Skip to Content

Home » Desserts » Soft and Chewy Molasses Spice Cookies

Soft and Chewy Molasses Spice Cookies

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.

These delightful Soft and Chewy Molasses Spice Cookies are a must for your holiday cookie bakingThey are crisp, crinkly and sugary on the outside while inside the soft, moist goodness seems to melt in your mouth.  Beware!  You will not be able to stop with only one or two cookies!

A plate of soft and chewy molasses spice cookies

Spice and Molasses cookies, a perfect blend!

 
There is nothing like the taste of molasses!  Not honey, not maple syrup and not brown sugar.  Molasses is in a class of it’s own!  Good old-fashion, molasses cookies are one of life’s pleasures.

I recently bought a package of molasses cookies from a bakery and was so disappointed in the flavor and texture.  I could actually taste the flavor of the shortening!  Not butter, shortening, like maybe Crisco!  The next day I pulled these soft and chewy molasses spice cookies together and used real butter!   Confession…. I did major damage to the first sheet pan of warm cookies that came out of the oven.  ?

What is Molasses? 

Molasses is a by-product made from sugar cane juice or sugar beat juice.  After processing the juice from the sugar cane stalks the juice is boiled down to a crystalized sugar.  The crystals are then removed and voilà!  You have molasses!
 
There is a difference in the process of the sugar cane and the sugar beets though.  Sugar cane juice will produce a light molasses with the first boiling process.  Sugar beets require a couple of boilings before it becomes molasses.
 
When making molasses with either sugar cane or sugar beets, the more times it’s boiled down the flavors become more spicy and intense.  You can buy molasses in any grocery store and the label should say if it is a light or dark molasses.

Choosing the right molasses: 

There are three types of molasses:
  • unsulfured
  • sulfured
  • blackstrap molasses
It is good to know the difference between these types when baking our soft and chewy molasses spice cookies.
 
Three soft, sugary molasses cookies

Soft and chewy molasses spice cookies

  • Unsulfured molasses is the finest quality and the one you want to use for any baking.  Unsulfured molasses is the best grade of the three types of molasses because it is from the first boiling and only removes a small amount of sugar
  • Sulfured molasses comes from unripened sugar cane and requires treatment with sulfur fumes during the sugar extracting process. The second boiling has a darker and less sweet flavor.
  • Blackstrap molasses is from the third boiling of the juice. It is a more concentrated, nutritionally dense molasses than when made from the first or second boilings. Blackstrap molasses has a strong flavor.  It also has a lower sugar content and high in iron and minerals. 

 Molasses is not just for baking, it is delicious in savory foods as well.   Check out our old-fashioned Baked Beans.   

Now that we have graduated from the Molasses-101 class let’s move on to the cookie-baking. 

How to make soft and chewy molasses spice cookies:

The secret in making these perfect molasses cookies is using only the yolk of one egg and not over-mixing the dough.
 
It will only take a few minutes to stir these cookies up so set your oven to 375°F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.   Also, you need to set up a shallow dish of coarse-grind sugar crystals and get out your cookie scooper.
 
If you don’t have coarse-grind sugar crystals you can still make this recipe. We used the large sugar crystals to roll the cookie dough in just before baking them. It gives the cookies a beautiful sparkly sheen and classic molasses cookie look. The cookies will be just as delicious if you roll them in regular sugar. 
 
Molasses cookie dough in a dish with coarse sugar

Give the a good sugar coating!

  • Set a large mesh strainer over a medium-size bowl and add the flour, baking soda, spices and salt. Stir with a spatula or spoon to sift the mixture down into the bowl. Reserve.
  • Add the butter and both sugars to a large mixing bowl. Use either a handheld mixer or a stand mixer. If you have a standing mixer then use the paddle attachment.
  • Beat the butter and the sugars at medium-high speed until light and fluffy—about 3-minutes.
  • Reduce the speed to medium-low and add the egg yolk and vanilla. Increase the speed to medium and beat until blended—about 20-30 seconds.
  • Reduce speed to medium-low and add molasses. Beat until incorporated, about 20 seconds. Reduce speed to the lowest setting. Add the four mixture and mix just until incorporated, about 30 seconds. Stir by hand with a rubber spatula to get any remaining flour at the bottom of the bowl.
  • Use a cookie scoop or a tablespoon and shape the dough in your hands forming 1-1/2 inch balls.
  • Roll the balls in the sugar and place them on the parchment-lined baking sheet. Leave space between each cookie. 

Baking the Cookies…11-Minutes!

Bake only one pan of cookies at a time.  That way the cookies will bake more evenly. Prepare another batch while the first batch is baking.

Cookies being lifted from pan, striped towel and cookies in background

These are the best soft and chewy molasses spice cookies.

  • Bake the cookies in the preheated oven until browned, puffed up and the edges have begun to set while the centers appear soft—about 11 minutes.
  • The cookies will have those beautiful cracks and appear to be undercooked.  Do not over bake, they will continue baking from residual heat once removed from the oven.
  • Remove the baking sheet from the oven and leave the cookies on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer the cookies to a wire rack to finish cooling.
Two soft and chewy molasses spice cookies on a plate, glass of milk and flowers in background

Molasses cookies and cold milk…..Perfect!

 

Tips for soft molasses cookies:

  • Do not overmix the dough.
  • When you measure the molasses, spray the measuring cup with cooking spray and it will slide right out. 
  • The cookie dough will be soft. Don’t add extra flour to make it firm.
  • Sift the dry ingredients to remove lumps.
  • For best results, bake one cookie sheet at a time (they will bake more evenly).
  • Don’t overbake the cookies. They will continue to bake from the residual heat when you remove them from the oven. Keep them slightly underbaked so they will be soft.
These are the BEST molasses cookies!  They taste like love from my mom!   Each crinkly cookie has a crisp, sugary crust of course-grind sugar yet they are soft and moist inside.  The spices are perfectly blended and compliment the flavor of molasses.  I can not imagine having these cookies without a glass of cold milk…
 

SOME OTHER RECIPES WE ARE SURE YOU WILL LOVE:

CONNECT WITH SAVOR THE BEST!

Be sure to follow us on our social media accounts

Facebook * Instagram *  Pinterest * Twitter * Youtube

Did you make this recipe? We would love to hear from you. Drop us a comment below.

Three soft, sugary molasses cookies

Soft and Chewy Molasses Spice Cookies

Yield: 24 Cookies
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 11 minutes
Total Time: 26 minutes

These soft and chewy molasses spice cookies are crisp, crinkly and sugary on the outside while inside the soft, moist goodness seems to melt in your mouth.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup butter (1-1/2 cubes) room temperature
  • 1/3 cup (70 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup (70 grams) dark brown sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup unsulfured molasses (I use Grandma’s)
  • 2-1/4 cups (300 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 3/4 cup (150 grams) coarse-grind sugar (to roll the cookies in)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Add the butter, brown and white sugars to a large mixing bowl.  Use either a handheld mixer or a stand mixer. If you have a standing mixer then use the paddle attachment. 
  3. Beat the butter and the sugars at medium-high speed until light and fluffy—about 3-minutes. Reduce the speed to medium-low and add the egg yolk and vanilla. Increase the speed to medium and beat until blended—about 20-30 seconds.
  4. Reduce speed to medium-low and add molasses. Beat until incorporated, about 20 seconds. 
  5. Set a large mesh strainer over the mixing bowl and add the flour, baking soda, spices and salt. Sift the mixture down into the batter and give it a stir with your spatula (stirring the flour in a bit will prevent it from flying out of the bowl when you start the mixer.)
  6. Place the mixer on the lowest setting and beat just until the flour is completely blended.
  7. Use a cookie scoop or a tablespoon and shape the dough in your hands forming 1-1/2 inch balls. 
  8. Add the course sugar to a shallow dish. Roll the balls in the sugar and place them on the parchment-lined baking sheet. Leave space between each cookie.   
  9. Bake the cookies in the preheated oven until they are browned, puffed up and the edges have begun to set while the centers are soft—about 11 minutes. 
  10. The cookies will have those beautiful cracks and appear to be undercooked.  Do not over bake, they will continue baking from residual heat once removed from the oven.
  11. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and leave the cookies on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer the cookies to a wire rack to finish cooling.

Notes

  • Sifting the dry ingredients is important to remove any lumps of salt or baking soda.
  • When measuring the molasses, spray the measuring cup lightly with oil and the molasses will slide right out.
  • The cookie dough will be soft, do not over mix
  • Regular sugar can be used to roll the cookies in rather than the coarse grind sugar
  • For best results, bake only one baking sheet of cookies at a time. While they are baking scoop and roll the second batch that can go into the oven when the first batch is removed.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 24 Serving Size: 1 cookie
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 122Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 31mgSodium: 126mgCarbohydrates: 15gFiber: 0gSugar: 6gProtein: 2g

Nutrition information is a guideline only, is calculated automatically by third party software, and absolute accuracy is not guaranteed.

Click here to follow us on Instagram!

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

Serving of orzo pasta and chicken
One Pot Chicken Orzo
← Read Last Post
collage of photos with homemade gift ideas
Savor the Best 2019 Holiday Gift Guide: Homemade Gifts
Read Next Post →

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

pauline

Saturday 4th of July 2020

This is the Best Molasses cookie recipe I have made. The addition of the black pepper is literally genius! This recipe is accurate in ingredients, measurements, and instructions. You’ll end up with a perfectly baked Molasses cookie. With of love of ginger, next time I will add a second teaspoon of ginger. Remember, the secret to a perfect cookie is in the baking. DO NOT over bake. Happy baking and eating!

Dahn Boquist

Saturday 4th of July 2020

That is so nice to hear. We like the black pepper too. It is pretty surprising how it amplifies the flavor. Thanks for the comment

John / Kitchen Riffs

Wednesday 6th of November 2019

Love this kinda of cookie! Terrific recipe. And loads of good info -- didn't know that much about the different kinds of molasses, and now I do! Thanks.

Dahn Boquist

Wednesday 6th of November 2019

Thanks John :)

angiesrecipes

Monday 4th of November 2019

They are definitely a must for the cookie tray! Thank you for sharing the tips of making chewy molasses cookies!

Pat Nyswonger

Monday 4th of November 2019

Thanks, Angie....Bake 'm up and enjoy!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.