Soft Molasses Cookies

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Total Time 23 minutes
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These soft molasses cookies are perfectly-round with crisp edges and a soft, chewy center. These old fashioned cookies are easy to make with no chilling required, making them the perfect holiday cookie!

Why You’ll Adore This Molasses Cookie Recipe

When these flat, golden-brown, spiced molasses cookies come out of the oven, you’ll be hooked! Here’s why you will love this molasses cookie recipe:

  • Seasonal Favorite: Every mouthful is an autumn-spiced, crisp edged, chewy centered bite! They are the perfect partner for a glass of cold milk or a cozy mug of hot cocoa.
  • Flavorful: This molasses cookie recipe has a warm blend of cinnamon and ginger, making them taste a little bit like a gingersnap cookie or gingerbread. They taste and smell amazing!
  • Quick and Easy: What’s better than a plate full of warm, homemade cookies? Having them in less than half an hour! This simple recipe doesn’t require any special ingredients or methods.
  • Crowd Pleaser: Double or triple this satisfying molasses cookie recipe for holiday cookie exchanges or stack and package as gifts for neighbors, teachers, family and friends.

Looking for more old fashioned cookies? Try these peanut butter blossoms, festive soft gingerbread man cookies or a batch of chewy peanut butter cookies!

Ingredients for molasses cookie recipe arranged in bowls.

The Ingredients You’ll Need

Grab your spices and pantry staples to get going. Check the recipe card at the bottom of the post for exact amounts.

  • Flour: Regular all-purpose flour works best in this recipe.
  • Baking Soda
  • Spices: Give these cookies some warmth with a combination of ground cinnamon, ginger, cloves and salt.
  • Unsalted Butter: Make sure you let it come to room temperature.
  • Sugar: Granulated sugar works perfectly, but you can also use brown sugar for the dough.
  • Egg
  • Molasses: This gives the cookies a unique flavor and wonderful texture.
  • Coarse Sugar: Use coarse sparkling sugar for rolling the balls of cookie dough. You can use granulated sugar, but using coarse sugar before baking will create a pretty sparkle!
One soft molasses cookie leaning against a glass of milk.

How to Make Molasses Cookies

These soft molasses cookies come together quickly and bake up in perfect, crackly, uniform circles. For full detailed directions, scroll to the recipe card below.

  • Mix: Whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, salt and cloves.
  • Beat: With a hand or stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg and mix in molasses.
  • Combine: Slowly add dry ingredients to wet ingredients, and mix until combined.
  • Form: Place coarse sugar in a small bowl. Shape a heaping tablespoon of dough into a ball and coat it in sugar. Place on cookie sheets lined with parchment paper.
  • Bake: Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until the tops crack and edges are set. Remove from the oven and leave them on the cookie sheets for 5 minutes. Transfer to finish cooling on a wire rack to cool completely.
Molasses cookies cooling on a cookie rack.

Tips & Variations

Check out these tips to guarantee soft and chewy molasses cookies!

  • Dark Molasses: Blackstrap molasses provides a deeper, richer molasses flavor in the cookies.
  • Chill: If working in a hot kitchen or warm environment, chill the dough for 20 to 30 minutes if it’s too sticky to roll. This will also help if your cookies are spreading too much.
  • Cookie Scoop: For uniform cookie sizes and even baking, use a cookie scoop or a tablespoon to portion out the dough.
  • Use a Fork: When you’re ready to roll the cookies in the sugar, you can also use a fork to roll the balls of cookie dough around to avoid coating your hands in sugar.
  • Don’t Over-Bake: Once the edges are set, the cookies are ready to come out. The middles will still be soft and look under-baked, but they will firm up as the cookies cool.
  • Add-Ons: A thin layer of cream cheese frosting would be a great addition to this cookie or sandwiched between two cookies! You can also dip them in melted white chocolate.
  • Ginger: If you like it a little spicy, turn into chewy ginger molasses cookies. Toss a handful of Finley chopped, candied ginger in addition to the ground ginger for amore intense ginger flavor.
Soft molasses cookies with crisp edges and chewy centers arranged on a marble serving tray.

How to Store Soft Molasses Cookies

These cookies keep wonderfully for up to a week, making them a great Christmas cookie.

  • Store: Once the cookies are fully cooled, store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week. To keep cookies extra soft, place a slice of white bread in the container with the cookies. Replace the bread every few days as it becomes stale.
  • Freeze Cookies: Freeze baked cookies in an airtight freezer safe container or zip top freezer bag for up to 3 months.
  • Freeze Dough: Freeze unbaked dough balls on a sheet pan until solid to the touch. Transfer dough to an airtight, freezer safe container and freeze for up to 6 months. Thaw frozen dough in refrigerator overnight and bake as directed. Or bake from frozen, just add an extra 2 to 3 minutes to the bake time.
Soft molasses cookies with chewy centers stacked on top of each other with sparkling sugar flecks on top.
4.7 from 11 votes
Print Pin Recipe
Yield: 28 cookies

Soft Molasses Cookies

These soft molasses cookies are perfectly-round with crisp edges and chewy centers! Made with pantry staple ingredients and no chilling required, these are an easy holiday cookie everyone will love!
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time8 minutes
Total Time23 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¾ cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • ¼ cup molasses
  • coarse sugar, for rolling

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Move racks to the center of the oven. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, salt and cloves. Set aside.
  • In a stand mixer or with a hand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg and mix in the molasses. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, and mix until fully combined.
  • Using a medium cookie scoop (or 1 heaping tablespoon of dough), shape the dough into balls. Place the coarse sugar in a shallow bowl, and roll the dough balls in the sugar to coat them. Place on the prepared cookie sheets, leaving 2 inches between for spreading.
  • Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until the tops crack and the edges are set. Remove from the oven and leave them on the cookie sheets for 5 minutes. Transfer to finish cooling on a cookie cooling rack.

Video

Notes

Store: Once the cookies are fully cooled, store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week. To keep cookies extra soft, place a slice of white bread in the container with the cookies. Replace the bread every few days as it becomes stale.
Freeze Cookies: Freeze baked cookies in an airtight freezer safe container or zip top freezer bag for up to 3 months.
Freeze Dough: Freeze unbaked dough balls on a sheet pan until solid to the touch. Transfer dough to an airtight, freezer safe container and freeze for up to 6 months. Thaw frozen dough in refrigerator overnight and bake as directed. Or bake from frozen, just add an extra 2 to 3 minutes to the bake time.
Dark Molasses: Blackstrap molasses provides a deeper, richer molasses flavor in the cookies.
Chill: If working in a hot kitchen or warm environment, chill the dough for 20 to 30 minutes if it’s too sticky to roll. This will also help if your cookies are spreading too much.
Cookie Scoop: For uniform cookie sizes and even baking, use a cookie scoop or a tablespoon to portion out the dough.
Use a Fork: When you’re ready to roll the cookies in the sugar, you can also use a fork to roll the balls of cookie dough around to avoid coating your hands in sugar.
Don’t Over-Bake: Once the edges are set, the cookies are ready to come out. The middles will still be soft and look under-baked, but they will firm up as the cookies cool.
Add-Ons: A thin layer of cream cheese frosting would be a great addition to this cookie or sandwiched between two cookies! You can also dip them in melted white chocolate.
Ginger: If you like it a little spicy, turn into chewy ginger molasses cookies. Toss a handful of Finley chopped, candied ginger in addition to the ground ginger for amore intense ginger flavor.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 cookie, Calories: 131kcal, Carbohydrates: 20g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 5g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g, Monounsaturated Fat: 1g, Trans Fat: 0.2g, Cholesterol: 20mg, Sodium: 145mg, Potassium: 59mg, Fiber: 0.3g, Sugar: 13g, Vitamin A: 168IU, Vitamin C: 0.003mg, Calcium: 11mg, Iron: 1mg

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Question – I’ve been making these almost as long as the recipe was posted . They are my daughter’s favorite. I’ve always made and baked them same day but need to do differently year due to travel, can I make one day, refrigerate dough until the next morning and then bake?
And they turn out exactly as doing all same day? I know this works with many doughs but wasn’t sure with this specific one. Thx ☺️

My favorite cookie recipe. Have you ever frozen these? I need to take them to a reunion….

5 stars
Ok, finally reporting back! These freeze beautifully! I just put them in a freezer bag, squeeze air out and voila! They are great!

Make these every year for my family.  My Grandmother used to make them but I never had the recipe so was so excited to see it when you first posted it!!!!!    Full disclosure I’m a terrible baker.  Today accidentally used baking powder instead of baking soda.  They are really good but definitely different.  Puffy and soft, still a big hit!!!

Hi Jessica…I was looking for a cookie like this! They served them in my high school cafeteria at East High School in Rochester New York back in the 1970’s with a thin confection glaze. I did add 2 pinches of ground cayenne pepper for that faint tingle that lingers on the palate. I also substituted the ground ginger for 1 TABLESPOON of FRESH minced ginger instead, which I whipped in with the butter and sugar mixture. These cookies make an amateur baker look like a professional. Yummy…pure perfection…kudos to you Jessica!

Hi there Jessica,

I love this recipe….have been making them since 2013. I’m using a #60 scoop (a level tablespoon) and get 42 cookies consistently…..about 3 1/2″ across when done. How BIG are your cookies? …..the dough spreads out and I may have a “dinner plate” size cookie!! My daughter has requested I make these for “Cookies for a Cop”….a program to thank our local law enforcement for all they do and let them know we appreciate them. (of course I said I’d be glad to make 8 dozen??!!!)
Anyway, just wondering about size of your batches…thanks 🙂

Made with one egg. Delicious flavor, I will make these again. 🙂

Question, I was about to make these but I noticed there’s a discrepancy in the recipe. Ingredients say 1 egg, but directions say add eggs. Can you clarify the proper quantity? Thanks!

I’ve made these twice in one week. They are the best cookies I’ve EVER eaten!!! I’m looking for a chocolate chip cookie that is just as thin and chewy. Any idea how to do that?

Hi, Jessica! I live in Belarus (Minsk). I’m glad I found your site. I love everything what you do. I want to make these cookies, but I have a question. Stick – how much is it?

I love cookies and make different kinds but I must say these are the best cookies ever. I made them along with other cookies over the holidays and I could not stop eating them. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

Thank you for sharing this fabulous recipe. I made these for Christmas and they were an instant hit. My husband barely let me get any out of the house to share. Will be a staple for years to come. Happy New Year!

Ok I made these today and I can’t stop eating them! These are exactly what I was looking for. Thank you so much for this recipe!!

It’s true, you must wear black. Or grey. This was a banner year, because now some things can be brown. The strange thing is, you just wake up one day and realize you haven’t bought anything except a scarf in color for years.

Most neighborhoods have a grocery store like Fairway or Food Emporium – everything is just like a suburban grocery store except: less, closer together, higher up, and stocked according to bizarro-logic. I go to places like Stop-and-Shop now, in the suburbs, and panic because there’s just so MUCH of everything and it goes on forever.

Haven’t had time to cook a thing this december, but I’ll look forward to these cookies!

I have tried 3 different batches of gingerbread this holiday season and have not had any luck getting the chewy sugary taste I want. Is there a difference between gingerbread and molasses cookies? Maybe it’s molasses cookies I’m looking for…also do you think these could be rolled out with some flour and cut in the shape of gingerbread boys or would they spread too much?

Mmmm… I love molasses! These sound great, and will be added to my HUGE list of things I want to bake!

I made these last night!! They were absolutely delicious. So, I sent my husband to the store for molasses. He asked a worker where it was because he couldn’t find it. The worker pointed him to it and the said, “The 1950’s called, they want their baking supply back.” Hahaha!!

ginger cookies are one of our favorites! you described NYC perfectly (and i loved your instagram photos!) 🙂

I 100% agree with you on the NYC thing! And these cookies are gorg!

Love how perfectly uniform these cookies turned out. They look like they have the absolute perfect combination of crisp and chewy at the same time.

First of all — so jealous of your NYC trip! Second, I need to bake those cookies!

Thank You For Being Here!

Jessica
For the past 15 years, Jorge & Jessica have loved getting to share their families' favorite recipes with all of you. They live in Florida with their 3 kids.