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Soft and Chewy Molasses Cookies

These Soft and Chewy Molasses Cookies are the ultimate holiday cookie in our house. This is an easy recipe for irresistibly soft molasses cookies with just the right amount of sweetness and spice. Zero chilling required!

My Favorite Soft and Chewy Molasses Cookies

If you ask me for the perfect Christmas cookie recipe, I’ll tell you: Molasses cookies! Sure, they’re old-timey and more understated than a fancy, decorated Cut-Out Sugar Cookie. But there’s just something about biting into a deliciously spiced, soft, and chewy molasses cookie that gives me instant holiday cozy vibes.

My recipe for old-fashioned molasses cookies is soft and buttery, rolled in sugar for the perfect crunch. They’re a bit like my Chewy Gingerdoodles, only with a richer, more caramelized flavor thanks to the molasses. Add a touch of cinnamon and ginger to make them cozy, and you’ve got yourself a chewy, crunchy cookie that pairs perfectly with a cup of coffee or hot cocoa!

Molasses Cookies don’t get a lot of play year-round, but during the holidays they’re a classic. Trust me, these 100% deserve a spot on your cookie platter this year! 

What’s the Difference Between Molasses and Gingerbread Cookies?

If I had to describe molasses cookies to someone who hasn’t tried them, I’d say they’re a cross between a Snickerdoodle and a Gingerbread Cookie in the best way possible. These molasses cookies are flavored a bit like a gingerbread cookie, then rolled in sugar like a snickerdoodle before baking. Their crunchy, sugary exterior and soft, spiced insides are the best of both worlds.

The main difference between these molasses cookies and say, Gingersnap Cookies, is that they’re more of a chewy ginger cookie, while gingersnaps are generally thinner and crispier.

Chewy molasses cookies scattered on a plate.

What You’ll Need

Does anyone else randomly have a jar of molasses in the back of their pantry, leftover from a bygone recipe, that’s been there forever? How does this happen? It’s time to give that bad boy a new lease on life (though maybe check the expiration date just to be safe).

Let’s quickly go over the ingredients for these molasses cookies. Please refer to the recipe card for the full recipe details!

  • Butter and Sugar: Room temperature butter is easiest to mix, so you’ll want to take it out of the fridge about a half hour before you start. You’ll also need sugar. Since these cookies already come out extra moist and caramelized thanks to the molasses, I usually stick with regular white granulated sugar (vs. brown sugar). 
  • Egg: The egg helps to bind the ingredients and adds richness to the dough.
  • Molasses: Our star! Make sure that the jar of molasses in your pantry is the right one. I use dark molasses for its full-bodied flavor. See below for more details on the best kind of molasses to use when baking cookies.
  • Vanilla: You’ll want to use pure vanilla extract and not imitation for this cookie recipe. It does make a difference!
  • Baking Soda and Salt: Baking soda helps the cookies rise up while they bake, while salt balances the flavors and enhances the molasses and spice.
  • Spices: Ground cinnamon and ground ginger bring loads of warm spice to these cookies.
  • Flour: Regular all-purpose flour is just fine.

What’s the Best Molasses for Cookies?

So, technically there are three types of molasses out there, but only two of them are good for baking. Look for either light molasses or dark molasses. Dark molasses is most commonly used in baked goods, as it’s less sweet and yields a darker cookie with a stronger molasses flavor.

In case you’re wondering, the third option is bootstrap molasses. File this under “avoid”! This type has a very bitter taste and won’t come out great in cookies.

A stack of chewy molasses cookies with a bite missing from the top cookie.

How to Make Chewy Molasses Cookies

This molasses cookie recipe comes together quickly and tastes like a lazy Sunday afternoon under a blanket in front of a roaring fire. Because that’s totally a flavor. You get my drift though, right? Let’s bake some cozy molasses cookies:

  • Cream the Butter and Sugar: First, combine butter with 1 cup of sugar in your mixer and cream until smooth. Set aside the remaining sugar for now.
  • Combine the Ingredients: Next, you’ll add in the rest of the ingredients, apart from the flour. Give everything a good mix to combine. Lastly, switch the mixer to low speed while you add the flour. Be careful to not overmix.
  • Portion Out the Dough: Use a cookie scoop or your hands to portion out balls of cookie dough. Here’s where your reserved sugar from earlier comes in. Roll each dough ball in sugar to coat, then place the balls on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  • Bake: Bake the cookies at 350ºF for 9-10 minutes. The edges of the cookies should be set but the middles should still be slightly soft. After they’re out of the oven, you can move the cookies from the tray to a wire rack for cooling.

Can I Make the Cookie Dough Ahead?

Yes! I love the fact that I can prepare the molasses cookie dough in advance. It comes in especially handy during the holidays when my kitchen essentially turns into a cookie factory. 

Once your dough is mixed, simply wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and chill it in the fridge for 2-3 days, or until you’re ready to bake it.

You can also freeze the cookie dough for up to 3 months. Defrost the dough in the fridge and then bake. See below for tips on storing and freezing your baked molasses cookies!

Tips for Success

Below are some extra hints and tricks for making the best molasses cookies from scratch:

  • Why are my molasses cookies bitter? It could be that you used the wrong kind of molasses. While light and dark molasses are suitable for baking, Blackstrap molasses has a bitter, not-so-nice flavor. The cookies will still bake the same, but the flavor will be more bitter than expected. Make sure to check the labels!
  • Don’t overbake. Slightly underbaking your molasses cookies is what gives them that irresistibly soft and chewy mouthfeel. Cookies left in the oven for too long will dry out and become too crispy.
  • Brown sugar can be used in place of molasses. if you’re in a pickle, substitute 1 cup of molasses with 1.5 cups of brown sugar if needed.

How to Store Your Molasses Cookies

Store homemade molasses cookies in an airtight container for up to 3 days, when they’ll be at their freshest. For longer-term storage, consider freezing – it’s easy to do and the cookies freeze up well!

Can I Freeze Molasses Cookies?

These molasses cookies can be frozen for up to 1 month. Store them airtight in a freezer-safe container or resealable bag, and thaw the cookies in the fridge or on the countertop at room temperature. 

Print
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A stack of chewy molasses cookies with a bite missing from the top cookie.

Chewy Molasses Cookies

  • Author: Shelly
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 24 cookies 1x
  • Category: Cookies
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Dessert

Description

These Chewy Molasses Cookies are irresistibly soft with just the right amount of sweetness and spice. Perfect for holiday baking, and you don’t even need to chill the dough!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 3/4 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar, divided
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 1/4 cups flour

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment mix the butter and 1 cup of the sugar together on medium speed for 2 minutes, place the additional sugar in a small bowl for later.
  3. Add in the egg, molasses, vanilla, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and ginger and mix for an additional minute, until combined and smooth, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary.
  4. Turn the mixer to low and add in the flour, mixing until just combined.
  5. Using a medium cookie scoop (2 tablespoons) portion out the dough and roll it into balls. Roll the dough ball into the reserved sugar and place it on the prepared baking sheet 2- inches apart.
  6. Bake for 9-10 minutes, until the edges are set.
  7. Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

Notes

  • Store airtight for up to 3 days for best freshness.
  • These cookies freeze nicely when stored airtight for up to a month. You can also freeze the dough prior to baking.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 cookie
  • Calories: 148
  • Sugar: 13.1 g
  • Sodium: 106.3 mg
  • Fat: 6.1 g
  • Carbohydrates: 22.1 g
  • Protein: 1.5 g
  • Cholesterol: 23 mg

Keywords: ginger molasses cookies, soft molasses cookies, christmas cookies

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3 comments on “Soft and Chewy Molasses Cookies”

  1. I don’t have a stand mixer – just a regular hand held mixer with 2 beaters. Can I still do this? Sorry – novis baker here.

  2. These look so cozy and delicious! Is this recipe in the cookbook? I feel like I saw it in mine…

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