Savor the rich flavors of triple chocolate cake

Welcome to the delicious world of Nauvoo Scovil Bakery Gingerbread Cookies! These cookies have a special place in history, having been tasted by many in the 1840s in Nauvoo, Illinois. The Scovil Bakery was renowned for its amazing gingerbread creations, and this recipe is one of their classics.

Nauvoo, Illinois was a town significant to the Mormon religion, and these gingerbread cookies were often made for special church occasions or events. We’ve preserved this recipe so you can experience a taste of history in every bite.

This recipe combines molasses, sorghum, cinnamon, ginger, flour, and other ingredients to create a simple yet delicious cookie. It’s perfect for baking with kids during Christmas or anytime you want to indulge your sweet tooth.

So get ready to experience the flavors of old Nauvoo with this classic gingerbread cookie recipe straight from the Scovil Bakery.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Nauvoo (Scovil Bakery) Gingerbread Cookies
Nauvoo (Scovil Bakery) Gingerbread Cookies

Picture yourself in a historic bakery, surrounded by the smell of freshly baked cookies. Savoring the taste of warm spices and the sweetness of molasses, you experience a sense of nostalgia and deep satisfaction. This is what it feels like to bite into a Nauvoo (Scovil Bakery) Gingerbread Cookie.

This gingerbread cookie recipe has been passed down from generation to generation at the Scovil Bakery in Nauvoo, Illinois. The same bakery that provided bread for thousands of Mormon pioneers in the mid-1800s.

What makes this gingerbread recipe so special? For starters, it combines sugar, sorghum, oil, hot water, eggs, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and ginger with white flour. The result is a uniquely delicious combination of flavors that will transport you back in time to the 1840s.

Whether you’re looking to decorate gingerbread houses for Christmas or simply want to treat yourself to a tasty snack, these cookies are perfect. They’re easy to make and require only a few basic ingredients that you likely already have on hand.

You’ll also appreciate that this recipe allows for substitutions and variations – so feel free to get creative! Experiment with different spices or add chocolate chips or nuts for added texture.

Overall, these cookies aren’t just a delicious treat – they’re an excellent way to connect with history and celebrate the legacy of the Scovil Bakery in Nauvoo. Give them a try and experience their rich flavor and nostalgia-inducing magic for yourself!

Ingredient List

 A batch of warm and fragrant Nauvoo Gingerbread Cookies fresh out of the oven!
A batch of warm and fragrant Nauvoo Gingerbread Cookies fresh out of the oven!

The High-Quality Ingredients You Need

Before you get to baking the delicious Nauvoo Scovil Bakery Gingerbread Cookies, it is essential to double-check that you have all of the required ingredients in high quality. Follow this ingredient list to get started:

  • 2 cups white flour
  • 1 tsp. ginger
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup sorghum
  • 1 cup hot water, divided
  • ½ cup molasses
  • 1 cup oil or lard
  • 2 eggs

These simple ingredients were combined by the expert bakers at Scovil Bakery in Nauvoo, Illinois, in the mid-19th century to create a mouth-watering gingerbread cookie that has stood the test of time. While in the past it may have been difficult to get hold of some of these ingredients or ensuring their quality, this recipe requires only a visit to your local grocery store and a keen eye when selecting the best produce available.

The Recipe How-To

 These Nauvoo Gingerbread Cookies are the perfect treat to get into the holiday spirit!
These Nauvoo Gingerbread Cookies are the perfect treat to get into the holiday spirit!

Step 1: Combine the sugar and sorghum oil

Before I start mixing anything together, I always recommend measuring out all of your ingredients beforehand so that everything goes smoothly. In a large mixing bowl, combine 1 cup of sugar and 1 cup of sorghum oil. Sorghum oil is one of the secret ingredients that make this gingerbread cookie recipe from Scovil Bakery unique.

Step 2: Add hot water and eggs

Next, heat up 1 cup of hot water until it’s nearly boiling. Carefully add the hot water to your mixing bowl and stir it in with the sugar and sorghum oil until everything is dissolved. Then, crack 2 eggs into the bowl and mix everything together until smooth.

Step 3: Mix in dry ingredients

In a separate bowl, combine 3 cups of white flour, 1 tablespoon of ground ginger, 1 teaspoon of salt, 2 teaspoons of cinnamon, and 2 teaspoons of baking soda. Mix these dry ingredients together well before gradually adding them to your mixing bowl with the wet ingredients. Keep mixing everything together until you achieve a stiff, doughy consistency.

Step 4: Let the dough sit

This might be the hardest part of the recipe because you’ll need to let the dough sit for a few hours at room temperature (preferably around 70-75°F). During this time, you can get started on cleaning up your kitchen or take a nap.

Step 5: Cut out your cookies

Once your dough has rested for about three hours, it’s time to start making your cookies! Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C). Dust your work surface with flour and roll out the dough with a rolling pin until it’s about ¼-inch thick. Then, use gingerbread man cookie cutters (or whatever shapes you prefer) to cut out your cookies.

Step 6: Bake and enjoy!

Place your cookies onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Bake for about 10-12 minutes, depending on how crispy or chewy you prefer your cookies. Once done, transfer them to a wire rack and let them cool completely before savoring each delicious bite of historic Nauvoo gingerbread goodness!

Note: This recipe makes enough for about 4 dozen gingerbread cookies.

Substitutions and Variations

 Gooey, chewy, and flavorful—the perfect description for these delicious cookies!
Gooey, chewy, and flavorful—the perfect description for these delicious cookies!

Variety is the spice of life, as they say, and this Nauvoo Gingerbread Cookie recipe has plenty of room for it. While the original ingredients, including white flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda, and molasses produce a scrumptious cookie, there’s still plenty of other options to choose from.

For those who are looking to cut back on sugar, you can substitute sugar with honey or maple syrup. And if you’re vegan or just want to avoid using eggs in your baking, you can substitute them with applesauce or tofu.

If you’re feeling adventurous and want to try some variations of the recipe, adding nuts like pecans or walnuts will give your cookies some extra crunch. Or perhaps try adding dried fruits such as cranberries or apricots for some added texture and sweetness.

But one of my favorite substitutions is to use sorghum oil instead of molasses. Sorghum oil has a delicious nutty flavor that adds an extra depth to the gingerbread dough.

Regardless of what substitutions you decide to make, experimenting with different ingredients is part of the fun in making this particular recipe. Put your creative hat on and start baking!

Serving and Pairing

 Bringing the comforting aroma and taste of holiday season right into your kitchen with these cookies!
Bringing the comforting aroma and taste of holiday season right into your kitchen with these cookies!

Gingerbread cookies are a delicious treat for any occasion. The warm spices and sweet aroma of these cookies can make you feel like you’re wrapped in a cozy blanket on a chilly day. When it comes to serving and pairing these historic Nauvoo Scovil Bakery gingerbread cookies, there are plenty of options.

One classic way to enjoy gingerbread cookies is with a cold glass of milk. The creamy taste of the milk balances out the spices in the cookie perfectly, creating a satisfying and refreshing bite. You can also serve these cookies with hot cocoa or spiced apple cider for a seasonal twist.

For entertaining guests, consider making an impressive gingerbread house display using these cookies. You can decorate the house with colorful candies, frosting, and gumdrops to create a festive centerpiece for any holiday table.

If you’re feeling adventurous, try pairing these tasty treats with some creamy cheeses like Brie or Camembert. The sweet and spicy notes in the gingerbread complement the smooth flavors of these cheeses, making for a unique and enjoyable combination.

Whether you’re serving them as a standalone dessert or creating an elaborate holiday display out of them, these ancient gingerbread cookies from Scovil Bakery in Nauvoo Illinois are sure to satisfy your cravings and impress your guests with their rich history and flavor.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 A bite of these Nauvoo Gingerbread Cookies would make anyone a gingerbread lover for life!
A bite of these Nauvoo Gingerbread Cookies would make anyone a gingerbread lover for life!

Now, let’s talk about how to make-ahead, store and reheat these heavenly gingerbread cookies! First off, you can make the dough a day or two in advance and store it in an airtight container in the fridge. Just be sure to let it come to room temperature before rolling it out and baking it.

Once baked and cooled, these Nauvoo Scovil Bakery Gingerbread Cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days. If you want to keep them fresh longer, you can freeze them for up to 3 months.

To reheat the cookies after they’ve been stored or frozen, you can simply pop them in the oven at 300°F (150°C) for 5-10 minutes. This will help bring back their soft and tender texture and enhance their warm and spicy flavor.

These gingerbread cookies are perfect for gift-giving during holidays or special occasions. Placed in decorative cookie tins or bags, they’re sure to delight friends and family. You can also use them to create stunning gingerbread houses or other festive treats.

Overall, I hope these tips on make-ahead, storing and reheating help you get the most out of this historic Nauvoo Scovil Bakery Gingerbread Cookie recipe. Enjoy!

Tips for Perfect Results

 Get cozy and indulge in the festive flavor of these gingerbread cookies while savoring the cold winter evenings.
Get cozy and indulge in the festive flavor of these gingerbread cookies while savoring the cold winter evenings.

Creating the perfect gingerbread cookie can sometimes be a difficult task, but with these helpful tips and tricks, you’ll be able to make a batch that tastes just like the ones served at Scovill Bakery in historic Nauvoo, Illinois.

1. Use high-quality ingredients: To achieve a delicious gingerbread cookie, start with fresh and high-quality ingredients. Invest in flour and spices that are fresh and not expired. This will ensure that your gingerbread cookies taste amazing and are full of flavor.

2. Chill the dough: Before rolling out your dough, chill it in the refrigerator for at least an hour. This will help your dough hold its shape when cut into shapes and prevent it from spreading while baking.

3. Don’t overdo the spices: While ginger is the star of this recipe, be sure to measure all of your spices accurately to avoid any one overpowering another.

4. Use parchment paper: Gingerbread cookies have a tendency to stick, so use parchment paper when baking them to avoid any mishaps.

5. Keep an eye on them: Check on your cookies often while they are baking to ensure they do not overcook or burn. This may vary depending on oven cooking times and heat, so it’s better to check a few minutes prior to completion than risking a ruined batch of cookies.

By following these tips, your gingerbread cookies will turn out perfectly every time. Enjoy these nostalgic treats with friends or family, or create a new tradition by building gingerbread houses for Christmas with your children. Get creative with fun cookie cutters or decorating supplies for a unique and delicious treat that’s truly one-of-a-kind.


As a skilled baker, I know that even when following a recipe to the letter, there can still be questions and doubts on how to make it perfect. In this section, I’ve gathered some frequently asked questions and provided some helpful answers to ensure that your Nauvoo (Scovil Bakery) gingerbread cookies turn out as amazing as they should be. So, let’s go through some of these queries to clear up any confusion and make the most of your time in the kitchen.

What’s the difference between ginger Snap and gingerbread cookies?

When it comes to ginger-flavored treats, gingerbread and gingersnaps have some key contrasts. The main difference is the baking time, as gingersnaps need to be baked for longer to achieve their famous crispiness. On the other hand, gingerbread cookies are generally a bit chewier in texture and are commonly cut out into various shapes such as gingerbread men and festive figures, especially during the holiday season. This variation in texture between the two ginger treats makes each one unique in its own way.

Should gingerbread cookies be soft or crispy?

To create the ideal cut-out cookie, it’s important to strike a balancing act between crunchy exterior and tender interior. It’s also essential to incorporate a distinct spice blend and the unmistakable richness of molasses for a sweet yet spicy flavor profile. And of course, the final product should retain its shape perfectly when baked.

What is the difference between speculaas and gingerbread?

These cookies are a traditional treat in Dutch cuisine, known as “speculaas” in local German communities. They boast a warmly-spiced flavour profile reminiscent of gingerbread, but with a unique twist. Containing white pepper and anise seed, these cookies are sure to delight your taste buds.

Why are my gingerbread cookies dry?

When making cookies, it’s important to use the correct amount of flour to achieve the right consistency. Overdoing it with the flour can lead to dry and crumbly cookies. In case you do mess up and your dough becomes crumbly, a tablespoon of milk can help make it soft and workable again. To ensure your cookies turn out deliciously, remember to give the dough a minimum of three hours to chill before baking. This step enhances the flavor and also gives the cookie dough a firmer texture to prevent it from spreading too much.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, if you want to experience the taste of historic Nauvoo, there is no better way than with a batch of Scovil Bakery Gingerbread Cookies. This recipe combines the perfect blend of spices and ingredients to create a gingerbread cookie that tastes just like it did in the 1840s. And by using high-quality ingredients like sorghum and molasses, you can feel good about what you’re putting into your body.

Not only do these cookies taste great on their own, but they also make the perfect addition to a gingerbread house or holiday dessert spread. So why not give them a try? You’ll be transported back in time to the early days of Nauvoo, all while enjoying a delicious treat.

The Scovil Bakery may be gone, but its legacy lives on in this incredible recipe for Nauvoo Gingerbread Cookies. Create your own piece of history today with this amazing recipe that has stood the test of time.

Nauvoo (Scovil Bakery) Gingerbread Cookies

Nauvoo (Scovil Bakery) Gingerbread Cookies Recipe

This is the recipe of the old fashioned gingerbread cookies given as part of the tour for the Scovil Bakery in Old Nauvoo. The cookies freeze well and are softer and more flavorful after freezing.
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Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: < 60 Mins, Cookie and Brownie, Dessert, Inexpensive
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Calories: 1183.7kcal


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup sorghum or 1 cup molasses
  • 3/4 cup oil or 3/4 cup lard
  • 1/2 cup hot water
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ginger
  • 6 -7 cups white flour
  • 2 eggs


  • Combine sugar, sorghum and oil. Rinse sorghum from cup with hot water.
  • Add 2 eggs.
  • Mix together the following: soda, cinnamon, ginger, salt, and flour.
  • Combine the two mixtures.
  • Refrigerate dough overnight.
  • Roll out and cut with cookie cutter.
  • Bake at 350°F for 10 minutes.

Your Own Notes


Serving: 328g | Calories: 1183.7kcal | Carbohydrates: 184.7g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 39.5g | Saturated Fat: 5.9g | Cholesterol: 169.2mg | Sodium: 546.5mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 40.7g

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