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Chewy well spiced Molasses Cookies
Old-fashioned chewy Molasses Cookies with loads of warm spices.
Our simple Molasses Cookies have a full, rich, robust flavor and terrific texture making them practically irresistible. The cracked crinkle appearance adds wonderful visual appeal and they’re easy to make, too!
The robust flavor in these cookies comes from a combination of warm, sweet dark molasses and plenty of ground cinnamon, cloves, allspice and lots of ginger.
During the holidays we all look for ways to get ahead and freezable cookies are a good solution. While eating a warm, just baked Molasses Cookie is pretty amazing, these cookies and their unique flavor hold up even after being frozen.
Baking soda – before the holidays, make sure your baking soda is fresh and still active. Try this simple test to ensure your baking soda will give all your baked goods plenty of lift.
Spices – for this recipe you’ll need ground ginger, cinnamon, cloves and allspice. Check the expiration date on your spices to ensure they are still within range, for best results.
Salt – if using salted butter reduce the amount of salt to 1/4 teaspoon.
Unsalted butter at room temperature
Cream cheese – we add a little room temperature cream cheese to add body to this cookie. For a thinner cookie that spreads just a little more, omit the cream cheese and add another tablespoon of butter for a total of 12 tablespoons or 3/4 cup of unsalted butter.
Granulated sugar for the cookie dough and for rolling before baking.
Dark brown sugar
Dark unsulphured molasses – this is not a product endorsement. Any brand will do as long as it’s not blackstrap molasses. We prefer dark molasses for these cookies.
Overview: how to make Molasses Cookies
Prepare the cookie dough:
Start by preheating the oven and lining two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Next whisk together the flour, baking soda, spices and salt together in a medium bowl; set aside.
In a large bowl, using an electric or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and cream cheese together until combined. Add the sugars and beat until light and fluffy.
Add the egg yolk and vanilla. Mix just until blended, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a spatula as needed.
Pour in the molasses and mix on low, just until combined.
Finally, add the flour mixture and beat on low speed until it’s almost completely incorporated. Scrape down the bowl again and mix the dough one last time using the spatula.
Bake the dough balls:
Pour the remaining 1/3 cup of granulated sugar in a shallow bowl.
Scoop out a heaping tablespoon of dough using a small cookie scoop and gently roll into a ball.
Roll the dough ball in the granulated sugar until coated. Place on the prepared baking sheet at least 2-inches apart. Sprinkle the tops of the cookie dough balls with a pinch of extra sugar if desired.
Bake just until the edges are set, the cookies are puffed but still look raw in-between the cracks. They will seem under-baked but this is okay.
For a nice, chewy cookie, don’t over-bake.
Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely before storing in an airtight container.
What type of molasses is best to bake with?
Molasses, also known as black treacle in Britain, is made from sugarcane or sugar beets. Each brand is different, and may use different methods to refine and produce molasses.
Treacle is sold in two varieties. Light molasses or treacle is often labeled as golden syrup with the dark variety sold as black treacle.
Dark unsulphured molasses is our first choice for baking.
What is unsulphured molasses?
Unsulphured molasses simply means the molasses is more mature and has not been treated with a preservative called sulphur dioxide.
Molasses made by a quicker production method may need this preservative added to ensure a longer, more stable shelf-life.
Storing and freezing Molasses Cookies
Store Molasses Cookies at room temperature well sealed in an airtight container. These cookies stay nice and chewy for up to a week, making them a great Christmas cookie perfect for gifting and shipping.
Seal the cookies in a freezer bag, then seal in an airtight container before storing in the freezer. Molasses Cookies will be good for up to two months.
To thaw, leave out at room temperature in a single layer for about an hour. Enjoy!
Tips for success:
Have your butter, cream cheese and egg yolk at room temperature before making the dough.
Properly measure all your dry ingredients.
If you don’t have a kitchen scale, be sure you stir the flour in the bag before lightly scooping into the measuring cup. Flour settles and condenses while shipping and should be light and fluffy when measured.
Level off the top of the measuring cup using the dull side of a dinner knife. This is called the scoop-and-sweep method.
Be sure you don’t over-mix the dough.
This recipe does not require chilling the dough ahead. However, it can be made ahead and refrigerated before baking. Leave out at room temperature for 15 minutes before scooping, rolling and baking.
The single most important step you can take to delicious, chewy Molasses Cookies is to under-bake the cookies. Test a few cookies before you bake an entire pan to set the correct time.
The cookies should be set around the edges, puffed in the middle and will look raw between the cracks. This is a good thing!
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For the cookie dough:
- 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour (284g)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 ½ teaspoons ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ⅔ cup unsalted butter room temperature (about 11 tablespoons or 156g)
- 2 ounces cream cheese room temperature
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar (80g plus more for rolling)
- ½ cup dark brown sugar (112g)
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup molasses dark unsulphured (145g or 5 ¼ oz)
For coating the dough balls:
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar for rolling dough balls (80g)
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, allspice and salt. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl beat the butter and cream cheese together with an electric mixer until blended. Add 1/3 cup granulated sugar and the dark brown sugar to the butter mixture. Beat on high until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a spatula and beat again until blended.
- Add the egg yolk and vanilla and blend on medium speed until incorporated. Add the molasses and mix on low just until blended. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and mix another 5 or 10 seconds on low.
- Add the flour mixture and beat on low speed until almost completely incorporated, about 30 seconds. Scrape down the bowl again and mix the dough one last time using a spatula until no pockets of flour remain. The dough will be soft.
- Pour the last ⅓ cup of granulated sugar in a shallow bowl. Scoop out a heaping tablespoon of dough using a small cookie scoop. Lightly form the dough into a 1 ½-inch ball. Roll the dough ball in the granulated sugar until coated. Place on the prepared baking sheet about 2-inches apart. Don't over-fill the pan.
- Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or just until the edges are set, the cookies are puffed but still look raw in-between the cracks. The cookies will seem under-baked but this is okay. For a nice chewy cookie, don’t over-bake. Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely before storing.
- Makes 32 to 36 cookies
- Store baked cookies at room temperature for up to a week.
- Cookies can be frozen for up to 2 months.
- This dough does not require refrigeration before baking, but can be made 1 day ahead and refrigerated until needed.