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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!

soft and chewy molasses crinkle cookies on the table

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
  • Egg
  • Molasses — mild molasses or unsulfered molasses
  • All purpose flour
  • Baking soda
  • Sea salt
  • Ginger
  • 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!

cream butter and brown sugar in a mixing bowl

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.

drop molasses cookie dough into white sugar

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.

molasses cookie dough balls in white and red sugar

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.

soft molasses cookies with red and white sugar on top

Just like our favorite Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies, Chocolate Chip Cookies and Bourbon Balls, these soft and chewy perfect molasses cookies are a permanent part of our Christmas cookie baking!

Best Molasses

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.

stacked molasses crinkle cookies

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!

5 from 3 votes

Grandma’s Soft Molasses Cookies

By: Dee
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!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Total Time: 18 minutes
Servings: 40 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)
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  • 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


Cookies may take between 8 to 12 minutes to bake, depending upon your oven. They are done when edges are slightly firm and tops are crackled.
If you want crispier molasses cookies, flatten slightly on cookie sheet and bake slightly longer.
If you are using the cloves, you may want to cut cinnamon down to 1 teaspoon.


Calories: 84kcal, Carbohydrates: 12g, Fat: 3g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 13mg, Sodium: 103mg, Potassium: 48mg, Sugar: 6g, Vitamin A: 110IU, Calcium: 12mg, Iron: 0.5mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Like this? Leave a comment below!

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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Recipe Rating


  1. Elise says:

    These are the best cookies I’ve ever eaten! And they’re definitely the softest ones too! I’ll definitely be using this recipe in the future:)5 stars

    1. Dee says:

      I’m so glad to hear that, Elise. Thanks!

  2. James says:

    Made these over the weekend and they were great. Easy enough for the kids to make, too!5 stars

    1. Dee says:

      They really are super easy. Thanks, James!

  3. Emily says:

    These look delicious! Can’t wait to try them soon 🙂

    1. Dee says:

      Thanks, Emily! I hope you like them. 🙂

  4. Amanda | The Chunky Chef says:

    Seriously one of my favorite cookies of all time!5 stars

  5. Cathy Trochelman says:

    There’s nothing quite like soft molasses cookies at Christmas time!

  6. Amy Stafford says:

    My family loves the flavor of molasses so these cookies will be a huge hit!

  7. Jessica | The Novice Chef says:

    My hubby is OBSESSED with molasses cookies! He’ll LOVE these!

  8. Lauren @ Hall Nesting says:

    I can’t believe I have never had molasses cookies! I can’t wait to try some. And there is nothing like losing a recipe – especially one that is perfection!

  9. Anna @ Crunchy Creamy Sweet says:

    I am a huge fan of molasses cookies! They are a must for our cookie platter!

  10. Angie | Big Bear's Wife says:

    molasses cookies are the best, aren’t they!?!? One perfect Christmas cookie!

    1. Dee says:

      They really are. I think they’re right up there with chocolate chips!