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Molasses Cookies are the perfect sweet treat! These are my favorite ginger molasses cookies are hearty, flavorful, and the perfect cookies for the holidays. Add some fun toppings, or enjoy them just as they are. 

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STACK OF 4 MOLASSES COOKIES on brown parchment

Soft Molasses Cookies 

If you’re looking for soft molasses cookies, you can’t top this southern favorite. The ground cinnamon paired with the ground cloves and sugars is what takes the flavor and taste over the top. 

Most people will make these delicious molasses cookies for the holidays, but I’m the type that thinks good cookies should be enjoyed all year long! 

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

You can easily change them up to adapt to the time of year – and I encourage you to do so! I’ll add some red and green M&M’s to the top during Christmas and some orange and black sprinkles for Halloween. Versatility and its finest! 


Ingredients Needed

Once you gather up the list of ingredients for this molasses cookie recipe, it’s time to get started. The ease of this recipe is insane! 

  • Unsalted butter – Make sure that it’s softened to mix well with the rest of the ingredients. 
  • Brown sugar – Pack it when measuring it so that you get the correct amount. 
  • Molasses – The star of the show and needed to give the cookies their chewy texture! 
  • Egg – Great for binding the ingredients in the cookie dough and adding some protein. 
  • Vanilla extract – Pure vanilla extract is my choice!
  • Baking soda – This gives the cookies a bit of fluffiness/ 
  • Salt – Just a pinch. 
  • Ground cinnamon, ground ginger, ground cloves, ground nutmeg – Adds a nice warmth and flavor. 
  • All purpose flour – You can sift the flour if you want to get rid of any lumps or risk of lumps. 
  • Granulated sugar – The main sweetener for these cookies! 
  • Christmas M&Ms – Optional topping. 

How to make Molasses Cookies

Before starting on the step-by-step instructions below, keep in mind that you do need to factor in the fact that this dough does have to chill. 

  • Mix the ingredients. Use a mixer and combine the butter, brown sugar, and molasses.
  • Add the egg and vanilla and stir. Then mix in the baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg. Stir until smooth.
  • Slowly add the flour and stir. 
  • Roll the cookie dough balls. Add the cinnamon and sugar into a bowl and roll the cookie dough balls in the mixture.These cookies spread, so leave space when you’re baking them. 
  • Add to the cookie sheet. You can use a cookie scoop or ice cream scoop to add the dough to the baking sheet. Add them to the cookie sheet, and top with toppings if you’re adding anything.
  • Chill the dough. Put the cookie dough scoops into the fridge for one hour at a minimum. 
  • Preheat. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Add parchment paper to the baking sheets. 
  • Bake: Bake for 10 minutes, or until they’re no longer glossy on top. 
molasses cookies with green and red m&ms baked in


Add other ingredients – Add M&M’s, sprinkles, or even chocolate chips! You can never go wrong with adding in more sweet treats.

Add chocolate – Speaking of sweetness, you can melt chocolate and dip the cookies right into it! 

STACK OF 4 MOLASSES COOKIES on brown parchment with cookie halves on top of stack

Storing and Freezing Molasses Cookies

More than likely, you’ll have leftovers of these chewy molasses cookies. If you do, just let them cool down all the way and store them in an airtight container. You can keep them at room temperature or in the fridge. Your choice. You can store them in an airtight container for up to 3 days. 

You can also freeze these ginger molasses cookies! Just add them to a freezer-safe bag or container and keep them frozen. When you’re ready to eat them, move them to the fridge to thaw. 

cookies flat on brown parchment


What does molasses do in cookies?

Adding molasses is what gives these cookies their brown coloring and most of their sweetness! The added molasses always makes them chewy, too! 

What is the difference between molasses cookies and gingerbread cookies?

While many people think that these two types of cookies are the same, they’re actually quite different. Molasses cookies are soft and chewy, while gingerbread cookies have a crisper texture. 

Do molasses cookies have ginger in them?

You bet! I love adding ground ginger to this cookie recipe because it’s such a flavor enhancer. You could make it without adding it – but why? 

How do you know when molasses cookies are done baking? 

To determine if the cookies are done baking, the top of the cookies is your clue. If they’re done and ready to be removed from the oven, the glossy top will be gone and will not look shiny. 

Have You Made This Recipe?

Leave a rating by clicking the stars below!

stack of molasses cookies with christmas m&ms

Christmas Molasses Cookies

4.84 from 12 votes
These Christmas Molasses Cookies are the BEST drop gingerbread cookies full of molasses and spices, with Christmas M&Ms on top!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Chill Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Yield 20 cookies
Serving Size 1 cookie


  • ½ cup (113g) unsalted butter softened
  • ¾ cup (150g) packed brown sugar
  • cup (79ml) molasses
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon divided
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 cups (248g) all purpose flour
  • ¼ cup (50g) granulated sugar
  • Christmas M&Ms for topping, optional


  • Note: this dough requires chilling.
  • Using a stand or a hand mixer, beat butter, brown sugar, and molasses until the butter is broken up (the mixture will be lumpy). Mix in egg and vanilla, then add baking soda, salt, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, and the ginger, cloves, and nutmeg. Mix until smooth, then slowly mix in the flour until the cookie dough forms.
  • Scoop 2 tablespoon sized balls of dough onto a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. No need to space them out; you’re going to chill them.
  • Chill the dough for at least one hour, but you can also cover and chill up to one full day (or freeze the balls of dough for later baking).
  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two cookie sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper.
  • Stir together the granulated sugar and remaining 1 teaspoon of cinnamon in a small bowl. Roll each cookie dough ball in the cinnamon sugar and then place on the cookie sheet. These do spread, so leave room. Top each ball with 5-6 M&Ms.
  • Bake for about 10-15 minutes, or until they’re no longer glossy. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days or freeze for up to one month.

Recipe Video

Recipe Nutrition

Serving: 1cookie | Calories: 148kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 20mg | Sodium: 92mg | Potassium: 114mg | Fiber: 0.5g | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 154IU | Vitamin C: 0.01mg | Calcium: 25mg | Iron: 1mg
Nutritional information not guaranteed to be accurate
Course Dessert
Cuisine American

Molasses Cookies are the perfect Christmas Cookie Recipe! These are soft & chewy cookies with M&Ms but they’re amazing plain too!

Last Updated on October 25, 2022

Dorothy Kern

Welcome to Crazy for Crust, where I share recipes that are sometimes crazy, often with a crust, and always served with a slice of life.

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  1. Hey Dorothy (my grandmother’s name),

    I’m here for your cookie recipe but I did read your post and do you still want to write a book? Let’s chat if you do! 🙂 I started my blog ten years ago (lots of French recipes but other things as well) and in 2013 I published my memoir and have since gone on to write romance (contemporary and Regency) and I have my… fifth book coming out in February if you don’t count the novella and French translation of my memoir. And I have FB groups that will help! 🙂

    But of course this post was 3 years ago and you could have gone on to publish or have dropped the idea all together. But if it’s a lingering wish, shoot me an email. Now I’m off to bake a GF version of this.

  2. Whenever I’m looking for a recipe I always start with crazy for crust. Family inspired without a lot of seldom used ingredients. I’m over 70 years old and still love baking for my family thanks

      1. Hi Dorothy, Thank yes a put the dough in the fridge for 20 min it worked I was just worried I did something wrong because the recipe says roll them then put in fridge which I did after it got firm enough to do so. The cookies came out wonderful one of the best cookies I ever had. Thank you for reply back so fast

  3. That is probably what happened – we don’t bake very often and have no idea how old the baking soda is, but it is definitely older than 30 days, which is what the top of the box says to write in the date space. 
    We are enjoying the cookies regardless

  4. I am not an experienced baker but I tried this recipe as written and I think something must be missing. I scooped the dough in 2 tbsp balls and chilled them overnight. I rolled them in sugar and put them on the cookie tray, (the recipe does not say anything about pushing them flat – and I am confused on how anyone could balance 5 M&Ms on these balls – I opted to not use the candies) I cooked them for 10 mins at 350F and they did not look like they changed at all – they did not even spread – I cooked them an additional  10 minutes – still no  changes but a toothpick came out clean so I took them out of the oven – I smashed the next tray but they did not spread out either – I cooked them about 12 minutes (the toothpick came out clean) and took them out – the 3rd tray I left out to soften before cooking and are in the oven now – The first two trays taste great but they do not look like the picture – the first ones are crunchy on the outside the second ones are a little softer.

    1. I’m not sure what happened except that possibly your baking soda is old? Have you check the date lately? Mine were chilled for about 2 hours and they spread just fine.

  5. I too am an avid reader. I get excited about all things in print and your blog is no exception. It is fabulous. I love your rambling because it makes me feel like we are having a great conversation. My recipe file has really grown with your wonderful creations. I too love molasses cookies, but I have never rolled them in cinnamon sugar but this year I will. I love your hint to scoop the balls before refrigerating. It will surely be a lot easier than scooping the cold dough. I look forward to trying your recipe this year. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

  6. Yes we read what you write! ( and I always enjoy your stories and humor) and you would write an amazing book! I can’t wait til that day comes!  And oh, the cookies sound fantastic!

  7. I hope you write a book! 🙂  These are the quintessential holiday cookie!  The m and m’s make them so festive too!