Molasses Cookies are a classic for a reason - it's delicious! The cookies are soft and chewy, with a perfect balance of spices and sweetness. Plus, they're easy to make so you can enjoy them anytime, not just on Holidays. For More Molasses-inspired desserts, check out these recipes: Old Fashioned Molasses Cake and Gingerbread Cake.
- What Are Molasses Cookies?
- Brief Highlight Of Our Molasses Cookies Recipe:
- Molasses Cookies Ingredients
- Tools you'll need
- How to Make Molasses Cookies
- How to Serve
- How to Store
- How to Freeze
- Tips for Making The Best Molasses Cookies
- Why are my molasses cookies flat?
- More Holiday-Inspired Cookies Recipe:
- 📋 Recipe
What Are Molasses Cookies?
Molasses cookies are made with thick syrup formed during sugar manufacturing. Molasses cookies usually have a chewy texture and dark color and are often combined with warm spices such as ginger and cinnamon, making them the perfect holiday cookies. If you like the taste of crunchy gingerbread cookies and gingerbread cookies but prefer the texture of a soft Snickerdoodle, chewy molasses cookies will be your new favorite cookie.
Brief Highlight Of Our Molasses Cookies Recipe:
- Taste: Molasses Cookies are a classic treat known for their delicious blend of spices and sweetness. These cookies offer a perfect balance of warm spices like ginger, cinnamon, cloves, allspice, and nutmeg, creating a comforting and flavorful experience. They're not overly sweet, making them enjoyable for all occasions.
- Texture: These cookies boast a soft and chewy texture that's truly delightful. They are rich and tender, thanks to the butter and sugars in the recipe. The addition of molasses gives them a chewy consistency, while the spices provide a bit of complexity to the texture.
- Method: Making Molasses Cookies is a straightforward process. You'll start by creaming together butter and sugars, then adding egg, molasses, and vanilla for a rich and flavorful base. The dry ingredients, including a mix of spices, are combined to create the dough. After chilling the dough, you'll roll it into balls, coat them in sugar, and bake until the cookies develop a crinkled top but remain soft in the middle.
Molasses Cookies Ingredients
Note: The full ingredients list is provided in the recipe card below.
- Butter: It gives richness, tenderness, and structure to the molasses cookies.
- Light Brown Sugar & Granulated Sugar: It is a sweetener and provides flavor. It also helps to create a soft and chewy texture. Cookies without sugar would be much harder and less tasty.
- Egg: The addition of eggs to cookies serves a few purposes. First, eggs add structure and chewiness to the cookies and moisture. Egg also helps to bind the other ingredients together, creating a more cohesive cookie dough that holds its shape when baked. Additionally, egg contributes flavor and richness to cookies, making them more satisfying.
- Pure vanilla extract: It enhances the flavor.
- Flour: It helps to create a structure for the cookies, adding some thickness and chewiness; it also helps to bind the other ingredients together, making a more consistent molasses cookie.
- Spices: I blend ground cinnamon, ginger, cloves, allspice, and nutmeg.
- Molasses: It gives a chewy texture and a rich flavor.
Tools you'll need
- Hand-held mixer or stand mixer
- plastic wrap
- large bowl
- baking sheets
- parchment paper
- small bowl
- baking rack
- Dry measuring cup with spoons
- 1-inch ice cream scoop
How to Make Molasses Cookies
Note: The full instructions are provided in the recipe card below.
In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, ginger, ground cinnamon, cloves, allspice, and nutmeg. Set aside In a large bowl, using a hand-held or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugars together on high speed until fully incorporated, about 4 minutes. Add the egg and continue to beat until fully incorporated. Add the molasses and vanilla and continue to beat until fully incorporated. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix on low speed until incorporated, occasionally pausing to scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl to integrate the mixture thoroughly. Transfer the cookie dough to a medium bowl, cover it tightly, and chill in the refrigerator overnight or for up to three days. If chilling for 3+ hours, let the cookie dough sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before rolling it into balls; the cookie dough will be very stiff after being in the fridge that long.
Preheat the oven to 350 °F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and prepare a shallow bowl of granulated sugar; set aside. When the dough is soft enough to handle, use a 1-inch cookie scoop to roll each ball in sugar and press down with your palm to flatten the ball, then space the cookies 2 inches apart on the baking sheets. Bake until the cookies start to crinkle on top but are still soft in the middle, about 10–12 minutes.
Rotate the sheets halfway through to ensure the cookies are baked evenly; let them cool on the baking sheets for 15 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely. Serve the freshly baked molasses cookies immediately or store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three days.
- All-purpose flour: You can use whole wheat or gluten-free flour instead of all-purpose flour.
- Unsulphured molasses: If you can't find unsulphured molasses, you can use blackstrap molasses, which is more concentrated and has a more robust flavor.
- Light brown sugar: You can use dark brown or coconut sugar instead of light brown sugar.
- Granulated sugar: You can use powdered or brown sugar instead of granulated sugar.
- Spices: You can adjust the seasonings according to your taste preferences or use pumpkin pie spice instead of the individual spices listed in the recipe.
- Egg: To make this recipe vegan, use a flax or chia egg (1 tablespoon ground flaxseed or chia seeds mixed with 3 tablespoons water) instead of the egg.
- Vanilla extract: You can use almond or maple extract instead of vanilla extract.
- Chocolate Chip Molasses Cookies: Add 1 cup of chocolate chips to the cookie dough.
- Oatmeal Molasses Cookies: Replace 1 cup of the all-purpose flour with 1 cup of rolled oats.
- Molasses Gingerbread Cookies: Increase the ground ginger to 2 teaspoons and add ½ teaspoon of ground black pepper to the dough.
- Molasses Snickerdoodles: Add 1 teaspoon of cream of tartar to the dry ingredients and roll the dough balls in a mixture of cinnamon and sugar instead of just sugar.
- Molasses Cranberry Cookies: Add 1 cup of dried cranberries to the cookie dough.
- Molasses Pecan Cookies: Add 1 cup of chopped pecans to the cookie dough.
- Molasses Orange Cookies: Add 1 tablespoon of orange zest to the cookie dough and use orange instead of granulated sugar for rolling.
How to Serve
Molasses Cookies are a classic treat that can be served in many ways. They're perfect as a snack or dessert and can be enjoyed any time of the day. You can serve them with milk, coffee, or hot tea. If you want to get creative, you can also use Molasses Cookies to make ice cream sandwiches or crumble them on top of yogurt or ice cream for added crunch. These cookies are also a great addition to any holiday cookie platter or as a gift for friends and family.
Finally, wrap them in a festive ribbon or place them in a decorated tin for a thoughtful homemade gift. With their warm spices and sweet molasses flavor, Molasses Cookies will surely be a hit with anyone who tries them!
How to Store
Wait until they have cooled completely, and then transfer them to an airtight container. The cookies will be kept for up to a week at room temperature or up to two weeks in the refrigerator. You can freeze the cookies for up to three months in an airtight container or freezer bag. To thaw, remove the cookies from the freezer and let them come to room temperature before serving.
Molasses Cookies tend to become softer as they sit, so if you prefer a crunchy texture, you can place them in a preheated 350°F (175°C) oven for a few minutes before serving to crisp them up. Then, enjoy your Molasses Cookies with a glass of milk or a cup of tea for a delicious snack anytime!
Molasses Cookies can be made ahead of time, making them a convenient and tasty option for busy days or when you're entertaining guests. You can prepare the dough in advance and store it in the refrigerator for up to two days or in the freezer for up to three months. To freeze the dough, form it into balls and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Freeze the dough balls until solid, then transfer them to a freezer bag or container.
When you're ready to bake, roll the dough balls in granulated sugar and bake them according to the recipe instructions, adding a minute or two to the baking time if necessary. You can also bake the cookies in advance and store them in an airtight container at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to a week. So whether you're hosting a holiday party or need a quick and easy snack, Molasses Cookies are a great make-ahead option.
How to Freeze
Molasses Cookies freeze well for up to 2 months. Allow the cookies to cool completely before layering them between sheets of parchment paper in a freezer-safe container for up to 2 months: Thaw in the refrigerator or at room temperature. You can also freeze the cookie dough before rolling it out. Prepare the dough, drop the cookie dough in heaping tablespoons onto a sheet pan, let it set in the freezer until solid, then place it in a freezer bag and press out as much air as possible. Bake directly from frozen, as directed in the recipe, but add 1 to 2 extra minutes to the baking time.
Tips for Making The Best Molasses Cookies
- These versatile molasses cookies can be modified to suit your taste preferences; swap granulated sugar for a dark brown for a richer brown sugar flavor.
- Incorporate your favorite warming spices, such as nutmeg, cinnamon, or pumpkin pie spice, for a more autumnal flavor. Or add chopped nuts, such as walnuts or pecans, chocolate or butterscotch chips, or a dollop of peanut butter to the cookie dough.
- If the dough feels too sticky or wet to hold its shape, add a tablespoon or two of flour at a time until the dough has reached a manageable texture.
- To ensure soft molasses cookies, remove the cookies from the oven when the center is set but is still slightly moist. The molasses cookies will continue to harden on the tray as they cool, resulting in a perfectly chewy texture.
- Chill the molasses cookie dough to prevent overspreading.
- If, at any moment, the dough becomes too soft, return it to the freezer until firm.
- Arrange cookies ½ inch apart.
- When making molasses cookies, freeze them and bake them frozen to help them keep their shape.
- Remember, the molasses cookies will keep cooking once removed from the oven. Let them cool completely on a rack before decorating, and store them in an airtight container.
- The butter should be left out at room temperature for 30 minutes to an hour until it's pliable but still cool; it should hold a thumbprint with a bit of resistance.
Can I substitute the all-purpose flour with a different type of flour?
It's best to use all-purpose flour for this recipe as it provides the right texture and structure to the cookies. Substituting it with a different flour may alter the results.
Can I use salted butter instead of unsalted butter?
It's recommended to use unsalted butter in baking recipes to have better control over the amount of salt in the recipe. If you only have salted butter, you can use it, but reduce the additional salt in the recipe accordingly.
Can I reduce the amount of sugar in the recipe?
The sugar in this recipe contributes to the cookies' flavor, texture, and overall structure. If you significantly reduce the amount of sugar, it may affect the taste and texture. However, you can experiment with small reductions if desired.
How long should I chill the cookie dough?
The recipe suggests chilling the cookie dough overnight or for up to three days. This allows the flavors to meld and the dough to firm up, making it easier to handle and shape. If you chill the dough for less time, it may be too soft and difficult to work with.
Why are my molasses cookies flat?
Here are the 4 most common reasons why cookies spread so much.
- The Butter Is Too Soft: Butter is the foundation of delectable cookies. The butter should be left at room temperature for 30 minutes to an hour until it's pliable but still cool. (it should hold a thumbprint with a bit of resistance). When creamed with sugar, room-temperature butter has the right consistency to incorporate air. Because of the trapped air pockets, the molasses Cookies rise and become fluffy. If the butter is too warm, it will not incorporate enough air, resulting in a lower rise in your molasses cookies. Furthermore, butter that is warmer than room temperature melts in the oven instantly, encouraging the dough to spread quickly with it. A quick fix is to chill the Dough. Refrigerate the remaining dough for one to two hours or until it feels firm. This chills the butter, preventing it from spreading too quickly in the oven. Although your cookies will not be as fluffy as once, they will not turn into pancakes.
- You're Baking on Hot Baking Sheets: After the first batch of molasses cookies has been baked, a new batch of dough is transferred to the baking sheet. While the first batch was perfect, the second batch spread a lot, possibly to the point where the cookies fused. What happened? Everything comes back to the butter. Hot baking sheets cause the butter to melt quickly, bringing the dough with it. A quick fix is to Cool the Baking Sheets Under Running Water for a few minutes so they're warm, not screaming hot. Then rinse them off under room temperature water until they're no longer hot to the touch. Then, dry them off and place your Molasses Cookies on the cool sheets.
- Your Oven Is Too Hot: If your molasses cookies consistently come out flat, no matter what recipe you use, your oven is probably too hot. Here's what's going on. In an overheated oven, the butter melts quickly before the other ingredients have firmed up into a cookie structure. As a result, as the butter spreads, the entire liquid cookie spreads. A quick fix is to reduce the temperature of your oven and increase the baking time. In the long run, consider purchasing an oven thermometer and keeping it in your oven so you know the exact temperature of your oven. Then you can adjust the heat as needed or consult the oven's manual to learn how to calibrate it.
- Incorrectly Measured Ingredients: If your flour, butter, and sugar ratios are off, the cookie might spread too quickly. This can occur if you aren't precise with your measurements. If your recipe calls for 1 cup of sugar, for example, and you add a slightly heaping cup instead of leveling off the cup precisely, you'll end up with too much. This is because sugar sucks up liquid, and when those cookies bake, it'll release the liquid and cause the cookies to spread out. Likewise, the molasses cookies will become flat and greasy if you use too much butter. If you use too little flour, the amount of butter and sugar will be proportionally too high, meaning the cookies will spread for the above reasons. A quick fix is to bulk it up a Little. If you used too little flour, stir a couple more tablespoons into the batter. Otherwise, shape your molasses cookies and freeze them on the baking sheet until they're solid. Although the cookies might still spread some, the frozen butter will counteract the action. If all else fails, consider repurposing your flattened cookies: crumble them up like ice cream toppings or mix-ins, or stir them into cake batter for a decadent treat.
More Holiday-Inspired Cookies Recipe:
- Gingerbread Cookies
- Snickerdoodles cookie
- Chocolate Sugar Cookies
- Pecan Snowball Cookies
- Lemon Ricotta Cookies
- Fig Cookies
How to Make Molasses Cookies
- 282 g (2 and ¼ cups) of all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1-½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground cloves
- ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
- ½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1-½ sticks (¾ cup) unsalted butter , softened to room temperature
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- ⅓ cup Grandma's Molasses, Unsulphured
- 1 large egg , at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ cup granulated sugar for rolling
- In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, ginger, ground cinnamon, cloves, allspice, and nutmeg. Set aside
- In a large bowl using a hand-held or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and both sugars together on high speed until fully incorporated, about 4 minutes. Add the egg and continue to beat until well incorporated. Add the molasses and vanilla and continue to beat until fully incorporated. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix on low speed until incorporated, occasionally pausing to scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl to integrate the mixture thoroughly.
- Transfer the cookie dough into a medium bowl, cover it tightly, and chill in the refrigerator overnight or for up to three days. If chilling for 3+ hours, make sure you let the cookie dough sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before rolling into balls; the cookie dough will be very stiff after being in the fridge that long.
- Preheat the oven to 350 °F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and prepare a shallow bowl of granulated sugar; set aside.
- When the dough is soft enough to handle, use a 1-inch cookie scoop to roll each ball in sugar and press down with your palm to flatten the ball, then space the cookies 2 inches apart on the baking sheets.
- Bake until the cookies start to crinkle on top but are still soft in the middle, about 10–12 minutes. Rotate the sheets halfway through to ensure the cookies are baked evenly; let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for 15 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely. Serve the freshly baked cookies immediately or store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three days.
- Molasses cookies can be kept airtight at room temperature for up to 5 days.
All nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods, and portion sizes per household.