie is bigger than the palm of your hand.

I also love that you don’t need a stand mixer and there’s no chilling the dough!

brown chewy-looking cookies stacked on a wire rack on a blue table

Ingredients Needed for Cardamom Cookies

Unsalted butter—it’s important to use unsalted when baking so you can control how much salt is added.

Instant espresso powder can most often be found next to the other instant coffee products. Make sure you use instant espresso powder, not coffee. It usually comes in a small glass jar with a green lid. 

Ground cardamom, for the most flavor and oomph, purchase cardamom from quality sources like Burlap and Barrel or Simply Organic. You can also toast whole cardamom pods in a skillet then grind them into a fine powder.

Unbleached all-purpose flour is the flour of choice for these cookies.

Baking soda and baking powder are both important. Baking soda increases browning and encourages spreading while baking powder adds lift. 

Light brown sugar keeps the cookies moist and chewy and adds a much deeper flavor than white sugar.

Grated orange zest adds brightness to balance out the heavier flavors. Plus, “orange cardamom cookies” has a nice ring to it (they pair really well together).

Egg and an egg yolk are both used in these cookies. Yolks are higher in fat and protein and lower in moisture than egg whites. So removing the egg white means the cookies will stay moist and not crispy.

Pure vanilla extract adds even more flavor. I prefer to use pure extracts in baking, but if you have imitation that will work fine.

Turbinado, demerara or white cane sugar can be used for coating the dough balls. I find turbinado works best (raw cane sugar) because of its large granules.  

brown chewy-looking cookies stacked on a wire rack on a blue table

Test Kitchen Tips

Measuring flour: if you aren’t baking by weight, make sure you fluff the flour with a spoon before spooning it into your measuring cup. Scooping the measuring cup through flour will result in too much flour and make for a drier cookie.

Storing Cookies: these chewy cardamom cookies should be stored in an airtight container or resealable zipper-lock bag. They’re best within the first 2 days of baking. After 2 days I recommend placing a slice of sandwich bread in the bag or container to maintain moisture and chewiness. 

To freeze the cookies: stack the cookies, then wrap tightly in plastic wrap and transfer to a zipper-lock bag; freeze for up to 1 month.

Don’t over bake: Bake cookies until the edges are just beginning to set and the centers still look undercooked. The dough should still look raw between the cracks. 

Print
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brown chewy-looking cookies stacked on a wire rack on a blue table

The Best Chewy Cardamom Cookies

  • Author: Lauren Grant
  • Prep Time: 35 minutes
  • Cook Time: (12 per batch) 35 minutes total
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Yield: 13 cookies (bakers doz) 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

The ultimate chewy, spice cookie featuring a crunchy sugary coating.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 14 tablespoons (200g) unsalted butter (1 ¾ sticks)
  • 2 tablespoons instant espresso powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 2 ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons (300g) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 ⅔ cups (356g) packed light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons grated orange zest
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt + more for rolling
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup turbinado, demerara sugar or white sugar, for rolling

Instructions

  1. Heat 10 tablespoons butter in 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat until melted, about 2 minutes. Continue to cook, swirling pan constantly until butter is dark golden brown and has a nutty aroma, 2–3 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and transfer browned butter to large heatproof bowl with remaining 4 tablespoons butter, instant espresso and cardamom. Stir to combine and melt butter; set aside for 15 minutes.
    browned butter in a skillet
  2. Meanwhile, adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350ºF (176ºC). Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  3. Whisk flour, baking soda, and baking powder together in medium bowl; set aside.
  4. Add brown sugar, orange zest, and salt to bowl with cooled butter; whisk until no sugar lumps remain, about 30 seconds.
    brown sugar and orange zest in a bowl with browned butter
  5. Add egg, yolk, and vanilla and whisk until fully incorporated and pale in color, about 1 minute.
    cookie dough in a bowl with a whisk
  6. Scrape down sides of bowl with a rubber spatula, then add flour mixture and mix until just combined. Give dough a final stir with rubber spatula to ensure no flour pockets remain.
    cookie dough in a bowl with a spatula
  7. In a shallow bowl or plate combine turbinado and 1 teaspoon kosher salt.
  8. Using ¼ cup measure (#16 scoop, 2-ounce scoop, or 65-70 grams per ball), scoop dough and roll into balls. Working in batches, toss dough balls in turbinado sugar mixture and roll to coat; transfer 5 dough balls to prepared baking sheet, spacing them 2–3 inches apart.
    cookie dough ball in a white bowl getting coated in sugar
  9. Bake, one sheet at a time, until cookies are still puffy and edges have just begun to set but centers are still soft (cookies will look raw between cracks and seem underdone), 11–12 minutes, rotating baking sheet halfway through baking. Do not overbake.
    baked cookie on white parchment paper
  10. Repeat rolling, coating and baking with remaining cookie dough.
  11. Cool cookies on baking sheet 5 minutes; using wide metal spatula, transfer cookies to wire rack and cool to room temperature.


Notes

Less-sweet cookie: don’t love super sweet cookies? Skip rolling the dough balls in the turbinado sugar and bake as directed. The result will be a super chewy cookie without any crunchy coating!

Orange Cardamom Cookies: skip rolling the dough balls in turbinado sugar and instead drizzle the baked cookies with a glaze. For the glaze, whisk together confectioners’ sugar (powdered sugar), orange juice and a pinch of salt.

Storing Cookies: these chewy cardamom cookies should be stored in an airtight container or resealable zipper-lock bag. They’re best within the first 2 days of baking. After 2 days I recommend placing a slice of sandwich bread in the bag or container to maintain moisture and chewiness.

To freeze the cookies: stack the cookies, then wrap tightly in plastic wrap and transfer to a zipper-lock bag; freeze for up to 1 month.


Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 cookie
  • Calories: 320
  • Sugar: 30g
  • Sodium: 194mg
  • Fat: 13g
  • Saturated Fat: 8g
  • Carbohydrates: 48g
  • Fiber: 0.5g
  • Protein: 3g
  • Cholesterol: 64mg

Keywords: cardamom cookies, orange cardamom cookies, cardamom cookie recipe

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About The Author

Lauren Grant is a professional culinary food scientist, food writer, recipe developer, and food photographer. Lauren is a previous magazine editor and test kitchen developer and has had work published in major national publications including Diabetic Living Magazine, Midwest Living Magazine, Cuisine at Home Magazine, EatingWell.com, AmericasTestKitchen.com, and more.

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Comments

  1. Irresistible cookies. Perfect flavor combinations and will be a regular in my recipe box. On a side note the recipes when printed are chopped up with ads and half pages. To print this recipe it would require 22 pages and a few weeks ago the format didn’t do this. If fixable would really appreciate, thanks.

    1. Hi Karen! I’m so happy to hear you enjoyed the cookies (I just made another batch yesterday). I will look in to fixing the print issue—apologies for that. There is an option to remove the images, recipe notes and nutrition. Once you hit “print” a new page will load. At the top of that page click “print options” then unclick the recipe card features you do not want to include in the printed version.

  2. Made these for a cookie bake-off competition for a wedding weekend, and they shared the top prize. Everyone loved them!
    * My test batch was WAY too salty. I cut salt in half, and was careful when rolling them to not pick up too much salt. The turbinado sugar and kosher salt don’t really mix well.
    * Added cinnamon because I love cinnamon and it goes well with cardamom.
    * A full 1/4 cup scoop makes 3.5″ cookies. I used a bit less to get 3″ cookies.
    * Mine came out thicker than they look in the pictures here. Not sure if there’s a trick to make them thinner, but they were fine thicker. Nice balance of crunchy from the sugar coating and chewy from the inside.