These Old fashioned molasses cookies have a rich, warm flavor and a chewy texture that makes them a beloved favorite among many. These nostalgic cookies are perfect for the holiday season and are also a great choice during the fall and winter months.
Whether you're a seasoned baker or a first-timer, this classic recipe is one to keep for your holiday festivities. They're delicious enough to enjoy all year round but are especially wonderful during Christmas and the holiday season.
This was inspired by my Chewy Gingersnap Cookies, a similar cookie recipe but with a different flavor profile.
To make old fashioned molasses cookies, you will need the following ingredients:
To ensure that your cookies have the perfect balance of flavors, make sure to use unsulphured molasses. This type of molasses has a milder, sweeter taste, which contributes to the overall appeal of these old fashioned cookies.
- unsalted butter
- unsulphured molasses - This type of molasses has a milder, sweeter taste and is best for making soft molasses cookies
- dark brown sugar - dark browns sugar deepens the flavor and creates a chewy texture
- vanilla extract
- all-purpose flour - spooned and leveled
- baking soda
- ground cinnamon
- ground cloves
- ground ginger
See recipe card for quantities.
Before you start, prepare the ingredients needed for your old fashioned molasses cookies. You'll need softened butter for this recipe, so be sure to set it out on the counter for about half an hour before making the molasses cookies dough.
In a mixing bowl, cream together the butter until creamy and beat in the brown sugar until smooth. Then, add molasses, vanilla extract, and eggs to the butter mixture and beat until combined.
The next step is to add the dry ingredients. Combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and salt in a separate bowl. Once combined, gradually add the dry ingredients mixture to the butter mixture and beat at low speed until a soft cookie dough forms.
Scoop the cookie dough by using a #40 cookie scoop or scooping 1.5 tablespoons of cookie dough and roll it into a shallow bowl of granulated sugar.
Place the cookie dough two inches apart on the prepared cookie sheets and bake one cookie sheet at a time for 9-11 minutes.
Once the edges are browned and the tops of the cookies have cracked, remove the cookies from the oven and let them cool on the cookie sheet for about five minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely. Avoid overbaking this molasses cookie recipe to create a chewy texture in these cookies.
Hint: Use a cookie scoop (#40) to easily portion out the cookie dough and to get the same size cookies.
If you don't have molasses on hand or prefer to use an alternative, there are several options you can consider for your old fashioned molasses cookies recipe.
- Golden syrup - use golden syrup in place of molasses if you don't have molasses on hand. It has a similar caramel-like flavor and sticky texture with molasses but with a milder taste. Keep in mind that it will alter the flavor of the cookies.
- Light Brown Sugar - Light brown sugar can be used in place of dark brown sugar. You can even use half dark and half light brown sugar in this recipe.
- Shortening: You can use a combination of unsalted butter and shortening in this recipe. This is a very traditional method of making these cookies but using all butter creates a chewier texture.
When making old fashioned molasses cookies, you can try different variations to make these cookies unique.
- Add Nuts - Add chopped walnuts or pecans to add a crunch to your cookies.
- Add Dried Fruit - You can also mix in raisins or other dried fruit for a chewy and fruity flavor.
See this Spice Cookies with Rum Glaze recipe for a fun spin on molasses cookies.
To make old fashioned molasses cookies, you'll need to gather some essential kitchen equipment.
- Electric Mixer - A hand mixer or a stand mixer is essential in this recipe. The mixture is sticky to start and can be difficult to mix by hand. You can make this recipe by hand but be ready to put in a little more work than using an electric mixer.
- Measuring Cups and Spoons - It's important to use measuring cups and spoons to accurately measure your ingredients.
- Mixing Bowls - Two mixing bowls will be necessary for this recipe - one for wet ingredients and one for dry ingredients. Mixing bowls with grips on the bottom is a great feature to keep the bowls in place when stirring. You will also need a shallow bowl for rolling the cookie dough balls in granulated sugar before baking.
- Cookie Scoop - Cookie scoops are great kitchen tools for portioning out cookie dough and for getting the same size cookies.
- Parchment Paper - Parchment paper is great to use for easy clean up and for even baking.
- Cookie Sheets - I prefer light-colored baking sheets so that the bottoms of the cookies brown evenly and the cookies bake more evenly overall.
With these tools in hand, you're well-equipped to create delicious old fashioned molasses cookies!
When it comes to storing your old fashioned molasses cookies, there are a few methods to ensure they remain fresh and delicious.
Store freshly baked and cooled cookies in an airtight container for up to a week for maximum freshness.
Whether you're baking your cookies ahead of the Christmas season and freezing them to enjoy later or freezing the cookie dough to bake later, you can successfully freeze these cookies.
To freeze freshly baked cookies:
- Create a single layer: Lay your completely cool molasses cookies in a single layer inside a freezer safe bag with parchment paper between each layer.
- Place in freezer container: Place the zipper bags of cookies inside a freezer container for extra protection from the freezer. Make sure to label and date the container as these baked cookies will last 3 months in the freezer.
To freeze molasses cookie dough:
- Portion dough: use a cookie scoop to portion the dough for easy baking later.
- Roll in sugar: Roll each cookie dough ball in granulated sugar.
- Create a single layer: Transfer your cookie dough balls to a freezer safe bag in a layer with parchment paper between each layer to prevent the cookie dough from sticking together.
- Place in freezer container: Place the zipper bags of cookie dough inside a freezer container for extra protection from the freezer. Make sure to label and date the container as the cookie dough will last 3 months in the freezer.
To bake frozen cookie dough:
- Bring to room temperature: Bring the cookie dough to room temperature and preheat the oven to 350ºF. Prepare the cookie sheets are directed in the recipe.
- Bake: Follow the directions on the recipe for baking and storing the molasses cookies.
Use a cookie scoop to easily portion and scoop the cookie dough.
Looking for other recipes like this? Try these:
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 ½ cup dark brown sugar
- ½ cup molasses
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 ½ teaspoon ground cloves
- 2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 3 ½ cups flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ cup granulated sugar, for rolling
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or lightly spray it with baking spray.
- Using a hand mixer or stand mixer, cream together the butter until creamy and beat in the brown sugar until smooth.
- Add molasses, vanilla extract, and eggs to the butter mixture and beat until combined.
- In a separate bowl, combine spooned and leveled all-purpose flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and salt.
- Once combined, gradually add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and beat at low speed until a soft cookie dough forms.
- Scoop the cookie dough by using a #40 cookie scoop or by scooping 1.5 tablespoons of cookie dough.
- Roll it into a shallow bowl of granulated sugar.
- Place the cookie dough two inches apart on the prepared cookie sheets.
- Bake one cookie sheet at a time for 9-11 minutes.
- Let the cookies cool for about five minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.
Avoid overbaking these molasses cookies for a chewy texture.
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Serving Size:1 cookie
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 112Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 19mgSodium: 115mgCarbohydrates: 17gFiber: 0gSugar: 10gProtein: 1g
Nutrition calculation is a rough estimate and can vary depending on the cooking technique and the exact ingredients used. For informational purposes only.
Dana is an experienced recipe creator who crafts easy and delicious recipes for all levels of home cooks.
Her recipes range from classic comfort foods to healthy and nutritious meals, and she is always on the lookout for new and exciting ways to bring flavor and variety to the table.