Caramel Molasses Cookies

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 |

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 |

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 |

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 |

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 |

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 |

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 |

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

  • 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 Gingersnaps by Sallys Baking Addiction

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!


  1. Dorothy @ Crazy for Crust says:

    Molasses cookies are one of my favorites! I’m addicted to the flavors, and am doing so many spiced and gingerbread-y recipes this year. Adding caramel? GENIUS.

    And Big Bang Theory is the best show ever!

    1. Watching the big bang theory after a long day of recipe disasters always makes me feel better. I’m sure you can relate. 😉 Happy Thanksgiving Dorothy!

  2. Sarah & Arkadi says:

    Great cookie! We haven’t had anything molasses in a long time! Gave us some ideas! Thanks for the post!

  3. I want to jump through the screen and grab the entire stack of cookies! These look incredible!!

  4. Laura (Tutti Dolci) says:

    I love that caramel drizzle – perfection!

  5. Mimi @ Culinary Couture says:

    I just bought molasses for the first time ever and this is the first thing I’m going to make with it!

  6. Lordy, these look fantastic! Every single recipe actually! I have to try to make these for thanksgiving. No one can turn away amazing cookies!!

    1. I hear you. I rarely turn down a good cookie. 😉 Happy Thanksgiving Tara!

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

  8. Jennie @themessybakerblog says:

    You just took ginger cookies to a whole new level. I’ll take mine with extra caramel, please. Have a great Thanksgiving, Sally.

  9. Shashi @ says:

    Love these – I think they should be renamed to “caramel molasses bites” as I could eat them in one bite – yes – them as in all three! Sheer Scrumptiousness!

  10. Beth @ bethcakes says:

    These definitely look like pillows of molasses. Omg, drooling over these and the caramel sauce! I don’t make cookies very often, but yours always inspire me. Love the crackles and sugar on top!

  11. Hi Sally,
    I am going to a holiday cookie exchange and need to take 13 dozen cookies, boxed. These look like they would work perfectly (it’s also a contest and I already KNOW your recipes are show stoppers!).

    A few questions . . . .

    How many cookies does the recipe make?

    Can they be stacked with that caramel on them?

    Thanks so much for your wonderful blog! 🙂

    1. Hi Tamara – the recipe yield is included in the written recipe. They aren’t ideal for stacking. I fear the caramel will be too sticky. Though yes, they will be a show stopper!

      1. HI. I missed that – the yield is in the header. Ok . . . . so back to the drawing board! 🙂
        I know your death-by-chocolate cookies are a favorite around here, but I’ll just browse around until I find one that will work.
        Thanks for your response.

      2. Problem solved! I’m taking these cookies to the party in boxes! I was determined to find a way to bring a festive cookie to the party, so I stuffed the cookies with caramel syrup instead of putting it on top. My taste-testing guinea pigs all gave them a thumbs up!
        Thanks for the recipe, Sally! 🙂

      3. Glad to hear it Tamara! I have to try stuffing them next time =)

  12. Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious says:

    Molasses and caramel – seriously – do you need to say more? And that caramel drizzle? YES! All cookies should have that drizzle!

  13. Nora (Buttercream Fanatic) says:

    I realize this is sacrilege but I don’t really like caramel. I’m still going to try these cookies out, because they look just as good (maybe better – to me) without the sauce!

  14. I love caramel and molasses too! These cookies look irresistible!

  15. I love getting reactions like this to my baking. Sometimes when I bring goodies to the party, I don’t tell anyone they were mine and just wait to hear what everyone says. It’s fun to do that if you’re a baker like you and I!

  16. Thank you so much for sharing these! My neighbor when I was little made the BEST molasses cookies and I’ve forever been trying to make them. I think this recipe will help me along and maybe even give me a BETTER cookie for the holidays! Thanks again 🙂

    1. These are one of my favorites. I hope you enjoy them, Courtney!

  17. Hi Sally, these cookies look AH-mazing! Grandma’s Molasses is having a molasses cookie contest and this looks like a winning recipe! Enter by 12/14 on their Facebook page:

    1. So cool! Thanks so much for letting me know, Amy!

    2. I just entered. 🙂

      1. Good luck! 🙂

  18. i love the crinkly cookies and the homemade caramel looks great!

  19. 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!!

    1. “victims” lol

      When you try my caramel sauce, let me know! I also link to a 100% homemade caramel if you’d like to try that too, Linda.

      1. My apple cider caramels were 100% homemade too. Must be the Oregonian in me but I hate waste. Had to try and use those caramels (as long as it is edible!) and not toss them. But, I will definitely make these again and will try both. I mean, there are other lucky recipients (i.e. victims) out there who might want to see which one they prefer!! Thanks, Sally!

  20. Christine Berres says:

    I promise to make these just as soon as my cardamom and cloves arrive from the good ol’ US of A from Momma’s care package…maybe I’ll have them in time to ring in the new year!!

    1. Perfect! Let me know how you enjoy them, Christine. These are a new favorite!

  21. Hello Sally, you have a wonderful blog, I adore your recipes and cant wait to begin trying them out. I especially LOVE molasses so these cookies really caught my attention. I have been experimenting with recipes involving molasses and I found that I dont really like adding chocolate or cocoa so I definetely find your recipe wonderful and will be baking the cookies for christmas.

    1. Sometimes I feel chocolate or cocoa overpowers the already strong presence of molasses in molasses cookies. Let me know if you try these, Irene. So happy you are enjoying my blog recipes.

  22. These look incredible! They will be perfect for a family get together I have coming up. I could eat the salted caramel out of the jar:)

    1. ME TOO! Love that salted caramel.

  23. Hi Sally,
    I will be making these cookies as part of cookie tins I’ll be preparing as gifts for Xmas. I was wondering can this dough be made ahead of time and frozen? I normally like to take a day or two and make several cookie dough and freeze them until I need them.
    Also as much as I love caramel I would love to put a more festive spin on the topping any thoughts?

    1. Hi Cathie – Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for 3 days or in the refrigerator for 5 days. Molasses cookies without caramel may be frozen up to 3 months. Rolled cookie dough may be frozen up to three months. Allow to thaw in the refrigerator overnight and bake as directed.

      For a more festive spin, how about some festive sprinkles? Or white chocolate chips or white chocolate drizzle.

  24. Sally- Would it be a good idea to add maple extract to these cookies or is it too much? I need to know because I’m making these cookies tomorrow for my big Christmas Eve feast.

    1. That would be fine, Amina. A lot of flavors going on, but I know they’ll be delicious. I’d use about 1/2 teaspoon total.

  25. Hi Sally,

    I can’t get dark molasses from the store. Can I substitute with same weigh of molasses sugar?


    1. The dough will be extremely crumbly without a liquid sweetener, but it may still work. Without testing it myself, I’m unsure.

  26. 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!

  27. 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.

  28. 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!

  29. 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.

  30. 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 !

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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