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

More Christmas Cookie Recipes

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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 just made these cookies and they are divine! Their consistency and texture reminds me of the vegan peanut butter cookies sold by Whole Foods bakery. Do you happen to have a peanut butter cookie recipe with the same chewy texture as these? I’ve tried to find something similar, but all the recipes I’ve tried end up too puffy and cake-like. Thanks for the wonderful recipe!

    1. Hi Meredith! These peanut butter cookies are pretty dense and chewy. I think they’re what you’re looking for!

  2. Looks incredible! I hope I can edit these to be dairy free!

    1. I made them dairy free and then turned out puffy and cake textured. Just so you know 🙂

  3. I made the older version of your molasses cookies last week! I put a thin spread of cream cheese frosting on half the batch and sent them to work with my husband. At the office holiday party a few days later, half the staff came up to me and told me they were amazing! Ha! Not sure if cream cheese frosting is traditional, but we all thought it was pretty good 😉 Will try this newer recipe soon.

    1. I love cream cheese frosting and gingerbread/molasses!

  4. I made these today and OOPS put the whole 2 sticks of butter in instead of 1.5. Still look and taste pretty good although they are more melt-in-your-mouth than chewy and the edges are slightly thinner. Looking forward to the results without the mistake! Thanks for the recipe. 

  5. Just made these cookies today.Sally,,your recipe didn’t disappoint. People that don’t even like ginger loved them.Great recipe!!!!

  6. Mary C Crabtree says:

    Hi Sally,
    What is the best way you have found to freeze already baked cookies to keep for the holidays?
    Can’t wait to try the seriously soft molasses cookie recipe. Everything I have ever tried of yours has been fabulous!!

    Thank you,

    1. Hi Mary! I like freezing them piled onto a paper plate then tucked in a freezer-friendly ziplock bag. OR piled up in a large tupperware container.

  7. Kirstin Willick says:

    The recipe says to refrigerate for at least 1.5 hours and up to 3 days but in the post it says to refrigerate no more than 1 hour otherwise they won’t spread enough. You may want to make that change in the recipe… I forgot what the post said when I prepared the dough and refrigerated them over night Hopefully they still turn out.

    1. Thanks Kirstin! Let it sit at room temperature for 20 minutes before rolling/baking in step 5.

      1. Kirstin Willick says:

        Thank you, Sally! I figured that might be the trick! I’m a morning baker and was just about to bake some before work so I really appreciate your prompt reply. Hope your holiday season is “treat”ing you well

      2. Glad I could help!

  8. Patricia A Thommarson says:

    Can this recipe be used for gingerbread men (or women)? I used a different recipe last week and they are very hard!

    1. This dough isn’t ideal for rolling out and cutting into shapes. I’m not sure if you tried this gingerbread men recipe, but it’s my favorite!

  9. Love you recipes!  I tried making these and for some reason they’re still puffed and didn’t spread. I have no idea why…  They taste amazing though!

  10. Hi Sally! I just tried this recipe and it tastes delicious! Unfortunately, my cookies didn’t spread very much, and stayed quite puffed up. They don’t look nice and flat like yours do. I only refrigerated the dough for about 45 mins, didn’t let it stand before rolling and baking. Any ideas on what I need to do to get that nice flat spread cookie? Thank you!!

    1. Hey Dawn! Try pressing the cookie dough balls down before baking. This “head start” will help encourage them to spread out while baking.

  11. I have a question (and am obviously not an experienced baker). I made these yesterday and they taste amazing! However, they are more cake like than cookie like. What did I do wrong? Too much flour, was my egg not quite at room temp . . . help! Thanks!

    1. Hi Ryan! I know excess baking soda/powder can result in cakey-tasting cookies. But I’ve made these several times as written without that as the result! Did you use a large egg? Make sure you are not using an extra large or jumbo size egg. Also, did you overbake the cookies? Too much egg and overbaking can both produce a cakey tasting cookie.

  12. I’m making these for a holiday party tomorrow. Your recipes never let me down. Thanks Sally!

  13. My cookies spread out, but didn’t crackle. I did use an egg from one of my own chickens and it may have been too large.

  14. Karen Armstrong says:

    My cookies turned out flat and not a bit puffed up. Followed recipe to a t. What could my problem be?

  15. I made these today and understand all the “puffy” comments. Pressing down will help but I’m also going to reduce the baking soda by 1/2 teaspoon next time. One teaspoon is plenty for this small abount of dough. I also add 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper and a couple of pinches of cayenne pepper. We had them with my apricot cider. Delicious!

  16. Hi Sally,
    Did you use fancy or black strap molasses for your cookies?

    1. I don’t– I use a dark variety, but not as dark as blackstrap. That’s very strong, but you can absolutely use it if you prefer its flavor.

  17. Similar to one or two others mine spread but didn’t crack so not sure the texture was right, though they tasted great =]  Any thoughts on what I might have done wrong are much appreciated – I’m planning to make some more for family ahead of Christmas.

  18. About to pull the last batch out of the oven..These are crazy good and oh so soft 😀 Loved everything about these and will be making them again without a doubt!

  19. These cookies were fantastic and easy! Every recipe I’ve tried on your website has been great (especially the pumpkin pie and pecan pie recipes for Thanksgiving). Your website has become my go-to for baked goods. Thanks!

  20. This recipe just won me first place in my company’s Christmas cookie bake off! Thanks for a great recipe!

  21. Jenny from says:

    If you are still unsure whether to bake them or not: do it! So delicious! 

    And for all people like me who don’t understand why liquids are given in volume and not weight: 60 milliliters of molasses are about 90 grams. You are welcome, just pour the molasses straight into the bowl and don’t scrape it out of your measuring cup, so horrible!

    And lastly, I always reduce the amount of sugar. I made this recipe with only 80 grams of brown sugar and it was still very sweet due to the molasses. Cookies came out perfectly!

  22. Samantha Maxwell says:

    The dough was delicious but the cooked cookies came out without as much spice intensity as we hoped for, maybe we’ll up the spices by half next time.

  23. Hi Dally, I made these thus evening. They are delicious but mine came out s bit dry and the bottoms were a little bit on the dark side. I was going to gift then but, I think we will keep this batch and I’ll try to make them again tomorrow and perfect them. I am reading the previous comments and trying to figure out what I did incorrect. I just figured out I have jumbo eggs, not large. Do you think this was the culprit? 

    Merry Christmas! 

    1. The egg size could have everything to do with it. Make sure you are spooning and leveling the flour– don’t pack that flour in. 🙂 What type of molasses are you using? And over-baking could also dry them out, which may be the reason yours are so dark?

  24. Hi Sally,

    I tried these today but I used blackstrap molasses. It was just too intense. Unfortunately, I had to throw them out. I will be heading to the store to buy the dark molasses. Thank you for your recipes. They are certainly tried and true. I used your 50 cookies post and I baked my first set of christmas cookies this year. I am more of a cake/cupcake person. All the cookies were great!

  25. Danica in Seattle says:

    Thanks for the wonderful recipe Sally! I think I overbaked and didn’t have the crackle! Still very delicious. My niece and nephew devoured them all and requested I bake more. 

  26. Sally, these are so delicious. I have already made this recipe THREE times during the Christmas season. I keep bringing it to all the holiday parties- it’s truly a show stopper! It is SO soft, and the perfect amount of sweetness. By the way, I also discovered that it’s perfect as an ice cream cookie sandwich 😉 Thank you for this amazing recipe!

  27. These are addicting! I’ve made three batches since you posted them!

  28. My husband really wants raisins in the cookie. How much should I add and do I need to modify the recipe at all ? Love all your recipes.

    1. No need to alter the recipe, just add about 1 cup of raisins to the dough.

  29. kristène Dens says:

    bonjour sally , je vis au Canada a Montreal ça fait deux mois que j’ai découvert ton site et je suis trés ravi car, j’aime vraiment tout ce que tu fais .
    j’ai un problème , je ne sais pas si tu peut aider. j’arrive pas à réussir ces biscuits mélasse , je les ai repris 3 fois sans succès . le mien ne s’aplatit pas j’ai des boules au lieu de biscuit , c’est comme des gâteaux rond. Ce sont mes premiers biscuit j’arrive plus a essayer d’autres. Stp aide moi.


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