Old-fashioned Molasses Cookies are packed with nostalgic flavor and warm aromatic spices. The soft ginger molasses cookies are perfect for the holiday season, they are a favorite on cookie trays, plus they store well.

If this molasses cookie recipe gets you feeling festive, try some of our other classic cookie recipes: Ranger Cookies, Lofthouse Style Sugar Cookies, M&M Cookies, Classic Spritz Cookies, or my favorite, Russian Tea Cakes.

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cookies on a tray, one has a bite missing

Why Molasses Cookies Are Classic Comfort Cookies!

We think you’re going to love this molasses cookie recipe as much as we do! The sweetly spiced cookie is quick and easy to make. It’s no wonder they’ve become a holiday tradition in our house. I hope they will be in your home, too!

  • Chewy cake-like centers
  • Cracklely top and crispy edges
  • Ginger-forward deliciousness
  • Nostalgia in every bite
  • Easy make-ahead recipe
  • Great for gifting
ingredients for molasses cookies on a counter

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What’s In Old Fashioned Molasses Cookies

Can you believe it? Molasses cookies can be traced back over 200 years in America when baking staples were limited to the areas people lived. I’m a big believer that “old-fashioned” flavor is equal to how it tasted when you were little! I know how wonderful it is to close your eyes and savor that first bite of soft and chewy “old-fashioned” molasses cookie!

For specific amounts, please refer to the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post.

  • The Dry Ingredients & Spices: All-Purpose Flour spooned and leveled, fresh Baking Soda, Salt, Ground Ginger, Cinnamon, Ground Nutmeg, and Allspice.
  • Creamed Ingredients: Softened Butter, packed Light Brown Sugar, and Granulated Sugar.
  • The Wet Ingredients: Eggs, Vanilla Extract, and Molasses – I use Grandma’s Original Unsulphured Molasses for this holiday cookie recipe.

Just grab an electric mixer, mixing bowls, parchment paper, baking sheets, a cookie scoop, and cooling rack. (For some of us, keep a tissue on hand!) And take a trip down memory lane making soft and chewy molasses cookies!

When you are cooking, you’ll want to use the full recipe at the bottom of the page.

  1. Cream the sugars and the butter, then add the wet ingredients and mix well. 
  2. Add whisked dry ingredients to the butter mixture until just combined and chill for about an hour.
  3. Use a cookie scoop to make molasses cookie dough into balls; roll them in the extra sugar before placing them onto a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  4. Bake until cracked on top and let the cookies cool on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack.
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pile of crackle cookies

Tips For The Best Soft & Chewy Molasses Cookies

  • To make perfect molasses cookies or any other cookie recipe, weigh the flour on a kitchen scale. This old-fashioned molasses cookie takes 2 cups of all-purpose flour which is 240gm. 
  • Make sure all of your ingredients are at room temperature, especially the eggs and butter
  • When your kitchen is warm and cozy, work with only half of the molasses cookie dough at a time; leave the other half in the fridge until you’re ready. 
  • When you leave the dough in the fridge for more than an hour, let it sit at room temperature for a bit before rolling.
  • Wet your hands to keep the dough from sticking to your hands when rolling. (I usually stop to wet mine about every 5-6 cookies)
  • Don’t overbake. The molasses cookies will be lightly crisped at the edges, pillowy soft, and gratifyingly chewy.
a stack of 4 molasses cookies
What is the difference between ginger cookies, gingerbread cookies, and molasses cookies?

One of the main differences is a cookie dough ball versus a rolled cutout. A molasses or soft ginger cookie is usually a soft, chewy version of a ginger-forward, crispy snap cookie. A gingerbread cookie, even though a cutout, can have a nice bendy texture or a drier shortbread-type texture.

What does molasses do in molasses cookies?

Molasses is the prime ingredient that provides that old-fashioned flavor essence, combined with brown sugar, adding sweet moisture to this soft, chewy cookie. Secondly, molasses justifies the name of the cookie. 🙂

What is the difference between unsulphured and regular molasses?

The ripeness of the sugar cane and how it is processed. When sugar cane is harvested and processed before it is ripe, it is treated with sulfur dioxide as a preservative. Unsulphured molasses is from harvesting ripe sugar cane. In both cases, the cane is crushed, and the juice is extracted and then boiled.

Can I use blackstrap molasses in this cookie recipe?

Technically you can, but you would probably need to make other alterations to the recipe. Blackstrap molasses is the darkest and most bitter type of molasses. This cookie recipe is best with unsulphered molasses. It’s light and the sweetest type of molasses, making it ideal for baking desserts and cookies.

Why did my molasses cookies not spread?

Did you scoop your flour out with the measuring cup? Too much flour is the usual suspect. It is important to spoon (not scoop) flour into a measuring cup, then run the knife over the flour to level it off. Better yet, use a kitchen scale. (1 cup of all-purpose flour is 120gms) 

How long does molasses keep?

According to this article about molasses, there is not a great need to worry about preserving molasses; even unsulphured molasses lasts for several years in the pantry. Any off-odors, discolored patches, or crystallization means it’s no longer good and should be discarded.

cookies in a tin with a white napkin

Storing Soft, Chewy Molasses Cookies

Refrigerate

No need to refrigerate baked molasses cookies or your soft and chewy creations will dry out! You can keep molasses cookie dough refrigerated for up to three days before baking.

Storing

Ginger molasses cookies can be kept on the counter in an airtight container. You can put a slice of bread in with the cookies to absorb moisture and help keep them soft for up to two weeks (if they last that long).

Freeze

Baked Cookies: If you decide to freeze your baked molasses cookies for later, freeze them on a cookie sheet, then layer cookies with parchment in a freezer-safe container.

Cookie Dough: Flash-freeze molasses cookie dough balls and place them in an airtight container for up to three months. Pull what you want to make, let cookie balls thaw overnight, and then bake.

overhead shot of molasses cookies on a tray
  • For a deeper molasses flavor and a less sweet cookie, you can use dark molasses. Some families have used blackstrap molasses for generations and would miss the nuanced salty, somewhat bitter notes in their molasses cookie. No judgment here!
  • Feel free to play around with the spice ratios; if one isn’t quite your favorite, omit it.
  • When headed to a cookie party or get-together, throw in a little orange zest to kick the ginger molasses cookie recipe up a notch and add a surprise dimension.
  • Turn your pillowy cake-like molasses cookie into a holiday whoopie pie with a complementing frosting: Browned Butter, Eggnog Buttercream, or Cinnamon Buttercream.
  • Old-fashioned molasses cookies are delicious on a cookie tray as is. They can be easily dressed up by drizzling or dipping in white chocolate!

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close up of a stack of cookies
cookies on a tray, one has a bite missing

Soft and Chewy Molasses Cookies

Yield: 36 cookies
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Chill Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes

Old-fashioned Molasses Cookies are packed with nostalgic flavor and warm aromatic spices. The soft and chewy sweetly spiced cookies are perfect for the holiday season, they are a favorite on cookie trays, plus they store well.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon ground allspice
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ⅓ cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar ( plus ½ cup for rolling)
  • 1/4 cup unsulphured molasses
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. In a large mixing bowl, add the flour, baking soda, and spices. Whisk together until fully combined and set aside.  
  2. In a separate mixing bowl, using an electric mixer on medium-high cream the butter and both sugars together until creamy and combined (about 2 minutes). 
  3. Add the molasses, vanilla extract, and eggs and beat on medium-low until well combined. 
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and mix until just combined. Do not over-mix. 
  5. Cover the mixing bowl with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least one hour(or up to 3 days) until the dough is chilled. 
  6. Preheat the oven to 375ºF and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 
  7. Scoop out 1 tablespoon of dough using a cookie scoop and roll into balls. Roll each ball in the extra white sugar before placing 2-3 inches apart on prepared pan.
  8. Bake until cracked on top, about 8-10 minutes. Allow the cookies to cool on the pan for 5 minutes then transfer them to a wire rack. Share and enjoy!

Notes

If you leave the dough in the fridge for more than an hour, let it sit at room temperature before rolling.

Wet your hands to keep the dough from sticking to your hands when rolling. (I stop to wet mine about every 5-6 cookies)

Storage

No need to refrigerate baked molasses cookies or your soft and chewy creations will dry out! You can keep molasses cookie dough refrigerated for up to three days before baking.

Ginger molasses cookies can be kept on the counter in an airtight container. You can put a slice of bread in with the cookies to absorb moisture and help keep them soft for up to two weeks (if they last that long).

Freeze

Baked Cookies: If you decide to freeze your baked molasses cookies for later, freeze them on a cookie sheet, then layer cookies with parchment in a freezer-safe container.

Cookie Dough: Flash-freeze molasses cookie dough balls and place them in an airtight container for up to three months. Pull what you want to make, let cookie balls thaw overnight, and then bake.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 36 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 77Total Fat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 15mgSodium: 70mgCarbohydrates: 14gFiber: 0gSugar: 8gProtein: 1g

Nutrition information is estimated based on the ingredients and cooking instructions as described in each recipe and is intended to be used for informational purposes only. Please note that nutrition details may vary based on methods of preparation, origin, and freshness of ingredients used and are just estimates. We encourage, especially if these numbers are important to you, to calculate these on your own for most accurate results.

molasses cookies, one with a bite taken.