Perfect Gingerbread Cookies without Molasses

The best recipe to make perfect gingerbread cookies without molasses that are still sweet, spiced, and sturdy!

I’ve kind of dubbed myself queen of the gingerbread. It’s my “thing” during the holidays and I make so many batches I lose count. I send them in the mail to friends, I take them to every party, and I keep batches and batches in my freezer to share with guests when they come to my door. My Soft Gingerbread Cookies blow up the internet starting in November and it’s for good reason. They are amazing.

With that particular gingerbread cookie recipe I get two main requests/comments (besides how much people love them). 1) How do I make them without molasses? and 2) Can I make these gluten-free? I took it upon myself to answer those requests and questions properly this year so that everyone can enjoy gingerbread this season.

What can I use instead of molasses in gingerbread cookies?

Honey! If you can’t find molasses (based on your location generally) or if you don’t like it, this is the perfect gingerbread cookie recipe made without molasses, just for you. They are still soft, tender, perfectly sweet and spiced, and they hold their shape wonderfully. You can make the cookies or dough ahead of time AND they freeze wonderfully. They are pretty much the perfect cookie. All I did was swap the molasses in my original recipe for honey. My mom did this a lot when we were kids (because she had a lot of fresh honey on hand), and we loved them.

When you swap out the molasses, the cookies still taste great though they are not as dark in color as traditional gingerbread.

Happy baking friends, you are going to love these!

The best recipe to make perfect gingerbread cookies without molasses that are still sweet, spiced, and sturdy!

Tips and Tricks for Making Gingerbread Cookies without Molasses:

  • These cookies are sweet, soft, and hold their shape well. The spiced flavor is light and really pleasant. My kids love these, my husband loves these, and I had a bag hiding in the freezer that I have now eaten completely, so it’s pretty obvious that I love these, too. These will make a gingerbread lover out of anyone.
  • If you like your gingerbread on the crispy side, roll it to 1/4″ thick and bake for 11-12 minutes. If you like it nice and soft (though still very sturdy), roll the dough 1/2″ thick and bake for 10 minutes. If you play around with the thickness of the dough and the baking time, you’ll discover a cookie that meets your liking. I really like these thick and soft.
  • Use real butter and don’t forget the resting time. The dough should be tacky but not gloopy when you put it in the fridge. When it comes back out of the fridge, it should be very firm. You can keep the dough in the fridge for up to 2 days before using.
  • This is not a good gingerbread recipe for making gingerbread houses. The dough is too soft. I love making gingerbread houses (here’s a post of a bunch I’ve made) and I normally use this recipe for a sturdy hard cookie that is good for construction.
  • If you are in need of a cookie cutter set, I’ve had this one for almost 11 years and we use it all the time.

How to make-ahead or freeze your gingerbread cookies:

  • The baked cookies freeze very well. Just bake and cool (but do not add icing), store in a freezer bag or airtight container, and freeze for up to 6 weeks. You can pull the cookies out as needed when guests show up, or thaw the whole batch for decorating all at once. I froze bags and bags of these to prep for my neighbor goodie plates and loved having the baking done ahead of time.
  • The cookies will last 2-3 days ahead of time stored in an air-tight container at room temperature. These are a great make-ahead cookie for parties! You can also make the dough and hold it in the fridge for 2-3 days before baking it.

Here are my favorite ways to easily decorate gingerbread cookies:

  1. Royal icing
  2. Candies
  3. Sprinkling sugars
  4. Rubber stamps
  5. Candy melts
  6. Sprinkles

I wrote a huge post all about decorating these cookies if you want more specifics and details. You can find 6 Simple Ways to Decorate Gingerbread Cookies right here.

The best recipe to make perfect gingerbread cookies without molasses that are still sweet, spiced, and sturdy!

Print

Perfect Gingerbread Cookies without Molasses


  • Author: Melissa Griffiths - Bless this Mess
  • Prep Time: 15 min
  • Cook Time: 10 min
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 3 dozen large cookies 1x

Description

The best recipe to make perfect gingerbread cookies without molasses! These gingerbread cookies are sweet, spiced and hold their shape for easy decorating.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter, at room temperature (salted or unsalted)
  • 1 cup granulated white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 5 cups flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves

Instructions

  1. Cream butter, adding sugar gradually. Beat until well combined and light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  2. Beat in egg, honey, and vinegar.
  3. Sift all of the dry ingredients together and then blend sifted dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.
  4. Divide the dough into two even pieces, wrap each piece of dough in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 to 90 minutes.
  5. When the dough is done chilling, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Working in sections, roll the dough to 1/2″ thick on a floured surface; cut into desired shapes. Place shapes on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a baking mat. Gather and reroll “scraps” of dough as needed, using all of the dough.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for 9-11 minutes. Let the cookies cool on the pan for 5 minutes, and then move to a cooling rack.
  7. Repeat with remaining dough.
  8. Leave plain or decorate (here are 6 Simple Ways to Decorate Gingerbread Cookies if you are looking for some inspo).

Notes

  • These cookies are sweet, soft, and sturdy. The spiced flavor is light and really pleasant. My kids love these, my husband loves these, and I had a bag hiding in the freezer that I have now eaten completely, so it’s pretty obvious that I love these, too. These will make a gingerbread lover out of anyone.
  • If you like your gingerbread on the crispy side, roll it to 1/4″ thick and bake for 11-12 minutes. If you like it nice and soft (though still very sturdy), roll the dough 1/2″ thick and bake for 10 minutes. If you play around with the thickness of the dough and the baking time, you’ll discover a cookie that meets your liking. I really like these thick and soft.
  • Use real butter and don’t forget the resting time. The dough should be tacky but not gloopy when you put it in the fridge. When it comes back out of the fridge, it should be very firm. You can keep the dough in the fridge for up to 2 days before using.
  • This is not a good gingerbread recipe for making gingerbread houses. The dough is too soft. I love making gingerbread houses (here’s a post of a bunch I’ve made) and I normally use this recipe for a sturdy hard cookie that is good for construction.
  • If you are in need of a cookie cutter set, I’ve had this one for almost 11 years and we use it all the time.
  • Category: Cookies
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: gingerbread cookies, how to make gingerbread without molasses, christmas cookies, easy cookies for decorating

If you like this Gingerbread Cookie recipe here are a few others you might like:

And there you have it – one lovely cookie recipe, from my kitchen to yours. Make them with your people, they are simple and delicious, and just plain fun to eat!

38 Recipes for Busy Moms
1 Response

Leave a Reply

Bless This Mess - About Me

I’m Melissa, and I want to help you feed your family wholesome food.

As a hobby farmer and mom of five, I’m all about keeping it simple in the kitchen. I want healthy meals that feed my family well, and then I want to get back to my (messy) life. Let’s work together to find something yummy for your dinner table.

Dinner Ideas for Busy Moms