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!
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.
What You Need
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.
Sulfur dioxide used to be added to molasses as a preservative and clarifier, but it caused allergic reactions, so most molasses today is now unsulfured. Most of the time you’ll want to use fancy or light molasses (referred to as treacle in the UK) rather than blackstrap, which has a bitter flavor and is not preferred for baking.
A few steps are involved in making these chewy molasses cookies, but the result is so worth it.
- Mix Dry Ingredients from the flour to the salt.
- Cream Fat & Sugars with a mixer.
- Add Molasses & Flax Egg and beat again until combined.
- Make the Batter & Chill the dough for 1 to 24 hours.
- Roll & Bake dough balls.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Because the cookie dough is sticky, it needs to be chilled in order to roll it into balls. 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.
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.
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
You love these soft molasses cookies and now you want even more warm, spiced cookies! That’s why you’ll love these:
I hope you love these soft molasses cookies as much as we do!
- 1 flax egg
- 2¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 1¼ 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
- 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.
(The products above contain sponsored links to products we use and recommend)
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.