Seriously Soft Molasses Cookies

Homemade soft molasses cookies with crackly tops are super chewy and perfectly spiced. They stay seriously soft for days– if they last that long– and are always a holiday favorite.

molasses cookies

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. After rolling the dough in the sugar and watching them bake through the little oven window, my sweet reward was biting into a warm cookie fresh from the oven. In addition to the nostalgia, the soft texture paired with cozy molasses puts them above any other cookie.

Sorry chocolate chip cookies, you don’t even compare.

stack of soft molasses cookies

Molasses Cookie Comparison

Since they’re a favorite, I have plenty gingersnap/molasses cookie recipes on my website and in my cookbooks. Most stem from the same-ish recipe with the exception of the crisp variety. Let’s review what makes each undeniably delicious:

  • Soft White Chocolate Chip Molasses Cookies: Studded with white chocolate chips, these cookies are lusciously soft and mega chewy. You’ll love the combination of cozy spices and white chocolate.
  • Caramel Molasses Cookies: We’re combining molasses and caramel in this crinkly-topped cookie.
  • Soft Gingersnap Molasses Cookies: These extra soft cookies are fat and fluffy!
  • Ginger Pistachio Cookies: I add salty pistachios to my mom’s classic recipe. These ginger molasses cookies are soft, salty, sweet, and spiced. Find this recipe in Sally’s Cookie Addiction cookbook.
  • Crisp Molasses Cookies: Another favorite! These are extra crisp. If you’re looking for a crunchy molasses cookie, this one’s for you– they actually snap when you break them!

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.

molasses cookie dough in a glass bowl

What Makes These Molasses Cookies Different?

Another molasses cookie recipe? Yes! These cookies are different from my other varieties and here’s why– they’re soft, crackly, and chewier than all the rest. I used my traditional soft gingersnap molasses cookies recipe as a starting point (the cute puffy ones!). My goal was to produce a flatter, chewier cookie with the same amount of softness. To accomplish this, I used the same ingredients but slightly altered the ratios:

  • Flour: I reduced the flour considerably to yield a flatter cookie.
  • Baking Soda: To avoid a super flat and overly greasy cookie, I increased the baking soda. Need that lift!
  • Spices: Same amount. This careful blend of ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves is exactly what every molasses cookie needs!
  • Butter, Brown Sugar, Egg, + Vanilla: Same amounts. Brown sugar is what helps produce the softest molasses cookie ever. (In fact, it’s the first thing I changed when making my crisp molasses cookies.)
  • Molasses: Too much liquid in a cookie dough will cause cookies to over-spread. I reduced the molasses by 1 Tablespoon to prevent this from happening. 1/4 cup of molasses still provides the cookies with all the delicious molasses flavor you crave in a Christmas cookie.

Mission accomplished. These cookies are mega chewy, mega soft, and mega crackly!

jar of molasses

Which Molasses Do I Use?

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 often.

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 (moist gingerbread snack cake) made with Grandma’s brand. What a difference in color!

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

molasses cookie dough balls rolled in granulated sugar on a baking sheet

How to Make Soft Molasses Cookies

  1. Whisk the dry ingredients together.
  2. Combine the wet ingredients together.
  3. Mix the wet and dry ingredients together.
  4. Chill cookie dough. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  5. Roll cookie dough into balls. Use about 1 Tablespoon of dough per cookie.
  6. Generously roll each cookie dough ball in granulated sugar. For sparkle, of course!
  7. Bake. The cookies will puff up as they bake then gently sink back down. This is what creates those familiar crinkles and crackles we love. If your cookies aren’t cracking, gently bang the cookie sheet on the counter 2-3x which will help those warm cookies spread and crack on top. See recipe direction #5.

This is a wonderful make-ahead recipe because the cookies stay seriously soft for days (if they last that long!).

molasses cookies

Soft Molasses Cookies Recipe Video

Let’s watch how quickly and easily these cookies come together.

molasses cookies on a black plate

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molasses cookies

Seriously Soft Molasses Cookies

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 1 hour, 45 minutes
  • Cook Time: 12 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours
  • Yield: 30-32 cookies
  • Category: Cookies
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


These seriously soft molasses cookies are the most tender and chewy gingersnap cookies around!


  • 2 and 1/4 cups (281g) 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
  • 1/2 cup (100g) packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) unsulphured or dark molasses
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract


  • 1/3 cup (67g) granulated or coarse sugar, for rolling


  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 both sugars 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 at least 30 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. If the tops aren’t appearing cracked as pictured, remove the baking sheet from the oven and gently bang it on the counter 2-3x. This will help those warm cookies spread out and crack on top. Return to the oven for 1 additional minute.
  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.


  1. Make Ahead Instructions: 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.
  2. Special Tools: KitchenAid Stand Mixer, Molasses, Silpat Baking Mat, Cookie Sheet, and Cooling Rack
  3. Be sure to check out my top 5 cookie baking tips AND these are my 10 must-have cookie baking tools.

Keywords: soft molasses cookies, molasses cookies

cookie palooza logo image


  1. I came to your website to search of a soft ginger cookie and behold that was the most recent post !!!!
    Someone brought in some years ago at work and I’ve been meaning to try making them. I was never able to track down the recipe. Cant wait to try these. 

    1. Let me know how you like these soft molasses cookies!

  2. They look amazing!!!

    x Mariya

  3. Perfect timing! I scoured and scoured the Internet and my cookbooks yesterday for the ultimate ginger molasses cookie recipe. Although I found one, I still felt like it came up short – yours, however, seems like it will be perfect and taste just as I remember them from when I was a child! These are now at the top of my baking list!

    1. I LOVE this recipe! Please let me know how you like them too.

  4. Those look so good. Ginger molasses cookies are the ultimate comfort cookie!

  5. YES! I have a lot of molasses to use up and these cookies look amazing! Can’t wait to try this recipe, thanks Sally! 

  6. ah perfect!!! my brother and sister in law just had a baby and this will be a perfect little treat to bring over with a dinner for them!! Molasses cookies have always been a favorite of my brothers!

  7. Hey Sally!

    Molasses cookies are my all time favorite. My perfect version has a soft center with a chewy edge; would you recommend this recipe to achieve that, or the one from your cookbook?

    1. Hi Merrily! My cookbook version isn’t quite as chewy.

  8. Mélanie Mercier says:

    I was wondering if these are as gingery as the soft gingersnap molasses from November 2012? I love me some gingery molasses cookies!

  9. Yum! I was in a molasses mood last weekend – Made your Gingerbread swirl fudge and the Spiced gingerbread loaf. Both were hits (so now on to these cookies!)…..

    1. So glad the gingerbread loaf and gingerbread fudge were loved!! I’m making my gingerbread loaf for snacking on Christmas Day. I love that recipe!

  10. Yay! I was just searching for this recipe! Will the recipe allow for larger cookies? Or would it need to be adjusted?

    1. Sure would. If making larger cookies, I would increase the bake time until the edges appear set.

      1. Thank you!

  11. These look so yummy! Can’t wait to try them! Would you suggest a #60 portion scoop for this? Or #40? Thanks!

    1. You’ll need 1 Tbsp size balls– the #60 scoop is slightly smaller and the #40 scoop is slightly larger (1.5 Tbsp), so either use a Tablespoon measuring spoon to measure OR the #40 scoop and remove some of the dough 🙂

  12. Could you use a gingerbread spice in place of the spices in the recipe? If so, how much would you suggest?

    1. Hi Amanda! I’m not familiar with gingerbread spice, so I’m unsure how much to use. What is in it? Is it sweetened?

      1. Unfortunately the ingredients just say spices. I have it in my spice bin but never have used it. I’m guessing it would be similar to a pumpkin pie spice just gingerbread type spices. I may have to experiment with the next batch 🙂

      2. It contains ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, cloves

  13. Raquel Garofalo says:

    I have made some ginger cookies in the past and lost my recipe. I have tried other recipes but always have problem that cookies don’t get crinkle on top. What am I missing or doing wrong?

    1. The crinkles are formed from the cookies rising high in the oven then gently dropping. 🙂

      1. ok I will pay attention when baking. Is it the baking soda that makes the cookie rise?

  14. My all time favorite cookie too! Thanks for sharing

  15. have you ever tried to make this wonderful recipe gluten free? wondering if a GF substitute like Better Batter would work…?

    1. I haven’t. I have little experience baking GF, but let me know if you try anything!

  16. Hi Sally, these look so good. I love the idea of the chewy cookie with the thinner crisp edges but also love the white chocolate chips.. could I add some without altering the recipe? Also, what do you think about adding some freshly grated ginger for an extra gingery taste? Thanks! 

    1. You can add a little fresh ginger, yes! And white chips too– I’d say 1 heaping cup would be enough.

  17. I just want to let you know I baked these cookies tonight. I left them cooling on the rack. When I came back into the room there was only two left. My 3 and 7 year old apparently loved these cookies. Thank you! 

    1. HAHAHA hope you got to taste one of the leftovers.

  18. I just finished baking these cookies, and although they did not spread like yours, they tasted amazing.  They remained “baby”  I will definitely try them again and maybe flatten them slightly.  Keep the great recipes coming.  I hope you and your beautiful family have a wonderful Christmas; how could you not with your little miracle!

    1. Thank you so much Christine! I appreciate the well wishes. And pressing the cookie dough balls down will certainly help them spread out in the right direction. Thanks for trying them!

    2. Hi Sally, I want to make these tomorrow for my neighbors wedding, so I was wondering if you can make a quadruple batch of this. I’m really excited to try these!

      1. Hi Jessica! You can make a higher quantity of cookies, but I suggest doubling the recipe twice instead of making a quadruple batch all at once.

  19. Billy Mcgovern says:

    It’s starting to seem a little repetitious, same recipes just tweaked or dressed up differently but still same old stuff. Just for fun how about a recipe that doesn’t resemble any other on your site, or maybe you’ve run out of original ideas. 

    1. If you don’t enjoy the content on my blog, no one’s forcing you to read it.

  20. My husband would be all over these cookies! Totally making them tomorrow for him to have after work!


    1. Hope you can steal a few to taste. 🙂

  21. Hi Sally. Love your blog Wondering if I can use fresh hinger in place of the ground ginger?? 

    1. Absolutely. Ground ginger is much more potent, so I would only use 1 teaspoon (max) of fresh ginger.

  22. Oohh, this is definitely going on my To Do list!! They look amazing!

  23. These look wonderful. I have similar memories from my childhood – mom’s molasses crinkle cookies were the best! I think I’ll have to go ahead and make these today!

    1. Let me know what you think!

  24. I’m making ginger molasses cookies this weekend for a cookie swap – I usually use the other recipe (sans caramel or white chocolate) and have always got rave reviews. Do I switch it up to this one? Are these ones flatter? There is so much pressure!

    Ps. Whichever I choose I will probably dip some in white chocolate anyway. For fun.

    1. Ha! I know the feeling. Which to choose? I like both. These aren’t quite as puffy, but are just as soft… and even chewier!

  25. Can these be used to roll out and cut?

    1. The dough isn’t sturdy enough. What about this gingerbread dough instead?

  26. Do you think I could substitute pumpkin pie spice for the ginger, nutmeg and cloves?

    1. Absolutely!

  27. Thank you so much for the fast reply and recipe…going to go make the dough now and cook tomorrow..Merry Christmas☺

  28. Shauna | Linden & Lavender says:

    Just tried these and they’re really enjoyable. Not too spicy. I also like that they are a manageable size. (some cookies are just too big for one person and look silly on a holiday cookie tray).

    1. So glad you made them! Thanks for reporting back.

  29. This looks identical to the recipe my dad has used for years for molasses cookies except we always add more spice than the recipe calls for. These are awesome.

  30. Do they freeze well?

    1. Yep! See my make ahead tip.

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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