Molasses Cookies

Chewy, crunchy Molasses Cookies are the perfect holiday treat for Christmas and your holiday cookie exchange. These are a 50 year old recipe passed down.

The most requested Christmas Cookie on the site is our Ultimate (Award Winning I may add) Gingerbread Cookies but I’ve been getting requests all year for Molasses Cookies. I turned to an old family recipe that is over 50 years old and it was not a letdown! Check out our other Cookie Recipes for more ideas.

Stack of Molasses Cookies

MOLASSES COOKIES

We’re filling our trays with all kinds of holiday cookies this time of year. My kids usually go for the Sugar cookies, because not only are they fun to decorate but they a holiday classic.

There’s just something about a spiced Molasses Cookie that puts us in the holiday spirit. Honestly, we could eat these all year long and it could be part of the reason we stock up on Molasses.

It’s just as easy to bake but has a deeper flavor that’s perfect for winter. The smell of them baking in the oven can take you right to the holidays. It’s like your favorite Gingerbread Cake smell with the portability of cookies.

We also call these Rudolph Cookies in our house because these are the cookies we leave for the reindeers on Christmas Eve. Santa gets Chocolate Chip Cookies of course!

These are the perfect Christmas Cookies to add to a Christmas Cookie tray for your coworkers (hello break-room amazing surprise!) or to give to friends and neighbors. The deep, rich color from the molasses really sets it apart from the other holiday cookies. 

MORE HOLIDAY COOKIE CLASSICS:

How to Make Molasses Cookies:

  • To your stand mixer add the melted butter, brown sugar, sugar and egg on medium speed until smooth.
  • Add in the molasses until fully mixed in, about 30 seconds.
  • Sift dry ingredients.
  • Add it into the stand mixer on low speed until just combined.
  • Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  • Roll 2 tablespoon sized scoops of dough.
  • Roll in sanding sugar
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes.

How to Scoop and Roll these Cookies:

If this is your first time making these cookies, I suggest using a cookie scoop to help portion out the dough to make the dough balls.

  • This means the dough will be uniform in size.
  • Your dough will stay colder (this is better) because the heat of your hand won’t warm it up.
  • You won’t have sticky hands.
  • You can even roll with the tines of a fork in the sugar to make this mess free.
  • It makes the process easier when you have little helpers in the kitchen too.

Molasses Cookie on cookie sheet

VARIATIONS ON MOLASSES COOKIES

  • Add-Ins: Sprinkle in chocolate chips, either milk chocolate or white chocolate, into the cookie dough for a fun mash-up of two classics. You can also melt chocolate and dip the bottoms in chocolate. This is the ultimate Molasses Cookie for a holiday cookie exchange!
  • Frosting: Add in drops of food coloring (if you want it to be festive) to Buttercream Frosting and spread over the tops of these cookie.
  • Toppings: Drizzle melted caramel or chocolate over these cookies. You could even dip half of it and add sprinkles for a holiday twist.
  • Nuts: Pistachios or Walnuts would make a great addition to a nuttier cookie.

MORE DELICIOUS COOKIE CLASSICS:

BAKING TIPS

  • Don’t skip the sifting step for the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and ginger. It really helps to fully combine it all and makes it lighter and easier to combine with the wet ingredients.
  • I have well seasoned baking sheets that are great for cookies. If you have issues with baked goods sticking, use a silpat or parchment paper to line your baking sheets. It not only makes clean up a breeze but helps keep your cookies from sticking to the baking sheet making them easier to remove.
  • When choosing a molasses for this recipe, I recommend a dark molasses due to it’s deeper flavor. You can use light molasses if you prefer but I wouldn’t recommend going as far as using Blackstrap molasses as it’s slightly bitter in taste.
  • Make sure to refrigerate the dough for 1 hour. The chilling process helps to solidify the fat in the cookie which helps to eliminate the issue of the cookies spreading while baking.

Sheet tray full of sugar covered Molasses Cookies

HOW TO STORE AND SERVE

  • Serve: Once you remove the cookies from the oven, allow them to cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet before serving them. 
  • Store: Store the cookies once they’ve fully cooled at room temperature, store them in an airtight container for up to 4 days (if they last that long!).
  • Freeze: These cookies can be frozen for up to 3 months if stored in a freezer-safe storage container or bag.

Stack of Molasses Cookies

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Molasses Cookies

Chewy, crunchy Molasses Cookies are the perfect holiday treat for Christmas and your holiday cookie exchange. These are a 50 year old recipe passed down.
Yield 24 cookies
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Author Sabrina Snyder

Ingredients
 

  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter , softened
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar , packed
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 cup coarse sanding sugar

Instructions

  • To your stand mixer add the melted butter, brown sugar, sugar and egg on medium speed until smooth.
  • Add in the molasses until fully mixed in, about 30 seconds.
  • Sift the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves and ginger, then add it into the stand mixer on low speed until just combined.
  • Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  • Roll 2 tablespoon sized scoops of dough in coarse sanding sugar and place on cookie sheets at least 2 inches apart.
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes until the tops are cracked then cool for 5 minutes before removing gently from cookie sheets.

Nutrition

Calories: 152kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 22mg | Sodium: 101mg | Potassium: 73mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 187IU | Calcium: 17mg | Iron: 1mg
Keyword: Molasses Cookies

Molasses Cookies collage

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the upcoming cookbook: Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients which is being published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.

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Comments

  1. WOW! These are wonderful. I made them once, lost the recipe.
    Now have found it again. Love them. They are addicting.
    Won’t lose this recipe again.

  2. I followed your recipe exactly by mine came out completely flat! They’re about 4 inches in diameter and suuuper thin. Any idea what went wrong? They’re still delicious though, Santa will love them ?

    1. This comment got lost and I am just seeing it. Were the cookies refrigerated for the hour? I find the cookie dough being cold it really important.

  3. These flattened out and are a waste of baking ingredients! DO NOT USE MELTED BUTTER! You are better off finding another recipe.

    1. Oh no! Did you allow the dough to to be in the refrigerator for an hour before baking? That should’ve allowed it to solidify.

  4. Very appreciative of your sharing your family recipe! I dont have handed down recipes, but hope to create memories with yours!

    I picked this recipe off the internet based on history, pictures, and five star rating. It really delivers. I made with Grandma’s molasses and a separate batch with Blackshear. The Gmail cooked flat, crunchy outside chewy in and were perfect! The blackstrap cooked a little higher but equally delicious. Thank you for helping me establish a go to recipe for this cookie!

  5. These cookies are so good. They remind me of cookies my grandma used to make. So many memories or being at her house and having a treat in her kitchen.

  6. These are some of my absolute favorite cookies. I love rolling in the sugar, or pressing a fork in sugar and then into the cookie. The darker the molasses, the better the cookie!