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Old Fashioned Molasses Cookie Recipe

Old fashioned molasses cookies are one of the chewiest, yummiest cookies to make for the holidays, you will absolutely love them!

These old fashioned molasses crinkles are fantastic and totally similar to our white chocolate molasses cookies. These are meant to get those beautiful cracks all over the top and be a little more chewy to bite into. I have a secret to making those cracks as cracky as possible too!

Note, these cookies are not crunchy as we aren’t making gingerbread cookies, but chewy as is in sink your teeth into delicious. It seems like molasses crinkles are becoming forgotten but I refuse to let that happen.

What Do I Need to Make Molasses Cookies?

I’ve had quite a few molasses crinkle cookies in my day and I’m sorry to say that I have the same complaint with all of them, too much molasses and ginger. I don’t want to be breathing fire when I bite into a cookie.

Now I do like molasses cookies to have warmth to them as that’s how they should be but that all comes from the right ingredient ratios. We only need 1/2 cup of molasses and that’s plenty to bring on the flavor. Here is everything you need:

  • Butter: unsalted, softened
  • Brown Sugar: adds sweetness and rich molasses flavor
  • Sugar: Just regular granulated sugar is used to both sweeten the dough and to roll the dough in before baking.
  • Molasses: adds flavor, sweetness and richness of flavor
    • PRO TIP: We prefer Grandma’s brand dark molasses.
  • Vanilla: adds flavor
  • Eggs: gives the cookies structure
  • Flour: just simple all purpose flour is all you need
  • Ground Cinnamon: adds warmth and flavor
  • Ground Cloves: adds festive holiday flavor
  • Baking Soda: gives the cookies rise and fluffiness
  • Ground Ginger: adds flavor and warmth
  • Salt: enhances all the flavors

The measurements for all the ingredients can be found in the recipe card at the end of this post.

a photo of a stack of chewy molasses cookies with two broken in half and sitting on their sides so you can see the middle

How to Make Molasses Cookies

These old fashioned soft molasses cookies come together quickly and easily. Here are the basic steps:

  1. Wet Ingredients: Mix the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer and cream until light and fluffy using the paddle attachment. Add the molasses and beat until smooth and then the egg and mix again.
  2. Dry Ingredients: In a separate bowl, whisk all the dry ingredients together.
  3. Combine: Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and mix until combined.
  4. Chill: Scrape the sides of the bowl down and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
  5. Prep: Preheat the oven and prep baking sheets with silpats or parchment paper.
  6. Form: Scoop the cookie dough into balls and using your hands, roll the dough into balls. Roll the dough in sugar
  7. Chill again: Place the dough balls on a baking sheet, wrap with saran wrap and chill again while you prepare the rest of the dough.
    • TIP: If I have the time, I like to chill the dough this second time overnight. The longer it chills, the better the cracks on the baked cookies.
  8. Roll: After chilling the dough the second time, pull them out and let them sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes and then roll them in sugar again. This step is optional, but I love the added texture and sweetness it brings.
  9. Bake: Bake until cracks just begin to appear on the top of the cookies.
    • TIP: Keep all the dough balls in the refrigerator as the cookies bake. You want to them to stay chilled right up until baking.
  10. Rest: Remove the baking sheet from the oven and let it sit on the counter to cool for a couple of minutes before removing the cookies to a wire rack to cool.

These instructions are stated in full detail in the recipe card down below. You can also print or save the recipe from there.

a photo of a thick and chewy molasses cookies with a bite taken out of it.

Secrets to the Best Molasses Cookies

The real key though is in the chill, these cookies should be chilled for at least 2 hours and the dough should be kept in the fridge in between baking. And this makes a lot, a lot of dough so be prepared my friends!

Another secret is to double roll the dough in sugar! I scoop the dough into balls roll into sugar, placed them all on one cookie sheet and wrapped tightly in saran wrap and place it in the fridge. Generally overnight is my favorite, but at least two hours before baking. Then I pull the dough out, let it sit for 10 min to take the chill off, roll it in sugar again and bake.

And if you want to know a secret, I especially love the cookies baked and then frozen. The only cookie in the world that I approve of doing that with. There’s something about the warm spices and freezing cold cookie that is just plain awesome-sauce.

a photo taken over the top of a large thick and chewy molasses molasses cookie topped with sugar and those signature cracks.

Where Do Molasses Cookies Originate?

It’s hard to know for sure, but most sources agree that molasses cookies came on the scene in the mid 1800s in the New England area.

Are Ginger Snaps and Molasses Cookies the Same?

The key difference between molasses cookies and gingersnap cookies is that molasses cookies are chewy, versus ginger cookies that are snappier and crisper in texture.

Surprisingly, both cookie recipes call for about the same amount of molasses–usually around 1/4 cup.

a photo of a large chewy molasses cookie with a bite taken out of the it and topped with sprinkled granulated sugar.

Why Won’t My Molasses Cookies Crack?

There are a couple of different reasons that molasses cookies might not crack. First, if the dough is too wet, the cracks won’t appear because the cracks occur as the surface of the dough dries out. Make sure to measure all the ingredients accurately.

The other possible reason for no cracking is if the dough is too warm. You want the dough to be chilled when it goes into the oven to bake.

Can Molasses Cookies be Frozen?

Yes, they freeze well if done properly.

All cookies should be frozen individually after they’ve cooled completely, meaning they should be placed on a baking sheet, not touching, until frozen solid (they can be frozen like this in layers separated by parchment, wax, or freezer paper).

Old fashioned molasses cookies are the perfect holiday cookie recipe. They are warm and festive with a chewy texture and a flavor that reminds you of the peace and comfort of childhood Christmases. You’re going to love this classic cookie recipe!

More Christmas Cookie Recipes:

Servings: 36 -48 cookes

Prep Time: 2 hours

Cook Time: 8 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours 8 minutes


Old Fashioned Molasses Crinkles are one of the chewiest, yummiest cookies to make for the holidays, you will absolutely love them!

Prevent your screen from going dark

  • In a bowl of a standing mixer, mix the butter and sugar for 2 minutes or until smooth, light in color and fluffy.

    3/4 Cup Unsalted Butter, 1/2 Cup Brown Sugar, 1/2 Cup Sugar

  • Add the molasses and vanilla and beat until smooth.

    1/4 Cup Molasses, 1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla

  • Add the egg and egg yolk and mix again until the egg is just incorporated.

    1 Large Egg, 1 Egg Yolk

  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, ground cloves, baking soda, ground ginger and salt.

    2 1/3 Cups Flour, 1 Teaspoons Ground Cinnamon, 1/2 Teaspoon Ground Cloves, 1 1/2 Teaspoons Ground Ginger, 2 Teaspoons Baking Soda, 1/2 Teaspoon Salt

  • Add to the wet ingredients and beat the dough until everything is smooth.

  • Scrape down the sides of the bowl and wrap tightly with saran wrap.

  • Refrigerate for at least two hours.

  • Heat the oven to 350 degrees and line baking sheets with parchment or silpat liners.

  • Scoop rounded tablespoons into your hands and roll into balls.

  • Roll in sugar in a bowl and place on the baking sheet.

    1/2 Cup Sugar

  • Cover the baking sheet with saran wrap and chill while you complete the next pan.

  • Place the bowl of dough in the fridge in between rolling and baking to help keep the dough chilled.

  • When the next pan is finished, place the first in the oven to bake for 8-10 minutes, or until cracks just begin to appear.

  • Remove from the oven and gently place on the counter to cool for two minutes before removing to a cooling rack.

  • Repeat with remaining dough.

Store in an airtight container.

Serving: 1gCalories: 107kcalCarbohydrates: 17gProtein: 1gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.2gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0.2gCholesterol: 20mgSodium: 98mgPotassium: 52mgFiber: 0.3gSugar: 10gVitamin A: 132IUVitamin C: 0.003mgCalcium: 12mgIron: 1mg

Author: Sweet Basil

Course: 100 Best Cookies Recipes on the Planet

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