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

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’m sorry to say that although I followed the recipe exactly as written, the cookies didn’t crack; neither during the baking nor after a post-baking couple of shakes on the countertop. I’m not sure what went wrong, but that’s how they turned out. After they cooled, I tried a cookie from each batch. They were “blah”; they were not at all moist.

    I must have done something wrong. I wish I knew what!

    1. Hi Dan! It sounds like the cookies may have been over-baked. They shouldn’t taste dry or bland– there is plenty of moisture in there! If you decide to try the recipe again, I recommend baking for 1-2 minutes less and using 1 and 3/4 teaspoons baking soda. A little more baking soda will help your cookies achieve that crackled look on top.

  2. I have to take a moment to praise this recipe! Simply amazing! Living in the UK I could only find pomegranate molasses — I was super concerned this would alter the flavors. I added in a half teaspoon of fresh ginger to hopefully offset any fruity tastes. AMAZING. Already planning to make another batch today.

  3. These are some of the tastiest molasses cookies I have ever made. Now I just need to tweek the recipe to make them spread out like they should. I use Stevia so I’m probably going to have to add a bit more butter or a bit of water. Thank you for sharing this recipe.

  4. The first time I made these they came out picture perfect, just tried them again and the edges didn’t hold, the cookie just spread out all over the pan, any ideas what I did wrong?

    1. Hi Steven, If you cookies over-spread I suggest you taking a look at this post with Tips to Prevent Cookies from Spreading to help your troubleshoot!

  5. I made this recipe two days before Thanksgiving but only baked one tray. Although I refrigerated them they didn’t raise much or crack, even with banging, though they were soft and delicious. I froze the rest of the dough for about four weeks before I baked the rest. I put the dough in the fridge over night and then on the counter for a while in the morning. They no longer “scooped” so I just broke off small amounts, about tablespoon size, rolled them into balls then in sugar and baked. This time they came out looking perfect (raised, spread and cracked). The taste and softness was amazing both times. Thank you for the recipe. Sorry no pics.

  6. The most delicious cookies ever! I took them out of the oven a couple minutes early so they were extra soft on the inside 🙂

  7. Best molasses cookie recipe I’ve ever tried. Mine came out perfectly and utterly delicious. Thank you for this “keeper” of a recipe!

  8. Really a great recipe!

  9. Delicious but ended up puffy and cakey, not flat and chewy 🙁

  10. This one turned out better than the Soft-Baked Gingersnap Molasses Cookies which didn’t spread at all and were hard/dry. I figured my brown sugar had dried out too much so I bought all new ingredients (a challenge on Boxing Day!).

    These taste great – thank goodness – however, they only spread a tiny bit & did crack. Still disappointed because I wanted cookies, not mounds. Would love to know what happened???

    1. Hi Lynette, Be sure you are measuring your flour correctly (spoon and level instead of scooping it) as too much flour will absorb too much liquid and stop them from spreading. You can also help them along by slightly flattening out your balls of dough before going in the oven. 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.

      1. Thanks, Sally. After putting together the second batch, I realized my brown sugar had dried out so that along w the flour measuring likely messed up the first batch. I did scoop the flour so that likely was my error! Good excuse to try this again. The second batch is delicious!!

  11. Amazing cookies!!! A new family favorite.

  12. Hi we made these together as a family during Christmas and these are AMAZING!! The only thing we changed was omitting the Cloves due to an allergy and substituted Allspice. During the baking process I gave them a good smack, return to the oven for a couple of minutes and they were delicious soft and chewy. We had so many compliments on these!!! Thank You for sharing!!!

  13. This is the first time I tasted mollases, and I found that it is very strong and not so much to my taste. I made the recipe with half the amount. At first I thought that even with that amount it will be too strong. But after baking the cookies, they came out great!

  14. Great texture and softness, but its lacking that molasses flavor. I’ll try again with double the molasses and a little more flour next time.

  15. I was never a huge fan of molasses cookies until I made these for my husband to take to work, now I’m getting request all the time to make more and I LOVE them!!! They are so soft, not to strong of a flavor and they look amazing…cracks and all.

  16. These turned out great!! Crispy outside, chewy in the middle and cracked on top!

  17. These are AMAZING! My coworkers loved them. I mixed them, rolled the dough into balls, froze them on a cookie sheet and put them in a Ziploc. Took them out a few days later, poured the sugar in the bag, coated them all and baked them. A keeper!!!!

  18. Baked these last night. Left the dough in the refrigerator for over an hour so left it out for 30 minutes as suggested. They look pretty but they did not get flat. I used a scoop that is 1 tbsp so I know I didn’t use too much for each cookie. I did bang them on the counter and returned to the over for 2 more minutes hoping they’d flatten more too. I used white sanding sugar and not regular granulated, do you think this would have anything to do with not flattening? Also used a combination of dark brown and that new “unprocessed” white sugar that looks more golden in color than it does white. Maybe this played s part too? They are more like cake in the middle and not chewy as I had hoped. Maybe the dough was too cold? Also my powdered ginger may have been weak because I didn’t taste much, if any. Will buy new ginger but plan to try again with fresh ginger next time and be sure to not let the dough stay in fridge longer than an hour. We do keep our refrigerator colder than most so that could have been a factor too. Can you tell me what temperature your dough is before you bake them? That might help too.
    Thanks! Lisa

    1. Hi Lisa, Is your white sugar more corse than regular granulated sugar? It’s most likely that your dough was simply too cold if you keep your refrigerator set colder than usual. Next time you can try letting the dough warm up at room temperature for longer and also slightly flattening your dough balls before baking them to encourage them to spread.

  19. Linda K. Schmidt says:

    Do you know how many carbs are in each cookie, if one uses 1 tablespoon of dough for
    each cookie?

  20. These are the best! I made your crisp molasses cookies 3-4 times in 2018-2019 and my cousin especially, and all family loves them! These are equally good – mine turned out soft on the inside and crisp on the outside – perfection! I decided to bake them bigger so I got 2 dozen. Thank you!! Safe and well wishes to you and yours, Sally!

    1. Lindsey Brower says:

      This recipe is amaaaaazing! I’ve actually never had molasses cookies before but I had some on hand and was looking for recipes to try. I baked these and they’ve come out so tasty. I accidentally ate 5 the day I baked them. And today, my husband has almost eaten the rest, and my one-year old keeps asking for more. This is definitely a new staple cookie recipe in our household. I love the spices also. I didn’t have ground cloves so I substituted pumpkin pie spice and it has come out just so good. There’s no added pumpkin flavor so it doesn’t take away from the cookie. I just can’t say enough how yummy this recipe is!

  21. Followed to a T. Disappointed. Too fluffy and cannot even taste the ginger. Tossing this one out.

  22. I upped the spices a bit because I like to taste them. The cookies only cracked a bit… wondering if my baking soda might be too old. Overall – great cookie recipe! Will try again with fresh baking soda and maybe try the water trick.

  23. These cookies have excellent flavour. Dense, aromatic, dark and at least 50% had good cracks in the top. I had expected a little flatter and chewier though, these came out sort of fluffy.
    I followed the exact recipe and left them to cool for 2 hours while we went on a walk. Overall a good cookie.

  24. Jackie Wilson says:

    Can I leave out the cloves? I have everything else in the pantry but I don’t have any cloves and am quarantined (along with everyone else) so I’d rather not go to the store yet.

    1. Hi Jackie, Yes just leave them out!

      1. I made these for my entire family, and some friends and they were AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!! I almost feel like you should make a double batch, though, because they get devoured so quickly(in my house at least). I am 12 years old, and am quarantined, so I have been trying out some cookie recipes, and other treats….. I made these, and my Mom immediately said “Go print the recipe out! These are the best molasses cookies I’ve ever had!” I even made a batch each day, for about 3 days in a row! I ran out of molasses, so when we go to the store, we will get more, and I will make more delicious cookies! I even made some bite-sized ones, and they turned out great! You just cook them a little less than normal size, and they crack on the top….they taste amazing, and are still delightfully chewy! Thank you SO MUCH for this recipe!
        I ran out of cloves, so I couldn’t use them, and they still tasted amazing!

  25. Great recipe, amped the spices, then added 2 teaspoons of fresh grated ginger and 1/3 cup minced candied ginger.


  26. Hi Sally, can we used grated ginger instead of ground ginger?

    1. Hi Claudine, I haven’t tested it but you should be able to use fresh grated ginger. Just remember that fresh ginger isn’t as strong as ground dried ginger so you will need to use more, and you should grate it as finely as possible.

  27. Finally made these today but bigger in size and they are amazing! They crackled throughout perfectly. Baked them for a few minutes longer as they were bigger and the edges came out crispy with softer centers.
    Delicious! Stay safe everyone:)

  28. Sarah Northcott says:

    Lovely cookie. Followed recipe as is other than used fresh ginger (1 Tbsp + 1/4 tsp of gr ginger) and baked right away 11 mins done.

    Definitely a keeper!

  29. Donald Garber says:

    Molasses cookies are my favorite, and I’m glad I found this recipe for them. I would add a little bit more molasses next time, just cuz. I used Brer Rabbit Blackstrap molasses. The bottle is probably a few years old, maybe fresher molasses would have provided a stronger molasses flavor.

  30. Leigha Perry says:

    I made this molasses cookie recipe tonight it was amazing! Thank you for sharing this sweet goodness!

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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