Soft Molasses Spice Cookies

Soft molasses spice cookies are super chewy and perfectly spiced! Follow these steps at home to make these soft baked molasses cookies with crackly tops. For best results, be sure to cover and chill the cookie dough for 2 hours before baking. Cold cookie dough results in thicker cookies! Recipe makes 28 cookies.

Glazed Molasses Spice Cookies

Why you’ll love these soft molasses cookies:

  1. Seriously soft! These cookies have a soft baked texture which I love. If you’re looking for a chewy ginger crinkle-top cookie with molasses, try my giant ginger cookies!
  2. Filled with the cozy flavors of molasses, ginger, and cinnamon
  3. Drizzled with vanilla butter glaze (or white chocolate – yum!)
  4. Topped with sparkling sugar for a festive touch
  5. One of my favorite Christmas cookie recipes!

Key Ingredients

Here’s what you need to make perfect molasses cookies:

  • Flour – Use all-purpose flour in this recipe.
  • Baking soda – Gives the cookies a lift.
  • Cornstarch – Prevents the cookies from overspreading and makes the cookies soft and chewy.
  • Salt – Enhances the spice and molasses flavor.
  • Spices – The cookie dough is nicely spiced with ground ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg. If you like allspice, add up to 1/4 teaspoon.
  • Butter – Use softened unsalted butter. The butter is the ideal temperature when you can press it with your finger and leave an indentation.
  • Sugar – The cookie dough is sweetened with granulated sugar and light brown sugar. You can also swap the light brown sugar with dark brown sugar for even more molasses flavor.
  • Molasses – Dark molasses adds plenty of flavor and keeps the baked cookies soft and chewy. I use and recommend Grandma’s Original Molasses. Look for a robust or full molasses, but avoid blackstrap molasses as it can overpower the spices and add a bitter flavor to the cookies.
  • Egg – One large egg binds ingredients together.
  • Vanilla – A splash of pure vanilla extract enhances the flavor.
Glazed Molasses Spice Cookies

How to Make Molasses Spice Cookies

Cookie dough – Whisk together dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, and light brown sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix in molasses.

Beat in egg and vanilla until combined. Add dry ingredients and beat just until incorporated.

The finished dough will be soft so chilling is a must:

Molasses spice dough in glass mixing bowl with spatula

Chill dough – Cover dough and chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours. Chilling the dough briefly develops flavor and helps the cookies hold their shape in the oven.

Scoop and shape dough – Use a medium cookie scoop coated with nonstick spray to form 1 1/2-inch balls of dough. Roll the balls in granulated sugar and place about 2 inches apart on baking sheets.

Bake cookies – Bake cookies at 350°F for 13 to 14 minutes, rotating pans halfway through, until cookies are puffed and crackly. Cool the cookies for 10 minutes on baking sheets before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Glaze – A delicious vanilla butter glaze makes the perfect finish to these chewy molasses spice cookies! Drizzle or spoon the glaze over the cooled cookies and sprinkle with sparkling sugar. Let set before serving.

Glaze Alternatives

  • Citrus glaze: If you like citrus with gingerbread, feel free to add 2 teaspoons of fresh lemon or orange zest to the glaze, and use 2 tablespoons fresh lemon or orange juice instead of milk.
  • White chocolate: If you prefer white chocolate, use 4 ounces white chocolate to drizzle over the cookies (or 8 ounces white chocolate to dip the cookies). I use and recommend Ghirardelli white chocolate baking bars.
Glazed Molasses Spice Cookies

Make Ahead Molasses Cookies

If you’d like to make the dough in advance, simply roll into balls and freeze on a baking sheet for 1 hour, then transfer to an airtight container in the freezer for up to 2 months. Just before baking, roll the cookie dough in granulated sugar and bake as directed, adding 1-2 minutes to baking time.

Glazed Molasses Spice Cookies

Did you try this Molasses Spice Cookie Recipe? Let me know by leaving a comment and rating below!

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Soft Molasses Spice Cookies

Soft Molasses Spice Cookies

  • Author: Laura Kasavan
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Cook Time: 13 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hr 53 minutes (includes chilling)
  • Yield: 28 cookies
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American
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Description

Soft molasses spice cookies are super chewy and perfectly spiced! Follow these steps at home to make these soft baked molasses cookies with crackly tops. For best results, be sure to cover and chill the cookie dough for 2 hours before baking. Cold cookie dough results in thicker cookies! Recipe makes 28 cookies.


Ingredients

Cookies

  • 2 1/4 cups (315 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp (8 g) baking soda
  • 1 tsp (3 g) cornstarch
  • 3/4 tsp (5 g) salt
  • 2 1/2 tsp (5 g) ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 tsp (3 g) cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp cloves
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup (168 g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup (100 g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (92 g) light brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1/4 cup (80 g) unsulphured molasses, at room temperature
  • 1 large egg (50 g)
  • 1 tsp (4 g) vanilla extract

For Rolling

  • 1/2 cup (100 g) granulated sugar

Glaze

  • 1 Tbsp (14 g) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp (4 g) vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (120 g) powdered sugar
  • 2 Tbsp (30 g) milk
  • coarse sparkling sugar, for topping

Instructions

  1. Make dough: Whisk together flour, baking soda, cornstarch, salt, and spices in a medium bowl. Beat butter and sugars in a large mixer bowl at medium speed until creamy. Beat in molasses until combined. Beat in egg and vanilla. Reduce speed to low and gradually add flour mixture; beat just until incorporated.
  2. Chill dough: The dough will be soft – cover and chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours.
  3. Preheat oven to 350°F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Place granulated sugar in a shallow bowl. Use a cookie scoop coated with nonstick spray to form 1 1/2-inch balls of dough (approximately 26-28 grams each). Roll in granulated sugar to coat and place two inches apart on prepared baking sheets.
  4. Bake for 13 to 14 minutes, rotating pans halfway through, until cookies are puffed and crackly, with edges set. Let cookies cool for 10 minutes on baking sheets, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  5. Make glaze: Whisk together melted butter, salt, vanilla, powdered sugar, and milk in a small bowl until smooth. Drizzle or spoon glaze over cookies and sprinkle with coarse sparkling sugar. Let set before serving.
  6. Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.

Notes

Molasses: I use and recommend Grandma’s Original Molasses.

Make Ahead: Roll the dough into balls and freeze on a baking sheet for 1 hour, then transfer to an airtight container in the freezer for up to 2 months. Just before baking, roll the cookie dough in granulated sugar and bake as directed, adding 1-2 minutes to baking time.

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Keywords: Molasses, Spice, Molasses Cookies, Spice Cookies, Holiday Cookies

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9 Comments

  1. Love these! My in-laws request them every year 🙂 Curious if I can chill the dough in the fridge overnight and bake the next day (without freezing)?

    1. Hi Delia! Yes you can (I just did that myself this weekend 🙂). If you chill the dough overnight, let it stand at room temperature 30 – 45 minutes before scooping. Happy baking!