Our family recipe for classic molasses cookies. These crinkly, soft and chewy cookies are full of cozy, nostalgic, holiday flavor from ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and rich molasses. They’re a must-bake every Christmas, and are perfect for sharing or gifting.
- 3/4 cups (1–1/2 sticks or 170g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 1 cup (198g) granulated sugar, plus more for rolling ¹
- 1/4 cup (60g) molasses ²
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp fresh ginger, crushed or finely minced ³
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 2–3/8 cups (285g) all-purpose flour ⁴
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 1/2 tsp fine-grain sea salt
Make the cookie dough
- Melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat (or in the microwave). Set aside to cool. The melted butter should still be liquid but not too warm.
- Meanwhile, in a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and salt until completely combined. Set aside.
- Add the melted butter to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, along with the sugar, molasses, and egg. Mix on medium speed until completely combined and slightly lightened in color, about a minute.
- Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a spatula to make sure all of the molasses is incorporated. Mix in the ginger and vanilla until combined.
- Turn the mixer down to low-speed, and add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients, a quarter cup or so at a time, until just combined. It will be thick. Place the cookie dough in the refrigerator for at least an hour or until completely chilled.
Bake the cookies
- When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a couple of large baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Add about 1/2 cup of granulated or raw sugar to a shallow bowl. Set aside.
- Use a small cookie scoop to scoop the dough into 1-inch/tablespoon sized portions. Gently roll into balls. Place the cookie dough balls on one of the prepared baking sheets, leaving enough space so that they don’t touch each other. You should have around 32-34 dough balls.
- Place in the fridge to chill for at least 10 minutes.
- Take out 8-10 dough balls (however many will comfortably fit on your sheet pan, spaced about 2 inches apart). Place them in the sugar bowl and gently roll to generously and completely coat.
- Place the dough balls on your prepared baking sheet about 2-inches apart.
- Bake for 7-9 minutes on the middle rack, until the tops are golden brown and cracks have begun to form around the edges. The very center and spaces between the cracks may appear undone, that’s okay.
- Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer to a wire baking rack to cool completely.
- Repeat in batches with the remaining dough balls. When the cookies are cool to room-temperature, transfer to an airtight container to keep them moist and chewy. Enjoy!!
¹ For more sparkle and some added crunch, use organic cane sugar or a sanding sugar for rolling the cookie dough balls.
² My favorite molasses for these cookies is Brer Rabbit Full Flavor Molasses. You can also use Grandma’s Molasses (60g) for a more mild flavor or Wholesome Organic Molasses (80g) for a more intense blackstrap molasses taste.
³ I’m quite sure that when my family first made this recipe decades ago they only used ground ginger, but I love incorporating both fresh and ground here. You can grate/mince your own or simply grab a jar of the fresh stuff. If you like a generous amount of spice, follow the recipe as written, or for a more mild ginger flavor, use just 1/4 tsp ground ginger instead.
⁴ I would highly encourage you to weigh your flour for the most consistent results. If you are measuring just by volume (spooning and leveling method), you may find you only need 2-1/4 cups flour.
Note: Be sure to read my tips and best practices above!
Keywords: chewy molasses cookies, ginger cookies, christmas, holiday cookie, brer rabbit, molasses sugar cookie