Swe-Dishes: Magnus Nilsson’s Skånepepparkaka (Gingersnaps)

Photography by Magnus Nilsson

Food & Drink

Swe-Dishes: Magnus Nilsson’s Skånepepparkaka (Gingersnaps)

The holidays are here, and we’re making our final preparations for the big day.

Since we feel we’ve been more nice than naughty this year, we thought we deserved a bit of a treat. So we’re treating ourselves – and of course you, our loyal reader – to something sweet from Swedish chef Magnus Nilsson.

No, we’re not talking about his latest book, “The Nordic Baking Book,” of which you can purchase a signed copy as a gift (Phaidon, $49.95). We’re talking about a recipe from “The Nordic Baking Book.”

Just in time for Christmas, we’re excited to share Nilsson’s recipe for skånepepparkaka (Scanian Thick and Chewy), or gingersnaps, from his book. You can thank us later.


(Reprinted with permission from “The Nordic Baking Book”)

I love these gingersnaps spread with salty butter and mature hard cheese, for a snack with coffee on the side. They should be chewy, and for them to remain so, you need to store them in an airtight container.

Preparation and cooking time: 1½ hours
Resting time: 2 days
Makes: about 25 gingersnaps


  • 1/4 c. plus 2 tbsp. sugar
  • 2/3 c. golden syrup or molasses
  • 5 tbsp. butter
  • good pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 3 1/2 tbsp. milk
  • 1 egg
  • 3 1/4 c. weak/soft wheat flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 1 tsp. baker’s ammonia
  • 1 tsp. baking powder

Combine the sugar, golden syrup or molasses, butter, salt and spices in a pan and melt over a medium heat, stirring continuously. Remove from the heat and add the milk to the mixture. Stir continuously until it cools almost to room temperature. Add the egg and mix until fully incorporated.

Transfer the mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer. Sift the flour and leavening agents together into the bowl and beat until properly combined, but not for any longer. Tip the dough out of the bowl and wrap it in clingfim (plastic wrap). Refrigerate for 48 hours.
Preheat the oven to 200oC/400oF/Gas Mark 6 and line several baking sheets with baking (parchment) paper.

Unwrap the chilled dough and place it on a lightly floured work counter. Shape into a long log and cut into 25 slices. Shape each slice into a little ball, then place on the prepared baking sheets, flattening them gently with the palm of your hand.

Bake the gingersnaps for 12–15 minutes, until they are cooked, but not dry. Once they start to brown a little around the edges they are generally done. Remove from the oven and leave to cool.

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