Chewy Molasses Cookies

We can't get enough of these chewy molasses cookies! They have crisp edges, fudgy middles, and rich, spiced flavor from ginger and cinnamon.

Chewy molasses cookies

As I sat down to write this molasses cookies post, I watched some of the first snow of the year drift past the window. What could be more fitting? These chewy molasses cookies are perfect for cold, wintry days. They have crisp edges, soft middles, and a rich, spiced flavor that’ll warm you up in an instant. Pair one with a cup of hot chocolate, and you have an unbeatable holiday treat!

I think you’re going to love this molasses cookie recipe. It’s quick and easy to make (you don’t even have to chill the dough!), and it yields really wonderful cookies. After the first time I made them, I liked them so much that I couldn’t resist nabbing one for breakfast the next morning. Since then, I’ve baked countless batches of these molasses cookies, and Jack and I still can’t get enough. Baking them has become a new holiday tradition in our house. I hope it will in yours, too!

Molasses cookie recipe ingredients

Molasses Cookie Recipe Ingredients

Something else I love about this molasses cookie recipe? It’s totally vegan! It comes together with these basic ingredients:

  • Molasses, of course! I make these cookies with unsulphured blackstrap molasses, which gives them a rich molasses flavor and dark color. My favorite brand is Wholesome Sweeteners.
  • Dark brown sugar and white sugar – For sweetness. This combination also contributes to the cookies’ delicious chewy texture.
  • Coconut oil – For this recipe, your coconut oil should be soft, but not melted. To achieve the right consistency, I usually pop it in the microwave for around 15 seconds before I start to bake. The exact timing depends on its initial texture, which varies based on the temperature of the kitchen. Room temperature butter will work here too.
  • All-purpose flour – For the most precise measurement, use the spoon-and-level method.
  • Baking soda – It reacts with the molasses and brown sugar to help the cookies rise.
  • Warm spices – You can’t make good chewy molasses cookies without spices! I use the same ones that I do in my vegan gingerbread: ginger, cinnamon, and cardamom.
  • Vanilla – It deepens the warm, spiced flavor of these molasses cookies.
  • Fine sea salt – To make all the flavors pop!
  • And natural cane sugar – For rolling! It creates a sweet, crispy crust around the cookies’ chewy middles.

Find the complete recipe with measurements below.

Hands rolling balls of cookie dough

How to Make Molasses Cookies

This molasses cookie recipe is super easy to make! Here’s how it goes:

First, make the dough. Cream the coconut oil and sugars in the bowl of a stand mixer until light and fluffy. Add the molasses and vanilla, and mix again to combine. Then, whisk together the dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Gradually add them to the bowl of the stand mixer, mixing after each addition. Finally, mix in 1 tablespoon water to moisten the dough.

Next, shape the cookies. Use a 2-inch cookie scoop to portion the dough, and roll each scoop into a ball. Roll the balls in a small bowl of cane sugar. When they’re evenly coated, place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet.

Hand pressing down balls of dough

Before you bake, gently press down on the balls to flatten them slightly.

Then, bake! Transfer the cookies to a 350° oven and bake for 10 minutes, until the cookies have spread slightly and cracks form on their surfaces. Allow them to cool for 10 minutes on the baking sheet before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely. Enjoy!

Stack of ginger molasses cookies

Chewy Molasses Cookies Tips

  • Use natural cane sugar for rolling. I like to use regular granulated sugar in these cookies, but I use natural cane sugar on the outside. It has a slightly coarser texture, which creates a delicious crispy crust around the cookies’ edges.
  • Bake one sheet at a time. These ginger molasses cookies spread out as they bake, so depending on the size of your baking sheet, you may need to bake them in two batches. Though working in batches takes longer than putting all the cookies in the oven at once, the extra time is worth it. Because temperatures vary throughout an oven, the cookies will bake most evenly if they’re all on the same oven rack. You don’t want cookies on a lower rack to burn before ones above them are cooked through!
  • Leave them on the baking sheet for 10 minutes after they come out of the oven. It’ll be tempting to reach for these chewy molasses cookies as soon as they finish baking, but if you can, hold off for at least 10 minutes. Straight out of the oven, the cookies are puffy and delicate. As they cool, they crisp up around the edges and become chewy and fudgy in the middle. After 10 minutes, go ahead and sample one (or more), and transfer the rest to a wire rack to cool completely.

Molasses cookies recipe

More Favorite Cookie Recipes

If you love these molasses cookies, try one of these yummy cookie recipes next:

Chewy Molasses Cookies

rate this recipe:
4.95 from 53 votes
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 10 mins
Serves 16
We love to make these chewy molasses cookies for the holidays! They have crisp edges, soft middles, and a rich, spiced flavor from ginger, cinnamon, and cardamom.

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, or using an electric mixer, cream the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar. Add the molasses and vanilla and mix again.
  • In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, ginger, cardamom, and salt. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mixing after each addition. Mix in the 1 tablespoon water.
  • Use a 2-inch cookie scoop to scoop the dough and use your hands to roll it into balls. If the dough feels dry, mix in 1/2 tablespoon additional water. Roll the balls in the sugar, press down slightly, and bake for 10 minutes, until the cookies are puffed and cracking on top. Remove and let cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Notes

Note: these cookies taste great using any brand of unsulphured molasses and any brand of sugar, but we recommend Wholesome Organic Molasses and Domino granulated sugar for the pictured crinkly look.

60 comments

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Rate this recipe (after making it)




  1. Carol
    01.07.2022

    5 stars
    Still chewy after 6 days. I only had white sugar for rolling but they were absolutely delicious.
    These cookies brought me joy 🙂

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      01.08.2022

      I’m so glad you loved them!

  2. Carol
    01.07.2022

    6 days later still chewy and delicious. I only had white sugar for rolling and they were so good. These cookies brought me joy 🙂

  3. Carly
    12.29.2021

    5 stars
    These are delicious cookies! I love the texture and for the two days that they lasted in my house, they kept the same chewy texture. They do expand a lot, so on my second batch I used my smallest cookie scoop. Bringing them to the in-laws for Christmas!

  4. Lauren
    12.23.2021

    What if I don’t have cardamom? Is there something else I could use?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      12.24.2021

      Hi Lauren, you could skip it if you don’t have it.

  5. Jules
    12.18.2021

    3 stars
    Very dry batter. Added 2 more Tbsp water. Cookies didn’t spread. Very hard on the outside but ok inside. I wish I hadn’t left them on cookie sheet.. Only change I made was to add a bit more ginger. I used coconut oil. I was disappointed. Flavor ok but not great. I’ll not use this recipe again.

      • Jules
        12.30.2021

        Yes, I think you’re right – too much flour! The cookies didn’t spread but tasted great once they sat for a couple hours. I AM going to make them again. I would delete my comment if I could find a way to do that.

  6. AR
    12.10.2021

    Is salted butter ok (or should it be unsalted)? Thanks!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      12.10.2021

      Hi AR – unsalted butter.

  7. Clara
    12.08.2021

    Delicious!!
    These are amazing and will be added to my cookie recipe box 🙂

  8. zom
    12.05.2021

    Do the molasses cookies still taste good without the sugar coating? Trying to cut down….

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      12.05.2021

      They should still taste good.

  9. Erin
    12.04.2021

    Hello,

    Can you freeze or refrigerate the dough? and if so, for how many days?
    Excited to make these!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      12.05.2021

      Hi Erin, I haven’t tried storing the dough, but the finished cookies freeze really well.

      • Erin
        12.10.2021

        Thank you! Getting ready to bake tomorrow!

  10. lori
    11.30.2021

    my husband can not have coconut, what can be substituted instead? I love so many of your recipes but when they have nut flours/butter or coconut nut I can not make them for us b/c of his allergies.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      11.30.2021

      Hi Lori, you can use room temperature butter in place of the coconut oil in this one.

  11. Millie McCafferty
    11.09.2021

    Why does this recipe not have eggs?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      11.09.2021

      Hi Millie, they aren’t necessary in this case.

  12. Emma
    10.30.2021

    5 stars
    These cookies are amazing!! I could not find my ginger so I put some allspice in and it tasted great. These are very dark and strong– just how molasses cookies should be

  13. Vicki
    09.21.2021

    4 stars
    I love your recipes. I’d like to make two comments that I think would be quite helpful. For your cookies, rather number if servings, could you please let us know about how many cookies the recipe makes, or at least say how many in a serving. Second, weights rather than volume measurement is so much more precise. Thanks for listening and I look forward to many years of your guidance.

  14. Gerry Stafford
    02.10.2021

    May I respectfully suggest that the only accurate way to measure flour or other solids is by weight? Not alone does this eliminate the issue of compaction and/or sifting in powders and granulars but also makes shape irrelevant in solid fats like butter, lard, coconut oil, chocolate etc. With digital scales available for less than the cost of your ingredients (as little as $10) it just doesn’t make sense to measure by volume and claim accuracy.

  15. Sara Stacy
    01.30.2021

    5 stars
    I can’t say I’ve ever been very called to eat or make this type of cookie. To me, they typically are just “meh” cookies. But I just made these for the first time and I’m literally *blown away* by how good they are. The spice blend complements the molasses perfectly and they were a big hit for my family. Highly recommend this recipe!!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      01.31.2021

      Hi Sara, I’m so glad you loved them!

  16. Cora
    01.16.2021

    5 stars
    These were SOOOOOOO good i have made them 1000000000000 times! I LOVE them!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      01.17.2021

      yay!! I’m so glad you’ve loved them so much, they’re our favorite too!

  17. Muriel Meyerand
    01.05.2021

    My cookies didn’t crack or crinkle as in the photo! I left them in the parchment paper for ten min as instructed. They do taste delicious, though – I just wanted them to look prettier!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      01.05.2021

      Hi Muriel, hmm… did you change anything about the recipe?

  18. Sydney
    12.31.2020

    5 stars
    These are the perfect cookie! Delicious. I added a little extra ginger because we love ginger. Thanks for this great recipe! 🙂

  19. Cindy
    12.23.2020

    5 stars
    This is an amazing recipe!! 100% hits the mark!

  20. Lani
    12.20.2020

    5 stars
    Wonderful cookies! I found I had to triple the water amount though. I felt better when I read. someone else did also? As always, you are my go to for recipes. I have both of your books. Thank you for your recipes and continual inspiration.

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.