Quick: what’s the best way to use up those overripe bananas sitting on your counter? Bet you said banana bread.

As an eager produce buyer who often finds most of her bounty going overripe and soft, I have made obscene amounts of banana bread. With pecans. With walnuts. With honey. Just bananas. Dry. Moist. I’m one bad batch of bananas away from turning into a fruity loaf myself.

Enter the ginger banana cookie, a deliciously fluffy and spiced solution to your Banana Bread Burnout, and your new favorite warm-weather dessert. This bright, summer-y cookie perfectly balances sweet and spicy with tropical banana and bold, fresh ginger.

Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 1 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/2 cup salted butter (one stick)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons banana extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions

  1. In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and coconut sugar until fluffy. Add eggs, then banana and vanilla flavoring, mixing thoroughly after each ingredient addition.

  2. Mash two bananas in a medium-sized bowl. Add bananas and grated ginger root to the wet ingredients; mix thoroughly.

  3. In another large mixing bowl, whisk together dry ingredients. Add dry ingredients in small sections to the wet ingredients, mixing thoroughly after each addition. Mix batter until fully combined; it should be wet but thick, not runny.

  4. Cover batter in mixing bowl and refrigerate for 5-6 hours or overnight.

  5. Once the batter is chilled, preheat the oven to 400º F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats.

  6. Using two greased spoons, drop tablespoon-size dollops of batter onto the baking sheets about one-half to one inch apart; the cookies will spread just a bit in the oven.

  7. Bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown around the edges. Let cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

Supplies

  • Stand or hand mixer
  • 2 large mixing bowls
  • 2 baking sheets
  • Medium-sized bowl
  • Measuring cups
  • Rubber spatula
  • Whisk
  • Fork or masher
  • Zester or grater
  • 2 spoons
  • Cooking spray
  • Parchment paper or silicone mats

Recipe Notes

Just like their banana bread kin, these ginger banana cookies are ripe for customization, add-ins, substitutions, and other switch-ups to tailor this dessert to your exact tastes.

Moist, Dry, or Somewhere in Between

Ginger banana cookies on plate
Melanie Davis/Oola

Banana mash lends a lot of moisture to baked goods, so an easy way to control the moistness/dryness of the cookie is by experimenting with the banana mash measurement. Omit ½ cup for a dryer cookie, add ½ for an even gooier, softer cookie.

Because the mash is so wet, the dough needs to be chilled so it’s firm enough to hold its shape in the oven. If you’re short on time or a ½ cup less mash is still too chewy, omit the mash altogether and substitute with 2-3 extra teaspoons of banana extract.

Why Coconut Sugar?

Ginger banana cookies on floral silicone mat
Melanie Davis/Oola

If you’re in a time crunch and don’t have any coconut sugar on hand, simply substitute equal parts brown or white sugar. However, we highly recommend trying this recipe with coconut sugar at least once.

Coconut sugar adds a warm, caramel, coconutty flavor to the cookies that pairs beautifully with banana. Plus, coconut sugar is vegan and gluten-free. To make this recipe completely gluten-free, substitute all-purpose flour for a GF flour blend.

Fix Up Your Flavor With These Extra Ingredients

Ginger banana cookie ingredients
Melanie Davis/Oola

Omit the ginger root and add ½ cup creamy peanut butter or finely chopped peanuts to make a nutty, banana-y cookie Elvis would be proud of. (This is our go-to picky eater substitution.) Finely chopped pecans, almonds, or walnuts also complement the banana flavor nicely.

Sweet tooth not entirely satisfied with this mildly sweet dessert? Add milk chocolate or white chocolate chips for an extra dash of sweetness. For a more robust flavor, add dark chocolate shavings instead.

If you’re in the mood to get a bit experimental, double the ginger root and add 2-3 teaspoons of cayenne powder to your sugar coating. The heat from the sugar coating is slow, pleasant, and subtle—this is also a great way to make these cookies more palatable to not-so-sweet tooths.

Finally, these banana cookies taste great when topped with rich buttercream frosting. Frost the cookies while still warm to create a melty, irresistible glaze, or wait for the cookies to cool to make a thick, creamy coating of icing.

The Perfect Addition to Your Next Mimosa Brunch

For a boozier option begging to be served at your next mimosa brunch, add 2-3 teaspoons of banana liqueur to the wet ingredients. If you’re more of a green partier, these cookies can become 420-friendly in zero seconds flat by adding infused butter instead of regular. Yes. This will be the best mimosa brunch you’ve ever had.

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