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Chewy Ginger Molasses Cookies

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These Chewy Ginger Molasses Cookies are easy to make, super-soft and chewy, and irresistibly delicious.

Chewy Ginger Molasses Cookies

It seems a bold move to declare an all-time favorite cookie. But after having been on Team Molasses for going on over three decades now, and already whipped up my third batch of molasses dough in a month, I’ve gotta say that I don’t foresee any allegiance shifts happening soon. So with that said, allow me to introduce you to my all-time favorite cookies…

…the most delicious, soft, chewy, gingery, life-changing molasses cookies

My love for these molasses cookies is entirely thanks to my mom, who baked fresh batches of cookies for our family pretty much every week when we were growing up. Granted, she was always a bit mystified that her oldest daughter (hi, Mom) never inherited her obsession with all kinds of chocolate cookies, which will forever and always be her all-time faves. But molasses cookies were always a compromise we could both agree on. We both love these cookies.

This time of year, they are still the first recipe to which I always turn for holiday cookie baking. And this year in particular, they’ve been extra fun to share with all of our European friends who — as it turns out — maybe love them even more than we do! Ha, every time that we have served them to our friends, and our Spanish class, our neighbors, everyone goes crazy for them. Which means that we never come home with leftovers. Which just means that we have to keep baking more, naturally. Which requires exactly zero twisting of my arm. More molasses cookies for all!

Anyway, these cookies are clearly a hit. So as part of our week of cookies here on the blog, I thought I would bump this recipe back up to the top of the pile today for some non-chocolate cookie inspiration. I initially shared this recipe on the blog nine years ago. But that said, a number of you have reported over the years that your cookies have spread a bit more than you like. So I’ve been tinkering around with our family recipe this fall, and have made a few small adjustments to the recipe below that should help them to stay nice and thick and chewy, without compromising the flavor of the cookies at all. (Although if your cookies do ever flatten out, I promise they’ll still be delicious.)

So I hope that you enjoy them as much as we do, and if you decide to bake up a batch, I’d love to hear how they go! Enjoy, everyone!

Chewy Ginger Molasses Cookies Recipe | 1-Minute Video

Chewy Ginger Molasses Cookies Ingredients:

To make this chewy ginger molasses cookies recipe, you will need:

  • Butter: Completely softened to room temperature (not melted, or else it will not cream properly with the sugars)
  • Sugars: I use half granulated (white) sugar, half packed brown sugar, plus extra sugar for rolling the dough balls.
  • Molasses: I typically opt for “original” (versus dark) unsulphured molasses.
  • Eggs and baking soda: Two soft and chewy cookie staples.
  • Flour: I typically use all-purpose flour for this classic recipe, but white whole wheat flour can work too.
  • Spices: We will use a mixture of ground ginger, cinnamon and cloves. Feel free to tinker around with the spice proportions to taste.
  • Salt: To bring out all of those delicious flavors.

How To Make Molasses Cookies

How To Make Molasses Cookies:

To make these homemade molasses cookies, simply:

  1. Whisk together dry ingredients. Flour, soda, ground ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and salt.
  2. Cream together butter and sugars. Using a separate mixing bowl, either with a stand mixer or a hand mixer, cream together the softened butter and sugars on medium-high speed until the mixture is light and fluffy and a pale yellow color, about 2 minutes, scraping down the sides occasionally as needed.
  3. Mix in the remaining wet and dry ingredients. Mix in the eggs (one at a time) and molasses, and beat on medium-low speed until each is combined. Gradually add in the dry ingredient mixture and beat until it is evenly incorporated.
  4. Chill the dough. Transfer the dough to an airtight container and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or until the dough is completely chilled. I know — the extra chilling time is substantial, and very tempting to skip. But this particular dough, with all of its butter and molasses, really does need a thorough chilling to prevent the cookies from spreading. Worth the wait, I promise. :)
  5. Preheat oven. Heat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat, and set aside.
  6. Roll the dough balls. Once the dough is chilled and firm, roll the dough into small balls, about 1-inch in diameter. Fill a separate small bowl with sugar, and roll each ball in the sugar until it is completely coated. Place dough balls on the prepared baking sheet.
  7. Bake. Bake for about 8-10 minutes, until the cookies begin to slightly crack on top. (They will crack more while cooling.)  Remove from the oven and let cool for 4-5 minutes. Then transfer the cookies to wire racks to cool completely.
  8. Serve. Serve warm and enjoy, or store in a sealed container for up to 4 days. Or freeze for up to 3 months.

Ginger Molasses Cookie Recipe

Possible Variations:

Want to mix things up with your ginger cookies? Feel free to:

  • Add in extra ginger: I also really love adding some chopped crystallized ginger to these cookies for added ginger flavor and crunch.
  • Frost your cookies: A really light glaze is delicious atop these cookies. Or if you really want to go for it, cream cheese frosting is divine.

Chewy Ginger Molasses Cookie Recipe

More Favorite Cookie Recipes:

Looking for more delicious cookie inspiration? Feel free to check out our full collection of cookie recipes, or any of these other favorite classic cookies:

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Chewy Ginger Molasses Cookies

Chewy Ginger Molasses Cookies

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 0 About 42-46 cookies 1x

Description

These Chewy Ginger Molasses Cookies are easy to make, super-soft and chewy, and irresistibly delicious.  Feel free to halve this recipe if you would like a smaller batch!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, softened to room temperature (not melted*)
  • 1 cup granulated (white) sugar
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsulphured molasses
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 1/2 cups (639 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking soda*
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, soda, cinnamon, cloves, ginger and salt. Set aside.
  2. Using a separate mixing bowl, either with a stand mixer or a hand mixer, cream together the softened butter and sugars on medium-high speed until the mixture is light and fluffy and a pale yellow color, about 2 minutes, scraping down the sides occasionally as needed. Mix in the eggs (one at a time) and molasses, and beat on medium-low speed until each is combined. Gradually add in the dry ingredient mixture and beat until it is evenly incorporated.
  3. Transfer the dough to an airtight container and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or until the dough is completely chilled.
  4. Preheat oven to 350°F.  Line a sheet pan with parchment paper; set aside.
  5. Roll the dough into small balls, about 1-inch in diameter. Fill a separate small bowl with sugar, and roll each ball in the sugar until it is completely coated. Place dough balls on the prepared baking sheet.
  6. Bake for about 8-10 minutes, until the cookies begin to slightly crack on top.  (They will crack more while cooling.)  Remove from the oven and let cool for 4-5 minutes. Then transfer the cookies to wire racks to cool completely.
  7. Serve warm and enjoy, or store in a sealed container for up to 4 days.  Or freeze for up to 3 months.


Notes

Baking soda amount: Because this question comes up occasionally in the comment section — yes, this amount is correct. The recipe needs 4 teaspoons of baking soda to rise properly.

 

This recipe contains affiliate links.

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1,182 comments on “Chewy Ginger Molasses Cookies”

  1. Help!!!! I added half a stick of butter too much! What should I do?

    • Yikes, we haven’t done that before Kelsey, and we’re not sure if these will be salvageable. :/ We’re sorry!

  2. Just found this recipe via pinterest and it looks AMAZING. Cannot wait to try it out this week. Ill be sure and tag you on IG! Thanks for this post

  3. Awesome recipe! Have made two years now and still love them! Yield is way higher then 28-30 though! Used my small scoop (pampered chef) and had 1″ balls….. Last batch was 83 cookies! Thanks for a great recipe!

    • Thanks Anna, we’re glad you liked them! That’s SO many cookies though, wow – good to know! :)

  4. could I roll the dough out in order to use cookie cutters?

    • Hi Sara! Unfortunately this isn’t a roll-out dough – it’s pretty sticky! However, this recipe is pretty similar and is meant for rolling out and cutting: We hope this helps!

  5. I know you can freeze the dough, can you freeze the cookies?  Thanks!

  6. These were AMAZING!!!!! Thank you so much for posting this!!! I suck at baking – did 3 different cookies tonight and the first two were awful, complete duds. This one I did last and thank goodness because put me back into a good mood after 2 unsuccessful batches of other cookies. Haha :) Perfectly soft and chewy with great flavour.

  7. Great recipe, my house smells heavenly!  I did not get those lovely cracks on the tops, but they are chewy and delicious.  My recipe yielded about 9.5 dozen so a great recipe for Christmas company. Thanks it is a recipe that will get used many times. 

  8. I made these cookies tonight.  Followed the recipe almost exactly as it’s written, but I fell a little short on the ground cloves.  They still turned out fabulous!  I plan to bring them to our faculty meeting tomorrow…. what’s ever left,  that is!!

    Thanks for sharing!

  9. OMG these are so good! couldn’t believe it. Unfortunately my first exposure to molasses cookies were the store bought variety. I could not for the life of me figure out why dad loved them. I decide ti try these (in a baking mood I guess) my son loved them. This is the child that thinks oreos and chips ahoy are the homemade. Figured I better try one while I had the chance. Wish I had made these sooner.

  10. Lovely recipe. Can black strap molasses be used or just fancy?

  11. Found this recipe on Pinterest and I decided to try it for a cookie exchange because it looked easy to make, plus I had many of the ingredients already in my pantry.  The biggest surprise is how many cookies it yields, 50 in my case, I baked 2 just to try them out and I’m chilling the remaining dough overnight.  

    These cookies are so good and I will definitely make these again.  They’re not too sweet, I would probably add a little more cloves and cinnamon because I like a spicier cookie.  Thanks for sharing!

  12. Hi, this might be a silly question but the thing is, I have brown sugar but I dont keep molasses on hand. Of course, I could go out and buy some but I don’t know how frequently it would be used. Anyways, is there any way to replace the molasses quantity with brown sugar or would you just recommend I go out and but some brown sugar. Thank you. :)

    • Hi Mimi, that’s not a silly question at all! : ) Honestly, the molasses is a pretty key ingredient in this recipe, so we wouldn’t recommend skipping it. It lasts forever though!

  13. This recipe looks absolutely delicious, but I was wondering if you bake these on a greased or ungreased cookie sheet?

    • Thanks Crystal, we hope you enjoy! We bake these on a parchment-lined baking sheet. :)

  14. Made this last night – quick, easy and delicious! I cut the recipe in half just because I was pressed for time and trying them for the first time. I went a little easy on the ginger, but shouldn’t have. Soft and yummy, for sure. And now the latest addition to my holiday goodie bag. 

  15. These were super delicious, with great texture. Everyone loved them. I agree with other commenters about yield, though, making 1 inch dough balls I ended up with 70 cookies. 

    • Thanks Shawn, we’re glad to hear that! That’s so strange though about that yield, good to know!

  16. I tried honey instead of molasses because I didn’t have any at home. VERY BAD IDEA!! So runny…

    • Oh no! :( Yeah, while honey definitely is thick, it doesn’t have quite the viscosity that molasses does (plus, you the flavor of the molasses is such a central ingredient in this recipe), so hopefully you can try them again with some molasses.

  17. I have made a lot of ginger molasses cookies in my life, and these may be the best I’ve ever tasted! My 13 year old and I made them together, followed the recipe to the letter and yum!

  18. I’m so bummed out…was really looking forward to these. Couldn’t get them to rise, followed the recipe exactly using 4 tsp baking soda. Even tried to roll smaller balls. I will say the taste was delicious. Dough was quite sticky and a bit difficult to work with. May attempt again, as I hadn’t seen the tip to chill prior to baking.

    • Hi Alyson, we’re so sorry you had trouble with these. Chilling the dough prior to baking really does make the dough so much easier to work with (just about every molasses ginger cookie recipe out there has a wetter, stickier dough). So if you can do that next time, it should definitely help! We’re not sure why these didn’t rise though, that’s really strange. :/ Could your baking soda be old? That’s the only thing we can think of. :(

  19. Made these last night!! They are super delicious! I would highly recommend these if you love molasses cookies! :) Thanks for the recipe!

  20. Was hoping to make these today however I have no ground cloves here. Would it be terrible if I didn’t put them in or anything I can do instead?

    • These will still be yummy without the ground cloves, but they’re definitely a nice ingredient that really makes these cookies sing. Do you have ground all spice? You could use that instead, since it has ground cloves in it. We hope you enjoy!

  21. Has anyone tried substituting the butter for a healthier ingredient such as applesauce or yogurt?

  22. Thanks so much for sharing your experience with these Jenn, we’re happy you enjoyed them! We definitely think they need 4 tsp of baking soda, so that should make them puffier next time. We bet that crystallized ginger is a killer addition, good thinking! :)

  23. “or you can even experiment with other various sugars” -do you think powdered sugar would be okay?  Don’t really like course/granulated sugar texture…

    Thanks!

    • Hi Gaby, if you don’t care for coarse sugar, then you probably wouldn’t want to use granulated or turbinado sugars. You could just sprinkle a nice dusting of powdered sugar over these after they’ve baked and cooled completely, but that would be more for aesthetic than anything. We hope you enjoy these!

  24. Actually tried this recipe. But in error may hAve used baking powder instead of baking soda. Would that make a difference in the turn out? I had them in clear zip locks and no labels. Can’t wait to try them soon!  They’re in the fridge right now.
    Thanks 

    • Oh no! We’re not sure, but hopefully there won’t be a huge, huge difference. Definitely let us know, we hope they turned out well! :)

  25. These cookies were a hit!…with friends, the hubby, myself, and even my 4 year old daughter prefers them to chocolate chip cookies!  Made them exactly according to recipe, aside from these changes:  I used 4 tsp ground ginger (as I love the extra ginger zing) and used 1 tsp ground cardamom instead of ground cloves (no cloves found in my pantry).  Delicious, delicious.  Makes 5 dozen.

  26. This recipe is outta sight. I will never google “ginger cookie recipe” again. This is the one. Below the spice there’s a nice caramel or toffee foundation to the flavor, the texture cannot be beat, and the cookies are beautifully cracked on top (unless you use a silpat. Don’t do that. Use parchment.). These are sweet and buttery, and if you want nutrition eat a carrot, some beans, maybe a handful of kale. Then have one of these and good luck stopping at one when there are six dozen more staring you in the face.

    I weighed out 20g of dough for each cookie (easier and faster than it sounds with a good kitchen scale) and the recipe gave me 78 cookies. They could be a little puffier, but a bigger dough ration for each cookie as recommended by the author would probably give you that. I might play with the ratios one day just for fun, but this recipe needs no adjustment. I do like the idea of adding chopped crystallized ginger, but that’s just gravy. I enjoy the simplicity of the recipe as-is.

    In case the need to keep this dough chilled wasn’t made clear enough: chill the dough well (30 minutes is an absolute minimum; 2-3 hours is even better) before you put the cookies on the pan. Then chill it again on the pan (I go with about 15 minutes on my front porch which is like a big refrigerator in winter), and then bake it. Just make sure the dough is cool when you’re handling it and cool when it goes in the oven. That’s kind of cookie 101, but anyway…

    Home run. Fantastic recipe.

    • Thanks for your nice compliment Greg, we’re so happy you enjoyed this recipe! Thanks also for sharing your tips! :D

  27. Thank you for this recipe! I never had any kind of ginger cookies before, since they are pretty uncommon here in Germany but I am certain that these are now my favourite cookies ever. The only thing I did differently was substituting molasses with sugar beet syrup (molasses is nearly impossible to find in stores here), but I think that the final product came out just as good :)

    • You’re very welcome Luna, we are so happy to hear you enjoyed them! That’s too bad you were unable to find any molasses, but we’re glad to hear they work with beet syrup – very cool! :D

  28. ***!!! ABSOLUTELY AWESOME !!!***.

  29. I love these cookies but not a fan of cloves and can’t seem to find a recipe without them! Can i leave out the cloves? Should i keep the ginger?

    • Hi Tara! We think you could totally omit the cloves, but we’d definitely keep the ginger. We hope you enjoy these! :)

  30. This was my first ever batch of home made cookies, and they turned out beautifully!  Thank you!

    There was way too much dough to bake in one day.  Do I have to Freeze the dough immediately, or is there a window of time, if I keep the dough in the refrigerator?  

    • Thank you Susan, we’re so happy you enjoyed them! You should be able to freeze the dough a day or two after making it, but we wouldn’t wait much longer than that to freeze it.

  31. Could I add some vanilla extract or is that going to mess things up?

    • You should be able to add a little vanilla to this Nicole, maybe 1/2 teaspoon. Just make sure to chill the dough both times, like the recipe instructs. We hope you enjoy these! : )

  32. Looks amazing – can’t wait to try! I have a few questions – did you use salted or unsalted butter? And did you use cooking molasses for the molasses? Thanks so much, I’m so excited to try these.

    • Thanks Sarah, we hope you enjoy these! We use unsalted butter for these. We’re not sure what you mean by cooking molasses, but we use unsulphured. :)

  33. These have become a Christmas staple for me! I always bake a batch before I head up to my boyfriend’s family’s house for Christmas (in fact, he loved them so much, I baked some and frosted them with pink royal icing for “Valentine’s Day” cookies!). The recipe makes a ton, too, so there is always plenty to share. If you’re on the hunt for the perfect ginger cookie recipe, this is it! 

    • Thanks CJ, we’re so happy to hear these were a hit (we bet they were lovely with that pink icing too)! Thanks for your sweet words on the recipe. :)

  34. I really want to try this recipe but I do not have a stand up mixer. Could I use a hand held mixer and it come out the same?

    • Hi Rebecca, no worries, you should definitely be able to use a hand mixer – we hope you enjoy! :)

  35. What if I don’t have a stand mixer? 

    • No worries, a hand-held mixer will work just fine! You will need some sort of a mixer though. We hope you enjoy these!

  36. Salted or unsalted butter?

    • We use unsalted, but if you only have salted, you can definitely use it (just don’t add salt to the dough, like the recipe calls for). We hope you enjoy!

  37. What are the odds that this could be a cookie cutter recipe? I’m obsessed with it and would love to do cut outs with the little one. 
    Wanted to mention that I’m so addicted to these that I freeze them to try to deter myself from eating a dozen a day. So in the end I just end up eating a few frozen cookies at a time because I can’t even wait long enough for them to come to room temperature. 

    • Aww, we’re so happy you enjoy them Katy! Unfortunately though we don’t think these could be rolled and cut out. It’s just such a thick, wet batter. This recipe is fairly comparable though!

  38. Hi I was wondering if the cookies will still turn out if I don’t chill them? 

    • Hi Kaitlyn! We definitely recommend chilling these, as it helps the dough firm up and be easier to work with. Also, it should help keep these from spreading too much in the oven. We really do recommend chilling the dough before rolling. After you have placed your dough balls on the cookie sheet, pop the entire cookie sheet with the dough in the refrigerator for an extra 10-15 minutes before baking. We hope you enjoy these!

  39. Is it suppose to be 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) of butter, or 1 1/2 sticks of butter? I used 3 sticks of butter and the dough melted all over my oven.  eek! Not sure what I did wrong :(

    • Oh no! Yes, it is supposed to be 1 1/2 cups of butter (3 sticks), but that shouldn’t have happened. Did you chill the dough right after making it, and then again, after you portioned the dough balls?

  40. Here is an update to an earlier comment:

    Baking the dough balls from frozen was a success. I just left them in the oven a few more munutes. They were perfectly chewy with a slight snap. My guests ate all of them. I am at present making a second batch for another group get together. These are honestly the best ginger cookies I have made.

    • Thank you so much for sharing Marina – we’re thrilled that freezing these helped, and that they were a hit! :D

  41. I made these this year, and the recipe will make about eleventy billion of the tastiest cookies ever (I didn’t count how many I made, but it’s a LOT)! Really delicious. I could only bake about 6 cookies at a time, because they spread out quite a bit while cooking, but it was so worth it. I’ll be doing these again! Thanks!

    • We’re glad you enjoyed these cookies Morgan, but they shouldn’t spread too much, especially if you chilled the dough both times. We hope that helps!

  42. These are the best cookies ever! They are easy to make and taste delicious. The recipe makes over 50 cookies, and they disappeared in my house in the last 24 hours! My husband says they are his all time Favoriten. Will make again and again

    • Thank you Jessica, that’s such a nice compliment! We’re not sure why these have been making such a high yield for folks, but we’re glad you enjoyed them! :)

  43. Hey! Super excited to try these cookies because I absolutely love ginger molasses cookies. I was wondering if I can chill these overnight? Thanks! 

    • Hi, we’re excited you’re excited! :) Yes, you can chill the dough overnight, no worries. We hop you enjoy!

  44. Cookies were awesome. One of my favourite ginger molasses recipes thus far. However, I noticed you changed the baking soda recipe from 2 to 4 teaspoons.  I tried both versions and I think I prefer the two over the four. I found that with four I tasted too much of the baking soda. Anyway, awesome cookies. 

    • Thanks Trevor, we’re so glad to hear you enjoyed them! And thanks for sharing your experience with the baking soda. We initially looked at the recipe again and thought our 4 tsp was a typo, but then we tested the recipe again and found that we really needed that full amount. But that’s good to know you had good results with the 2 tsp!

  45. Just made this recipe and these are, hands down, the BEST ginger cookies I’ve ever bakes.  Just delicious!!  Thanks!’

  46. Amazing cookies! However everyone wasn’t kidding when they said these make a bazillion! (actually like 60 but same difference)  

    • Wow, we’re sorry about the crazy high yield, we’re not sure why so many folks are getting this many cookies. But we’re so happy they turned out well and that you enjoyed them! :)

  47. My first time baking ginger molasses cookies and I definatley don’t need to look any further. These were amazing! I made 20 to try and I’m freezing the rest of the dough for Christmas. The amount of dough will definatley make enough for sharing out with the family. They spread a lot more than I thought because they all merged together lol, (good thing I tested it first), and mine didn’t have that cute crack on the top but they are so delicious it won’t even matter. Thank you so much for this recipe, it is my new Christmas cookie go to. 

    • Thanks for sharing with us Abegail, we’re so happy you loved the recipe! We’re sorry they spread (chilling the dough should help with that), and making small enough dough balls. Thanks for taking the time to comment – we hope you have a wonderful Christmas! :)

  48. Hi Ashley, wow, that’s a lot of cookies! We’re not sure why some folks are getting such a high yield. It is supposed to be 4 tsp of baking soda though (we’re so sorry for the confusion). We initially thought our 4tsp was a typo, but tested the recipe again and found that it does need that 4tsp amount. We’re happy these turned out well for you – thanks for giving the recipe a try! :)

  49. Is it ok to use a cookie cutter on these ? Will they still crack? 

    • Hi Symone, unfortunately this dough is not a roll out/cookie cutter-friendly dough – it’s too thick and wet. However, the gingerbread cookies are pretty comparable, and they’re perfect for cookie cutters! :)

  50. We make these and top with melted cinnamon chips! So yummy and they never last long :)

    • We think those cinnamon chips sound like a wonderful addition – we’re so happy you like them! :)