Addictive Recipes from a Self-Taught Baker

Seriously Soft Molasses Cookies

Seriously soft and chewy molasses cookies will be your favorite Christmas cookie! So much delicious flavor in one easy cookie recipe. Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Here we go. Day 8 in Sally’s Cookie Palooza!

I saved one of my favorite cookies in the entire 10-cookie-recipe series for today. Molasses cookies have always been my top choice because they bring me right back to my childhood. I grew up helping my mom bake them, rolling the dough in the sugar, and biting into a warm and chewy cookie fresh from the oven. In addition to the nostalgia, their chewy and soft texture paired with the warm spices and cozy molasses puts them above any other cookie.

Sorry chocolate chip cookies. You don’t even compare.

Seriously soft and chewy molasses cookies will be your favorite Christmas cookie! So much delicious flavor in one easy cookie recipe. Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Since they’re a favorite, I have plenty gingersnappy/molasses cookie recipes on my website and in my cookbooks. Lots of variations: some with white chocolate chips, others with caramel, some with pistachios (in my newest cookbook), others fat and fluffy (check out those cuties!), and some extra crisp. Most stem from the same-ish recipe with the exception of the crisp variety. (Soooo crisp!)

By the way, if I had to chose, I would always reach for my mom’s recipe that lives in Sally’s Baking Addiction cookbook. Nothing compares to mom’s.

What Makes Today’s Recipe Different?

But we have a new recipe today. They’re chewier than all the rest with soft centers and mega crackly tops. I used my traditional soft molasses cookie recipe as a starting off point. My goal was to produce a flatter, more chewy cookie with the same amount of softness. I worked with the same ingredients, slightly altering the ratios.

Let’s watch how they’re made first:

Now let’s see how this recipe came to life. First, the flour. I reduced the flour considerably because a slightly flatter cookie was the goal. To avoid a super flat and overly greasy cookie, I increased the baking soda. Need that lift! Butter = same amount. Brown sugar = same amount. Brown sugar is what helps produce the softest molasses cookie ever. (It’s the first thing I changed when making my crisp variety.)

What else? Spices = same amount. Didn’t want to mess with perfection. This careful blend of ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves is exactly what every molasses cookie needs! Egg + vanilla = same and same.

With these changes, I found that my cookies were spreading just a little too much. So I worked with the molasses next. Too much liquid in a cookie dough will cause cookies to over-spread. I reduced the molasses by 1 Tablespoon, which solved the problem. 1/4 cup of molasses still provides the cookies with alllll that delicious molasses flavor you want in a Christmas cookie.

Soft molasses cookie dough on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Which Molasses?

There are varying intensities of molasses on store shelves from lighter molasses to blackstrap molasses. Go for a dark molasses, also sold as “robust” molasses. Blackstrap molasses can be quite intense; I don’t bake with it too much.

And I’m often asked which brands of molasses I like best. I’m not working with any of these companies, but I prefer either Grandma’s brand, Brer Rabbit brand, or Wholesome! brand. Wholesome’s organic molasses is super dark, so it will make your cookies a little darker. Look how dark it makes my spiced gingerbread loaf. As opposed to the same recipe as a cake made with Grandma’s brand. What a difference in color!

Molasses for soft molasses cookies on sallysbakingaddiction.com

(I always giggle at the cute grandma on the label!)

After the dough is made, chill it for about 1-2 hours. 1 hour is plenty and I find anything longer than 2 hours prevents the cookies from spreading enough in the oven. Roll into 1 Tablespoon size balls, then give a generous roll in granulated sugar.

For SPARKLE, of course. ‘Tis the season to sparkle!!!

Rolling molasses cookie dough into balls on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Soft molasses cookie dough on sallysbakingaddiction.com

The cookies will puff up as they bake then gently sink back down. This is what creates those familiar crinkles and crackles we love!

The cookies are SERIOUSLY SOFT right out of the oven, but guess what? They stay SERIOUSLY SOFT for days. Even by, like, day 5-6 they are still super seriously soft.

Seriously soft and chewy molasses cookies will be your favorite Christmas cookie! So much delicious flavor in one easy cookie recipe. Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Seriously soft and chewy molasses cookies will be your favorite Christmas cookie! So much delicious flavor in one easy cookie recipe. Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Seriously? Seriously. 🙂

See all cookie palooza recipes.

Seriously Soft Molasses Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 2 and 1/4 cups (280g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 and 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup (170g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3/4 cup (150g) packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) unsulphured or dark molasses
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup (67g) granulated or coarse sugar, for rolling

Directions:

  1. Whisk the flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and salt together until combined. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl using a hand-held or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and brown sugar together on high speed until creamy and combined, about 2 minutes. Add the molasses and beat until combined. Then add the egg and vanilla extract and beat until combined, about 1 minute. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.
  3. On low speed, slowly mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until combined. The cookie dough will be slightly sticky. Cover dough tightly with aluminum foil or plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour and up to 2-3 days.
  4. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. (Always recommended for cookies.) Set aside.
  5. Remove cookie dough from the refrigerator. If the cookie dough chilled longer than 2 hours, let it sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes. The cookies may not spread in the oven if the dough is that cold. Roll cookie dough, 1 Tablespoon each, into balls. Roll each in granulated sugar and arrange 3 inches apart on the baking sheets. Bake for 11-12 minutes or until edges appear set and tops are cracking.
  6. Remove from the oven and allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
  7. Cookies will stay fresh covered at room temperature for 1 week.

Make ahead tip: You can make the cookie dough and chill it in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days. Baked cookies freeze well for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature, if desired, before serving. Unbaked cookie dough balls (before rolling in sugar) will freeze well for up to 3 months. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes, pre-heat the oven, then roll in granulated sugar. Bake as directed. Click here for my tips and tricks on freezing cookie dough.

Recipe Notes:

Be sure to check out my top 5 cookie baking tips AND these are my 10 must-have cookie baking tools.

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© Sally’s Baking Addiction. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.

SHOP THE RECIPE

Here are some items I used to make today’s recipe.

KitchenAid Stand Mixer | Molasses | Silpat Baking Mat | Cookie Sheet | Cooling Rack | Cute Bowl

Some of the links above are affiliate links, which pay me a small commission for my referral at no extra cost to you! Thank you for supporting Sally’s Baking Addiction.

Seriously soft and chewy molasses cookies will be your favorite Christmas cookie! So much delicious flavor in one easy cookie recipe. Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

76 comments

  1. I just made these cookies and they are divine! Their consistency and texture reminds me of the vegan peanut butter cookies sold by Whole Foods bakery. Do you happen to have a peanut butter cookie recipe with the same chewy texture as these? I’ve tried to find something similar, but all the recipes I’ve tried end up too puffy and cake-like. Thanks for the wonderful recipe!

  2. Looks incredible! I hope I can edit these to be dairy free!

  3. I made the older version of your molasses cookies last week! I put a thin spread of cream cheese frosting on half the batch and sent them to work with my husband. At the office holiday party a few days later, half the staff came up to me and told me they were amazing! Ha! Not sure if cream cheese frosting is traditional, but we all thought it was pretty good 😉 Will try this newer recipe soon.

  4. I made these today and OOPS put the whole 2 sticks of butter in instead of 1.5. Still look and taste pretty good although they are more melt-in-your-mouth than chewy and the edges are slightly thinner. Looking forward to the results without the mistake! Thanks for the recipe. 

  5. Just made these cookies today.Sally,,your recipe didn’t disappoint. People that don’t even like ginger loved them.Great recipe!!!!

  6. Hi Sally,
    What is the best way you have found to freeze already baked cookies to keep for the holidays?
    Can’t wait to try the seriously soft molasses cookie recipe. Everything I have ever tried of yours has been fabulous!!

    Thank you,
    Mary

    • Hi Mary! I like freezing them piled onto a paper plate then tucked in a freezer-friendly ziplock bag. OR piled up in a large tupperware container.

  7. The recipe says to refrigerate for at least 1.5 hours and up to 3 days but in the post it says to refrigerate no more than 1 hour otherwise they won’t spread enough. You may want to make that change in the recipe… I forgot what the post said when I prepared the dough and refrigerated them over night Hopefully they still turn out.

  8. Can this recipe be used for gingerbread men (or women)? I used a different recipe last week and they are very hard!

  9. Love you recipes!  I tried making these and for some reason they’re still puffed and didn’t spread. I have no idea why…  They taste amazing though!

  10. Hi Sally! I just tried this recipe and it tastes delicious! Unfortunately, my cookies didn’t spread very much, and stayed quite puffed up. They don’t look nice and flat like yours do. I only refrigerated the dough for about 45 mins, didn’t let it stand before rolling and baking. Any ideas on what I need to do to get that nice flat spread cookie? Thank you!!

    • Hey Dawn! Try pressing the cookie dough balls down before baking. This “head start” will help encourage them to spread out while baking.

  11. I have a question (and am obviously not an experienced baker). I made these yesterday and they taste amazing! However, they are more cake like than cookie like. What did I do wrong? Too much flour, was my egg not quite at room temp . . . help! Thanks!

    • Hi Ryan! I know excess baking soda/powder can result in cakey-tasting cookies. But I’ve made these several times as written without that as the result! Did you use a large egg? Make sure you are not using an extra large or jumbo size egg. Also, did you overbake the cookies? Too much egg and overbaking can both produce a cakey tasting cookie.

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