Molasses Cookies

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Additional Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours
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Old-Fashioned Molasses Cookies have a warm, cinnamon-y taste and perfect texture. Kids and adults alike will love these seasonal cut out cookies.

A Spiced Christmas Cookie Recipe that’s Perfect for Rolling and Cutting

The holidays are a special time, and baking festive treats, like these cut-out molasses cookies, is one of the best ways to celebrate. Baking rolled cookies is a warm, cozy, interesting project, and when you’re done, you have a sweet snack! Kids especially love using cookie cutters and decorating the finished cookies.

This is a vintage-style molasses cookie recipe with a thick, very forgiving dough. It allows for multiple re-rolling of the dough scraps, without sacrificing the look or texture of the cookie. These sweet and spicy cookies bake evenly and retain their shape, so they can be dusted with powdered sugar, or decorated with frosting or royal icing. You’ve got to have this recipe in your Christmas collection!

Looking for more cut out cookies?

Molasses cookies cut into the shape of Christmas trees, dusted with powdered sugar, and tied with red string.

(Looking for classic round molasses cookies with crisp edges and tender centers? Try these Soft and Chewy Molasses Cookies – they’re the best! Gingerdoodles are another molasses-flavored favorite.)

What Is the Difference Between Molasses Cookies and Gingerbread Cookies?

You might be wondering what the difference is between these molasses cookies, and traditional gingerbread cut out cookies. While they do share a lot of the same ingredients, the main flavors in this recipe are molasses and cinnamon, instead of clove and ginger. This makes them perfect for anyone who wants an alternative to gingerbread, while still keeping that spice cookie vibe.

From top left: Butter, flour, spices, sugar, egg, baking soda, molasses, brown sugar.

Ingredients

For a spice cookie recipe, the ingredients list is surprisingly short! Here’s what you’ll need to create the best rolled molasses cookies.

  • Butter: Softened to about room temperature.
  • Sugar: You’ll need regular granulated sugar and packed brown sugar.
  • Egg: A large, whole egg helps bring the cookie dough together.
  • Molasses: You can use whatever molasses you prefer.
  • Flour: The flour should be spooned and leveled, packed or poured into your measuring cup, not packed or poured in.
  • Baking Soda: Make sure to use baking soda, not baking powder, or the cookies won’t have the right texture.
  • Spices: Ground cinnamon and ginger.
  • Salt 
  • Powdered Sugar: Optional, for dusting.

What’s the Best Molasses for Cookies?

I like to use blackstrap molasses in baking, but other cooks and bakers often recommend lighter molasses instead. Either one will work, so it’s mainly a matter of your preference and pantry. Use what you love!

Three molasses cookies dusted with powdered sugar and stacked on top of each other.

How to Make Cut Out Molasses Cookies

The process for making cut out molasses cookies is very similar to making other rolled and cut cookies – fun! If you are looking for a kid-friendly baking project, this might be just the thing. Here are the basic steps:

  • Cream the Butter and Sugars. First, you’ll want to cream the butter until it’s light and fluffy. I use my stand mixer with the paddle attachment, but a hand mixer would also work. Once the butter is light and fluffy, add the granulated sugar and brown sugar. Mix again to get a light, fluffy texture. 
  • Add the Egg and Molasses. Next, add the egg to the creamed butter and sugar, and mix until blended. Then pour the molasses into the mixture and beat until it’s smooth.
  • Add the Dry Ingredients. Get the dry ingredients ready by measuring them into a bowl and whisking them together (flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, and salt). Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture, and mix slowly until well-combined. This is a very thick dough, so you may need to use a wooden spoon or your hands to fully mix in the dry ingredients.
  • Chill. Shape the dough into a disk, wrap it in plastic wrap, and refrigerate it for at least one hour. 
  • Cut Out Cookies. Preheat your oven to 350°F, and line some cookie sheets with parchment paper. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out your dough. It should be about ¼-inch thick. Cut out cookies using medium-sized (2- to 3-inch) cookie cutters.
  • Bake! Place the cookies on the prepared cookie sheets, and bake them for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the edges are lightly browned. In the meantime, squeeze the scraps of dough together, roll the dough out again, and cut more cookies. Repeat the baking process until all the dough has been used.
  • Enjoy. Cool the molasses cookies on a cooling rack. To serve, dust them with powdered sugar, or decorate them as desired.

Helpful Hints for the Best Cookies

What else should you know about making molasses cookies? Great question! These are my top tips for the best cookies – read on, and enjoy!

  • Make Ahead: You can make the dough ahead and keep it in the fridge for up to 5 days. If you do chill the dough for longer than an hour, it’s helpful let it come to room temperature for 20 – 30 minutes before rolling and cutting.
  • Salt: Blackstrap molasses is known to be salty, so if you use it, you may want to reduce the salt.
  • Add Flavors: A small amount of almond, orange, or vanilla extract can give these cookies an extra depth.
Molasses christmas tree cookies arranged on a decorated table.

Storage Guidelines

Molasses cookies can be stored in an airtight container on the counter, for up to one week. If the cookies are stored in stacks or layers, try putting parchment or wax paper between the layers so that the cookies don’t stick to each other. (This can also protect sprinkles and frosting, if you end up decorating the cookies!)

Do These Molasses Cookies Freeze Well?

Like most cut out cookies, these can be frozen successfully, either as unbaked dough or as baked cookies. 

  • To freeze the dough, form it into a disc and wrap it well in plastic wrap. Store in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge before rolling, cutting, and baking.
  • To freeze baked molasses cookies, cool the cookies on a rack until they are completely room temperature. Then place them in an airtight container. Separate the layers of cookies with parchment or wax paper, so they don’t stick to each other in the freezer. Seal the container and freeze the cookies for up to 3 months. Thaw in the container for best results.
A decorative shot of molasses cookies, some tied with red string and others in a red and white dish.
4.5 from 4 votes
Print Pin Recipe
Yield: 32 Cookies

Molasses Cookies

Old-Fashioned Molasses Cookies have a warm, cinnamon-y taste and perfect texture. Kids and adults alike will love these seasonal cut out cookies.
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Additional Time1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time2 hours

Ingredients

  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ cup molasses
  • 2 ¾ cups flour, spooned and leveled
  • 1 ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • ½ tsp salt
  • Powdered Sugar, for dusting

Instructions 

  • Use a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, or handheld mixer and a large glass bowl, cream the butter until light and fluffy.
  • Add granulated and brown sugar to creamed butter and mix until light and fluffy. Add the egg to the bowl and mix until blended.
  • Pour molasses into butter mixture and beat until smooth.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, and salt).  Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix slowly until thoroughly combined.  This is a very thick dough, and you may need to use a wooden spoon or your hands to fully mix in the dry ingredients.
  • Shape dough into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill for at least one hour and up to 5 days. If you have chilled the dough for longer than an hour, let sit at room temperature for 20-30 minutes until the dough becomes more pliable.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F and line cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  • Place dough on a lightly floured board and roll to ¼” thick with a lightly floured rolling pin. Cut to desired shape with medium sized cookie cutters (2”-3”).
  • Place cut cookies on the lined cookie sheets and bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes. Cool on cooling rack, then dust with powdered sugar or decorate as desired.

Notes

Storage: Molasses cookies can be stored in an airtight container on the counter, for up to one week. If the cookies are stored in stacks or layers, try putting parchment or wax paper between the layers so that the cookies don’t stick to each other.

Nutrition

Serving: 1, Calories: 108kcal, Carbohydrates: 19g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 3g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 13mg, Sodium: 123mg, Sugar: 11g

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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.