Molasses Spice Cookies

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

Think ginger snap cookies, but bigger and chewy. Now you have molasses spice cookies, so good! The Incredible Hulk of molasses cookies. Highly spiced with cinnamon, allspice, cloves, vanilla, and of course ginger, and sweetened with sugar and rich molasses, these are the best crinkle cookies, for holidays or anytime of the year.

This recipe for these cookies is barely adapted from Cook’s Illustrated’s Best Recipe Cookbook, and is one of our favorites! Here’s a hint on preparation – don’t reduce the amount of sugar, the cookies won’t be chewy if you do (I found this out the hard way and had to make a second batch).

Molasses Spice Cookies Recipe

  • Prep time: 20 minutes
  • Cook time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: Makes 18 large cookies


  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons of baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar, plus 1/3 cup for rolling cookies
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup molasses


1 Preheat oven to 375°F. Vigorously whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, allspice in a bowl and set aside.

2 Use an electric mixer and beat the butter for 2 minutes. Add the brown sugar, and 1/2 cup granulated sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes with mixer set at medium speed. Add egg, vanilla extract, and molasses. Beat until combined, about 30 seconds. Scrape down sides of bowl with a rubber spatula.

3 Add dry ingredients and beat at low speed until just combined, about 30 seconds.

4 Place remaining 1/3 cup of granulated sugar in a shallow bowl. Working with 2 Tbsp of dough each time, roll dough into 1 3/4 inch balls. Roll balls in sugar and place on ungreased cookie sheets, spacing them 1 1/2 to 2 inches apart.

5 Bake until the outer edges of the cookies begin to set and centers are soft and puffy, about 11 to 13 minutes. Cool cookies on sheets for 2 to 3 minutes before transferring them to cooling racks .

Note: do not overcook. The centers of the cookies should be somewhat soft and spongy when you take them out of the oven, otherwise they will end up hard and dry.

Optional Glaze

When cookies have cooled, lay out over a sheet of wax paper. Sift 1 1/4 cups of confectioner's sugar (powdered sugar) and then whisk with 2 Tbsp of milk until smooth. Dip spoon into glaze and dribble over cookies.

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Molasses Spice Cookies

Showing 4 of 37 Comments

  • Jeremey S.

    I made these cookies tonight with the only variation being that I used whole wheat flour instead of all purpose flour. Otherwise I followed the recipe exactly. They came out looking exactly like the picture and tasted absolutely amazing. Soft and chewy and delicious!

  • efmather2006

    I love this recipe, and it’s really popular with my family. Another possible: grate orange peel and mix it with the sugar for rolling (a Cuisinart or mixer may help with this). Orange zest plus molasses spice-yum!

  • Samantha

    Hi Elise,

    I just made these and for some reason my cookies came out looking much darker than yours and didn’t get the pretty little cracks all over the surface. They are chewy and the flavor is good but the presentation is off. Could this be because I used blackstrap molasses? I’m not sure where I went wrong. Thanks for your time!

    Also, I love your website your recipes make up most of my favorite and most complimented dishes!



  • Margarita

    Made these tonight and just had one. So good! A very holiday cookie, just what the doctor ordered! I halved the recipe which I always do when making cookies because there’s not too many cookie eaters in my family… Anyway, I forgot to reduce the amount of molasses but the cookies still turned out great! Soft, and wonderfully spicy… M-m-m!

  • Peter Walsh

    For a great punch add a half teaspoon or so of black pepper (I add about 3/4 tsp). It gives the cookies a real bite that lingers and add a little more complexity of flavor. The sweetness of the frosting more than offsets the pepper. These are definitely a winner!

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