Old Fashioned Molasses Cookies

5 from 2 votes

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Old Fashioned Molasses Cookies are chewy and stay soft for days. A classic cookie beloved by adults and kids of all ages. 

Five old fashioned molasses cookies on a white plate.
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The secret to these old fashioned cookies is the molasses – a super dark, thick syrup with a strong flavor. It turns these cookies a dark color and is the contributing factor to the soft, chewy texture. These cookies can be enjoyed year round but are especially popular during the holidays.

If you’re putting together a cookie plate or a dessert bar, Old Fashioned Molasses Cookies are perfect alongside some Classic Cutout Sugar Cookies, Vanilla Melt Aways, Candy Cane Meringues, and Extra Buttery Spritz Cookies

A dozen old fashioned molasses cookies on a baking sheet with a thin metal spatula taking one off the pan.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Molasses cookies are a timeless classic with the perfect blend of sugar and spice. 
  • It’s an easy recipe to double so you have plenty to share or freeze for later.
  • The recipe is simple enough that kids can make them or help if they are littler. 

Recipe Ingredients

  • Butter
  • Brown sugar
  • Molasses: Look for fancy or unsulfured molasses, not blackstrap. 
  • Egg
  • All-purpose flour
  • Baking soda
  • Spices: Ground cinnamon, ginger, and cloves for wonderful flavor. 
  • Salt

See the recipe card below for full information on ingredients and quantities.

How to Make Old Fashioned Molasses Cookies

  • Step #1. Beat the butter and brown sugar for about 3 minutes. Add the remaining wet ingredients and mix well. 
  • Step #2. Whisk together the dry ingredients and then combine them with the wet ingredients. 
  • Step #3. Form a tablespoon of dough into a ball and then roll it in sugar.
  • Step #4. Place the cookie dough balls on a lined baking sheet and bake at 375 degrees F for 8 to 10 minutes.

Recipe FAQs

What is the best molasses to use?

Molasses can vary in flavor and intensity. My personal favorite is Grandma’s Brand – it’s unsulphured or fancy molasses outside the US. Avoid cooking molasses, blackstrap molasses, and treacle because they are too bitter for this recipe.

What do molasses cookies taste like?

Molasses cookies taste similar to a gingersnap but they are soft and chewy instead of crisp. They are a great combination of cinnamon and ginger flavor.

How do I store soft molasses cookies?

Once they are fully cooled, put them in an airtight container and store on the counter for up to a week or in the freezer for three to six months. Pull them out of the freezer and let thaw or you can put them in the microwave for 10 seconds. 

A dozen old fashioned molasses cookies on a baking sheet with one being taken off by a thin metal spatula and there is a white plate with cookies on it in the foreground.

Expert Tips

  • Don’t overmix the dough. Once you add the dry ingredients, mix until just combined to keep the cookies tender.
  • Make a double batch and freeze about half for the holiday season. Your future self will thank you. 
  • Leave about 2 inches between the balls of dough on the baking sheet so that the cookies don’t touch each other while baking. 
Five old fashioned molasses cookies on a white plate with a dozen molasses cookies on a baking sheet in the background.
top view of molasses cookies stacked on a plate
5 from 2 votes

Old Fashioned Molasses Cookies

This easy recipe for Old Fashioned Molasses Cookies is a favorite. Soft, chewy, lightly spiced cookies that are perfect for gift giving and holiday baking.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 20 minutes
Servings: 18 -24 cookies


  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup molasses, unsulphured or fancy
  • 1 egg
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • additional sugar for rolling
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  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and line a baking sheet with a baking mat or parchment.
  • In a large bowl beat the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the molasses and egg and beat well.
  • Add the flour, soda, cinnamon, ginger, salt, and cloves and stir to combine well. Scoop one tablespoon of dough and roll it into a ball with you hands. Roll the ball in additional sugar and place it on the baking sheet. Repeat leaving about 2 inches in between each dough ball. Using the bottom of a measuring cup lightly flatten each ball.
  • Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Let the cookies cool on a wire rack and enjoy with lots of milk. Store leftovers in an air-tight container.


  • This recipe was developed with unsulphured molasses (also known as fancy molasses), which is milder than blackstrap molasses (or treacle). Grandma’s Brand is my favorite.
  • Note that this dough is pretty soft compared to other cookie doughs. This helps the end cookie to be soft and tender.
  • To ensure that your cookies bake evenly, use a cookie scoop or weigh equal portions of dough on a food scale. 
  • Store the cookies in an airtight container for up to a week or in the freezer for three to six months. 


Serving: 1 of 24 cookies, Calories: 171kcal, Carbohydrates: 24g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 7g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.5g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2g, Trans Fat: 0.2g, Cholesterol: 53mg, Sodium: 135mg, Potassium: 193mg, Fiber: 0.5g, Sugar: 12g, Vitamin A: 232IU, Vitamin C: 0.004mg, Calcium: 36mg, Iron: 1mg
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Recipe Rating


  1. Missy says:

    What method do you use for the flour? Do you use a separate scoop to pour into the measuring cup? Or do you just scoop with the measuring cup? I ask because just like there’s a difference between 1 cup brown sugar and one cup “packed” brown sugar, the method for flour affects the amount of flour you actually end up using. I usually prefer either separate scoops or weight of the flour for more exact measuring.

    1. Melissa says:

      It’s standard practice in baking to spoon and level the flour into the measuring cup. That’s what I do.

  2. Wendy says:

    Do you use unsalted or salted butter? I only have salted so was wondering if I should just omit the additional 1/4 tsp salt.

    Can’t wait to try these, thanks! 🙂

    1. Melissa says:

      You’re good with either, I normally use salted but a more traditional answer would be to use unsalted.

  3. Lorri@FarFromPerfect says:

    It must be that time of year- I made molasses cookies a few days ago! I also made the Hoosier pie at Thanksgiving and it was a hit! Thanks for sharing!

  4. Pamela says:

    I have really enjoyed your blog. I recently made your Hoosier Sugar Cream Pie and after 3 tries, it was a hit. Now it’s everyone’s request at parties. I love your sense of family, home and cooking. Have a wonderful holiday season.

    1. Melissa says:

      Best comment ever! Was it too gooey the first 2 tries? I made it in Kentucky with my mom and it was more gooey than it is for me in Utah. That dessert factor and high altitude sometimes makes things funny! I’m so so glad you liked it and thank you so much for being here. It really does matter to me.

  5. Rachel@{i love} my disorganized life says:

    I’ve never tried molasses cookies- they look delicious!