Caramel Molasses Cookies

Soft-baked molasses crinkle cookies with a generous drizzle of caramel on top. A flavor-packed, spiced holiday cookie!

stack of molasses cookies with caramel drizzled on top

I’m combining two of my favorite things today.

You’re probably thinking “Sally has a lot of favorite things” – yes, you’re right. I have a heart full of love for The Big Bang Theory and my pajamas; and my tastebuds are all about peanut butter, mint chocolate, sprinkles, margaritas, and more sprinkles.

And of course, molasses and caramel.

molasses cookies with caramel drizzled on top

Today’s recipe is a fancy version of my Soft Gingersnap Molasses Cookies. Have you made them yet? They’re nothing at all like the hard, crunchy gingersnaps you are used to. They’re soft, chewy, and melt-in-your-mouth amazing.

Little “molasses pillows” as I like to call them.

With the holidays around the corner, I wanted a jazzy new molasses cookie to share with you. One that will have you craving molasses all year long! And folks, today’s cookies really couldn’t be easier. They may look complicated, but they’re actually pretty simple (and fun!) to make.

molasses cookies with caramel drizzled on top on a white plate with a bite taken out of one cookie

You’re going to take my original gingersnap molasses cookie and make 4 slight changes:

  • Chill the dough for less time (quicker cookies = good)
  • Roll the cookies to be larger (bigger cookies = good)
  • Press down on the cookies to create a crinkly top (pretty cookies = good)
  • Showered them with caramel (caramel= always good)

So, first things first. Cookie dough chilling is quite important depending on your cookie dough. Some of my cookie recipes require chilling, while others do not. The dependent factor is the consistency of the cookie dough after it’s been mixed. I decide to chill cookie dough if it feels too soft. Not only that, chilling cookie dough allows the cookie dough flavors to adhere together and become one. Sort of like how banana bread tastes better the next day, a cookie dough’s flavor is enhanced when you’re chilling it overtime. Chilling cookie dough also produces thicker cookies. Cold dough = thicker cookies.

For today’s cookies, I chilled the cookie dough for 1 hour. I wanted the cookies to be a little less puffy than the originals (which are chilled for 2+ hours), but still have time in the refrigerator to let the molasses and spice flavors “meld.” You will chill today’s cookie dough for 1 hour. 

hands rolling a molasses cookie dough ball into a green bowl of granulated sugar

After the cookie dough has chilled, roll the cookies into balls. I used 2 Tablespoons of cookie dough per cookie. Once rolled, give them a nice dunk into sugar. The sugar will give them a pretty little sparkle.

Sparkles and the holidays go hand in hand.

Now you’re going to bake the cookies. You’ll bake them slightly longer than the originals because these cookies are larger. Pay attention to this: Remove the cookies from the oven after 8-9 minutes, gently press down on the tops with the back of a spoon or fork, and then place them back into the oven for 1 minute.

Why are you doing that? Not only so you can achieve some crinkly tops, but also because the cookies won’t spread very much in the oven. You could always just press the cookie tops down after the entire bake time, but then your cookies may just look like you carelessly smashed them down. I feel that they looked better when put back into the oven for 1 minute after pressing down. I’m all about pretty cookies, ok?

molasses cookies on a silpat baking mat

The final little step in making today’s molasses cookies is to cover them with caramel. I had never combined molasses and caramel together before until now. And I gotta tell ya – the pair is simply incredible. You have the sweet, buttery caramel tones and the spicy, robust molasses. Total match made in heaven.

The caramel is made from Werther’s Original® Baking Caramels. You’ll need 14 caramels and 1 Tablespoon of cream (or milk). Cream or half-and-half will produce the best tasting caramel. Try to avoid using soy products or nonfat milk. You need dairy fat to make the best tasting and best textured caramel sauce.

Melt the caramels and cream over low-medium heat. Stir until completely melted, about 5-10 minutes. That’s it!

caramel sauce in a saucepan on the stove with a spatula

If you’d like to make caramel from scratch instead, try my salted caramel recipe (with step-by-step photos). Try that with or without salt as the cookie’s drizzle.

molasses cookies with caramel drizzled on top on a white plate

I took these cookies over to Kevin’s friends at the motorcycle shop. The big manly motorcycle guys completely melted into a pool of cookie nirvana.

“Sally, these are the best cookies in the entire world.”

“HOW DO YOU MAKE THEM SO SOFT?” – yes that man actually yelled.

Some of the guys couldn’t even speak because they kept eating more and more! And to be honest, I don’t even know how I managed to box extra cookies up to bring to the guys. I couldn’t even stop eating them myself!

stack of molasses cookies with caramel drizzled on top

PS: I can’t sign off without tell you that today’s cookies are reminiscent of my mom’s beloved soft-baked gingersnap cookies. That sacred recipe? You can find it in my cookbook. 

clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
3 images of caramel molasses cookies

Caramel Molasses Cookies

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 1 hour, 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 11 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
  • Yield: 20 cookies
  • Category: Cookies
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


Soft-baked molasses crinkle cookies with a generous drizzle of caramel on top. A flavor-packed, spiced holiday cookie!


Molasses Cookies

  • 3 cups (375g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 and 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup (170g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3/4 cup (150g) packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup (104g) dark molasses
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup (67g) granulated sugar, for rolling

Easy Caramel Sauce*

  • 14 Werther’s Original® Baking Caramels, unwrapped
  • 1 Tablespoon heavy cream, half-and-half, or full fat milk


  1. Make the cookies: In a large bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and salt. Set aside. In the bowl of a stand or handheld mixer, cream the softened butter for about 1 minute on medium speed. Add the brown sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 2 full minutes. Scrape down the sides as needed. Add the molasses, egg, and vanilla. Beat well on high, scraping down the sides as needed again.
  2. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet on low speed. Do not overmix. Cover dough tightly and chill for 1 hour.
  3. Make the caramel as the dough chills: Add the caramels and cream to a small saucepan over low-medium heat. Constantly stir, allowing the caramels to fully melt. Once melted, turn off the stove and let the caramel sit in the pan until ready to use. You could also use a microwave to melt the caramels and cream together, but you would have to stop and stir every minute or so. I find the stove melts the caramels more evenly and it is much easier. Set aside to cool until the cookies are done.
  4. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Pour the granulated sugar into a bowl. Take 2 Tablespoons of dough and roll into a ball, then roll into the sugar. Bake for 10-11 minutes, or until edges appear set. Remove from the oven and gently press the top of the cookie down with the back of a utensil or even use your fingers. You’re trying to obtain a crinkly top. Place back into the oven for 1 more minute. Cookies will be puffy and still appear very soft in the middle. That’s ok. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the baking sheet for ten minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before drizzling with caramel sauce.


  1. Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for 3 days or in the refrigerator for 5 days. Molasses cookies without caramel can be frozen up to 3 months– thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Rolled cookie dough can be frozen up to 3 months. Allow to thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then bake as directed.
  2. Homemade Caramel Sauce: If you’d like to make the caramel from scratch, try my homemade salted caramel recipe instead.
  3. Be sure to check out my top 5 cookie baking tips AND these are my 10 must-have cookie baking tools.

Keywords: caramel molasses cookies, molasses cookies

Here are my original Soft-Baked Gingersnap Molasses Cookies

soft gingersnap cookies on a silpat baking mat


  1. These are fabulous, Sally! I love the crinkly top!

  2. This recipe went over BIG though I will confess I didn’t use your caramel sauce (this time!) because I had these apple cider caramels left over from last year and crystalized but still edible. I melted those down with the cream and discovered they also had chopped nuts in them so that got added to the top too. The nuts were pretty cool too–might consider that as an option. The victims (I mean recipients) LOVED them and kept talking about those little “something-something molasses cookies that are SO good!” I plan on making these again and trying your sauce with them…but I might keep the nuts added. Thanks!!

  3. These are DELICIOUS! I just pulled them from the oven and they are cooling right now, but my sister and I ate a few because we couldn’t resist! Yum! We skipped the caramel because even though it would be delicious, it was too much work (we would have made it from scratch). I love your blog!

  4. I have made the ginger snap cookies with butterscotch chips a few times and absolutely love them! I just found this recipe and can’t wait to try it! I was wondering, in your opinion if stuffing them with Rolo’s would yield good results?

    1. Oh, absolutely! Sounds delicious Jaime.

  5. Most cookie recipes I have tried of yours are with melted butter. This one isn’t, which made it a little (really) messy with my (2 1/2 year old) daughter. Is there any way I could use melted butter?
    Also, while mixing th batter it became very crumbly. I was able to use my hands to form it into a disc to refrigerate it folded in wax paper. Is this cookie recipe (because it is creamed butter and not melted) more crumbly than (for example) your brown sugar cookies or chocolate chunk cookies?

    1. I’m unsure– there would have to be some recipe testing to make these molasses cookies with melted butter. The dough is supposed to be a little crumbly. How do the cookies taste?

      1. They ended up being a nice textures. I did not love them like I had hoped, but maybe I don’t like molasses cookies, or I will just try a lighter flavored molasses. My church loved them though!

  6. I used this recipe today as a base for oatmeal peanut butter chip molasses cookies. They turned out absolutely beautifully!

    I added one cup of quick cook oats to the dough and half a cup of peanut butter chips after making the dough as specified. I skipped rolling them in sugar. I did not chill the dough, but had no issues with spreading. I found that 7.5 minutes was the perfect baking time — soft in the middle and light brown on the bottom. I did the first batch for 8 (probably closer to 9 minutes between setting the timer and responding to it when it rang) and while they are still very nice, the bottom is slightly more caramelized than I prefer and they’re not quite as delightfully chewy as the ones baked for slightly less time.

    Thank you for the recipe! I’ll be using it again.

  7. I’ve been making these for the last three years or so, and they are just always a winner with friends and family (you should see the puppy eyes of my flatmate when she asks if I could ‘pleeaase make the molasses cookies again’), so here’s saying thanks for a lovely lovely recipe – keep on baking !

  8. HI sally!

    quick little question. I am starting to move away from dairy, and I dont happen to have any heavy cream on hand either lol, I wanted to know if i could make your salted caramel sauce with almond milk instead?

    1. Heavy cream is a must for the caramel. Definitely do not use almond milk!

  9. Linda Day Spears says:

    I have been making Molasses for 38 years. This is the best recipe I have used. The caramel topping just puts it over the moon. Until I made your cookies I would only use Southern Living recipe s. NOT ANYMORE, you have a believer in me.

    Merry Christmas

  10. Just made these, haven’t even put the caramel on them yet, and they are already – hands down – THE. Best. Gingerbread molasses cookies I’ve ever made!! 
    I love the way you think about the recipes, and I truly appreciate that you share the how’s and why’s of some steps. It doesn’t always make sense why one recipe calls for this or that – but you clarify the reasoning behind it. It makes us better bakers. Thank you!!!

  11. Can I just say that your website has been a longtime favorite of mine. For some reason only your website has consistently provided me with easy-to-follow recipes that always come out yummy & scrumptious! These cookies were life for all who enjoyed keep doing what you do girl!

  12. These sounds delicious! If I’m making them the day before an event, would you recommend drizzling with the Carmel the day they’re made, or wait to melt it and drizzle the day of? Also, does the caramel if I melt it the day before or would it keep overnight to then drizzle? Thanks!

    1. If you are using my homemade caramel recipe you can drizzle them with the caramel the day before. It won’t disappear! 🙂 If you wait to drizzle the caramel until the day of, you can simply microwave the caramel for a few seconds and stir it until it’s the right consistency.

  13. I am going to try this today! It sounds so delish! Question: can I use Crisco instead of butter? (I used the last of my unsalted sticks in a cake)

    1. I’m afraid you would miss the buttery taste if you used Crisco instead.

  14. Hi Sally! Do you have any tips on how to keep the cookies from sticking together? I’ve made these several times because they are DELICIOUS and easy with your detailed instructions. The part I keep having a hard time with is my caramel topping. It stays very sticky and soft so I can’t let them touch each other or any other cookies.

    1. Hi Tricia, Are you using the Werther’s baking caramels or my homemade salted caramel ?
      You can try placing them in the refrigerator to firm them up a bit but yes, they will be pretty soft!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

With kitchen-tested quality recipes and step-by-step tutorials, my goal is to give you the confidence to bake and cook from scratch.

Sally's signature

Recipes You’ll Love



Join the community on the 1st of every month as we tackle a new challenge recipe. Review Sally's Baking Challenge FAQ page if you have any questions.

View More

Every December I publish 10 new cookie recipes in a row! Sign up via email below and we’ll send you my most popular recipes and all the new cookie recipes once the palooza begins.

View More

Pie Week happens in November and it's all about baking the BEST pies. Sign up via email below and we'll send you my most popular recipes and all the new pie recipes once Pie Week begins!

View More

My Cookbooks

Sally's Cookbooks

About Sally

Welcome to my Kitchen!

I’m Sally, a cookbook author, photographer, and blogger. My goal is to give you the confidence and knowledge to cook and bake from scratch while providing quality recipes and plenty of pictures. Grab a cookie, take a seat, and have fun exploring! more about Sally