Molasses ginger cookies are deliciously chewy and packed with holiday-spice flavor. Making homemade Christmas cookies has never been easier – or more tasty!
Why you’ll love this Ginger Molasses Cookies Recipe
Molasses ginger cookies are one of my all-time favorites during the holiday season. I love the flavor and chew these cookies have. There is a surprise ingredient, but stick with me and add it – I promise it will deliver on the holiday-spice flavor packed into these cookies.
Ingredients for Chewy Molasses Ginger Cookies
For the exact amounts needed, please see the recipe card below.
Best Brown Sugar for Ginger Molasses Cookies
I have an unspecific “brown sugar” listed in the ingredients. Truly, it is great with both light or dark brown sugar. BUT. If you have dark brown sugar, use it! It adds just a bit more depth to the cookies.
And, of course, the star of the show: Molasses. Responsible for that beautiful color and flavor of these amazing molasses ginger cookies.
How to make Ginger Molasses Cookies
- Preheat your oven to 375°F.
- Whisk together the flour and all the spices.
- Add 1/3 cup of the white sugar and all the brown sugar, and mix well.
- Pour in the melted butter, molasses, egg, and vanilla extract.
- Mix everything until thoroughly combined. There should be no flour streaks throughout the cookie dough.
- Pour the remaining 1/3 cup of white sugar into a shallow dish, such as a pie dish.
- With a 1-inch cookie scoop, scoop out the dough and roll it into a ball using your hands.
- Roll each cookie dough ball in the white sugar until it is completely coated.
- Bake 12 cookies at a time on a baking sheet for 10 minutes.
The molasses ginger cookie dough will be wet, but not sticky. See how it’s not stuck to the back of the spatula there? I mean, except that one little rouge piece. But you know what I’m trying to say.
Rolling the molasses ginger cookies gives them that beautiful crust and slight crunch on the outside. Which pairs just beautifully with the chewy middle.
I made this batch of molasses ginger cookies to deliver for friends but held a few back for the family. We will probably need another batch before Christmas. They are just that good! The recipe is below this delectable image. It is one I adapted from the 2010 America’s Test Kitchen Cookbook.
Tips and Variations on Chewy Ginger Molasses Cookies
My soft ginger cookies are perfect as they are, but feel free to experiment with different flavors and add-ins!
Here are some tips and variations to try:
Brown Sugar: You can use dark or light brown sugar, depending on your preference. However, dark brown sugar will give the cookies a richer, more molasses-like flavor.
Spice Blend: You can adjust the amount of each spice to your liking. For example, if you’re not a fan of cloves, you can reduce the amount or omit it completely!
Nuts: Chopped walnuts or pecans would make a tasty addition to these cookies. Just mix them in with the dough before baking.
Chocolate Chips: For a fun twist, add some chocolate chips to the cookie dough before baking. The combination of ginger and chocolate is always a crowd-pleaser!
Ginger: If you’re a ginger lover, add crystalized ginger to these cookies.
Frosting: For some extra indulgence, top these cookies with whipped cream cheese frosting for a delicious dessert.
Rolling the Cookies in Sugar: Instead of using white sugar, you can roll the molasses ginger cookie dough in turbinado sugar for a crunchier exterior.
How to store Molasses Ginger Cookies
These soft ginger cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days. To keep them fresher for longer, you can freeze the baked cookies and thaw them as needed.
Frozen molasses ginger cookies are good for 3 months. Just place them in an airtight container or freezer bag before freezing. And don’t forget to label and date the container so you know when they were made!
Soft Ginger Molasses Cookies FAQs
There are two types of molasses commonly used in baking: light and dark. Light molasses has a milder flavor, while dark molasses has a richer, more intense flavor. For these cookies, you can use either type! Personally, I like to use dark molasses for a deeper flavor.
If your cookies are not cracking on top, check the following:
Make sure you are using baking soda, not baking powder. Baking soda helps the cookies spread – causing the crackle effect!
Check your oven temperature. The cookie crust won’t harden before the center cooks if your oven isn’t hot enough. As the cookie bakes, it will rise and crack the top.
Don’t overmix the dough. Overmixing can cause gluten development, making the dough more elastic and less likely to crack.
Be sure to cream the butter and sugar well. This helps incorporate air into the dough, contributing to the crackly exterior.
Always roll the ginger cookie dough in sugar before baking. The sugar helps to create that signature crackle effect!
There are a few reasons why your ginger molasses cookies turned out flat. The most common reasons are:
Using too much butter in the dough: This can cause the cookies to spread more than they should.
The cookie dough is too warm: If the dough is warm, it will spread faster in the oven. Try chilling the dough before baking.
Not using enough flour: This could be due to incorrect measuring or not adding enough flour to the dough.
Wrong oven temperature: If your oven is too hot or too cold, it can affect how the cookies spread and bake.
The secret to soft cookies comes down to the fat you use and if you properly creamed the butter and sugar!
Butter is the best choice for soft and chewy cookies since it has a lower melting point than other fats. When creaming the butter and sugar, it’s important to do this step properly and incorporate as much air into the dough as possible. This will help give your cookies a softer and more tender texture!
Soft Ginger Molasses Cookies Recipe
- 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons ginger
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/3 cup white sugar + 1/3 cup more for coating
- 1/3 cup brown sugar dark or light, see note
- 12 tablespoons butter 1 1/2 sticks, melted
- 1 egg large
- 1/2 cup molasses
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Whisk together flour and all the spices.
- Add 1/3 cup white sugar and the brown sugar, mix well.
- Pour in melted butter, molasses, egg, and vanilla extract.
- Mix until thoroughly combined and no flour streaks remain.
- Place remaining 1/3 cup white sugar in a pie dish.
- Using a 1-inch cookie scoop, scoop cookie dough portions into your hand, roll to smooth the edges, and then roll in the sugar.
- Bake 12 cookies on a sheet for 10 minutes in a preheated oven.