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Soft Molasses Cookies

These chewy, Soft Molasses Cookies are the perfect Christmas cookie. They’re slightly crispy on the edges, chewy in the middle, and rolled in sugar for a sweet finish.

front view of a molasses cookie held

Easy Molasses Cookies for Christmas

Christmas cookie season is the best! I just love packaging a bunch of different kinds up all cute and sending them to family and friends. I mean, is there anything better than getting a box of homemade cookies in the mail? I think not.

These cookies resemble my favorite snickerdoodle cookies, which gets the best reviews. See all those cracks and crevasses? That’s how you know it’s going to be good. Plus the edges have just the right amount of crispiness while the centers stay nice and soft.

Need more easy Christmas cookie ideas? My favorites include easy, no-chill sugar cookies, Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies, and Seven Layer Bars.

side view of a red container lined with tissue paper and filled with molasses cookies

What is the Difference Between Molasses Cookies and Gingerbread Cookies?

Both are spiced cookies often served around the holidays, but they are slightly different. Mainly, in the texture. You’ll find most Gingerbread Cookies are also used as cutout cookies and decorated with icing. Molasses cookies are usually intended to be soft while gingerbread cookies have a bit more crunch. Additionally, gingerbread cookies contain slightly more ginger than molasses cookies do.

What’s in a Molasses Cookie?

  • Butter
  • Sugar – we’re using both granulated sugar and light brown sugar. The brown sugar compliments the molasses flavor and keeps the cookies extra chewy.
  • Molasses – I use Grandma’s brand.
  • Egg
  • Pure Vanilla Extract
  • All-Purpose Flour
  • Salt
  • Baking Soda
  • Cream of Tartar – cream of tartar is the secret to soft and chewy cookies.
  • Spices – we’re spicing the cookie dough up a bit with a mix of ginger, cloves, and cinnamon.

What Type of Molasses is Used for Cookies?

That depends on what you want. Light molasses will have a more subtle molasses flavor. Dark molasses is going to be slightly more intense. Either will work. I use Grandma’s brand as it’s the most readily available.

How to Make Soft Molasses Cookies

  1. Combine the wet ingredients: In your stand mixer, combine butter and sugars until creamed together. Add in the molasses, eggs, and vanilla, then beat until combined.
  2. Add the dry ingredients: In a separate bowl, combine all the dry ingredients. Slowly add the dry ingredients, then mix until a dough starts to form.
  3. Portion and chill: Use a cookie scoop to portion the dough out into balls. Roll each ball in a bowl of sugar, then place them on a lined baking sheet. Place in the fridge to chill for at least 45 minutes.
  4. Bake: Bake the cookies at 350ºF for 10-12 minutes, then cool and serve.

Why Are My Molasses Cookies Not Cracking?

There may be a couple of reasons. Here are a couple tips to make sure you get that perfectly crackly cookie top:

  1. Use fresh baking soda. The baking soda causes the cookies to rise in the oven, then deflate slightly as they cool. This is what causes the cracks to form. If the baking soda is too old, it won’t serve that purpose.
  2. Don’t over-mix the dough. Over-mixing the dough overworks the gluten which results in a tougher texture. The cookies need to be soft to crack!
three cookies leaning on one another

Cookies Tips

  • Scoop before chilling. If you chill the dough before scooping it, it will be way too firm and difficult to portion out. The sugar will also stick more easily before chilling.
  • Chill the dough! This is essential, otherwise, the cookies will spread too much and you won’t get the rise you are looking for.
  • If you chill the dough longer than 2 hours, set it out on the counter for 20 minutes before baking. We don’t want it to be too cold.
  • You’ll know the cookies are done when the centers are slightly under-baked, but the edges are nice and crispy.
a half eaten molasses cookie held

How to Store

These molasses cookies will last in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days or in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

The cookies (or cookie dough) can also be frozen!

To freeze the dough, roll into balls, then refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Transfer to an airtight container, then freeze for up to 1 month. Thaw prior to baking.

To freeze the cookies, cool them completely, then store in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Thaw or microwave to enjoy again.

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closeup of a molasses cookie

Soft Molasses Cookie Recipe

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 2 reviews
  • Author: Julianne Dell
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Chill Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 11 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 41 minutes
  • Yield: 12 cookies
  • Category: Cookies
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American


These Molasses Cookies are the perfect Christmas cookies! They are slightly crispy on the edges, chewy in the middle with a kick of ginger flavor and rolled in sugar for a sweet finish.


  • ½ cup (113g) unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ cup (95g) granulated sugar
  • ½ cup (110g) packed light brown sugar
  • ¼ cup (59ml) molasses
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 ¾ cup (245g) all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon cloves
  • ¼ teaspoons cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoons cream of tartar
  • Additional ½ cup granulated sugar to roll the cookies in


  1. In your stand mixer, combine the butter with the granulated and brown sugar and beat on medium speed until well creamed together.
  2. Add the molasses, eggs and vanilla extract. Mix into the butter and sugar until the eggs are well beaten.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredient. Slowly add into batter and beat on medium low speed until well combined and dough starts to form.
  4. Place the remaining ½ cup sugar in a separate bowl. Use a large cookie scoop  and scoop cookie dough into sugar, roll around to coat the cookie. Place the cookies on a silicone lined baking sheet. Refrigerate dough for a minimum of 45 minutes.
  5. Preheat oven to 350° F. If your cookies have been refrigerated longer than 2 hours, allow them to rest at room temperature for 10 minutes before baking. Place the cookies about 2 inches apart on your baking sheet.
  6. Bake at 350° F for 10-12 minutes. Allow cookie to cool on the baking sheet for several minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.


Storage: Keep stored in an airtight container.

Freezing instructions: Cookie dough can be frozen and thawed prior to bake. Baked cookies can also be frozen in an airtight container.


  • Serving Size: 1 cookie
  • Calories: 229
  • Sugar: 22g
  • Sodium: 162mg
  • Fat: 8g
  • Carbohydrates: 36g
  • Fiber: .6g
  • Protein: 2.5g
  • Cholesterol: 35mg

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14 thoughts on “Soft Molasses Cookies”

  1. I absolutely love these!
    I used Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1:1 flour and chilled them for an hour.
    I rolled them in red and green sugar sprinkles to make them Christmas-themed.
    Thank you! 🙂

  2. Beginning of recipe for Soft Molasses Ginger Bread Cookies with Brown Butter glaze instructs preheat oven to 325 degrees Buttttt end of instructions said Bake cookies @350 for 10-12 min??? Also copied another of your recipes the “Soft Molasses Cookie”& That recipe states use Lg cookie scoop/ 3 TBSP of dough & bake also 10-12 min, where as the Brown butter glaze recipe said use 1 TBSP dough & bake 10-12 min also ? Aaahhhh?think I just answered my own question? The 325 degree temp(&1 TBSP dough) was “Correct” temperature for Brown Butter Molasses Cookies bake time 10-12 min???? ?‍♀️?Thankyou! Lol

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Hi Anna, the recipes are totally different recipes, so I would not compare the two. I did correct the instructions on the older recipes with the brown butter glaze to bake at 350. Thanks for letting me know.

  3. I wish I wouldn’t end up setting the toaster on fire when I’m preparing breakfast… Your cookies look heavenly! <3