Soft Molasses Cookies

These big, soft molasses cookies are tender cookies with bursts of cinnamon, cloves, and sugar throughout. It has a slightly crisp, crackly top with a chewy cookie middle. The cinnamon aromas will fill the house, making these your absolute favorite cookies.

For another soft, spice-infused cookie, try these vegan ginger cookies. They’re amazing!

A stack of soft molasses cookie shows the top one with a bite taken out. There are more cookies behind the stack.

There’s so much to love about soft molasses cookies, from the aroma when they’re baking, to the soft, buttery, spiced cookie. It’s simply delicious through and through.

These are not just any cookies. These are Soft Molasses Cookies like my grandma used to make. I bet yours probably did, too.

So, even if you don’t like molasses, you will like these cookies because combined with the spices and other ingredients, you’re tasting nothing but good things.

Yesteryear kinds of good things!

Why This Recipe is a Winner

  • Molasses and brown sugar makes these cookies extra soft for days.
  • Using ground cinnamon, ginger, and cloves, creates an undeniably delicious spice combination for these cookies.
  • Creaming the fat and sugar gives the baked cookies the perfect texture, bringing you back to this recipe time and time again.
A row of cookies sits next to a bowl of ground cinnamon.

Recipe Ingredients

You can find the full printable recipe, including ingredient quantities, below. But first, here are some explanations of ingredients and steps to help you make this recipe perfect every time.

  • Flax egg — The egg replacer here will be a flax egg or you can use a chia egg. Both will work
  • Flour — I recommend all-purpose flour but you can substitute whole wheat pastry flour (different from whole wheat flour) or quality gluten-free flour.
  • Baking soda + Baking powder — These two together are important to creating that crackly cookie crust
  • Spices — For these spice cookies we’ll use ground cinnamon, ground ginger, and ground cloves
  • Salt — A little bit of salt adds the complexity of flavor
  • Brown sugar — You can use either dark or light brown sugar, but dark will add more color and flavor
  • Granulated sugar
  • Vegan butter — I used Earth Balance buttery sticks, which I highly recommend
  • Molasses — I recommend using unsulphured molasses for its dark color and strong flavor
  • Optional Coarse Sugar — You can roll the cookie dough balls in any sugar, but coarse sugar will stand out even more.

How to Make Soft Molasses Cookies

A few steps are involved in making these chewy molasses cookies, but the result is so worth it.

  1. Mix Dry Ingredients: Stir together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, and salt in a medium bowl.
  2. Cream Fat & Sugars — Using a hand-held or stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the butter with the granulated and brown sugars in a mixing bowl.
  3. Add Molasses & Flax Egg — Add the molasses and flax egg and beat again until combined.
  4. Make the Batter & Chill — Add the dry ingredients and beat at low speed until it forms into a dough. Cover the bowl of dough and refrigerate it for 1 – 24 hours.
  5. Roll & Bake — Roll dough into balls and then roll the cookie dough balls in sugar. Place the prepared balls on a cookie sheet, at least 2 inches apart.

Here’s a breakdown of those steps, including a visual guide.

Step One: Mix Dry Ingredients

Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and spices in a bowl. Sift this all together and then set aside.

A bowl of flour has spices on top of it.

Step Two: Cream Fat & Sugar

Using a hand-held or stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the butter with both the granulated and brown sugars in a mixing bowl. Do this for 1 – 2 minutes, until it’s light and fluffy.

Step Three: Add Molasses & Flax Egg

Next, add the molasses and beat again until combined and fluffy. Then, add a flax egg and beat until the mixture is combined.

A measuring cup holds molasses and is being poured into a mixing bowl with creamy cookie batter below it.

Step Four: Make the Cookie Batter

Flour is being poured into a mixing bowl with cookie batter.

Pour the flour mixture in with the molasses mixture and beat on low speed until combined. This dough will be sticky, so you’ll want to cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour or up to 2 days.

Looking down on a stand mixer with molasses cookie dough in the mixing bowl. The beater is also covered in cookie dough.

Marly’s Tips

If the dough has chilled for longer than an hour, you may need to let it sit on the counter for a few minutes before you can make cookie dough balls with it, as it can be quite firm.

Step Five: Roll & Bake

Roll dough into balls and then roll the cookie dough balls in sugar. Place the prepared balls on a cookie sheet, at least 2 inches apart. Allow the cookie dough balls to sit on the cookie sheet for 1 to 3 minutes.

Marly’s Tips

Because the cookie dough is sticky, it needs to be chilled in order to roll them. However, the chilled dough can prevent the crackly tops from forming as the cookies bake. Letting the cookie dough balls sit before baking helps create that iconic crackly cookie top.

Cookie dough balls are coated in sugar and sitting on a baking sheet, ready to go into the oven.

Bake the cookies for 9 to 11 minutes, until the cookies are firm and beginning to brown. When they’re done, allow the cookies to cool for 2 to 3 minutes on the cookie sheet before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

For extra soft cookies, remove them from the oven for around 9 minutes. For crunchier cookies, remove them for around 11 minutes.

Storage Tips

Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for 1 week. Cookies can also be stored in the fridge for up to 10 days. They can be frozen for up to 2 months

Looking down on several cookies on a white counter. There's a bowl of sugar and cinnamon sitting next to them.

More Vegan Spice Cookies

You love these soft molasses cookies and now you want even more warm, spiced cookies! That’s why you’ll love these:

A stack of big soft molasses cookies sits in front of bowls of cinnamon and sugar. There are more cookies on a wire rack in the background.
A stack of soft molasses cookie shows the top one with a bite taken out. There are more cookies behind the stack.

Soft Molasses Cookies

Soft Molasses Cookies are sweetened with brown sugar and molasses and sprinkled with spices. Your kitchen will smell as good as these cookies taste!
5 from 3 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
Servings: 32
Calories: 93kcal
Author: Namely Marly

Ingredients

  • 1 flax egg
  • cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup packed brown sugar (light or dark)
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup vegan butter softened
  • ¼ cup unsulphured molasses (dark)
  • ¼ Additional granulated or coarse sugar to roll cookies

Instructions

  • Prepare the flax egg and set it aside.
  • Mix Dry Ingredients: Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, and salt in a medium bowl and stir until combined.
  • Using a hand-held or stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the butter with the granulated and brown sugars in a mixing bowl. Beat for 1 to 2 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add the molasses and beat again until combined. Add the flax egg and beat for another minute until combined. Be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed while beating.
  • Add the dry ingredients and beat at low speed until it forms into a dough. Cover and refrigerate the dough for 1 to 24 hours.
  • When you're ready to bake the cookies, preheat your oven to 350°F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or use silicone baking mats.
  • Roll dough into balls, approximately the size of a tablespoon. I like using a cookie dough scoop to keep the balls the same size. Roll the cookie dough balls in sugar.
  • Place prepared balls on a cookie sheet, at least 2 inches apart. Bake 8 to 10 minutes, until the cookies are firm and beginning to brown. When they're done, allow the cookies to cool for 2 to 3 minutes on the cookie sheet before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Store in an airtight container at room temperature for 1 week. Cookies can also be stored in the fridge. They can be frozen for up to 2 months.

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Nutrition Facts
Soft Molasses Cookies
Amount Per Serving
Calories 93 Calories from Fat 27
% Daily Value*
Fat 3g5%
Sodium 71mg3%
Potassium 56mg2%
Carbohydrates 14g5%
Sugar 8g9%
Vitamin A 200IU4%
Calcium 10mg1%
Iron 0.5mg3%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

The nutrition information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator and should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

This post was originally published in 2013 and was updated to include new photos, new text, and an updated recipe in 2020.

9 Responses to Soft Molasses Cookies

  1. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyGlenis Vaillanourt Reply

    These sound great – did you use brown sugar in these ? Thanks…

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      I didn’t use brown sugar in these because the molasses serves the purpose. Thanks for your comment!

  2. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyRaquel Reply

    Thanks for this recipe – they turned out well. The only issue I had was with the flour measurement… the two cups seemed far too little. I weigh my flour, which tends to be less per cup than those who scoop it, so this may have been the problem. Thanks again!

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      I have scaleophobia.I think it’s from my teenager days when I used to have nightmares of getting on a large scale before boarding a flight – everyone could read the results. Ach! I haven’t trusted scales ever since. I think they’re slightly evil. Maybe I should get therapy for that!

  3. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMichelle @ Michelle's tiny kitchen Reply

    These look great! Can I substitute blackstrap molasses or will that be too dark? We only ever have blackstrap in the house. Also, I feel you on cilantro 100%. Cilantro on all the things!

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      I love the flavor of molasses so I wouldn’t hesitate to use blackstrap! Bring on the strapping!!

  4. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyJoe Reply

    I substituted 1/4 cup of sunflower oil for 1/3 of the margarine. Also used blackstrap molasses. They came out fantastic!!

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Hi Joe. Your modifications sound delicious!

  5. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyShirley Reply

    These are the best cookies!

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