This Molasses Crinkle Ginger Cookies Recipe is the absolute best! They are soft and chewy and have a perfectly slight crunch on the very outside from the cooked sugar. Just like grandma's old fashioned, they are ginger and molasses heaven in your mouth. They taste like fall and winter and make the house smell amazing.
Molasses Crinkle Ginger Cookies are good year round, but there is something about the molasses and ginger and delicious warmth of them that just speaks of fall and winter. These cookies are absolute perfection. I have spent years getting the recipe perfect. The texture is so soft and chewy on the inside with a slightly crisp, thin outer shell. They are heavenly to bite into.
These were inspired by our Chai Cookies and go great with our Tart Lemon Crinkle Cookies, Peppermint Brownies and our Candy Cane Cookies. Pair them with these fun chocolate peanut butter crinkles for a winter cookie party!
Below is a list of ingredients needed for this recipe. Follow our tips on each ingredient for best results.
- butter - we highly recommend using real butter for this recipe. The texture is better and the flavor is better.
- brown sugar - you'll notice the only sugar in this recipe is brown sugar. We tested this recipe and found that brown sugar gives these the perfect texture and flavor. Granulated sugar is only needed at the very end, when you will roll the dough balls into sugar.
- egg - eggs are essential for cookies; we used a large egg.
- molasses - they wouldn't be molasses cookies without molasses! The molasses give these their rich flavor and color.
- vanilla - I recommend using pure vanilla, but imitation vanilla works in a pinch.
- flour - we use regular all-purpose flour in this recipe. You can use bleached or unbleached
- baking soda - baking soda gives them rise and helps them spread. With the brown sugar being the only sugar, we need the assistance of baking soda to help them spread.
- cinnamon - cinnamon adds a great flavor and compliments the molasses beautifully.
- ginger - we just use a tiny bit of ginger in these! Just enough so there is only a hint and it isn't a prominent flavor or intense.
- cloves - again, we use just a pinch of cloves for the hint of flavor but nothing to overwhelm the other flavors. If you like your molasses cookies to have a bite, add more ginger and cloves.
- salt - we used table salt for these, but you can use a different type of salt if you prefer. Just be aware that different salts have different levels of "saltiness". For example, if you use pink himalayan you will need to use more to get the same level of saltiness.
How to Make Molasses Cookies
Use these process shots to help get the results you are wanting. The pictures can help with texture and be a visual guide for best results.
1. In the bowl of a stand mixer or using a hand mixer and mixing bowl, cream the butter and the sugar. Beat on medium high for about 3-4 minutes until creamy and fluffy. Add the egg, molasses and vanilla and beat on high for another minute, until the mixture starts to lighten and becomes fluffier. In a separate bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. Add to wet ingredients and mix on low just until combined.
2. It's important not to over mix once you add the flour or the cookies will be a little tough. Make dough balls. You can use a cookie scoop to make balls similar in sign so that they bake evenly. Otherwise use a spoon and try to make them all the same size. Roll between your hands to form a round shape, then roll through a small bowl of granulated sugar.
3. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet leaving plenty of space for them to spread out. If doing smaller dough balls, 4 per row with 5 columns. For larger dough balls, 3 x4 works best.
4. Place in the preheated oven and bake for 10-12 minutes (check around minute 9 for smaller cookies). The tops should be matte and the edges set. Be careful not to over bake! These cookies are best juuuuuuust barely cooked through. Remove from oven and bang the pan on the oven 2-3 times to help them get their crinkles. Allow to cool on the pan for at least 5 minutes before removing.
Hint: These cookies are so good hot and fresh with a glass of milk or eggnog, but I think I might like the chewy texture of them the next day even more!
Substitutions and Variations
We love switching things up when we're in the kitchen. Try any of these variations for something a little different.
- Blackstrap - these can be made using Blackstrap molasses! Use the same amount and experience the dark, fuller and richer taste that comes with using the dark Blackstrap molasses.
- Oatmeal - reduce flour by ½ cup and add 1 ¼ cups rolled oats.
- Iced- to make with icing, make a simple icing by using 3 cups powdered sugar and 4 Tablespoons powdered sugar. Feel free to add ¼ teaspoon ginger and ½ teaspoon cinnamon for a spiced icing.
- Spicy - make these spicy by increasing the ginger to 1 teaspoon, increase cloves to ¼ teaspoon and add ⅛ teaspoon pepper.
- Chocolate Chip - for chocolate chip ginger molasses cookies, add 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips after the dry ingredients. Stir in only until combined!
- Without Ginger - I actually really enjoy these without any ginger at all! No other alterations are needed, just omit the ginger. Feel free to omit the cloves as well to get a more pure cookie.
Storing Molasses Cookies
Store in an airtight container for up to 4 days. These stay soft and chewy even when served cold (I actually prefer them cooled over warm for texture), but can be microwaved for about 8 seconds if desired.
The dough can be made ahead and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 2 days in advance. If refrigerating longer than 2 hours, allow cookie dough to soften at room temperature for about 20 minutes before use.
Dough can be frozen. To freeze, form into balls then freeze. To bake, allow to thaw until soft on the outside (at least 20 minutes), then roll in sugar and bake. They may need to bake a little longer than usual.
These store REALLY well in the freezer. I like to put them in when they're mostly cooled but still warm. It makes them so soft and chewy when they thaw out. Yum!
These are so yummy fresh out of the oven with a glass of milk! They are even chewier and possibly even yummier the next day!
Be very very careful not to over bake these cookies. If over baked, they will be dry and crumbly instead of wonderfully soft and chewy. They are done when the tops are matte and the edges are set.
Make sure to beat the butter and sugar together the full amount of time. It provides the best flavor and texture.
Soft and Chewy Ginger Molasses Crinkle Cookies
- ⅔ cup butter
- 1 cup brown sugar I use dark brown, but light is fine too
- 1 egg
- ¼ cup molasses
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 ½ cups flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ginger for cookies with a stronger ginger flavor, 1 teaspoon
- ¼ teaspoon cloves
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 375*F.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer or using a hand mixer and mixing bowl, cream the butter and the sugar. Beat on medium high for about 3-4 minutes until creamy and fluffy. Add the egg, molasses and vanilla and beat on high for another minute, until the mixture starts to lighten and becomes fluffier. See photos above to check consistency and texture.
- Add the dry ingredients. The easiest way to do this is put in the flour then measure out the other ingredients on top then give it a quick little mix with your fingers to avoid any clumps. Mix on low just until combined. Roll into balls then roll balls in a bowl of granulated sugar and place on a parchment lined baking sheet.
- Bake at 375* F for 10-12 minutes. As soon as the tops are matte, and the edges just barely start to change color they are done! When you pull them out, bang them on the top of the oven to get them to crinkle a little more.
Ginger snaps are crunchy and should have a good "snap" when bent in half. Molasses Cookies are super soft and chewy and will fold gently when bent in half.
Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, molasses and vanilla and beat one more minute. Stir in dry ingredients then bake!
Gingerbread cookies are crispy, molasses cookies are soft and chewy.
It does a few different things. It acts as a sweetener and makes the cookie sweeter. It adds a complex flavor. The flavor is sweet, yet has a slight tang and even some light notes that are oh so slightly bitter. They also change the texture of the cookie, making them softer and chewier when baked correctly. Yum!