Chewy Molasses Cookies

We can't get enough of these chewy molasses cookies! They have crisp edges, fudgy middles, and rich, spiced flavor from ginger and cinnamon.

Chewy molasses cookies

As I sat down to write this molasses cookies post, I watched some of the first snow of the year drift past the window. What could be more fitting? These chewy molasses cookies are perfect for cold, wintry days. They have crisp edges, soft middles, and a rich, spiced flavor that’ll warm you up in an instant. Pair one with a cup of hot chocolate, and you have an unbeatable holiday treat!

I think you’re going to love this molasses cookie recipe. It’s quick and easy to make (you don’t even have to chill the dough!), and it yields really wonderful cookies. After the first time I made them, I liked them so much that I couldn’t resist nabbing one for breakfast the next morning. Since then, I’ve baked countless batches of these molasses cookies, and Jack and I still can’t get enough. Baking them has become a new holiday tradition in our house. I hope it will in yours, too!

Molasses cookie recipe ingredients

Molasses Cookie Recipe Ingredients

Something else I love about this molasses cookie recipe? It’s totally vegan! It comes together with these basic ingredients:

  • Molasses, of course! I make these cookies with unsulphured blackstrap molasses, which gives them a rich molasses flavor and dark color. My favorite brand is Wholesome Sweeteners.
  • Dark brown sugar and white sugar – For sweetness. This combination also contributes to the cookies’ delicious chewy texture.
  • Coconut oil – For this recipe, your coconut oil should be soft, but not melted. To achieve the right consistency, I usually pop it in the microwave for around 15 seconds before I start to bake. The exact timing depends on its initial texture, which varies based on the temperature of the kitchen. Room temperature butter will work here too.
  • All-purpose flour – For the most precise measurement, use the spoon-and-level method.
  • Baking soda – It reacts with the molasses and brown sugar to help the cookies rise.
  • Warm spices – You can’t make good chewy molasses cookies without spices! I use the same ones that I do in my vegan gingerbread: ginger, cinnamon, and cardamom.
  • Vanilla – It deepens the warm, spiced flavor of these molasses cookies.
  • Fine sea salt – To make all the flavors pop!
  • And natural cane sugar – For rolling! It creates a sweet, crispy crust around the cookies’ chewy middles.

Find the complete recipe with measurements below.

Hands rolling balls of cookie dough

How to Make Molasses Cookies

This molasses cookie recipe is super easy to make! Here’s how it goes:

First, make the dough. Cream the coconut oil and sugars in the bowl of a stand mixer until light and fluffy. Add the molasses and vanilla, and mix again to combine. Then, whisk together the dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Gradually add them to the bowl of the stand mixer, mixing after each addition. Finally, mix in 1 tablespoon water to moisten the dough.

Next, shape the cookies. Use a 2-inch cookie scoop to portion the dough, and roll each scoop into a ball. Roll the balls in a small bowl of cane sugar. When they’re evenly coated, place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet.

Hand pressing down balls of dough

Before you bake, gently press down on the balls to flatten them slightly.

Then, bake! Transfer the cookies to a 350° oven and bake for 10 minutes, until the cookies have spread slightly and cracks form on their surfaces. Allow them to cool for 10 minutes on the baking sheet before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely. Enjoy!

Stack of ginger molasses cookies

Chewy Molasses Cookies Tips

  • Use natural cane sugar for rolling. I like to use regular granulated sugar in these cookies, but I use natural cane sugar on the outside. It has a slightly coarser texture, which creates a delicious crispy crust around the cookies’ edges.
  • Bake one sheet at a time. These ginger molasses cookies spread out as they bake, so depending on the size of your baking sheet, you may need to bake them in two batches. Though working in batches takes longer than putting all the cookies in the oven at once, the extra time is worth it. Because temperatures vary throughout an oven, the cookies will bake most evenly if they’re all on the same oven rack. You don’t want cookies on a lower rack to burn before ones above them are cooked through!
  • Leave them on the baking sheet for 10 minutes after they come out of the oven. It’ll be tempting to reach for these chewy molasses cookies as soon as they finish baking, but if you can, hold off for at least 10 minutes. Straight out of the oven, the cookies are puffy and delicate. As they cool, they crisp up around the edges and become chewy and fudgy in the middle. After 10 minutes, go ahead and sample one (or more), and transfer the rest to a wire rack to cool completely.

Molasses cookies recipe

More Favorite Cookie Recipes

If you love these molasses cookies, try one of these yummy cookie recipes next:

Chewy Molasses Cookies

rate this recipe:
4.94 from 92 votes
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 10 mins
Serves 16
We love to make these chewy molasses cookies for the holidays! They have crisp edges, soft middles, and a rich, spiced flavor from ginger, cinnamon, and cardamom.

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, or using an electric mixer, cream the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar. Add the molasses and vanilla and mix again.
  • In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, ginger, cardamom, and salt. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mixing after each addition. Mix in the 1 tablespoon water.
  • Use a 2-inch cookie scoop to scoop the dough and use your hands to roll it into balls. If the dough feels dry, mix in 1/2 tablespoon additional water. Roll the balls in the sugar, press down slightly, and bake for 10 minutes, until the cookies are puffed and cracking on top. Remove and let cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Notes

Note: these cookies taste great using any brand of unsulphured molasses and any brand of sugar, but we recommend Wholesome Organic Molasses and Domino granulated sugar for the pictured crinkly look.

108 comments

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Rate this recipe (after making it)




  1. Beverly
    01.07.2023

    There are no eggs in this recipe????

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)
      01.13.2023

      Nope!

  2. Sarah
    01.07.2023

    5 stars
    Yum! Made the recipe and these are exactly what I was looking and hoping for 😎

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)
      01.13.2023

      So glad you loved it!

  3. Avana
    12.21.2022

    5 stars
    This is soooooo good!! The mixture of spices is just perfect. I was a little worried that it’d been overwhelming but instead, the spices blend so well together to create a rich and complex flavor. And best of all this is a vegan friendly recipe so I can share them with my vegan friends.

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)
      12.22.2022

      I’m so glad you love the cookies!

  4. Kimberlee
    12.12.2022

    Can cloves be substitute for cardamom?

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)
      12.16.2022

      Yes, that would be delicious!

  5. Mimi
    12.11.2022

    Just wondering if you have any adjustments for high altitude. I am at about 6500 above sea level.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      12.12.2022

      Hi Mimi, I’m sorry, I’m not sure since I’ve never lived at a high altitude.

  6. Martha
    12.10.2022

    I find it easier to weigh my ingredients. I do have a chart of conversions from cups to ounces but if you could put the weights of your ingredients in the recipe that would be so helpful! I find that most recipes from other countries use weights rather than measures. My kitchen scale makes baking so much easier and faster.
    Thank you!!!

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)
      12.16.2022

      Thanks for your feedback, Martha!

  7. Andrew Deshommes-Kohls
    12.09.2022

    Making these tonight for a cookie exchange tomorrow. I will rate after I make them haha. I did have a quick question though… I was maybe wanting to ass icing to the top. Any recommendations for an icing that would be good?

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)
      12.09.2022

      Hi Andrew, We often making a simple icing with 1 cup powdered sugar and 2 tablespoons almond milk. If you want the icing to be a bit thicker, you can add more powdered sugar, and if you want it thinner, you can add a bit more almond milk (or regular milk). A little vanilla extract is a great addition too. Hope this helps!

  8. Lauren
    12.07.2022

    I was wondering, is there a suggested alternative for a gluten-free option? But without losing the chewy, crunchy yumminess

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)
      12.09.2022

      Hi Lauren, a 1 for 1 gluten-free flour blend, such as Bob’s Red Mill’s, might work, but we haven’t tested this, so I can’t say for sure.

      • Nicole
        12.14.2022

        Just tried using 1:1 flour mix, and I’m not a fan. Cookies didn’t crack and they tasted a bit grainy.

  9. Linda
    11.21.2022

    These are delicious! What’s the best way to store these to keep them crisp on the outside and chewy on the inside for about 3 days?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      11.22.2022

      Hi Linda, I store them in a glass air-tight container – you could keep the lid loose if you didn’t want them to soften too much.

    • Janie
      12.11.2022

      5 stars
      This cookie freezes well! And thaws very quickly so I would recommend trying with a couple and see if that works for you. I always make this fantastic recipe for Christmas treats for neighbors and freeze so I have ready to go.

  10. Abhilasha
    11.10.2022

    5 stars
    These turned our great! I used a mix of coconut oil and olive oil since I didn’t have enough coconut oil. Added 1 egg, 1 tsp ground cloves, 1/2 tsp orange rind. The 1 tbsp water was perfect. They soft, chewy and crispy 😋 mmmm can’t wait to have these with my Chai tea tomorrow morning🥰

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)
      11.11.2022

      I’m so glad you love the recipe!

  11. abbey
    10.28.2022

    5 stars
    These are one of our favorites!! Can I ask; is it possible to freeze the dough and still get the same great texture? Or even freeze the baked cookies and maintain the chewiness? Trying to have them ready for Thanksgiving 😊

    • Phoebe Moore
      10.28.2022

      I’m so glad you love the cookies! We haven’t tried freezing the dough, but the baked cookies freeze perfectly. I’d take them out of the freezer a few hours before you plan to serve them and let them thaw at room temp.

      • abbey
        10.29.2022

        Thank you so very much for the reply!!! Then baking them in advance and freezing is what I’ll do!!! There really isn’t a better cookie, regardless of season 🥰

  12. Shari
    10.16.2022

    5 stars
    I added an egg, used 1 cup of whole wheat flour instead of white, and baked them for 12 minutes… came out delicious, crispy on outside and soft in the middle. You really do not taste the coconut oil. I know the egg is not vegan, but I think it helps add structure to the cookies.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      10.21.2022

      I’m glad you enjoyed them!

  13. Mary Warren
    06.16.2022

    5 stars
    I made these last week for a visiting vegan family. Never used coconut oil for baking before. The first batch was waaaaay too dry and the cookies were more like chunks rather than the cute flat ones pictured. So I just kept adding water until I felt the dough was more pliable and now they looked cuter.
    But wow! The flavor was awesome No one who tried these cookies could resist asking for more. Even my so. not vegan son raved about them.
    Easy to make, Taste delicious. And very filling This recipes is a keeper.

  14. Karen
    03.30.2022

    5 stars
    These are wonderful! Molasses cookies are one of my favorites. My usual recipe calls for cinnamon, ginger, and clove. I really like flavor the cardamom adds to these cookies. Texture is perfect with a crispy edge and soft chewy center. I may try adding some orange zest to a future batch. I will definitely make these again.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      04.02.2022

      I’m so glad you loved them!

  15. Min
    03.24.2022

    2 stars
    The cookie had outstanding flavour. The cardamom was a great addition.
    Texture wise it was dry after the addition of 1 1/2 tbsp water. I used coconut oil . Will probably try butter next time.

  16. tina
    03.16.2022

    what could I substitute for coconut oil

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      03.17.2022

      Hi Tina, unsalted butter is the other option.

  17. Kim
    02.13.2022

    This recipe looks so yummy! Can I substitute vegan butter for the coconut oil?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      02.15.2022

      Hi Kim, I haven’t tried them with vegan butter, in my experience it causes cookies like this to spread too much.

    • Sherry
      06.23.2022

      I’ve used Trex vegan baking block and it was fine

  18. Jackie
    01.20.2022

    Hi! I was wondering if it was possible to use a blender for this recipe, or if you needed to have a mixer. Thank you!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      01.22.2022

      Hi Jackie, a mixer is best for this one. You can use a hand mixer if you don’t have a stand mixer.

  19. Maya
    01.19.2022

    5 stars
    These cookies are amazing! I made them with my kids following the recipe exactly, and they came out perfectly. I had regular molasses on hand, but would love to try with blackstrap the next time. Will definitely be adding these to the rotation!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      01.20.2022

      Hi Maya, I’m so glad you both loved them!

      • Maya
        01.31.2022

        5 stars
        Picked up some blackstrap molasses yesterday and whipped up a batch for the new neighbors. Again- perfection! And they looked so pretty in the box :o)

        • Jeanine Donofrio
          02.01.2022

          I’m so glad they were a hit!

  20. Joan
    01.16.2022

    I used Self-Rising flour. The leavening is already in the flour. My cookies did not expand or crackle. I used dry measures for the dry. Ingredients & leveled the flour. What went wrong?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      01.18.2022

      Hi Joan, the difference of flour can make a difference, I haven’t tried these with self rising flour.

    • Maya
      10.02.2022

      5 stars
      Hi Joan,
      You can only substitute self rising flour for all-purpose flour in recipes that call for baking POWDER. That’s because self-rising flour is a lower-protein flour that already has baking powder and salt mixed in. This recipe does not use baking powder- it uses baking soda. You can’t swap out baking powder for baking soda in recipes. Both contain sodium bicarbonate, which help things rise by creating CO2 when activated by an acid. The difference is that baking powder already includes the acid it need to react with (usually cream of tartar), so it just needs a liquid and heat to do its job. This recipe calls for baking soda, which is pure sodium bicarbonate- no acid included- which means it is counting on something acidic in the recipe to react with it (in this case, the molasses). Also, keep in mind that self-rising flour is lower in protein, so it has less gluten. That means it doesn’t bind as well and tends to produce baked goods that spread out more (unless your recipe makes up for this). That’s a longer answer than you probably wanted, but long story short: only use self rising flour if you see baking POWDER in the original recipe 😉

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.