Grandma's Soft Molasses Cookies are chewy molasses cookies that are slightly sweet with a hint of spice. Perfect for the holiday season! These molasses crinkles are a family favorite!
If you're looking for an easy Christmas cookie recipe, try this homemade molasses crinkle cookies recipe. They're not as spicy as gingerbread or gingersnap cookies, and they are super quick and easy to make!
A few years ago, a friend from the church we used to attend gave me her recipe for old fashioned molasses cookies. Up until then, I had never even had soft molasses cookies before, but one bite, and I was hooked!
Unfortunately, I somehow lost the recipe after one of our moves, and I couldn't find one that produced the soft chewy molasses cookies that I held a crystal-clear memory of. I modified a recipe that I found on a jar of molasses, and it was very close to the one I was looking for.
Incidentally, I found my grandma's molasses cookies recipe on a piece of scrap paper not long ago! To my surprise, it was very similar to the molasses jar one--funny how it seems like one of everyone's favorite cookie recipes!
These ginger molasses cookies are firm around the edges but soft and chewy in the middle. You can definitely taste the sweetness of the molasses and a hint of spice from the cinnamon and ginger.
You only need a few basic ingredients to make grandma's molasses cookies. You should be able to easily find them at any grocery store.
- Butter -- softened
- Dark brown sugar
- Molasses -- mild molasses or unsulfered molasses
- All purpose flour
- Baking soda
- Sea salt
- Ground cinnamon
- Ground cloves (optional)
- Granulated sugar (to roll dough balls in)
How to Make Grandma's Molasses Cookies
Start out by creaming the butter and brown sugar in a mixing bowl, using an electric mixer. A medium bowl or large bowl will work.
By the way, the mixing is much easier if you let your butter soften up first!
Next, add the molasses and the egg. Then, gradually add the flour and the remaining dry ingredients.
If it's sticky, chill dough for five minutes in the refrigerator. If not, you can skip this part and go onto the next step.
Scoop up some of the dough with a teaspoon or small cookie scoop, and roll roughly 1-inch balls. In a separate bowl, have your granulated sugar.
Drop the cookie balls into it, coating them. You could also just dip tops of the balls into the sugar.
To make these spiced molasses cookies a little extra festive, roll the dough balls in a mix of granulated sugar and red sugar crystals.
Place each dough ball onto a lined baking sheet or cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. You can line the cookie sheets with foil, parchment paper or silicone mats.
Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Then, bake the molasses cookies for 8 to 10 minutes.
They should be slightly firm around the edges but soft in the middle.
You should also see little cracks and crevices forming in the cookies. The crackled surface is another sign that they're ready!
This recipe causes the cookies to crinkle normally, but if you want extra crinkliness, add a few drops of water to the cookie sheet before you bake.
My grandma's original recipe calls for ground cloves-- I usually don't add cloves, but I do add more cinnamon.
A little extra cinnamon never hurt anyone! Sometimes, an old fashioned molasses cookie recipe will call for one cup shortening, but you don't need that for this recipe.
So, what's the best molasses for baking? Look for unsulphured molasses in the baking aisle.
It's sweet enough for baking, unlike blackstrap molasses or dark molasses, which is bitter and works well with savory recipes.
How to Store
Wondering how to keep molasses cookies soft? Don't overbake the cookies. They get crispier the longer they bake.
Store the cookies in an airtight container as soon as they are cool, and keep them at room temperature.
Place a piece of bread in the cookie container. The cookies absorb moisture from the bread and stay soft -- This really works!
During the holidays, I keep these old-fashioned molasses cookies in a festive cookie jar--it bring back so many fond memories!
Grandma's Soft Molasses Cookies
- ¾ cup butter, softened
- 1 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
- 1 egg
- ¼ cup molasses
- 2 ¼ cup all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon ginger
- 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground cloves optional
- ¼ cup granulated sugar for rolling cookies (may use less)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and brown sugar with electric mixer, then add the egg and molasses, and mix until fully combined
- Mix in 1 cup of flour, then add remaining flour, baking soda, salt, ginger and cinnamon, and cloves if using
- Chill dough until slightly firm (about 5 minutes) If your kitchen is cool, and dough is firm, you can skip this
- Drop dough by rounded teaspoonfulls into granulated sugar, and roll until covered, then place on lined cookie sheet
- Bake for 8 minutes or until edges are slightly firm. Do not overbake
- Remove from oven, add more sugar or colored sugar crystals, if desired. Transfer to wire baking rack or another surface until completely cool
Nutrition information is estimated. Please do your own calculation to fit special diets.
Post was originally published in Dec 2016 and updated in 2021.
My family loves grandma's molasses crinkle cookies, and even my picky teen, who normally only likes chocolate, gave them a thumbs up. It really is a great recipe and the perfect treat during the holiday season!
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