Soft and Chewy Molasses Spice Cookies

Soft and Chewy Molasses Cookies

When I think about warm, spice-laden molasses cookies, I usually think of chilly fall weather, mugs of hot apple cider and the smell of pumpkin. Perhaps it’s because our area has been stuck in a perpetual winter rut, but I have had an unseasonal craving for these cookies over the last few weeks. I finally decided to give in and bake up a batch. After all, I’ve always believer that there is never a bad time for a cookie… no matter what that cookie is! My craving was more than satisfied with these wonderfully chewy cookies – they’re soft, crackled on top and full of spice.

Soft and Chewy Molasses Cookies

I’ve seen some molasses cookies that require chilling the dough before baking, but I was drawn to this one because you could quickly mix up the dough and then bake them right away. No waiting around means fresh-baked cookies in less than an hour!

I eat ice cream in December and spice cookies in April; my taste buds have no concept of season and I’m happy to appease their varying cravings as they pop up. What are some of your “unseasonal” cravings?

Soft and Chewy Molasses Cookies

One year ago: Homemade Peanut Butter Eggs
Two years ago: Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins
Five years ago: Gooey Chocolate Cakes

Soft and Chewy Molasses Cookies

Yield: About 24 cookies

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 22 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

These warm, chewy cookies are full of spice and the perfect accompaniment to a cup of coffee or tea.


2¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
1½ teaspoons ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon ground allspice
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon salt
¾ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
β…“ cup granulated sugar
β…“ cup dark brown sugar
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup molasses

For Rolling:
½ cup granulated sugar


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, allspice, pepper and salt; set aside.

3. Using an electric mixer, beat together the butter and both sugars on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce the speed to medium-low, add the egg yolk and vanilla extract, increase the speed to medium and beat until thoroughly combined, about 30 seconds. Again reduce the speed to medium-low and add the molasses, beating until fully incorporated, about 30 seconds, scraping the sides of the bowl halfway through. Reduce the speed to low and gradually add the dry ingredients, mixing until just incorporated, about 30 seconds. Use a rubber spatula to give it a final few mixes to ensure no flour remains.

4. Place the sugar for rolling in a small bowl. Using a tablespoon or small cookie scoop, scoop the dough and roll into a smooth ball, then toss in the sugar to coat and place on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough. Bake the cookies, one sheet at a time, until the cookies are browned, still puffy and the edges have begun to set but the centers are still soft, about 11 minutes. Be sure not to overbake the cookies.

5. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely. The cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.

(Recipe adapted from Cook's Illustrated)


48 Responses to “Soft and Chewy Molasses Spice Cookies”

  1. Averie @ Averie Cooks on April 1, 2013 at 12:25 am

    I loooooove molasses cookies. They’re probably one of my fave cookies ever. About a month or so, long after Xmas and the holidays, I wanted to bake molasses cookies so badly but thought well no one wants to hear about molasses cookies after the holiday season…but I was wrong. I baked some dark brown sugar-molasses cookies with coconut oil that are some of the best cookies I’ve ever made and they’ve become popular. I am with you – there is never a bad time for cookies! Yours are beautiful and good to know the CI recipe works out like a champ!


    • EVERYBODYLOVECHOCOLATES on November 8th, 2014 at 7:23 pm

      Do you have recipe that add coconut oil to molasses cookie could you post it


  2. Erin @ Texanerin Baking on April 1, 2013 at 3:24 am

    Molasses and ginger cookies are a favorite of mine. Year round! I make those ginger cookies of yours (adapted from Ina Garten) year-round. I just can’t quit them. πŸ˜‰

    But these look awesome, too! Soft and chewy is just how a cookie should be. πŸ™‚


  3. Ellen on April 1, 2013 at 3:47 am

    Aw! Molasses cookies were THE special treat that was a specialty of my Grandma’s, this recipe looks pretty similar! I can’t see a molasses cookie without warm happy flashbacks to sitting in her kitchen in Texas with cookies and Vernor’s ginger ale…


  4. Radhika on April 1, 2013 at 5:33 am

    That looks so good Michelle!


  5. Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers on April 1, 2013 at 7:57 am

    What a great recipe and I love that you didn’t use any shortening in the cookies! Just beautiful!


  6. Nicole on April 1, 2013 at 8:26 am

    I also have no seasons when it comes to taste buds. I just found an amazing sounding recipe for homemade apple cider, and I am planning on making it this week!


  7. Rachel @ Baked by Rachel on April 1, 2013 at 8:44 am

    I absolutely love molasses cookies! Wish I had a few right now πŸ™‚


  8. Stephanie @ Girl Versus Dough on April 1, 2013 at 9:39 am

    Mmm, love me some soft and chewy cookies! These look scrumptious!


  9. Marcie @ Flavor The Moments on April 1, 2013 at 10:25 am

    These look so divine. I didn’t know I was craving those flavors till I saw these cookies!


  10. marie @ little kitchie on April 1, 2013 at 10:47 am

    Molasses cookies are definitely in my top 3 favorite cookies. Yours look absolutely perfect! And just how I like them – soft and chewy. Pinning to try!


  11. Musing Mar on April 1, 2013 at 10:57 am

    These look just perfect to me for a cool spring morning! (afternoon & evening too)


  12. Sharon on April 1, 2013 at 11:01 am

    Hi Michelle,
    Was wondering if the 11 minutes cook time listed in the direction area or the 22 minutes cook time listed in the top section is correct? Thanks


    • Michelle on April 2nd, 2013 at 11:36 am

      Hi Sharon, Both are correct. The times at the top are total times, to guide you in knowing how much time a recipe will take prep-wise, and how much time is spent with things in the oven. Because these cookies are baked one cookie sheet at a time, each sheet is baked for 11 minutes, for a total of 22 minutes for both.


  13. Annie @ Annie's City Kitchen on April 1, 2013 at 11:07 am

    I knew I spotted a Cook’s Illustrated recipe! Their cookies always come out flawless. These remind me of their Brown Sugar Cookies except spicier. YUM.


  14. Miss Meat and Potatoes on April 1, 2013 at 11:59 am

    Want. Need. NOW.


  15. Michael on April 1, 2013 at 12:56 pm

    These are my favorite cookie ever – especially when they’re soft and chewy!


  16. Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar on April 1, 2013 at 2:48 pm

    Definitely my fav all time cookie. Yum!


  17. Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking on April 1, 2013 at 2:58 pm

    These are my absolute favorite cookie and yours look perfect! Got to try them!


  18. Tracey on April 1, 2013 at 3:18 pm

    My biggest one is probably pumpkin – I could eat it year-round (and I do) πŸ™‚ I would just as happily eat these molasses spice cookies in Apri as I would in December!


  19. Kathy on April 1, 2013 at 4:17 pm

    These look fabulous! For me, I like to eat pumpkin pie all year long. Or pumpkin anything for that matter.


  20. Mari @ Oh, Sweet & Savory on April 1, 2013 at 4:37 pm

    These cookies look terrific! I agree — soft and chewy are my favorite texture to cookies. Some of my “unseasonal” cravings are anything pumpkin (I crave them all year-round) and blueberry pies (I crave them even when blueberries aren’t in season here in NY).


  21. Christina @ Oven Adventures on April 1, 2013 at 5:08 pm

    These look amazing. I’ve actually been craving these kind of cookies lately. Weird.


  22. Anna-Kathryn on April 1, 2013 at 5:53 pm

    I saw this recipe, and I just had to make it. Immediately. These cookies are so incredibly good. They’re soft and spicy, and what makes them addictive is there buttery undertones. So good. I also made a lemon filling, from butter, lemon juice, powdered sugar, and honey, to make cookie sandwiches. Lemon and ginger make an amazing pair. Thank you so much for this recipe, I don’t know how I lived without it!


  23. Laura Dembowski on April 1, 2013 at 8:54 pm

    I love that you made these cookies even though they aren’t quite in season. Sometimes you just have to go for a craving. I crave – and eat – pumpkin desserts year round.


  24. Jaclyn on April 1, 2013 at 9:32 pm

    These cookies look so scrumptious. Definitely will bake these after work on Friday – can’t wait!!


  25. Azzira on April 2, 2013 at 3:26 am

    It seems to perfect and yummy for the holiday season.
    Vegetable Store


  26. Steph in Lex on April 2, 2013 at 10:22 am

    These cookies were one of the few things growing up that my paternal grandmother made that I consistently liked. (My grandma on that side is from some kind of bizarro world where grandmas can’t cook/bake.) This post makes me want to dust off that old recipe!

    Down here in KY, unfortunately, we can’t seem to get out of the winter rut either… BOO. But I enjoy these without hesitation whether it’s 20 degrees or 80 degrees!


  27. Paula on April 2, 2013 at 11:24 am

    Perfect looking cookies! Love that there is a bit of ground black pepper in these.


  28. Gloria @ Simply Gloria on April 2, 2013 at 11:37 am

    My taste buds have no concept for seasonal food, either! In fact, I’ve even been thinking of pulling out the pumpkin and make some cookies! These molasses cookies look so perfect!


  29. Bet on April 3, 2013 at 12:26 am

    These look delicious. Like you my taste buds are not constrained by the season. I can’t wait to make this recipe!


  30. Elizabeth on April 6, 2013 at 8:43 pm

    This recipe is so similar to one of my favorite recipes.
    Now that I memorized this recipe I make them whenever the craving hits me. They keep really well too, and almost get better with time.


  31. Mieneke on September 16, 2013 at 11:27 pm

    Great recipe! Just made them tonight and my family really appreciated how great they were. Thank you for a new recipe in my arsenal of wonderful food for my family.


  32. Kittentoes on November 22, 2013 at 1:18 pm

    Last night was dark, windy, and rainy. I made these cookies to go along with pumpkin beef stew and cornbread. They did not disappoint. Beware the raw dough! It is delectable.


  33. Kaellen on November 26, 2013 at 9:43 pm

    I just made this cookies and they are AMAZING!!!! I did have one question: how did you get your cookies so flat? Thanks for the recipe!!


    • Michelle on November 27th, 2013 at 11:23 pm

      I’m not sure, that’s just how they came out! πŸ™‚


  34. Sara on December 5, 2013 at 10:56 am

    How are these different from the soft and chewy gingerbread men recipe?


    • Michelle on December 5th, 2013 at 5:25 pm

      Hi Sara, There are a few differences – the gingerbread men recipe has more flour, more molasses, no eggs, no granulated sugar… which enables it to be more of a “roll-out” cookie dough vs. a drop cookie dough, which this is.


      • Sara on December 5th, 2013 at 6:27 pm

        Do they taste the same?


        • Michelle on December 6th, 2013 at 4:48 pm

          They have much of the same flavor – molasses, ginger, spices, etc, but the gingerbread men are more of a sturdy cookie (yet not crispy), vs these, which are quite soft.


          • Sara on December 6th, 2013 at 4:58 pm

            Thanks! The drop method will save me some time!


  35. Sarah on January 4, 2014 at 1:52 pm

    Hi! I was wondering how big these cookies are. Thanks!


    • Michelle on January 4th, 2014 at 7:44 pm

      I’d estimate maybe four inches in diameter?


  36. Jenny on August 7, 2014 at 10:05 pm

    I was sooooooo delighted to find this recipe on your site!!!!! Not sure how I missed it when it first came out, but very happy to find it now! Soft Molasses Spice Cookies are my very favorite cookies of all time! Once in a blue moon I will make sandwich cookies out of them, filling them with a tart-sweet lemon curd based cream filling, or even use them to make ice cream sandwiches (I absolutely love coffee flavored ice cream in them!) Love your site and look forward to your recipes! Can I also tell you how excited I am to hear about your upcoming newest family member!!! Congratulations to you and yours!


  37. Sara on October 13, 2014 at 2:58 pm

    Hi! I just made pumpkin ice cream and want to make ice cream sandwiches with soft, spice cookies. I would like something similar to a gingersnap or to the spice wafers made by Sweetzels ( Would you recommend using these cookies or your soft and chewy gingersnap cookies? What is he difference?


    • Michelle on October 13th, 2014 at 7:38 pm

      Hi Sara, I think the soft and chewy gingersnaps are a little softer, and I actually loved using them for ice cream sandwiches with vanilla ice cream!


  38. Debb on November 8, 2014 at 7:43 pm

    I made these this week for two reasons; molasses cookies are one of my very favorites, and I needed items for a bake sale. Since I was running short of butter, I substituted coconut oil for the butter. The flavor was amazing. I will now make them this way all the time!


  39. Carolyn on November 16, 2015 at 10:59 pm

    I have been searching and searching for a good molasses cookie! Like you, when I find a recipe I don’t want to have to wait hours for the dough to chill; I want it now! I saw your recipe and immediately ran to mix up a batch. I was not disappointed. These cookies are delicious and easy to make. I will definitely make them again and again. Thank you for your recipe!


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