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.

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

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.

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

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.

Soft molasses cookie dough on sallysbakingaddiction.com

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!

Molasses for soft molasses cookies on sallysbakingaddiction.com

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 molasses cookie dough into balls on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Soft molasses cookie dough on sallysbakingaddiction.com

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!).

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


Soft Molasses Cookies Recipe Video

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


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

More Christmas Cookie Recipes

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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

Description

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


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
  • 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

Rolling

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

Instructions

  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.

Notes

  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

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

279 Comments

  1. 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!

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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!
        P.S.
        I ran out of cloves, so I couldn’t use them, and they still tasted amazing!

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

    Delicious!

  7. 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.

  8. Hi, this might be a silly question but I only have sorghum in my pantry. Do you think it would work as well as molasses with this recipe?

  9. 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:)

  10. 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!

  11. 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. https://www.instagram.com/p/B-2sHPRHP-x/

  12. Leigha Perry says:

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

  13. Followed exactly. Cookies puffy, cake like and dry so I added more molasses to the remaining dough and it improved quite a bit. Flavor just okay. Thinking it needs to be a bit sweeter.

  14. These cookies are delicious! We love making this recipe and I wouldn’t change a thing. Taste is most yummy… Thank you for sharing your recipe.

  15. Kathy Pena-Ariet says:

    Delicious Cookies! Followed recipe to a T and my family loved them!

  16. I made these cookies a couple days ago and they were so good!! I’m vegan so I used vegan butter and a flax egg and it was seriously yummy. I brought them into my work and we all ate them together.

  17. OMG! This is the best recipe ever! So so so good!!

  18. These cookies turned out very thick and cake like. The flavor was subtle. I was more looking for a goey flat cookie so I will keep looking.

  19. I usually make these at Christmas time but decided why not. They’re delicious Sally! I added another 1/4 teaspoon of ginger just to add even the more flavor but otherwise make them as written each time. Would give 10 stars if I could.

  20. Hello,

    Made these last night and they’re delicious! I used a gingerbread spice mix because I didn’t have cloves on hand, and added a little bit more ginger. Do you have a guesstimate on how many calories per cookie?

    Thank you for sharing!

    1. I’m so happy you enjoyed them, Frances! I’m unsure of the nutritional info of this recipe, but there are many great online calculators like this one: https://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-calculator.asp

  21. Francesca says:

    Thank you!

    One more question, actually. If you decrease or omit the 1/4 cup granulated sugar that goes into the dough (since they’re rolled in sugar), do you think it would still turn out fine?

  22. Donald Brown says:

    These turned out perfectly. We subbed gluten free four 1 – 1 and viola! Deliciousness!
    Thank you!

  23. This recipe is my favorite for Christmas cookies. I’ve made them a few times and they’re always a hit.

  24. Love these! Another traditional Christmas cookie in this household!

  25. Random pregnancy craving…. these hit it out of the park!!!!! ❤️❤️❤️❤️

  26. Wowsie! These tasted better than any bakery cookie I have ever had. I will be making these often. Thank you for all your wonderful recipes and the helpful tips you include.

  27. Karen Faulkinbury says:

    Seriously loved these molasses cookies. This is the only recipe I’ve found that makes soft, nicely rounded and very spicey cookies. Thank you for sharing this recipe.

  28. Great way to supplement iron!

    My little one hasn’t liked a lot of typical ways to get iron, but when I made these with blackstrap molasses he dives right in! I substitute out the sugar except for the little bit it’s rolled in, and I’ve used various kinds of whole grain and nut flours and they’ve all been a hit. Thank you!

  29. Really soft cookies and easy to make and ball up.

  30. Followed the recipe exactly – used blackstrap since it’s what I had on hand. Cookies over spread and were flat. Looked nothing like the pic and I’m not even mad about it lol they were what I wanted. Chewy and like a gingerbread cookie flavor but 100 times better. I’ve already had 5 and my mom and family love them! Thank you!

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