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Soft ginger molasses cookies recipe

These are the best ginger molasses cookies! Soft and chewy, easy to make and this recipe makes 3 1/2 dozen large cookies or 5 dozen smaller cookies. This recipe is perfect for Christmas cookie exchanges or holiday gatherings.

I’ll give you variations and substitutions where I can, plus helpful tips and tricks for success. Read on for this info as well as the recipe. If you’d like to skip straight to the recipe, use the jump to recipe button at the top of the post.

You may also be interested in my gingerbread biscotti and my Christmas sugar cookies. For ease of browsing, you can find all of my cookie recipes in one place.

Soft and chewy ginger molasses cookies stacked.

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Ginger molasses cookies are my favorite holiday treat. Full of warm spices and rolled in sugar, they are perfect for the holidays.

They have slightly crispy edges, they’re soft and chewy inside, and they are BIG. The perfect combination. I’ve been making this recipe for over 20 years, it’s a Christmas cookie staple in our house.

Ginger molasses cookies on cooling rack.

These molasses cookies contain a hefty amount of spice. They have tons of flavor and the perfect amount of ginger.

Ingredients

Soft and chewy molasses cookies are filled with warm spices, like ginger and cinnamon, and use common pantry ingredients.

Ingredients for ginger molasses cookies.
  • Flour – The regular flour you have in the pantry.
  • Butter – Unsalted, or “sweet cream” butter. Make sure it is unsalted so you can control the salt. Provides great flavor to baked goods.
  • Eggs – Provide stability and structure. Large eggs are the standard size in recipes.
  • Vanilla – Common ingredient in almost all baked goods.
  • Molasses – Dark molasses, not blackstrap.
  • Brown sugar – It has a deeper flavor than regular sugar, thanks to molasses.
  • Sugar – Just a touch of sweetness, not too much.
  • Spices – Ginger, cinnamon, allspice, cloves and nutmeg are traditional gingerbread spices.
  • Salt – All baked goods need salt, I use Diamond Crystal kosher salt.
  • Baking soda – Helps the cookies spread just the right amount.
Close up of coarse sugar on ginger molasses cookies on cooling rack.

How to make

Before we learn how to make ginger molasses cookies, first you should gather all of your ingredients. Measure everything out ahead of time. This is your “mise-en-place“. You want to make sure you have everything you need BEFORE you begin.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk the dry ingredients together, then set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. If the color of your butter has not lightened, you are not done. Do not rush this step.

Step by step photo instruction for making ginger molasses cookies.

Add remaining wet ingredients, mix thoroughly, then add dry ingredients and beat just until you no longer see big pockets of flour. Scrape down bowl and fold in any remaining butter or flour.

Using a cookie scoop or a spoon, portion dough and place on parchment-lined baking sheet. Chill the dough for at least 2 hours before baking.

Check out my post on how to ship cookies without breaking for helpful tips and tricks to send treats to family and friends.

Soft and chewy molasses cookies with colorful bottlebrush trees in background.

Ginger molasses cookies Q&A

Can these cookies be made ahead?

Yes! Ginger molasses cookies will keep for days, so you can make them ahead of time without worrying you’ll end up with stale cookies.

Can I freeze them?

Yes. You can freeze the cookies and the dough. If freezing the cookies, place pieces of parchment paper between them so they don’t stick when you want to remove just a few cookies.
To freeze the dough, let it chill overnight, then toss in a zip-top freezer bag and store in the freezer.

Why should you rest cookie dough?

Resting cookie dough allows the flour to fully hydrate, plus it allows the flavors to develop. This gives you a better tasting cookie.

Can I bake dough straight from the fridge?

Absolutely. Baking chilled dough reduces the spread. Chilled dough will bake up thick and chewy. When dough is not chilled, it tends to spread more.

Big, soft and chewy cookies on red plate.

Variations and substitutions

Try adding a handful of raisins, chopped dates and chopped pecans to the dough to make Newfoundland molasses cookies, also known as lassy mogs.

You have a few options when it comes to rolling, or not rolling, the cookies in sugar. You can choose to leave them plain. Or, you can roll them in either granulated sugar, or coarser sanding/sparkling sugar.

Tips and tricks for success

  • The most important tip is to chill your dough. This is non-negotiable. Minimum 2 hours, but I prefer an overnight rest. If you skip this step, the ginger molasses cookies will spread and you will be disappointed.
  • Use a silicone baking mat or parchment paper to line the baking pan to prevent cookies from sticking.
  • Use a scoop to make sure all of the cookies are the same size. This makes even, round cookies that bake at the same rate.
Cookies on cooling rack inside of baking sheet.

Helpful tools and equipment

More holiday cookies

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Yield: 3.5 dozen

Soft ginger molasses cookies

Soft ginger molasses cookies

Soft ginger molasses cookies are chewy and full of warm spices like ginger and cinnamon.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Bake Time 15 minutes
Chill Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 35 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4 1/2 cups all purpose flour // 610 gr
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. ground ginger
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp. ground allspice
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt (I use Diamond Crystal)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar // 200 gr
  • 1 cup light brown sugar // 220 gr
  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, softened // 3 sticks // 340 gr.
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup dark molasses (not blackstrap) // 170 gr
  • 2 tsp. vanilla

Instructions

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, allspice, nutmeg and salt. Whisk well to combine, then set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars together until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Scrape down sides and bottom of bowl with a rubber spatula.
  3. Add eggs, one at a a time, mixing thoroughly, then add vanilla and molasses. Scrape down sides and bottom of bowl again. Mix to combine until it looks uniform.
  4. Add dry ingredients and mix on low to begin incorporating, then increase speed to medium low until you no longer see big pockets of flour. Scrape down bowl, pulse mixer a few times to incorporate any remaining flour or butter. Use a rubber spatula to fold cookie dough a few times, scraping the bottom of the bowl to make sure everything is well mixed.
  5. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Using a large cookie scoop (1.25 oz.), portion cookie dough into 3 1/2 dozen balls of dough. Wrap tray with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
  6. Preheat oven to 325°F with convection fan // 350°F without fan // 180°C // Gas mark 4.
  7. Bake for 14 - 16 minutes, rotating tray halfway through. Cool on pan for 10 minutes, before moving to a cooling rack to cool completely.
  8. Store cooled cookies in an airtight container at room temperature.

Notes

Chill dough for at least 2 hours before baking. I prefer to let my dough rest overnight.

For smaller cookies, use a 1 1/2 tbsp. scoop. This smaller cookie scoop will yield 62 cookies.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

42

Serving Size:

1 cookie

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 166Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 26mgSodium: 98mgCarbohydrates: 24gFiber: 1gSugar: 13gProtein: 2g

Nutrition information calculated by a third-party company as a courtesy. It is intended as a guideline only.

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