These Molasses Cookies have a soft and chewy center with slightly crisp edges. Perfectly spiced and incredibly easy to make too!

A round baking pan filled with molasses cookies surrounded by rustic Christmas decorations.

Last week I shared two of my favorite Christmas cookie recipes with you, my cut out sugar cookie recipe and chocolate crinkle cookies. With Christmas just a little over a week away, I wanted to share one more delicious cookie recipe – these soft molasses cookies.

One of the things that I love about this cookie recipe is that it’s perfectly spiced. You can taste the molasses and spices in every bite, but they’re not too overpowering. Another great thing about these cookies is that they stay incredibly soft for days. 

I actually made a batch of these cookies to bring to Thanksgiving a couple of years ago and everyone went crazy for them. I guarantee your family will love them too!

The ingredients needed to make cookies laid out in bowls on top of a rustic gray surface.

Ingredients For This Recipe

These cookies use most of your typical ingredients with some molasses and spices added for flavor. Here’s what you will be using to make these ginger molasses cookies:

  • All-purpose flour: The base of any good cookie dough requires some flour. Just be sure that you spoon and level your flour so that the cookies spread as they bake in the oven.
  • Baking Soda & Salt: The baking soda reacts with the brown sugar and molasses to provide some lift and the salt enhances the flavors.
  • Spices: I used a mix of ground ginger, ground cinnamon, and ground cloves. You can taste the spices, but they’re not too overpowering.
  • Butter:  I use unsalted butter in these cookies to control the amount of salt in this recipe. If you only have salted butter then either skip the salt or add a tiny pinch. 
  • Brown Sugar: I prefer to use a mix of brown sugar and granulated sugar in most of my cookies, but for these cookies, I only use brown sugar in the dough. It pairs perfectly with the molasses!
  • Egg & Vanilla: The egg helps bind the dough together and the vanilla adds flavor.
  • Molasses: You will be using 1/4 cup of molasses in these cookies. I recommend using an unsulphured molasses like Grandma’s Original Molasses. You can use any leftover molasses in my gingerbread pancakes or add a tablespoon to my oatmeal raisin cookies for more flavor.

How To Make Molasses Cookies

These cookies are as easy as mixing up the dough, chilling it, and baking it. Here’s a simple breakdown for how to make this molasses cookie recipe:

  • Make the cookie dough: To make the dough, start by whisking together your dry ingredients. Next, beat the butter and brown sugar together until well combined, then mix in your egg, molasses, and pure vanilla extract. Once the wet ingredients are thoroughly mixed together toss in the dry ingredients and mix them together until just combined.
  • Chill the dough: I try to skip chilling cookie dough whenever possible, but it’s necessary for this recipe. The minimum amount of time that this dough needs to chill is 1 hour, but feel free to chill it longer if you prefer.
  • Scoop & roll the dough in sugar: I prefer to use a 1 tablespoon cookie scoop because it’s the perfect size for these cookies. I also love to roll each ball of dough in some granulated sugar because it adds a nice crunch to the cookies.
  • Bake: These cookies only need 8 to 10 minutes in the oven. For super soft cookies, only bake them until the tops are set and start to crack.
  • Cool & enjoy: I prefer to let my cookies cool on the baking sheet for about 5 to 10 minutes, this will give them time to continue setting up and make them easier to handle. Once they’re cool enough, transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely. 

Easy peasy, right? If you prefer to make the dough ahead of time see my notes in the recipe card.

A close up image of a ginger molasses cookie.

Recipe Variations

One thing that I love about this recipe is that it’s extremely versatile! While the cookies are delicious on their own, here a few ways that you can change them up:

  • Add chocolate chips: I recommend using about 1 cup. White chocolate chips would be fantastic in these cookies!
  • Dip the cookies in some white chocolate: Melt 8 to 12 ounces of white chocolate, then dip half of each cookie in the chocolate. Feel free to add some sprinkles on top too.
  • Add more spices: The amount of spices in this cookie recipe is just right, however, if you prefer more spices feel free to increase the amount of ground cinnamon and ginger.
  • Add some frosting: You can top each cookie with some buttercream frosting or cream cheese frosting or use either frosting to make cookie sandwiches.

A stack of molasses cookies with the top one having a bite taken out.

Baking Tips

  • You’ll know the cookies are finished baking once the edges are set and they start to crack on top. I measure out 1 tablespoon of cookie dough per cookie, they usually take about 8 to 10 minutes in my oven.
  • Want crispier cookies? Add a few extra minutes to the baking time and let them cool longer on the baking sheets.
  • To keep your cookies soft, store them in an airtight container with a slice of bread.
  • To prepare the dough ahead of time: Cover the cookie dough tightly and chill it in the refrigerator for up to three days. When you are ready to bake the cookies, scoop the dough, roll in granulated sugar, and bake. If the dough is too firm to scoop, let it sit at room temperature for 20 to 30 minutes and try again.

More Easy Cookie Recipes To Try!

A baking pan lined with parchment paper and filled with soft molasses cookies.

Soft Molasses Cookies

4.91 from 10 ratings
Prep Time: 25 mins
Cook Time: 10 mins
Chilling Time: 1 hr
Total Time: 1 hr 35 mins
These Molasses Cookies have a soft and chewy center with slightly crisp edges. Perfectly spiced and incredibly easy to make too!

Ingredients

Servings: 4 dozen cookies
  • 2 and 1/4 cups (285 grams) all-purpose flour (spooned & leveled)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup (170 grams) unsalted butter softened
  • 1 cup (200 grams) light or dark brown sugar lightly packed
  • 1 large egg room temperature
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) unsulphured molasses
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar optional

Instructions
 

  • In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and salt until well combined. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large mixing bowl using a handheld mixer, beat the butter and brown sugar together for 1 to 2 minutes or until well combined. Add the egg, molasses, and vanilla extract and mix until fully combined, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  • Mix in the dry ingredients until just combined.
  • Cover tightly and refrigerate for at least one hour.
  • Once the dough is almost chilled, preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Line large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats and set aside. 
  • Remove the dough from the refrigerator and using a tablespoon cookie scoop or measuring spoon, scoop out tablespoon-sized balls of cookie dough onto the prepared baking sheets. Roll into balls and roll in the granulated sugar, then place back onto the prepared baking sheets.
  • Bake for 8 to 11 minutes or until the tops of the cookies are set and begin to crack. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the baking sheets for 5 to 10 minutes, then carefully transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

Notes

Storage Instructions: Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one week.
Freezing Instructions: Cookie dough balls may be frozen for up to 3 months. Roll in sugar right before baking and bake from frozen for an additional 1 to 2 minutes. Baked cookies will also freeze well for up to 3 months, thaw to room temperature before serving.
Butter: If you only have salted butter on hand, you can omit the salt in this recipe or just add a tiny pinch.
Egg: A room temperature egg is best so that it mixes evenly into your cookie dough. To bring your egg to room temperature quickly, place it in a bowl of warm water for 5 to 10 minutes.
Molasses: Be sure to use an unsulphured molasses in these cookies. I prefer to use Grandma's Original Molasses.
Cuisine: American
Course: Dessert
Author: Danielle
Did you make this recipe?Mention @livewellbakeoften on Instagram or tag #livewellbakeoften.