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Molasses Cookies are the perfect sweet treat! I am in love with this molasses cookie recipe – it’s so easy and produces a soft and chewy cookie perfectly spiced for Christmas with a crackly top – just how they should be!

STACK OF 4 MOLASSES COOKIES on brown parchment

Soft Molasses Cookies 

If you’re looking for soft chewy ginger 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. These are my favorite holiday cookies – I love the gingerbread spices and molasses flavor – just smelling molasses makes me long for Christmas! I know they’re traditionally a holiday cookie but I love them all year long.


Ingredients Needed

  • 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 – Use unsulphered or blackstrap molasses.
  • 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

  • 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. I used a hand mixer but you can use a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment if you prefer.
  • Slowly add the flour and stir. Add the teaspoon ground cinnamon and sugar into a medium bowl and roll the cookie dough balls in the mixture. These cookies spread, so leave space when you’re baking them. 
  • You can use a cookie scoop or ice cream scoop to shape dough into balls and place on the baking sheet. Add them to the cookie sheet, and top with toppings if you’re adding anything.
  • Put the cookie dough scoops into the fridge for one hour at a minimum. 
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Add parchment paper to the baking sheets. Bake for 10 minutes, or until they’re no longer glossy on top. Cool cookie sheets on wire racks.
STACK OF 4 MOLASSES COOKIES on brown parchment with cookie halves on top of stack

Expert Tips

  • To store: 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. 
  • I love adding Christmas M&Ms on top before baking for color!
  • Want more cookies – just double the recipe.
molasses cookies with green and red m&ms baked in


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. 

STACK OF 4 MOLASSES COOKIES on brown parchment

Molasses Cookies Recipe

4.86 from 14 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
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  • 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!

Favorite Gingerbread Recipes

Last Updated on December 5, 2023

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