Best Ever Molasses Cookies

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These Best Ever Molasses Cookies have a slightly crisp sugar coated edge and a soft, tender, chewy center. With a rich deep ginger and molasses flavor, they are the perfect holiday cookie! Serve these up at your next holiday party, family gathering or just because.

Molasses has such a dark rich vibrant flavor it goes perfectly with sweet and savory. From Warm Gingerbread Cake with Caramel Sauce to Melt in Your Mouth Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken to Baked Beans, molasses is such a fun ingredient to cook with and eat!

Best Ever Molasses Cookies areal view.

Best Ever Molasses Cookies

I came upon this recipe in a cookie contest a few years ago and it was a winner then and it still is! It originates from the 1970’s and is still as good now as it was then. The sharp taste of the molasses is perfectly balanced with cinnamon, ginger and cloves then rolled in sugar to give it that tiny bit of crunch.  If you love a good rich dense, not too sweet cookie, this is it! It screams Christmas.

This is the handwritten recipe from Millie Dunn submitted by her daughter, Megan from San Diego, from the 1970’s for Molasses Cookies. These are the perfect cookie and the holiday wouldn’t be complete without them.


Handwritten recipe for molasses cookies.

Molasses Ingredients

Feel free to double the batch for extras

  • Shortening: I like to use butter flavored shortening.
  • Sugar: This is for the cookies, you’ll need more for rolling.
  • Molasses: dark, thick, rich and full bodied flavor
  • Egg: Make sure it’s large
  • Flour: All purpose or unbleached will both work.
  • Baking soda: This is your raising agent.
  • Cinnamon, Ginger and Cloves: these spices are perfect paired with molasses
  • Salt: Creates balance in the flavor.
  • White Chocolate Chips:  Optional

Let’s Make Cookies

Cookies are always welcomed at the table, especially around the holidays.

  1. Prepare: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or use cooking spray.
  2. Melt: In a small saucepan or in the microwave melt the shortening. Add the sugar molasses and egg and mix until incorporated.
  3. Mix: In a separate bowl mix the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and salt. Add to the wet mixture and stir till a dough forms.
  4. Scoop: Scoop into 1 inch balls and roll in sugar.
  5. Bake:Place 2 inches apart on the cookie sheet and bake for 8-10 min.
  6. Dip: This is optional. Once cooled melt the white chocolate chips in the microwave and dip cookies. These cookies are perfect as they are but I decided to make them more festive. We dipped them in white chocolate and added Christmas sprinkles. They turned out so amazing!

The Ins and Outs of Wonderful Molasses!

Either the light or dark will work in this recipe.

  • What is it: In a nutshell molasses is a byproduct of the sugar-making process, resulting in the brown syrupy liquid left over after boiling once the sugar crystals have been removed.
  • Molasses: There are several varieties on store shelves and it can be confusing to know which one to use.
    • Light: This is produced after the first boiling of the sugar cane or beet and is light and mild in flavor. It also has a light color. This is commonly used in baking marinades, rubs and sauces. You can even use it like honey as a topping for toast or oatmeal. It can make cookies softer and breads crustier.
    • Dark: This is darker thicker syrup comes from the second boiling. It’s also known as a full bodied molasses, it’s not as sweet, and commonly used in gingerbread cookies.
    • Blackstrap: This is created from the third boiling and is very thick, very dark and a bit bitter in taste.  Only use if specifically called for in a recipe.
    • Unsulphured vs. Sulphured Molasses: Sulphured molasses is molasses that has been treated with sulphur dioxide as a preservative. However, since the sulphuring process can leave the molasses with a strong pronounced chemical flavor and is less sweet, most commercial molasses is unsulphured.

Tips and Variations:

These cookies are such a classic. They make the perfect Christmas cookie and are the perfect addition to that Christmas cookie plate!

  • Chill: To help the cookies keep their shape and be easy to roll you can chill the dough before rolling, although it’s not necessary.
  • Spice:  If you’d like a stronger ginger flavor, you definitely add more or for a whole new level of flavor use fresh ginger.
  • Dip it:  Try melting milk, semi sweet chocolate chips or even butterscotch chips for different toppings.
  • Roll it:  Roll in colored sugar for a festive look
  • Store: These will keep at room temperature in an airtight container up to a week. Or freeze for up to 4 months. YUMMY!!

Stack of Best Ever Molasses Cookies.

More Cookies to Love!

Because cookies are just so fun to make and eat!

Watch a video on how to make Molasses Cookies HERE:

Best Ever Molasses Cookies

5 from 7 votes
Best Ever Molasses Cookies have a slightly crisp sugar coated edge and a soft and chewy center. These are the perfect holiday cookie!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Author Alyssa Rivers
Servings: 24 cookies


  • 3/4 cup shortening
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • *Optional 1 cup white chocolate chips


  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or use cooking spray.
  • Melt the shortening in a small saucepan or in the microwave and let cool. Add the sugar, molasses, and egg and mix until incorporated.
  • In a medium-sized mixing bowl, add the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and salt. Add this to the wet mixture and mix until it forms a dough and is incorporated.
  • Scoop into one inch balls and roll in sugar and place 2 inches apart. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack and dip in white chocolate if desired.


If dipping in chocolate: melt the chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl stirring after 30 seconds until melted.


Serves: 24

Calories140kcal (7%)Carbohydrates19g (6%)Protein1g (2%)Fat7g (11%)Saturated Fat2g (10%)Cholesterol7mg (2%)Sodium144mg (6%)Potassium65mg (2%)Fiber1g (4%)Sugar11g (12%)Vitamin A10IUCalcium11mg (1%)Iron1mg (6%)

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods and portion sizes per household.

Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine American
Tried this recipe?Mention @alyssa_therecipecritic or tag #therecipecritic

Alyssa Rivers

I am Alyssa and the blogger behind The Recipe Critic. I started my blog in June of 2012 as a place to share my passion for cooking. I love trying new things and testing them out with my family.

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