Why You Have To Try Zingerman’s Bakehouse’s ‘Ginger Jump-Up’

Nothing says winter more than the fragrant spices of a ginger cookie warming your soul. That’s why this family bakery in Michigan is baking them by the thousands. Zingerman’s Bakehouse is located in Ann Arbor, Michigan and has been going strong for over 25 years.

The team behind the beloved bakery is Amy and Carollo Emberling, who make it their mission to ensure that everything their customers buy are held to a standard of excellence. The pair has recently released a cookbook of the same name, complete with their recipe for one of their most popular winter cookies, the ginger ‘jump-up.’

“During a normal time of the year we probably sell 2,000 jump-ups per month,” Emberling says. “But this week we’re making thousands of them, and will probably sell around 6 or 7 thousand of them this month.” Emberling continues by mentioning that they began making the cookie 20 years ago.

Though the original recipe was a molasses cookie recipe brought to the bakery by another employee, when Emberling took them on herself, she had a few adjustments to make. “We replaced the brown sugar with muscovado to amp up the molasses flavor, and added bits of candied ginger to the dough, and then rolled it in demerara (an unrefined raw sugar) for added crunch,” Emberling shared.

This is a busy time of year for the bakery in general, but the ginger jump-up is doing the best business. Carollo adds, “[This time of year, we’re in] the highest of high gears. We’re making something like 15,000 pieces of pastry a day — including cookies — and 12,000 to 15,000 pieces of bread.”

You may still be wondering how their famous cookie got it’s unique name. Well, that too comes down to Emberling. “[I] liked that original molasses cookie but wanted to add more flavor — jump it up a little.” For those of you who won’t manage to get to Ann Arbor anytime soon, luckily you can now try your hand at making the ginger jump-ups yourself.