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Old Fashioned Molasses Cookies

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Prep Time: 1 hr 10 mins    Cook Time: 10 mins

5 from 3 votes

Although there are literally thousands of cookie recipes to choose from, it's fair to say nothing compares to old fashioned molasses cookies! These chewy, soft cookies boast aromatic hints of spices as well as the sweet, comforting warmth of molasses.

A stack of freshly baked molasses cookies.
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Cinnamon, ginger, and cloves add so much appeal to these wonderful cookies. They're a little like ginger cookies or gingersnaps, but these are chewier and have more spices in them.

Something else I love about these is you can make the dough in 10 minutes and bake them in 10 minutes. There is an hour of chilling time between the prep and the cooking, but they are totally worth the wait if spiced molasses cookies are your thing!

If you're a fan of chewy, spiced cookies then I promise you will love these. You might also love my Biscoff butter cookies or these delicious almond flour oatmeal cookies.

Main Ingredients

Whether you remember Betty Crocker's molasses crinkle cookies from the 1950s, you just love munching on molasses cookies, or you want to try a new recipe, I heartily recommend making these. Here are some of the ingredients you'll need to make them:

  • Molasses: The main flavor in the cookies. No other sweetener is as thick, rich, or intensely flavored as molasses! Since this is the key flavor in the cookies, don't substitute another sweetener unless you especially want a lighter flavor, in which case maple syrup or agave syrup would work.
  • Margarine: To give a tender result. Margarine works with the other ingredients to give the cookies a tender texture along with a rich flavor. Use butter instead if you prefer.
  • Spices: For aromatic warmth. The combination of ginger, cloves, and cinnamon is so good with the molasses. Every bite of cookie will have you saying “mmm!”
  • Flour: To bind the ingredients. Good old all-purpose flour is perfect for this recipe. Make sure you sift it to get rid of any lumps.
  • Salt: A pinch of salt helps bring out the sweet flavors in this recipe, so I would definitely add it.
  • Sugar: For sweetness. White sugar adds sweetness to the recipe along with the sweetness from the molasses. You could use brown sugar if you want to, but bear in mind the result will be a little different flavor-wise.

Instructions Overview

Mix the egg with sugar and margarine, then stir in some of the molasses. Combine the salt, spices, flour, and baking soda in another bowl, then blend this with the molasses mixture.

Wrap the dough in foil or plastic wrap and chill it for an hour. Now break the dough into balls and dip them in sugar. Arrange them on baking sheets and bake for 10 minutes or until done. Let them cool before serving.

Several molasses cookies spread out on a table.

Common Questions

Can molasses cookies be frozen?

These freeze and thaw really well, so why not make a batch of them? You can even take them out of the freezer and break them up while frozen and then sprinkle them over vanilla ice cream. Yum! I'd recommend freezing them in a Ziploc freezer bag.

How do you know when ginger cookies are done?

When they're golden and the tops are cracked, they're ready. This should take somewhere between 8 and 10 minutes depending on your oven, so have a peek at them after 7 or 8 minutes to see how they're doing. They will still be delicate at this point, so let them cool completely on wire racks before sampling one.

Why are my cookies cracking?

In some cookie recipes, cracking on top can spell disaster. However, molasses cookies are supposed to crack. This happens when the top surface dries before the cookies have finished rising and spreading. Once everyone spots the cracked top, they'll instantly recognize that these are old fashioned molasses cookies. Everyone will be clamoring to grab one before they're all gone!

What does molasses do in cookies?

Molasses is a bit like honey. When used in cookies, it lends a distinctive brown hue and renders them soft and chewy in texture.

What is the difference between gingersnaps and molasses cookies?

The biggest difference between these 2 cookies is the texture. Molasses cookies come out soft and chewy thanks to the molasses while gingersnaps have a crispier texture.

Which molasses is best for molasses cookies?

When prepping your kitchen for baking these molasses cookies, choose a light, unsulfured molasses. It is very sweet and features the least refining so you get a mild yet sweet flavor.

Can you substitute maple syrup for molasses in these cookies?

Technically, you can use it in a 1:1 ratio. While maple syrup is great, you won’t get that distinctive flavor molasses is known for. However, you will get a similarity in sweetness and moisture that can be an apt replacement should you be unable to find molasses.

When were molasses cookies invented?

Molasses cookies can be traced back to the late 1800s. As molasses was very inexpensive at the time, it was a very popular ingredient in all cookies even into the early 1900s.

Two old fashioned molasses cookies with a glass of milk.

Chopnotch Tips

  • Don't skip the hour of chilling time or else the cookies will spread a lot on the baking sheets and maybe merge into each other.
  • Feel free to adjust the amount of spice to suit your palate. Add more of one, omit another or even substitute something different like powdered mace for a different result.
  • Sift the flour before mixing in the other dry ingredients. This ensures everything gets mixed properly without any lumps.
Freshly baked molasses cookies on a cooling rack.

These old fashioned molasses cookies are soft, sweet, and chewy, pairing aromatic spices with the warm, comfort food appeal of molasses.

Let us know what you think! Give this recipe a rating in the comments section below.

Recipe

How to Make

Old Fashioned Molasses Cookies

Molasses cookies are always a popular favorite. Molasses, ginger, cloves, and cinnamon star in every bite.
SCALE THIS RECIPE
Prep Time: 1 hr 10 mins
Cook Time: 10 mins
Total Time: 1 hr 20 mins
Servings: 30 cookies

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup margarine, melted
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ cup molasses
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
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Instructions

  • Combine together egg, a cup of sugar, and ¾ cup melted margarine in a bowl until smooth. Stir in ¼ cup molasses.
  • In a separate bowl, mix together ½ teaspoon ground cloves, ½ teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon ground ginger, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 2 cups all-purpose flour, and 2 teaspoons baking soda. Blend into the mixture of molasses, and chill for an hour, covered.
  • After an hour, roll dough into walnut-sized balls, then dip balls into the leftover white sugar.
  • Place cookies on ungreased baking sheets.
  • Bake in a preheated oven at 375 degrees F until tops are cracked, for 8 to 10 minutes.
  • Once done, allow them to cool, then enjoy!
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Notes

  • Don't skip the hour of chilling time or else the cookies will spread a lot on the baking sheets and maybe merge into each other.
  • Feel free to adjust the amount of spice to suit your palate. Add more of one, omit another or even substitute something different like powdered mace for a different result.
  • Sift the flour before mixing in the other dry ingredients. This ensures everything gets mixed properly without any lumps.

Nutrition Facts

Calories: 120kcal (6%), Carbohydrates: 19g (6%), Protein: 1g (2%), Fat: 5g (8%), Saturated Fat: 1g (6%), Cholesterol: 5mg (2%), Sodium: 169mg (7%), Potassium: 54mg (2%), Fiber: 1g (4%), Sugar: 12g (13%), Vitamin A: 211IU (4%), Calcium: 10mg (1%), Iron: 1mg (6%)
Print Recipe
course:
Dessert
cuisine:
American

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