Kick off your holiday baking with homemade molasses cookies! You guys are going to LOVE this recipe! It yields the most delicious, soft, chewy, warmly spiced molasses cookies you’ll ever taste. These are perfect with a cup of coffee for an afternoon treat and make the best Christmas cookies for sharing!

bite taken out of molasses cookie

The Best Molasses Cookies

Molasses cookies are a timeless classic. Like a sugar cookie made with brown sugar and warm spices, these irresistible cookies never go out of style. My recipe yields the softest, chewiest and thickest ginger spice cookies you’ll ever taste. I love that these molasses cookies bake up perfectly thick and fluffy! Much too often you’re left with flat, crispy, and thin ginger cookies. If you prefer soft-baked molasses cookies, you’ve come to the right place. 🙂

This time of year, I bake up tons of treats for gift giving and enjoying through the holiday season. My Christmas cookie tins are always filled to the brim! These irresistible molasses cookies are always at the top of my baking list.

molasses cookies topped with sugar near Christmas balls

Ingredients

This is a classic molasses cookie recipe. The ingredients are simple and easy to find. It’s the ratio of ingredients that make these cookies extra soft and chewy.

  • Butter. adds flavor, structure, and buttery goodness in each bite. Make sure it’s softened to room temperature before beginning. See tips, below, for more info on softened butter.
  • Sugar. dark brown sugar gives these cookies a rich flavor and amazing texture. You’ll also need granulated sugar for rolling the cookies.
  • Molasses. unsulphured molasses is best for baked goods. I typically use Grandma’s Original Molasses. This is the key ingredient for that traditional deep, rich flavor in molasses cookies.
  • Egg. 1 egg adds structure, stability, and flavor.
  • Flour. all-purpose flour will give you the best results. I have not tried other flours for this cookie recipe.
  • Baking soda. to help these gems bake up properly.
  • Spices. we’re using a mix of ground ginger, cinnamon, cloves & salt to give the cookies a warm, cozy flavor.

ingredients for making molasses cookies and mixing them in a large bowl

How to make molasses cookies

This recipe is super easy and you’ll be happy to know that you don’t even have to chill the dough! There’s enough flour in the cookie dough to create a cookie that won’t spread when baking.

  1. Using a stand mixer or a hand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar. Add the molasses and egg and beat to combine.
  2. In a separate mixing bowl, whisk the dry ingredients together.
  3. Turn the mixer to low speed and gradually add the dry ingredients to the butter/sugar mixture.
  4. Use a 1/4 cup measuring cup to scoop out dough. Roll into balls and then roll the balls into granulated sugar.
  5. Form dough balls into top-heavy balls and place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
  6. Bake for 11-12 minutes and until edges appear set. The centers may look slightly undercooked, but they will continue to cook even after they are removed from the oven.
  7. Cool cookies on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes. Then transfer them to a wire cooling rack to continue to cool.
  8. Enjoy! Serve while still warm or enjoy them after they’ve completely cooled. In my personal opinion, I love them even more after they’ve cooled. This is when the edges get a little crispy and the inside is super soft. Either way… yum!

rolling cookie dough balls in sugar and placing them on a baking sheet

Tips

There are tons of tips and tricks for baking cookies, but follow the suggestions below and you’re sure to have the BEST molasses cookies of your life!

  • When baking cookies, it’s always important to make sure butter is properly softened to room temperature. When you poke the butter with your finger, it should make an indent without sinking or sliding down into the butter. The butter should not be shiny or greasy and it should still be cool to the touch. Allow the butter to sit out on the counter for about 1-2 hours before beginning your recipe.
  • For cookies to bake up properly, be sure to use fresh baking soda. Baking soda loses its potency over time. When you open the container write the date on the lid. After 6 months, buy a new container.
  • Measure your flour correctly. If you have a scale, that’s the easiest way to measure ingredients. If you don’t, spoon flour into a measuring cup and without shaking the cup, use the straight side of the butter knife to level the flour across the measuring cup.
  • As the recipe is written, these are large cookies. Feel free to make smaller cookies and get double the amount. You may need to decrease the cooking time a minute or two, though.
  • The secret to making molasses cookies that are puffy and soft is the ratio of butter to leavener to flour to egg. Also, slightly under-baking the cookies also guarantees a softer cookie. Take them out of the oven after about 11-ish minutes (depending on your oven). This will keep the interior of the cookie soft and chewy.

baked cookies on a baking sheet pan lined with parchment paper

Storage and freezing

Freezing cookie dough. This cookie dough recipe freezes beautifully. I love having cookie dough already mixed up, so I can bake a special treat whenever the craving hits.

Scoop out balls of cookie dough. Place the cookie dough in a freezer-safe baggie and freeze the cookie dough for up to 3 months.

Thawing dough. When you’re ready to bake cookies, remove the dough balls from the freezer, set them on a baking sheet that is lined with parchment or a silicone baking mat and let them thaw. Once they are close to room temperature (after about 1-2 hours), bake as directed in the recipe.

Bake from frozen. Baking from frozen will work just fine. The tops of your cookies may darken a bit more, but they will still be fabulous. Follow all of the cooking instructions, but add a minute or two onto the bake time.

Make ahead cookie dough. If you are wanting to prep just several days ahead, you can keep cookie dough in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

Freezing baked cookies. Baked molasses cookies freeze very well. Store cookies in a freezer-safe container or baggie and freeze the cookies for up to 3 months.

Storing baked cookies. Baked cookies will keep in an airtight container or zip-top baggie for about 1 week, but I can’t imagine them lasting that long!

molasses cookies stacked up near Christmas ornaments

Beware, it’s really easy to eat about a dozen of these soft, chewy, warmly spiced molasses cookies before you even realize what you just did. You only live once, so indulge and enjoy!

More holiday cookies to enjoy

Easy Cut-out Sugar Cookies

White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies

Grandma’s Special K Cookies (no-bake)

Mexican Wedding Cookies

If you try these chewy molasses cookies, let me know! Leave a comment and if your family loves them as much as mine does, be sure to give it a five star ⭐️ rating! Also, tag @kimscravings on Instagram with a picture of your creation. It’s so fun to see what you’re cooking! Be sure to subscribe to our mailing list to receive more healthy delicious recipes straight to your inbox.

bitten into molasses cookie near red ornament balls

bite taken out of molasses cookie
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Molasses Cookies

Kick off your holiday baking with homemade molasses cookies! You guys are going to LOVE this recipe! It yields the most delicious, soft, chewy, warmly spiced molasses cookies you'll ever taste. These are perfect with a cup of coffee for an afternoon treat and make the best Christmas cookies for sharing!

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup (170g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 cup (200g) packed light or dark brown sugar (I prefer dark brown sugar)
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) unsulphured or dark molasses
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 2 1/4 cups (280g) all-purpose flour, spoon & leveled
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

For rolling cookie dough ball

  • 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 350ºF and prepare a baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
  • In a large bowl using a hand-held or stand mixer, beat the butter and sugar together on high speed until creamy and combined. Add the molasses and egg and beat until combined. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, cloves and salt.
  • With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just combined. Don't over mix the dough.
  • Use a 1/4 cup measuring cup to measure out the dough balls (you should get 14-16).
  • Roll each dough ball in the sugar, then form the dough ball into a top-heavy, almost triangular shaped ball (see photo in post).
  • Place 4-6 dough balls on each cookie sheet and bake for 11-12 minutes or until edges appear set.
  • Once cooked, remove from the oven and allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for several minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Cookies will stay fresh covered at room temperature for about 1 week.

Notes

*You could definitely make these cookies smaller, and get double the amount, plus lower the calorie count. You may need to decrease the bake time a minute or two, though. We just really love these large!

Storage and freezing:

Freezing cookie dough. This cookie dough recipe freezes beautifully. I love having cookie dough already mixed up, so I can bake a special treat whenever the craving hits.
Scoop out balls of cookie dough. Place the cookie dough in a freezer-safe baggie and freeze the cookie dough for up to 3 months.
Thawing dough. When you’re ready to bake cookies, remove the dough balls from the freezer, set them on a baking sheet that is lined with parchment or a silicone baking mat and let them thaw. Once they are close to room temperature (after about 1-2 hours), bake as directed in the recipe.
Bake from frozen. Baking from frozen will work just fine. The tops of your cookies may darken a bit more, but they will still be fabulous. Follow all of the cooking instructions, but add a minute or two onto the bake time.
Make ahead cookie dough. If you are wanting to prep just several days ahead, you can keep cookie dough in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
Freezing baked cookies. Baked molasses cookies freeze very well. Store cookies in a freezer-safe container or baggie and freeze the cookies for up to 3 months.
Storing baked cookies. Baked cookies will keep in an airtight container or zip-top baggie for about 1 week, but I can’t imagine them lasting that long!
 
 
Photos by Molly at Yes to Yolks.
Serving: 1cookie, Calories: 240kcal, Carbohydrates: 36g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 10g, Saturated Fat: 6g, Cholesterol: 35mg, Sodium: 124mg, Potassium: 129mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 22g, Vitamin A: 299IU, Calcium: 32mg, Iron: 1mg

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