Chewy Molasses Cookies

These chewy molasses cookies have pretty much everything going for them. Easy to make, slightly sweet, sorta chewy, and filled with a blend of traditional holiday spices. The hardest part is having the patience to let them cool.

Three stacks of chewy molasses cookies on a white marble cake stand.

I adore a big, crinkly, molasses and spice cookie all year round, but especially in the early fall before the holidays come into full swing. I like these cookies heavy on the spice, so scale back if you want something more subtle. These cookies are best when cooled, so try to be patient when they come out of the oven. You’ll be so glad you did. [Editor’s Note: These thin cookies are dense and slightly chewy, in the best sort of way, and start to turn crunchy at the outside.]–Erin Mylroie


Your choice of fat in these cookies will significantly impact the flavor and structure of the cookies. While many of our testers greatly preferred the rich flavor of butter, they also found that cookies made with butter or oil tended to spread more than those made with shortening. If making with butter, you may need to chill the dough before rolling.

Chewy Molasses Cookies

  • Quick Glance
  • (3)
  • 25 M
  • 45 M
  • Makes 30 cookies
5/5 - 3 reviews
Print RecipeBuy the 101 Greatest Cookies on the Planet cookbook

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Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Line 2 or 3 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, use a wooden spoon to combine 1 cup of the sugar, the butter, and the molasses. Add the egg and stir well.

Tester tip: We love the convenience and minimal mess of using only a spoon and a bowl for these cookies, however, you can use a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment for mixing the cookie dough if you prefer.

Sprinkle the cinnamon, ginger, cloves, cardamom, nutmeg, salt, and baking soda over the dough and stir until well combined. Gently stir in the flour until no streaks of white remain.

Shape the dough into 1-inch (2 1/2-cm) balls. If the dough seems very wet and sticky, stash it in the fridge for an hour to let it firm a little. Roll the balls in the remaining 1/2 cup sugar and place 3 inches (8 cm) apart on the prepared baking sheets.

Tester tip: Maybe a reminder to not flatten the dough ball because they flatten a lot during cooking.

Bake until the cookies are flattened and crinkled, 9 to 12 minutes.

Let the cookies cool completely on the baking sheets. (Seriously. Resist the temptation to move or eat them while they are hot as they are very delicate.)

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Recipe Testers' Reviews

This is the perfect fall cookie. The spices in these cookies are amazing. The smell of the cinnamon, cloves, and ginger that fill your house while baking are enough of a reason to make, but they are also so delicious. They just keep calling me back to the cookie jar. They have a great texture with soft chewy centers and slightly crisp edges. I will definitely make these again.

I used butter and the flavor is quite prominent in the finished cookie. The dough was very sticky and soft and my cookies were extremely flat as an end result. I loved the taste and texture so much that I didn’t care how flat they were. However, I might try refrigerating the dough before making the balls and rolling in sugar next time I make them.

They were delicious warm but I let them cool on the baking sheets and the cooled cookies were also tasty.

If you love a soft, chewy cookie, this one is just terrific. Not overly ambitious to make, the batter mixes together easily and is ready for the oven in short order. With minimal effort, 2 dozen cookies are ready in under 2 hours. The cookies are simple and yet sophisticated in their flavorings.

Happily, the recipe takes advantage of items usually on hand in the pantry. While not too sweet, they would be enjoyed by adults and children alike.

I gently added the flour at the end at very low speed, then fully blended with a rubber spatula.


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  1. 5 stars
    Molasses cookies were always in my Grandma’s cookie jar and now I have a recipe for cookies to keep in my cookie jar. Only they won’t last that long. Delicious flavor with those 5 warm spices and I love the chewy texture.

    1. Hi Deb L. These cookies disappear SO FAST whenever I make them, it’s almost like looking at a flipbook animation. So glad you enjoyed them!

  2. 5 stars
    I really loved these cookies! The spice levels were excellent (I usually up spice amounts, but didn’t need to here). The neighbors I shared with gave rave reviews too! I wound up baking them a slightly shorter time (~7–9 minutes) to keep them from getting crunchy, but I’m using a small counter-top oven which I think runs a bit hot. Very quick to make. Definitely a keeper recipe.

    Now I’m making them again and I hit the metric tab since I’m using my kitchen scale, and something seems off with the sugar amount. Shouldn’t it be 300 gr, not 400 gr, or am I missing something? 1 cup sugar is ~200 gr, plus 1/2 cup (~100 gr) for a grand total of 1.5 cups or 300 gr… Math, ack!

    And Happy New Year, everyone!

    1. Happy New Year to you as well, Susan. We’re so pleased that you loved these cookies. And nice catch! You’re absolutely right about the sugar weight. We’ve fixed that now but certainly appreciate you pointing it out.

  3. Delicious! I chose to use butter so I chilled the dough overnight to try to control the spread, they still came out fairly flat, but not overly so. The technique of rolling the dough balls in sugar reminded me of snickerdoodles which gave me the idea to add spices to the rolling sugar. I went fairly light on the spices so it wasn’t overwhelming – no one wants a straight bite of clove and cardamom – and it came out really well, I would definitely make these again, and would absolutely add spices to the rolling sugar. To 1/4 cup of sugar I added 1/8 tsp each of clove, cardamom, ginger, and nutmeg, 1/4 tsp cinnamon, and a pinch of salt. I made one tray of cookies rolled in plain sugar, and one using the spiced sugar, the difference was subtle, but really good!

    1. Thanks, J! We’re delighted to hear this. I love the suggestion of adding spices to the sugar. We’ll definitely have to give that a try.

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