These Soft & Chewy Molasses Cookies are a year-round classic that deserve special attention at Christmas time. Mildly spiced, richly flavored from the molasses and brown sugar, and generously sprinkled with granulated sugar for a touch of sparkle, this classic molasses cookie recipe belongs in your dessert arsenal.
I have always loved any type of gingery, molasses-y cookie. Whether it's crispy gingersnaps, soft & chewy gingerbread men cookies, or oversized Joe Froggers, these warmly spiced robust molasses-based cookie recipes just speak to me and always have.
They are just as delicious in the summer as they are in winter.
Keep scrolling to the bottom of this post for info on a KitchenAid giveaway I'm currently doing with some blogging friends. But in the meantime, enjoy the pictures and this post. And go make some cookies!
When our oldest daughter was born, I remember making molasses cookies in the kitchen of her birth family's home.
Paul and I got to go to Texas to meet Clara's birthmom about a month and a half before Clara was born, and then I spent almost a month there waiting for her to arrive.
We thought labor was imminent so I flew out and then she decided to be overdue and breech. (Those sorts of things never do go as planned, do they?).
And then we had to wait for ICPC clearance to leave the state after her birth. ICPC is an adoption thing where paperwork has to clear before you can transport a child across state lines in an adoption situation - the link is worth a read if you or anyone you know is considering out-of-state adoption.
Most of that time was spent with her birth family, who took us in and showed us love the likes of which will forever be imprinted on my heart.
From the very beginning, they felt like family, and we consider them as much. We fed their chickens and milked goats, went shopping, and built a relationship not just with Clara's birthmom, but with her parents and siblings that we cherish.
And like always for me, many of my memories of that time are tied to the foods we shared.
Chicken enchiladas, chocolate chip cookie pie, homemade wheat bread, ice cream made with milk from their goats, and molasses cookies are all things I know we ate and enjoyed at their Texas house where we spent one night just days after Clara's birth hunkered down in a central hallway together, waiting for a tornado to pass and listening to weather updates while all admiring the tiny newborn that had united us in ways none of us could have quite anticipated.
I can't remember specifically which visit it was - the first or the second - that we made molasses cookies, but I know we made them in their kitchen and they tasted like home.
These old fashioned soft molasses cookies always taste like home, even if you didn't grow up with them. It's one of the magic things about them.
What do molasses cookies taste like?
I like my molasses cookies soft and sugary. So not only do I roll them in sugar before baking, but then I underbake them intentionally so they stay super soft and sprinkle the crinkly tops with extra granulated sugar so they sparkle and have an extra sweet crunch when you bite into them.
The flavor of these soft molasses ginger cookies comes from a combination of ground cinnamon and ginger, as well as the rich, full flavor of molasses of course.
I use dark molasses, not light or blackstrap molasses, for these old fashioned soft molasses cookies.
How to Make Soft & Chewy Molasses Cookies
These cookies are so basic that most of you bakers out there will hardly need these steps, but I'm going to give them anyway because it just shows how simple and easy these soft and chewy molasses cookies are to make, especially using a stand mixer like my trusty KitchenAid.
- Beat the butter until light and creamy (oh a minute or so) using the paddle attachment on your stand mixer. Then add the brown sugar and beat again until fluffy and light.
- Beat in the molasses, egg, and vanilla until combined.
- Add the flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and salt, mixing until combined and scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed to make sure it mixes up evenly.
- Chill the dough for an hour (or more - it really does help since the molasses makes this a very soft dough), then roll it into small balls and roll those in granulated sugar.
- Bake just until the cookies are just starting to crack on top and are barely done and evenly looking slightly wet and underdone coming out of the oven. If they look totally done, they are for sure going to harden up as they cool and that's not what we're going for with these SOFT and CHEWY molasses cookies!
- Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool after a minute or two and sprinkle them with a little extra granulated sugar.
These soft and chewy molasses cookies are perfection with a cup of cold milk (kids, take note for Santa this year).
Or sandwich two of them with ice cream between them (a scoop of strawberry ice cream between two molasses cookies is incredible although basically any flavor is amazing with them) or use eggnog buttercream frosting for an out of this world super soft sandwich cookie that practically grabs you by the shoulders and screams CHRISTMAS!!! at you.
More Classic Christmas Cookies Recipes (Because You Can Never Have Enough!)
- Mexican Wedding Cookies
- Peanut Butter Blossoms
- Double Chocolate Crinkle Cookies
- Toffee Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Christmas Pinwheel Cookies
- Hazelnut Lingonberry Linzer Cookies
- Chocolate Peppermint Blossoms
- Double Chocolate Crinkle Cookies
Did you make this recipe?
Let me know what you thought with a comment and rating below. You can also take a picture and tag me on Instagram @houseofnasheats or share it on the Pinterest pin so I can see.
Soft and Chewy Molasses Cookies
- 1 cup butter room temperature
- ¾ cup brown sugar packed
- ⅓ cup dark molasses
- 1 egg room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
- 1 ½ teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon cloves
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup granulated sugar for rolling
- In the large bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter on medium-high speed for 1 minute until creamy. Add the brown sugar and beat until light and fluffy.
- Add the molasses, egg, and vanilla and beat well, scraping the sides of the bowl.
- Whisk the flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon and salt together in a bowl, then add to the butter and molasses mixture on low speed, mixing until combined. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and chill for at least 1 hour, or up to 3 days.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Roll the dough into balls, about 1 ½-inch in diameter, then roll in the extra sugar and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes, just until the cookies begin to crack slightly on top. Remove from oven and cool completely on wire racks. Sprinkle with additional granulated sugar for extra sparkle, if desired.
Reader questions and reviews
WOW, it seems like ages since we first hosted you here at “the farm.” Those memories are precious. Who would have guessed that waiting for a newborn would expand our family by much more than just one. Blessed to know you and yours, Amy!
It does seem like ages! We were so glad to be back visiting you guys this time last year and are missing you and were just talking about all of you last night. Love to all our Texas family!
For me, the big trick is to not overmix the cookie dough after adding the flour/spice mixture. If I do then the gluten formation means to cracks in the finished cookies. So I try to do this until it's all just come together and then handle the dough as little as possible.
These cookies are also good if you pour a teensy bit of spiced rum on the underside, if serving to adults. Also, don't be scared to experiment with other spices. One of my favorite cookie recipes.
Those are great tips! Thanks, Bernard!
One of my all time favorite cookies!
Do you used dark or light brown sugar?
I've used both and feel like there isn't much of a difference in this particular recipe, given the molasses content that is already being added.
Yum! I’ve only baked one cookie so far. Couldn’t wait for the dough to get cold first. Excellent recipe. I’m going to put a dab of jelly in the middle. Make a well with Your thumb and put 1/2 teaspoon of jelly before baking. Many years ago my elderly aunts would make them that way.
I am so disappointed but my cookies came out flat. Not sure why. I followed the directions exactly and chilled the dough overnight. Not sure if I can do anything to salvage the rest of the batch. Good flavor but not what I wanted. Any suggestions is appreciated.
If they are coming out flat and you chilled the dough, it sounds like there isn't enough flour. You can add in a few tablespoons of flour to give them more structure and that should help!
These are delicious! Although none were not as flat and chewy they were soft and thicker and so good! Wouldn’t mind if they came out this way again, but am curious what I did if any baker knows 🙂 will absolutely make again!
That sounds like a possible difference in measuring. A little additional flour or a little less liquid could cause a result like that. So glad you enjoyed them!