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These Old Fashioned Chewy Molasses Cookies are soft, warmly spiced, and just how Grandma used to make them!
Share a batch with friends during the holidays, gift them to your favorite teacher, or enjoy one with a hot cup of tea this afternoon. You don’t need a special occasion to treat yourself and your loved ones to these soft molasses cookies!
I’ve tested this recipe so many times (with plenty of fails along the way) to bring you the absolute best molasses cookie recipe! Trust me — you don’t have to be “a baker” to get these right. Just follow the directions and they will be perfect every time!
What do Molasses Cookies taste like (are they the same as Gingersnaps)?
While molasses cookies and gingersnap cookies share many of the same primary flavors — namely, dark molasses and spices like cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and nutmeg — there are a few major differences.
These are soft and chewy molasses cookies, while gingersnap cookies are typically crisp on the outside and just slightly chewy on the inside. The ginger flavor is also less prominent in molasses cookies.
How to Make Molasses Cookies:
These molasses cookies are made without shortening, and use butter instead! As a result, I always have the ingredients on hand to whip up a batch when a craving strikes. The recipe requires just a handful of pantry staples!
Ingredients for Molasses Cookies:
- Canola oil
- Vanilla extract
- Baking soda
- Salt, cinnamon, cloves, ginger and nutmeg
- All-purpose flour
First, cream together sugar and butter until smooth and fluffy.
Next, in goes the dark molasses! I use Grandma’s brand, but anything similar will work. At this point you will also stir in the oil, vanilla, baking soda, spices, and salt until smooth.
Beat in the eggs, one at a time.
And finally, slowly add the flour. Mix just until completely combined — but don’t over-mix!
The dough needs to chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours (or up to 2 or 3 days). Once the dough is cool, it’s time to bake!
I like to use a medium scoop to easily form the dough into round balls.
Roll each dough ball in a bowl of sugar,
and place the dough balls on a baking sheet that has been lined with parchment or a silicone baking mat.
Bake the cookies at 350 degrees F for just 10-11 minutes, and you’ll have a beautiful batch of puffy, soft molasses cookies that will instantly make you feel cozy and loved! The perfect treat to share with your friends and family this season — just like a big hug from Grandma!
How to Make Molasses Cookies Chewy:
The key to keeping the molasses cookies soft and chewy is pulling them out of the oven before they’re crispy and brown all over. You want the dough to be set and the edges to be turning brown, but the cookies should still be soft. They will continue to firm up as they cool, but they will maintain that great chewy texture!
Can molasses cookies be frozen?
Yes! These are a great make ahead option to have stashed in your freezer to share with unexpected last-minute guests or to pack in holiday gift boxes for your neighbors. Wrapped tightly, the cookies keep in the freezer 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 (to thaw), pre-heat the oven, then roll in granulated sugar. Bake as directed.
COOK’S TIPS AND RECIPE VARIATIONS:
- Make sure that your butter and eggs are at room temperature before preparing your dough.
- Allow at least 2 hours for the dough to chill in the refrigerator before baking. If the dough isn’t sufficiently chilled, the cookies will spread into a flat mess on the baking sheets (trust me…I’ve been there).
- Don’t over-mix the dough once the flour is added. Stir just until completely combined, but no more. This will avoid a dry, tough cookie.
- Mix-In’s: if you like a fully-loaded cookie, try adding white chocolate chips, raisins, and/or nuts to the dough before baking!
You might also enjoy these other classic cookie recipes:
- Great Grandma’s Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Old Fashioned Williamsburg Gingerbread Cookies
- 3-Ingredient Scottish Shortbread Cookies
Old Fashioned Chewy Molasses Cookies
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
- 2 cups sugar, divided
- 1/2 cup molasses
- 2 Tablespoons canola oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
- 1 1/4 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 1/4 teaspoons ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 2 eggs, at room temperature
- 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to cream together butter and 1 cup of sugar until smooth.
- Add the molasses, oil, vanilla, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and nutmeg and mix until combined.
- Add eggs, one at a time, and beat until smooth.
- Slowly add the flour until just combined.
- Cover bowl and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours (or up to 2-3 days).
- When dough is chilled, preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Place remaining 1 cup of sugar in a shallow bowl.
- Remove dough from refrigerator and use a scoop to form the dough into round balls. Roll each ball of dough in the sugar. Place dough balls onto cookie sheets that have been lined with parchment or silicone mats.
- Bake for about 10-11 minutes, or until the cookies are just set and starting to brown on the edges. They will still be soft.
- Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheets for about 5 minutes, and then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
Can molasses cookies be frozen?Yes! These are a great make ahead option to have stashed in your freezer to share with unexpected last-minute guests or to pack in holiday gift boxes for your neighbors. Wrapped tightly, the cookies keep in the freezer 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 (to thaw), pre-heat the oven, then roll in granulated sugar. Bake as directed.
- Make sure that your butter and eggs are at room temperature before preparing your dough.
- Allow at least 2 hours for the dough to chill in the refrigerator before baking. If the dough isn't sufficiently chilled, the cookies will spread into a flat mess on the baking sheets (trust me...I've been there).
- Don't over-mix the dough once the flour is added. Stir just until completely combined, but no more. This will avoid a dry, tough cookie.
- Mix-In's: if you like a fully-loaded cookie, try adding white chocolate chips, raisins, and/or nuts to the dough before baking!
I’ve never had a molasses cookie but I love baking with molasses. thanks for the inspiration!
Thanks so much, Jackie!
Chewy cookies with molasses are one of my favs! These look amazing!!
Thanks, Stacey! Mine, too! 🙂
These look amazing! I’m adding them to my holiday cookie list..yum!
Thanks so much, Erin! I hope you love them!
I LOVE your ideas for mix-ins!!!
I have been searching for the perfect molasses cookie. Thank you! I am so excited to try it.
Awesome! You’re going to love these, Ashleigh! 🙂
These cookies are amazing! I made them once to give as neighbor gifts but had to make them a second time because my daughters and I all wanted more for us. Thank you so much for sharing what is now a favorite cookie recipe! (I”m not sure why I’m not able to select the number of stars, but I happily give it 5 stars.)
Awesome! Thank you so much, Keri!
This week I had a little extra time because I didn’t have to deal with the commute due to the coronavirus. I thought I’d try your Old Fashioned Chewy Molasses Cookies.-they are delicious, thank you for sharing this recipe with us!
Great idea, Kris! Now I want a batch of them, too! Those are definitely some of my favorite cookies. 🙂
One of my fondest childhood memories is of standing on the little stepstool in my grandma’s kitchen “helping” her make “Molasses Crinkles” which continued to be family tradition well into my adulthood. Sadly, though, she has passed on and I haven’t been able to locate all of her old recipes and have been hunting online for a replacement. This one seems to fit the bill judging by the images; I’ve seen recipes where the cookie is meant to be puffed up and cakey and ones where they are crunchy-I was looking for ones that are flat, round, chewy and have those distinctive crinkles all over-which yours appears to have. I am bookmarking this for later. 🙂
That’s wonderful, Ami! I hope that they bring back the great memories. 🙂
Ok. You saud bKing powder and baling soda..which one?
Hi, Joan! The recipe calls for baking soda. Sorry if there was any confusion. Hope you enjoy the cookies!
How many eggs?
Hi, Maddie! There’s a full recipe card at the bottom of the post with a list of all of the specific measurements for each ingredient. You’ll need 2 eggs. Hope that helps, and enjoy the cookies!
I made these once and they came out perfect. Then I made them a 2nd time and they came out totally different, they kind of puffed up. Any idea what went wrong?
Hi, Rachel! I have no idea what may have gone wrong the second time. It’s really hard for me to guess since I wasn’t there. If the recipe is measured, chilled and baked correctly, it should work perfectly. I would assume that maybe you accidentally mis-measured an ingredient? Sorry I can’t be more helpful. 🙂
Hi Blair- I am making the molasses cookies and am very excited for them to hurry up and chill!!! I did notice that my ginger powder was out of date so I grated some fresh ginger that I happened to have. Do you think they will turn out ok?
Hi, Gayle! I hope they turned out well! I imagine the fresh ginger should work fine — it would just add a more potent spicy ginger flavor to the cookies. 🙂
The ingredient list does not list eggs. I had the same question.
Hi, Maven! The eggs are included in the ingredient list second from the bottom (just above the flour). Hope that helps!
What amount of raisins and nuts would you use
Hi, Janet! I’d start with 1 cup of raisins and maybe 1/2 cup of nuts? Or you could add more nuts and go up to 1 cup. For a more subtle taste of the mix-ins, cut the raisins and nuts back to 1/2 cup each. 🙂