Making Ginger Cookies to Induce Labor

Labor inducing ginger cookies
Photo © K. Miller Photographs/Getty Images

There are lots of things that supposedly cause someone to go into labor, and spicy food is one of those things. Though when most people think spicy, they may not think about ginger cookies as labor-inducing cookies, a variation of these cookies has been floating around the Internet for a very long time. Supposedly, it's the spice from the ginger that works its magic on your body and causes you to go to into labor. Ginger has been long discussed as a remedy for nausea and vomiting in early pregnancy, with some success. Though the use of ginger as a way to kickstart or induce labor has not yet been validated with scientific research.

These cookies also have an optional kick with the cayenne. Whether or not these spicy ginger cookies actually induce labor, they are certainly yummy! Supposedly after eating these, you'll go into labor within 24 hours—but this has not been proven. You can try these cookies on your due date or later, but not earlier than that. Having your baby before your baby is ready can be risky both for your baby and you. Your safest bet is to consult with your doctor or health care provider first.


The yield for this recipe is about 30 cookies. It will generally take you about 20 minutes to prepare the cookies for baking, and it takes about 10 minutes to bake the cookies. (Though how many cookies that fit on a cookie sheet may mean that you have to run a number of baking cycles. Keep this in mind when you are figuring out how much time you'll need to prepare and cook.) You should also allow the cookies to cool down before eating them.

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup molasses
  • 1/4 cup egg whites (from 2 large eggs)
  • 8 tablespoons softened butter
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger (or freshly grated)
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional, but adds an additional kick)


  1. Gather your ingredients.
  2. Begin by preheating your oven to 350 F. Combine the flour, baking soda and spices together in a bowl, mix them together and then set them aside. You will want to cream the sugar together with the butter either by hand or in a standing mixer for 1–2 minutes. Then, slowly cream the molasses into that mixture until incorporated. Begin the creaming process again by adding the egg whites.
  3. Now you will add the dry ingredients a bit at a time to the wet mixture. This is usually best done by hand with a utensil. Once the mix is together, you will place 1-inch balls of dough onto your parchment-lined cookie sheet. I add a bit of sprinkled granulated sugar on top to sweeten it slightly.
  4. Bake these cookies for 9-11 minutes. I usually recommend you watch the first batch to figure out a more precise time for your oven. Not all ovens bake at the same temperature, so times may vary based on your oven.
  5. Once the cookies are done, they will be slightly browned on the edges. Bring them out and allow them to cook on the cooling rack. Once they have sufficiently cooled, enjoy!

If spicy isn't your flavor choice, have some cold milk on hand to help cool your tongue. These cookies do have a kick, but the added spice may very well do the trick.

2 Sources
Verywell Family uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Chaudhry Z, Fischer J, Schaffir J. Women's Use of Nonprescribed Methods to Induce Labor: A Brief Report. Birth. 2011;38(2):168-171. doi:10.1111/j.1523-536X.2010.00465.x

  2. Thomson M, Corbin R, Leung L. Effects of Ginger for Nausea and Vomiting in Early Pregnancy: A Meta-Analysis. J Am Board Fam Med. 2014;27(1):115-122. doi:10.3122/jabfm.2014.01.130167

By Robin Elise Weiss, PhD, MPH
Robin Elise Weiss, PhD, MPH is a professor, author, childbirth and postpartum educator, certified doula, and lactation counselor.