Chewy Ginger Molasses Cookies

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

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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 1 cup granulated (white) sugar, and 1 cup packed brown sugar, plus extra sugar for rolling the dough balls.
  • Molasses: I typically opt for the “original” 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. Preheat oven.  I’ve lowered the oven temperature from the original recipe slightly (to 350°F) to reduce potential spreading with the cookies.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat, and set aside.
  2. Whisk together dry ingredients.  Flour, soda, ground ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and salt.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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. :)
  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

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

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cups unsalted butter, softened to room temperature (not melted*)
  • 1 cup granulated (white) sugar
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • ½ cup molasses
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 ½ cups (528 grams) all-purpose flour (I recommend weighing your flour for accuracy)
  • 4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Directions:

  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 baking sheet 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.

This recipe was updated in November 2018 to include slightly more flour and ginger, and reduce the baking temperature.  I also now use a 50/50 mix of brown sugar and white granulated sugar, although you are welcome to use only white granulated sugar (2 cups) if you prefer.

For those asking, the original recipe only used 4 cups of all-purpose flour, 2 cups of granulated sugar (instead of the 50/50 brown sugar split), and they were baked at 375°F.  :)

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If you make this recipe, be sure to snap a photo and hashtag it #gimmesomeoven. I'd love to see what you cook!


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712 comments on “Chewy Ginger Molasses Cookies”

  1. Have you ever tried making these as bar cookies and sprinkling turbinado sugar over the top?

  2. Just made these cookies. Reduced sugar to 1.5 and added chopped up crystallized ginger. Truly the best cookies I’ve ever made. Despite this being the first time I’ve made ginger cookies. Thank you for a great recipe, one which I will continue to make.

  3. I LOVE this recipe! Everything about it is perfect! Have you ever tried altering it? I want to make red velvet cookies – Do you think changing out the molasses for white corn syrup and adding coco rather than the spices would work?

    • We’re so glad to hear that, Shanna! :) We’re not sure about those alterations though, as we’ve never tried that ourselves. We wouldn’t really suggest using corn syrup instead of molasses though. We think you might be best off just using a red velvet cookie recipe that looks good to you. We hope that helps!

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  5. These are the best cookies. I made them the past 2 years and they have become a staple Christmas cookie in my family. Thank you so much for this recipe. I bake so many of these because they disappear very quickly :) I got this recipe down, I’ll soon have it memorized.

  6. I just made these and no cracks :(. Is there a trick? They look so perfect here. I did have to use a truvia baking blend instead of sugar so I’m curious if that could be it? Any ideas? I think I want to give it one more try. Thanks!

    • We’re sorry, Lacey! Hmmm, we haven’t tried these with Truvia, so we’re not sure, but that could have been it. You can also take these out of the oven midway through baking and slam the tray down (it will help them crack).

  7. Any modifications for high altitude needed?

    • Hi Jane! It depends on where you live. We love King Arthur Flour’s guide on high-altitude baking: We hope this helps and that you enjoy the cookies!

  8. They were amazing!! Making more now for a Christmas party? thanks!

  9. These are the BEST molasses cookies I have ever made and tasted!!!!! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe:) Happy Holidays

    • Thank you, Rica — we’re so happy you love them! And happy holidays to you as well!

  10. I love this recipe. I have made it several times over the past few years for gifts and they are always a big hit. Can the dough be made ahead and frozen? I would like to freeze it and then thaw and bake later. 

    • Thanks, Lydia — we’re glad you enjoy it! Yes, you can definitely make the dough ahead of time and freeze it. :)

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  12. Thanks theses turned out great but I got 7 dozen out of this recipe not sure how when recipe says 28-32 cookies. They turned out perfectly and in abundance. 

    • Oh my goodness, that’s a lot of cookies! We’re not sure how we messed up the yield, but we just re-tested these yesterday and got 42, so we edited the recipe — we’re sorry it made so many extra, but we’re glad you enjoyed them!

  13. Not sure what happened when I made these. They are FLAT and far too buttery.   I chilled for over an hour.  May try again with a little less butter. 

    • We’re so sorry to hear that, Cathi — we’re not sure what could have gone wrong. Could your baking soda be old?

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  16. Is it possible to mix by hand (rather than with a mixer)?

    • We wouldn’t advise that, Caitlin. Unfortunately you really need a mixer for best results. It doesn’t have to be a stand mixer though, just a simple hand mixer will do! :)

  17. What type of molasses should be used?  There’s so many available and I’m sure the taste would be affected if using one that was stronger than intended.

    Thanks.

    mb 

    • Hi Maria! We use Grandma’s original or Brer Rabbit (the unsulphured molasses for both brands). We hope you enjoy these!

  18. LOVE this recipe!! Made for family and coworkers and they were a total hit! Thanks for sharing! :)

  19. Thank you for sharing this! I made these last year and they were a hit. This year I’d like to substitute the sugar for coconut sugar and flour for coconut flour. Will that work okay?

    Thanks

    • We’re so glad these were a hit, Jaimie! We’ve never experimented with coconut sugar or flour in this recipe, so we really can’t say, though you’re welcome to give it a try and let us know how they turn out! We would be a little concerned the coconut flour might make these too dense and dry, so if you do experiment with it, we definitely wouldn’t recommend using all coconut flour.

  20. I just made these. They are way way too salty. My guess is that the butter is supposed to be unsalted? normally I just use salted butter but these really taste too salty to eat :(

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  22. Thank you for this detailed recipe! I tried another similar recipe that was very simple and my cookies turned out dry and crumbly. The tips you included made all the difference! Mine turned out chewy on the inside and crunchy on the outside. Perfection! They did end up a bit flatter than yours despite being refrigerated for almost an hour but I didn’t mind! I even splurged on the raw/turbinado sugar and I loved the little crunch it gives.

    One question for you: When I make these again, I’d love to add a teaspoon of orange juice or orange liqueur (I read that it enhances the flavor) – do you have any recommendations on how to accommodate this extra liquid? Should I just up the flour?

    Thanks and well done!

    • You’re very welcome, Arielle! We’re so glad you guys enjoyed these! Also, yes, we think if you added a teaspoon of orange juice or orange liqueur (we would do the liqueur or orange extract, as you won’t be able to notice just a teaspoon of orange juice), we would just add another teaspoon of flour if that’s all the liqueur/extract you add. We hope this helps — we bet that orange flavoring will be a lovely addition to these!

  23. My favorites,can just taste them now!!!!

  24. I made these the other day and they were AWESOME! I sprinkled the top with a little “sugar in the raw” and it was lovely. My friend who typically hates ginger cookies loved them and ate 6!

  25. I made these cookies exactly as the recipe is written, and the cookies tasted great but were super flat. I took some of the other comments and tried half vegetable shortening and half butter, added a 1/4 cup of flour and the cookies were nice and puffy! I didn’t even need to refrigerate the dough using the alterations described. I’m not sure if it’s my altitude (or lack thereof) or what, but my cookies were not as beautiful and puffy as the photos on this page until I edited the recipe. I’m in California near SF, so basically at sea level. My baking soda was fresh, and I used brand new flour. The recipe does not specifically state salted or unsalted butter so I tried it both ways, no luck. If you are having trouble with flat cookies, maybe my feedback will help you.

    • Ah, yes the shortening would definitely help them stay a little bit fluffier. Not quite sure why the initial ones were so flat though. We’ve had multiple people report this, but I just made them multiple times again this December and they turned out great. Maybe cream the butter and sugars together a bit longer?

  26. I made these (half batch – halved perfectly) for my Christmas cookie platter and they were AWESOME! Everyone loved them! They are my new favorite cookie, and not just for Christmas. They freeze beautifully too. I pulled more out of the freezer as needed. Just finished the last coveted one from the freezer and had to leave a comment. Thank you so much for this recipe, it’s perfect! Happy New Year!

  27. Has anyone tried skipping the step of rolling them in sugar? Most baked goods are to sweet for us, since we have cut back on our sugar intake,
    Thanks,
    Gina

    • Hi Gina! These cookies would still be awesome even if you skipped that step (they’re still sweet enough without the extra sugar). :) We hope you enjoy!

  28. I’m not one to test out recipes before an event, so I put a lot of trust into this! I’m currently baking these for a work luncheon tomorrow, and the first batch turned out amazing! Just enough spice and wonderfully chewy. I will admit that I just used a lot of elbow grease with the creaming, and used about 1/4 cup less of sugar, but they turned out great. They look like real ginger snaps! :)

  29. I tried these last night and wow, I made 83 cookies with dough to spare (ran out of pans, probably enough for at least a dozen more).
    Definitely didn’t follow it exactly (butter was de-thawed, but not melted, in the microwave…because I forgot to put it out….and I didn’t chill the dough very long because it got too late in the evening, also I don’t own an electric or stand mixer, so I just did it by hand)….so they did turn out pretty flat and all ran together so I had to cut them apart, but still fairly tasty.
    Will probably try again next holiday season.

    • We’re glad you enjoyed these, Sarah — and WOW, that’s a lot of cookies! Did you just make them really small? We definitely get 42-46 out of a batch. And we’re sorry they came out kind of flat. Using room temp butter really does help prevent this, so does refrigerating the dough, and also making sure your baking soda isn’t old. We hope this helps for next time!

  30. I made these for Christmas and they were *exactly* what I wanted! Perfectly chewy and delicious! I’m adding them into the yearly rotation! Thank you!!

  31. I made these and they turned out perfectly, cracks and all, but it made 5 dozen ( so 60 cookies) and I used a 1 inch cookie scoop and it was so exact I had no dough left  at the 60th cookie and they were the perfect size. You must be making some fairly big cookies to only get about 40 out of the batch. 
    Oh well I’ll just send 30 of them to work with my fiancé to share with his development team. 
    (It’s not always a bad thing that it makes so many, just more to share I guess  )

    • We’re so glad you enjoyed them, Mary! We definitely get around 42-46 every time we’ve made them, so we’re not sure how you got 60, but we’re glad you’re able to share! :)

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  33. I just made these, and they are very yummy. I do wish you had specified unsalted butter in the recipe. I used salted, and the cookies turned out just on the edge of way too salty. Not inedible by any means, but it stinks having four dozen cookies that I feel like I have to warn people about. 

    • Hi Jennifer! We always use unsalted butter for baking, (unless specified otherwise), which is why there is salt included in the recipe. We’re sorry for the confusion and we hope you are still able to enjoy these!

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  35. So glad to see you changed it to a higher amount of cookies. I printed it months ago and my recipe says 28-32. I easily got 64. These were moderate one inch balls. They make beautiful cookies. Delicious as well!!  Followed the recipe exactly. Used my kitchen aid and just kept mixing. Thanks for the recipe. Will use again!

  36. When baking mine, I take them out of the oven right at 8 minutes even when they still look wet. This makes them soft and chewy. Unless you want them harder, then bake for the full 10 minutes.

  37. Can i possibly roll it in powdered sugar and out turn out just as good?

  38. These are wonderful! Just wanted to add that cutting this down to a yield of one dozen requires the following measurements:

    1/2 cups butter, softened to room temperature
    2/3 cups granulated sugar
    1/6 cup molasses
    2/3 eggs
    1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
    1 1/3 teaspoons baking soda
    2/3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
    2/3 teaspoons ground ginger
    1/3 teaspoon ground cloves
    1/3 teaspoon salt

    And they come out just fine. :)

  39. Just made these, bought the baking soda new, they would be perfect in the oven but when I took them out of oven they slowly flattened. Is it possible to beat the dough too much?

    • Hi Donna! We’re sorry to hear this happened. :( Was your butter definitely at room temp? You can’t really cream the butter and sugar too long, but you don’t want to overmix the dough after you’ve added your eggs and dry ingredients. Either one of those two things could have contributed to them flattening. We hope they still tasted good!

  40. I absolutely love ginger Molasses cookies and was thrilled when i found this recipe. The first time i made it, it came out perfectly!! This is also my neighbor’s fav cookie and he absolutely loved them! The recipe seems to be the perfect ratio of ingredients. The recipe is a crowd pleaser with our friends and family! Thank you so much for sharing it!!

    • Thank you for sharing with us, Rachel — we’re so happy these were a hit with folks! :)

  41. I’ve been looking for a good recipe for Ginger Molasses Cookies, and this looks great! I’ve already made the dough and it’s cooling now. Tastes great, so far. There’s a lot of comments about cookies turning out flat, and one thing not mentioned so far is making sure the eggs are room temp before adding them. I’ve seen untrained bakers cream butter and sugar beautifully until it’s fluffy for several minutes, then turn it into a sorry mess with cold eggs straight from the fridge. Sugar crystals help beat air into the butter- keep it fluffy.

    • Thanks for pointing that out Tom, you’re exactly right — it’s crucial for the eggs to be room temp as well!

  42. HELP!!! I put 2 tsp of ginger, should have been 1. What are my options? 

    • Hi Kala! You might want to just go ahead and double the whole recipe then, otherwise these will be super gingery (but if you reeeeally love ginger, that might be okay)!

  43. Can I use gluten-free flour for these cookies? Hope you respond quickly, I want to make these Wednesday. ?

    • Hi Jill — we haven’t experimented with a gluten-free version of these, but it’s worth a shot. If you try it, let us know how they turn out!

  44. Hi,

    I’ve tried this recipe a couple of times and the cookies drastically, dramatically spread out, like across-the-cookie-sheet-down-into-the-oven spread out. The butter was room temperature; the dough was ice cold; the eggs sat out on the kitchen table for hours. I even reduced the amount of butter crazily for the second round. Something isn’t right in the state of Denmark. Is this blog real? Are these positive commenters real? Are you a robot? Are you Fancy/Cozy Bear? WTF? How do you get top-google-hit-billing for such disastrous cookies? I’m an American human and this recipe didn’t work.

    -Disappointed in Des Moines

    • It could be your butter’s fat content…I’ve never had these NOT turn out well, but I’m in Utah where the elevation is quite high?

    • If you’re willing to try again, maybe add a bit more flour?

      I’ve had mine spread too much, and even my good batches aren’t just like the photos here (they’re thinner but soft and chewy) BUT they are a hit with everyone. Friends and relatives always ask me to bring them for holidays now.

      I’ve made them enough that I tend to know when the dough is too thin, and then I just add a bit more flour and they turn out. Making them in two batches also ensures my second batch is perfect. They’re worth the trial and error!

  45. These were just like the photo! Chewy goodness. Next time I will use less sugar in the dough.

  46. Hi! So the first time I made hear they were amazing! They looked just like the photo and dark and gooey inside. Best cookie I have ever had. My husband loved them and requested them again. I made them again tonight and they were drastically different. They didn’t sink down, had the consistency of pumpkin pie now the middle, and all the bottoms burned black (had in oven only 8 min for both batches). Was trying to figure out what I did wrong. Any suggestions? Was thinking the eggs were beat too much or the butter too soft. 

    • Hi Del! We’re sorry for just now getting to your comment. That’s so strange your experiences were so different! You do want to make sure the butter is softened to room temperature for this recipe. If it is too hard, or too melty, the creaming process won’t work its magic and you may have flatter cookies as a result. (Still tasty, but flatter!) Also, it is essential that the dough be thoroughly chilled with this recipe before baking. Otherwise, the dough will be soft and difficult to form into balls, and the cookies will flatten out significantly while baking. We hope this helps for next time!

  47. I love your recipes Ali! Every, single recipe I’ve tried has been nothing short of delicious. To those having issues with spreading with these cookies, I have a tip. Not all butters are the same. I’ve made cookies for years and years (I’m not gonna date myself here, LOL) and I have found that while store brand butters taste doesn’t vary much the results with baking does. I did an experiment this past Christmas with several different cookies that called for butter, using four different butters. Each time the cookies made with store brand butters spread very thin while the brand name butters performed better and made beautiful cookies. If you’re having issues with your cookies, try a different butter and see if it helps. :)

    • Thanks for your sweet words, Starr, we’re so glad you enjoy the blog and the recipes you’ve made! And thank you so much for your tip on the butter, you raise a very good point! :)

  48. We LOVE this recipe. We get rave reviews every time we make them. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe!

    Rating: 5
    • Thank you, Natalie — we’re so glad to hear they’re a hit! :)

  49. I was really excited to try these. I cut the recipe in half since I didn’t want so many cookies. I followed the instructions for the most part. I did not have an electric mixer to cream the sugar and butter so I did it by hand. The cookies turned out very much like cake and more puffy than the flat ones shown in the picture. Maybe I overbaked them? I had them in at 350 for exactly 10 minutes. Any advice to make these turn out just right?

    Rating: 3
    • Hi Olive! It sounds like making the recipe by hand instead of using a mixer was what led to these cookies being more cake-like, unless you could have forgotten to cut the baking soda amount in half? It doesn’t sound like you overbaked them unless they were burnt or crispy. In the future, you’ll want to use a mixer (doesn’t have to be a stand mixer) for best results. We hope this is helpful!