These chewy, soft, molasses cookies are everything a molasses cookie recipe should be! The perfect fall treat. Crackled tops with a sugary crust. Perfectly spiced with all the flavors of fall and just the right amount of the sweet, warm, slightly smoky caramel flavors of molasses.
Growing up, these were always a favorite in our house. My Daddy went crazy for these chewy molasses cookies. Because they were his favorites we got these home-baked treats all year round! The best chocolate chip cookies can’t even compare!
I love how quick and easy these are to put together. They only take 15 minutes to mix up and 10 minutes or so, depending on your oven, to bake. In less than 30 minutes you can be eating one of the best cookies in the world! They’re perfect for last-minute guests, afterschool treats, school bake-offs, or church coffees!
Oh, and you know these are always included in my Thanksgiving dessert spread and Christmas cookie baking. My neighbors love them!
Let’s bake some old fashioned molasses cookies!
Soft Molasses Cookies Video Tutorial
On your phone? See web story here.
Important Ingredient Notes, Tips + Tricks
- Butter – I find that unsalted better yields the best cookies but butter-flavored shortening also works. Shortening usually yields thicker cookies, but you just can’t beat the flavor of butter!
- Flour – It’s important to measure your flour correctly. Please don’t simply scoop it out of the bag into the measuring cup. Using that method can lead to accidentally adding too much flour to the recipe, which of course, leads to dry baked goods! Use the “scoop and level method“.
- Sweetener – This recipe is sweetened by a combination of dark brown sugar and dark molasses. It should be unsulfured.
- Salt – Adding a little salt to this cookie enhances sweetness for deep rich caramel-like undertones. The sodium suppresses bitterness allowing sweet flavors
- Spices – A bold aromatic blend of ginger, cinnamon, allspice, and cloves gives these cookies a warm sweet holiday flavor.
- Coarse Sugar – These cookies are rolled in coarse sugar before you bake them. It gives them an irresistible holiday sparkle and a delicious crunch. If you don’t happen to have it on hand, feel free to roll them in granulated sugar.
- How Long Can You Keep This In The Fridge? These molasses spice cookies will keep for up to 3 weeks in the fridge.
- Can You Freeze This? Absolutely! Bake up a couple of batches and throw one of them in the freezer for a rainy day. You can also freeze the raw cookie dough. If you do that, you may want to toss them in sugar one more time before baking them. Baked homemade cookies can be stored in the freezer for 6-12 months while raw cookie dough can last up to 2 months.
- Make-Ahead Tips: You can always pre-measure the dry ingredients and have them ready to go. This recipe gives you moist brag-worthy cookies in less than half an hour, so they’re doable on a busy schedule even without a lot of prep. Of course, you can always go the freezer route so all you have to do is pull them out.
Step By Step How To Make Molasses Cookies
- In a medium bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and allspice and set aside.
- Beat the butter with an electric mixer for 2 minutes. Add the brown sugar, and 1/2 cup granulated sugar and beat until light and fluffy.
- Add egg, vanilla extract, and molasses. Beat until combined.
- Add dry ingredients and beat at low speed until just combined for about 30 seconds.
- Scoop out dough using a medium cookie scoop, roll into balls.
- Roll balls in sugar.
- Place on prepared sheets, spacing them 1 1/2 to 2 inches apart.
- Bake until the outer edges of the cookies begin to set and centers are soft and puffy (the inside of the cracks will still look raw), about 11 to 13 minutes.
What Does Adding Molasses To Cookies Do?
Molasses is, obviously, a key ingredient in these cookies. It gives them their signature flavor. It adds a sweet, warm, slightly smoky caramel flavor.
Because it’s a liquid, it helps to make these soft molasses cookies have a moist and chewier texture. And chewy is what it’s all about with these cookies!
Which Molasses Do I Use?
So, the different types of molasses available commercially vary in their intensity. Generally, it’s easy to find light molasses, dark molasses, and blackstrap molasses.
This recipe is best made with dark molasses. Light doesn’t add enough depth of flavor and blackstrap can add bitterness.
More Holiday Cookies Recipes
- Christmas Sugar Cookies
- Christmas Butter Cookies
- Chocolate Christmas Cookies
- Reindeer Cookies
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 3/4 cups (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter softened
- 1/2 cup dark brown sugar packed
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 egg large
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/3 cup dark unsulfured molasses
- 1/2 cup white sparkling sugar, or coarse sugar (for rolling)
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, mix together flour (2 1/4 cups), baking soda (2 teaspoons), salt (1/2 teaspoon), cinnamon (1 1/2 teaspoons), ginger (1 teaspoon), cloves (3/4 teaspoon), and allspice (1/4 teaspoon) and set aside.
- Beat the butter (3/4 cup) with an electric mixer for 2 minutes. Add the brown sugar (1/2 cups), and 1/2 cup granulated sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes with mixer set at medium speed. Add egg (1), vanilla extract(1 teaspoon), and molasses (1/3 cup). Beat until combined, about 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Add dry ingredients and beat at low speed until just combined for about 30 seconds.
- Place sparkling sugar (1/2 cup) in a shallow bowl. Scoop out dough using a medium cookie scoop, roll into balls. Roll balls in sugar and place on prepared sheets, spacing them 1 1/2 to 2 inches apart.
- Bake until the outer edges of the cookies begin to set and centers are soft and puffy (the inside of the cracks will still look raw), about 11 to 13 minutes. Don't overbake these cookies! Cool cookies on sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire racks. These cookies stay nicely chewy for a few days if kept in an airtight container.