Seriously Soft Molasses Cookies

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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. 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.

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

139 Comments

All Comments

  1. These molasses cookies are wonderful! I will surely be making them often. Only had a few crinkles though …. would have liked more like yours. ..lol

  2. OMG, these were seriously so delicious. Everyone absolutely raved about them. Every single recipe I have made of yours hasn’t just been good but outstanding. I love your site and know when I make something of yours I can trust it will be delicious. Thanks so much!

  3. These sound amazing! I have never tried making molasses cookies myself although I have eaten MANY! I’m on a quest to make hand sized cookies this year as gifts and thought I’d try these – I’m wondering if you think these would adapt well to a bigger size cookie?

  4. Hi Sally, I am your new fan! Between crispy and soft molasses cookies, which one do you like better? I noticed that crispy recipe uses more sugar and less flour. Correct? I want to make one of the two for Xmas party. Can’t decide! Please help!!! Thanks.

    Warmest regards,
    Shirley

  5. Great taste, but my cookies came out too airy. I’d like to make them chewier, and I have some dough left. Any suggestions on how to modify the already made dough? (I used Margerine which may be my issue but looking to rectify!)

  6. i have turbinado raw cane sugar from trader joes .. i was thinking of rolling the cookies in this instead of the course sugar…what do you think ? is it sweet enough?

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Reviews

  1. As always with your recipes, these were DELICIOUS! Sorry to my dear sweet Grandma’s molasses cookie recipe… but these just stole the show! My husband came home and proceeded to eat 8 – one right after another. This will definitely become a staple in our cookie cookbook 🙂

    1. I sometimes start with my grandma’s old recipes and make slight adjustments – so you still have all of the wonderful memories!

  2. Made these for homemade cookies day; they are now one of my favs! Soft middles but crispy on the edges, great spice flavor but not overpowering. Delicious

  3. Oh my goodness.. This will be my go-to recipe for ginger snaps from now on. They are delicious! Thank you for sharing your recipe.

  4. Hi Sally,
    I was just looking through your cookie recipes for a cookie exchange next month and noticed this one. We have been making a nearly identical recipe in our family for years! They are so amazing. I have played with the recipe over time and have occasionally added to it. You might like to try a couple of our favourites.
    Milk chocolate chips are fun to add or a chopped milk chocolate bar. We tried adding some Dutch process cocoa powder as well and that also tasted wonderful. I reduced the amount of flour by the same amount of cocoa added.
    Last Christmas I found salted caramel chocolate chips and added those to the original recipe…wowza! Those were the best yet! These have been requested by everyone again this Christmas. Thanks for all your amazing recipes, our clan really appreciated them.

  5. A keeper recipe for me. I just discovered your site and am going to try several of your recipes. I wanted to add some new recipes to the ones I usually make.

  6. Best Molasses cookies by far!!! This is my third batch, I am going to freeze for Thanksgiving Day. Only thing wrong I love to eat these cookies.. I never leave comments but I felt it would be right thing to do .
    I am going to make the oatmeal molasses and the Christmas sparkles.
    Thank You for sharing these delightful recipes.

    Stacy Hahn

    D

  7. Wow! Outstanding recipe! I always bake my favorite recipes for my sons for Christmas gifts – they are so happy to receive them! While I have a favorite of ginger/chocolate chip that I make annually (and that I made when I had my bakery, he wanted to have a ‘molasses cookie’/chewy’. I stumbled onto your recipe, desired to try it out and voilà – I followed all directions – delightful flavor, crinkles and all. I’m sitting down right now to sneak one for myself along with a delightful espresso! In heaven! Thank you, Sally!

Questions

  1. Hey Sally,
    I live in Germany and I can’t find molasses anywhere. Can I replace the molasses with beet syrup or wouldn’t the cookies work with beet syrup?

    1. Hi Sabrina! Molasses is the main flavor in these cookies and I’m really unsure about beet syrup. So sorry! I suggest trying my Brown Sugar Cookies instead. Lots of delicious flavor and you can add these spices like ginger, cloves, and nutmeg.

  2. I made these cookies last night and they tasted great. But they were more on the cakey side and they really didn’t spread or fall. They stayed in their ball shape but they had some crinkle. What did I do wrong? Does it matter if you us a stand mixer or hand mixer?

    1. Hi Roberta! The cookies taste cakey since they didn’t spread much. I suggest you skip the chilling if you try the recipe again. They’ll be a little more flat that way. 🙂

  3. Hi there – do these stay soft even after freezing the baked cookies? For some reason I always worry that freezing will ruin softness. Thank you!!

    1. They sure do! Let them come to room temperature before eating. When storing at room temperature, cover the cookies tightly and place a piece a bread in the container with the cookies. Sounds odd, but this will keep cookies soft FOR DAYS!

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