This soft molasses cookie recipe turns out a deliciously rich, sweet dessert everyone will love. Though perfect for the most wonderful time of year, you may find yourself making these all year long!
If you've never had molasses cookies, you're in for a treat. The flavors are similar to honey but smokey, like maple syrup but not as sweet.
Molasses is one of those flavors that you can really only get from sun-ripened sugar cane. It has a taste all its own, and one that will win you over once you try these chewy molasses cookies.
What Is Molasses?
Molasses comes from sugar cane. There are actually three types of molasses, including blackstrap which can produce a stronger flavor, but is wonderful in baked beans and other savory dishes.
At one time, molasses was the sweetener used to make most cookie recipes as sugar was so expensive. My grandmother always had molasses somewhere in the back of her pantry!
Molasses cookies have actually been around since the late 1800s. It's said the cookies were more like small cakes back then, similar to gingerbread.
What's the difference between the two? In a nutshell, old fashioned molasses cookies have a lot less ginger than gingerbread and have a chewy texture versus the crunchier gingerbread.
Why This Recipe Works
With the exception of molasses, you probably have everything you need to make this soft molasses cookie recipe. Though the cookies do need to dry for a bit, you can have these made in under 30 minutes.
What Goes into this Recipe
This soft molasses cookie recipe is super easy to make!
- Flour - we're using all purpose flour here.
- Spices - cinnamon, ginger, and allspice are warm spices perfect for the holidays.
- Molasses - Grandma's Original Molasses is our favorite for flavorful soft cookies.
See recipe card for quantities and other ingredients.
How to Make this Recipe
Make sure your butter and egg are at room temperature before beginning.
Preheat the oven to 350º.
Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
Add in the molasses and egg. Scrape down the side of the bowl.
In a small or medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, and allspice.
Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.
Gradually beat until just combined.
Using a small cookie scoop evenly portion out the cookie dough balls, spacing them 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet.
Bake the cookies for 10 minutess or until the edges of the cookies are set.
Cool on the cookie sheet for 10 minutes.
Place them on a wire rack for further cooling.
Once the cookies are completely cooled, mix the icing.
Add the powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and 1 tablespoon milk to a small bowl.
Stir until combined.
Add in an additional teaspoon milk until you have a nice thick icing.
Using a teaspoon, gently spoon icing onto cookies.
Let them air dry until set, about an hour.
You could also decorate these cookies with holiday sprinkles.
Tip: Tender cookies may not look completely done after 10 minutes, but will most likely set up once out of the oven. Check with a toothpick just as you would with brownies. Over baking will result in a crunchy cookie.
One thing that can ruin your baking is scooping the flour out of the container or bag with your measuring cup. This practice could cause you to use a lot more flour than you need, resulting in a dry cookie.
Instead, use a spoon to scoop the flour into the measuring cup. Don't pack the flour into the cup.
Simply tap the side of the measuring cup to fill in any air pockets. Use the back of a knife to level off the extra flour.
You can store these cookies in an airtight container, but add a piece of bread to keep them soft. The cookies will absorb the moisture in the bread. The cookies will freeze well in a freezer bag, too, and are best within about 3 months. Always let cookies cool completely before freezing.
You can, but I'd reduce the quantity a little. The sweetness of the icing is enough to offset the slight bitterness of blackstrap molasses.
You do not need to ice the cookies, but the sweetness of the icing goes well with the molasses. If you don't like icing, sprinkle the cookies with a little powdered sugar.
More Holiday Season Cookie Recipes
These are all perfect for a cookie exchange!
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Soft Molasses Cookie Recipe
- Hand or Stand Mixer
- Large mixing bowl
- Measuring Cups and Spoons
- Parchment Lined Baking Sheets
- Tbsp or small cookie scoop
- 2 ½ C all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp cinnamon ground
- 1 tsp ginger ground
- ½ tsp salt
- ⅛ tsp ground allspice
- ¾ C unsalted butter softened
- 1 C light brown sugar packed
- ⅓ C molasses Grandma's original molasses
- 1 large egg
- 1 ½ C powdered sugar
- ½ tsp vanilla extract pure, not artificial
- 2 ½ T milk
- Make sure your butter and egg are at room temperature before beginning.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- In a small or medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, and allspice. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl beat the butter and brown sugar on medium-high until creamy.
- Add in the molasses and egg. Scrape down the side of the bowl.
- Gradually beat in the flour mixture until just combined.
- Using a small cookie scoop evenly portion out the cookie dough, spacing them 2 inches apart.
- Bake the cookies for 10 minutes or until the edges of the cookies are set.
- Cool on the cookie sheet for 10 minutes.
- Place them on a cooling rack.
- Mix the icing by adding the powdered sugar, vanilla and milk to a small bowl.
- Stir until combined.
- Add in an additional teaspoon of milk until you have a nice thick consistency icing.
- Once cookies are completely cool, use a teaspoon to carefully spoon the icing onto the cookies.
- Let them air dry until set (about 45 min-hour)