Caramel Molasses Cookies

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

Soft-baked molasses crinkle cookies with a generous drizzle of caramel on top | sallysbakingaddiction.com

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, this nail polish, and my pajamas; and my tastebuds are all about peanut butter, mint chocolate, sprinkles, margaritas, and more sprinkles.

And of course, molasses and caramel.

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

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.

Caramel Molasses Cookies | sallysbakingaddiction.com

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. 

Caramel Molasses Cookies | sallysbakingaddiction.com

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?

Caramel Molasses Cookies | sallysbakingaddiction.com

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!

2 Ingredient Caramel Sauce | sallysbakingaddiction.com

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.

Caramel Molasses Cookies | sallysbakingaddiction.com

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!

Caramel Molasses Cookies | sallysbakingaddiction.com

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. 

Caramel Molasses Cookies

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

Ingredients:

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 vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup (67g) granulated sugar, for rolling

Easy Caramel Sauce1

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

Directions:

  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.

Make ahead tip: 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.

Recipe Notes:

  1. If you'd like to make the caramel from scratch, try my homemade salted caramel recipe instead.

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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. 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.

Here are my original Soft-Baked Gingersnap Molasses Cookies

Soft Gingersnaps by Sallys Baking Addiction

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

113 Comments

  1. I love love love molasses cookies. My mother-in-law has a wonderful recipe for soft baked ones like these, and we shared her recipe, as well as a sugar cookie recipe from my mom, as one part of our wedding favors. Molasses cookies will always have a special place in my heart. They always remind me of wonderful times with family! Great recipe, Sally 🙂

    1. What a unique wedding favor, Colleen! Such a cute idea. And the memories you have with molasses cookies are completely priceless.

    1. I’m very, very out of place when I visit there. I actually think I wore my obnoxious rainbow sneakers when I went there to drop these off lol.

  2. Holy YUM! These look so soft, crinkly and perfect, Sally!! Molasses cookies are on my cookie list this year and I think starting with these would probably be one of my smarter ideas!! 🙂
    Pinned!

  3. I just combined caramel and molasses for the first time a couple of weeks ago and it was SO GOOD! I love the beautiful tops, and the gorgeous caramel drizzle! You’re totally putting me in the holiday spirit!

  4. These cookies look so damn delicious and I just love the taste of molasses. Finally cookie season starts in blog world and I cannot wait to host my own little bake off link up starting this Sunday. Cookies are definitely my favorite part of the holidays!

  5. All I can say is MMMMM! Your pictures are so beautiful! The orange/brown colors of the cookie and caramel looks so good! Great photography and I loved how you explained the science behind chilling dough. 🙂

    1. Thank you for the kind words about the photos, Sharon! I had trouble with these all brown cookies, but I’m happy how they ended up looking!

  6. Hi Sally,

    Nice to meet you! I came across your blog a few weeks ago and I just love your site! These cookies look amazing! For a while now I’ve had a half full jar of molasses in my kitchen cupboard that I’ve been saving for the right recipe and these look just perfect! Love the caramel topping! It makes the cookies look very festive… The caramel reminds me of flickering candles, actually. So warm and pretty!

    By the way, the Big Bang Theory is indeed the best. Can you believe I had a friend in high school who could have been Sheldon’s twin brother? Same walk, same posture, same germophobia… 😉

    xoxo

    1. Nila, that is so funny that you know a Sheldon twin!! I have seasons 1-6 on DVD and Kevin and I watch the reruns all the time on TV too. Seriously, my favorite.

      So happy you found my blog! Let me know if you make these cookies sometime. Have a great Thanksgiving!

      1. Hi Sally,

        It’s me again! I just noticed you left me a comment on my blog. That was so nice of you! And totally unexpected too! In fact, I was going to send you an invitation to pop by some time to check out a recipe I came up with for you today. You see, because I’m new to blogging, I came up with a little series to introduce myself to the bloggers that really inspire me by making them a personal cake! You recipes really inspired me and I really tried to come up with something you would love!

        So what did I make you? A Caramel Apple Peanut Butter Loaf Cake. I know, quite a mouthful. But you will want as much of this cake as possible 😉

        I hope you have time to check it out!

        xoxo

      2. Caramel apple peanut butter loaf cake – my heavens that sounds INCREDIBLE!! I’ll check it out tonight Nila. You’re so sweet.

  7. I love all of the sweetness of these cookies! The caramel drizzle and dipping in sugar! My sweet tooth cannot get enough. I share your love for The Big Bang Theory, how can you not love that show?? It makes my Thursdays so much better! And I have a lot of favorite things as well… you really can never have too many. 🙂 Once again Sally, this recipe is amazing!

  8. We used to live around the corner from an ancient (“landmark”) Quicksilver bar where the motorcycle folks would ride up on their big bad Harleys…and apparently act like the nicest people in the world, only wearing leather vests and the darndest Schwarzeneggerian riding boots you’ve never seen. They’ve demolished the place now, sadly, but what fun it would’ve been to serve up cookies to these tough sweethearts! Still, I’m loving the recipe. Maybe I should invest in your favorite nail polish to make my own hand-in-food photos more attractive to readers 😉 hee. Also, when does big cookie NOT = good? Your mom’s a lucky ‘un, do her recipes inspire yours often? Thanks for sharing this!

    1. My mom’s recipes are a huge inspiration to me! I used a couple of them as inspiration for my cookbook recipes.

      “tough sweethearts” – that’s a perfect way to describe Kevin’s motorcycle buddies. They LOVE my baked goods – especially the ones with tons of rainbow sprinkles. 🙂

  9. ooo I love that these are SOFT like pillows (like you said). I love a good traditional molasses cookie every now and then but i’m always craving a soft one and this looks perfect!! That caramel drizzle..I may go overboard with that 😉

  10. Oooooo another great flavor!! I love molasses over the holidays and a super soft molasses cookie will be to die for. I have to try this recipe ASAP. I loved your original molasses cookies and I already adapted it for an upcoming post but now you throw in a new curve ball?? Gotta try!!
    PS: I just love Sheldon Cooper! Last week’s episode was amazing. The best thanksgiving drama filled and drunk Sheldon episode (whoops if you didn’t see it yet, but you are a fan so I am sure u did 🙂 )

  11. I love this fall/Christmas flavor! Caramel is great year round, of course, but ginger and molasses are so perfect for listening to Christmas carols by a tree :). I’d say gingersnaps…the hard, crunchy rock ‘cookies’…are about my least favorite food EVER…why even bother with those? These, on the other hand, look fabulous and perfect 🙂 I love the bubbly caramel picture!

    1. I like your thinking. The hard gingersnap cookies that hurt my teeth as I crunch – why even bother? Happy Thanksgiving Caley!

  12. I love how you just slightly tweaked your own recipe to make it even better – I love doing that with my recipes – but I have to say, your pics of your old molasses cookies are pics that I go to your site and drool over. Like in July 🙂 I love molasses cookies so much and that photo shoot, those cookies, they are PERFECT to me. And these are just as perfect!

    I love that you put the caramel sauce in a squirt bottle. You’re such a pro! pinned

    1. Thanks Averie. I’m with you – I love molasses cookies all year round! And that old condiment bottle is the handiest little kitchen item I have these days. Seriously.

  13. Sally,
    My daughter had a “Milk and Cookies” themed party and I baked THE Chocolate Chip Cookie, Funfetti Sugar Cookies, and the Biscoff Oatmeal Cookies for party favors………AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I tagged you on instagram but I forgot my page was private. I folllowed your directions exactly as you had them and they were perfect!!! THEY ARE STILL SOFT THREE DAYS LATER, the two or three that are left that is. Thanks!!!!!!!

    1. What a fun party idea, Erika! And you baked three of my very favorites. Especially those funfetti ones. They are all such soft cookies!

  14. I’ve mentioned before in a previous post that I bake one cookie from your recipe list every week, occasionally the same cookie twice in a row because we’ve loved them so much. Last week it was time for the Salted Caramel chocolate chip cookies, which were Ahhh-mazing!!!! This morning I was thinking of what cookie to make for a visit to a relative’s house on Wednesday and I opened Facebook and saw your post for this cookie and was sold!! They’re big caramel fans so I knew this was perfect. I just finished baking them and am so happy, thanks for another great recipe!!!

    1. How perfect, Jacqueline. And I remember you telling me how much you love to bake my cookies (like those mocha mint cookies you loved!).

      PS: I love those salted caramel chocolate chip cookies!

  15. Caramel and Molasses! Together! Oh happy day! These will be appearing in our Christmas work cookie jar for sure 🙂
    Also, it’s a woman’s prerogative to have a lot of favourite things – just look at Oprah!

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