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

102 Comments

Comments

  1. Meredith on December 9, 2017 at 3:11 pm

    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!

    • Sally on December 10, 2017 at 9:39 am

      Hi Meredith! These peanut butter cookies are pretty dense and chewy. I think they’re what you’re looking for!

  2. Alice on December 10, 2017 at 2:52 am

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

    • Lauren on January 1, 2018 at 2:52 am

      I made them dairy free and then turned out puffy and cake textured. Just so you know 🙂

  3. Sarah on December 10, 2017 at 3:18 pm

    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.

    • Sally on December 10, 2017 at 6:36 pm

      I love cream cheese frosting and gingerbread/molasses!

  4. Samo on December 10, 2017 at 7:16 pm

    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. Beth Frantz on December 10, 2017 at 7:56 pm

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

  6. Mary C Crabtree on December 10, 2017 at 8:15 pm

    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

    • Sally on December 11, 2017 at 10:55 am

      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. Kirstin Willick on December 12, 2017 at 6:48 am

    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.

    • Sally on December 12, 2017 at 6:51 am

      Thanks Kirstin! Let it sit at room temperature for 20 minutes before rolling/baking in step 5.

      • Kirstin Willick on December 12, 2017 at 6:54 am

        Thank you, Sally! I figured that might be the trick! I’m a morning baker and was just about to bake some before work so I really appreciate your prompt reply. Hope your holiday season is “treat”ing you well



      • Sally on December 12, 2017 at 7:08 am

        Glad I could help!



  8. Patricia A Thommarson on December 12, 2017 at 2:22 pm

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

    • Sally on December 12, 2017 at 3:00 pm

      This dough isn’t ideal for rolling out and cutting into shapes. I’m not sure if you tried this gingerbread men recipe, but it’s my favorite!

  9. Elena C on December 12, 2017 at 9:24 pm

    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. Dawn on December 13, 2017 at 9:55 pm

    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!!

    • Sally on December 14, 2017 at 10:02 am

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

  11. Ryan on December 14, 2017 at 8:38 am

    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!

    • Sally on December 14, 2017 at 9:57 am

      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.

  12. Christine on December 15, 2017 at 9:42 pm

    I’m making these for a holiday party tomorrow. Your recipes never let me down. Thanks Sally!

  13. Denise on December 16, 2017 at 12:37 pm

    Yummy!

  14. Gail on December 16, 2017 at 4:43 pm

    My cookies spread out, but didn’t crackle. I did use an egg from one of my own chickens and it may have been too large.

  15. Karen Armstrong on December 16, 2017 at 9:24 pm

    My cookies turned out flat and not a bit puffed up. Followed recipe to a t. What could my problem be?

  16. katzcradul on December 17, 2017 at 12:05 am

    I made these today and understand all the “puffy” comments. Pressing down will help but I’m also going to reduce the baking soda by 1/2 teaspoon next time. One teaspoon is plenty for this small abount of dough. I also add 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper and a couple of pinches of cayenne pepper. We had them with my apricot cider. Delicious!

  17. Dee on December 17, 2017 at 12:05 pm

    Hi Sally,
    Did you use fancy or black strap molasses for your cookies?

    • Sally on December 17, 2017 at 1:00 pm

      I don’t– I use a dark variety, but not as dark as blackstrap. That’s very strong, but you can absolutely use it if you prefer its flavor.

  18. Sarah on December 18, 2017 at 8:30 am

    Similar to one or two others mine spread but didn’t crack so not sure the texture was right, though they tasted great =]  Any thoughts on what I might have done wrong are much appreciated – I’m planning to make some more for family ahead of Christmas.

  19. Sonya on December 18, 2017 at 4:14 pm

    About to pull the last batch out of the oven..These are crazy good and oh so soft 😀 Loved everything about these and will be making them again without a doubt!

  20. Jenna on December 18, 2017 at 9:12 pm

    These cookies were fantastic and easy! Every recipe I’ve tried on your website has been great (especially the pumpkin pie and pecan pie recipes for Thanksgiving). Your website has become my go-to for baked goods. Thanks!

  21. Laura on December 20, 2017 at 4:26 pm

    This recipe just won me first place in my company’s Christmas cookie bake off! Thanks for a great recipe!

  22. Jenny from jennyisbaking.com on December 21, 2017 at 4:27 am

    If you are still unsure whether to bake them or not: do it! So delicious! 

    And for all people like me who don’t understand why liquids are given in volume and not weight: 60 milliliters of molasses are about 90 grams. You are welcome, just pour the molasses straight into the bowl and don’t scrape it out of your measuring cup, so horrible!

    And lastly, I always reduce the amount of sugar. I made this recipe with only 80 grams of brown sugar and it was still very sweet due to the molasses. Cookies came out perfectly!

  23. Samantha Maxwell on December 21, 2017 at 9:57 am

    The dough was delicious but the cooked cookies came out without as much spice intensity as we hoped for, maybe we’ll up the spices by half next time.

  24. Amy Grossman on December 22, 2017 at 2:36 am

    Hi Dally, I made these thus evening. They are delicious but mine came out s bit dry and the bottoms were a little bit on the dark side. I was going to gift then but, I think we will keep this batch and I’ll try to make them again tomorrow and perfect them. I am reading the previous comments and trying to figure out what I did incorrect. I just figured out I have jumbo eggs, not large. Do you think this was the culprit? 

    Merry Christmas! 

    • Sally on December 22, 2017 at 9:56 am

      The egg size could have everything to do with it. Make sure you are spooning and leveling the flour– don’t pack that flour in. 🙂 What type of molasses are you using? And over-baking could also dry them out, which may be the reason yours are so dark?

  25. Kemorie on December 26, 2017 at 9:20 pm

    Hi Sally,

    I tried these today but I used blackstrap molasses. It was just too intense. Unfortunately, I had to throw them out. I will be heading to the store to buy the dark molasses. Thank you for your recipes. They are certainly tried and true. I used your 50 cookies post and I baked my first set of christmas cookies this year. I am more of a cake/cupcake person. All the cookies were great!

  26. Danica in Seattle on December 27, 2017 at 10:22 am

    Thanks for the wonderful recipe Sally! I think I overbaked and didn’t have the crackle! Still very delicious. My niece and nephew devoured them all and requested I bake more. 

  27. Kyoko Hall on December 30, 2017 at 2:17 pm

    Sally, these are so delicious. I have already made this recipe THREE times during the Christmas season. I keep bringing it to all the holiday parties- it’s truly a show stopper! It is SO soft, and the perfect amount of sweetness. By the way, I also discovered that it’s perfect as an ice cream cookie sandwich 😉 Thank you for this amazing recipe!

  28. Hannah H. on December 30, 2017 at 5:22 pm

    These are addicting! I’ve made three batches since you posted them!

  29. Karen on January 3, 2018 at 8:28 pm

    My husband really wants raisins in the cookie. How much should I add and do I need to modify the recipe at all ? Love all your recipes.

    • Sally on January 4, 2018 at 6:45 am

      No need to alter the recipe, just add about 1 cup of raisins to the dough.

  30. kristène Dens on January 25, 2018 at 2:45 pm

    bonjour sally , je vis au Canada a Montreal ça fait deux mois que j’ai découvert ton site et je suis trés ravi car, j’aime vraiment tout ce que tu fais .
    j’ai un problème , je ne sais pas si tu peut aider. j’arrive pas à réussir ces biscuits mélasse , je les ai repris 3 fois sans succès . le mien ne s’aplatit pas j’ai des boules au lieu de biscuit , c’est comme des gâteaux rond. Ce sont mes premiers biscuit j’arrive plus a essayer d’autres. Stp aide moi.

    Merci

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