Grandma’s Old Fashioned Molasses Cookies
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Grandma’s old-fashioned molasses cookies with sugar-coated, crinkly outsides and soft, chewy insides. These cookies are perfect for cookie exchanges and holidays.
In this article:
Why We Love This Recipe | Ingredients | Supplies | How to Make Molasses Cookies | Butter vs. Shortening | Crinkle Tips | How Long to Bake | How to Store | Full Recipe
If you’re looking for a classic, old-fashioned cookie recipe, look no further than our Grandma Opal’s molasses cookies. These cookies are made with just a few simple ingredients, and they’re so delicious that you’ll want to save this recipe to make them again and again.
Why We Love This Recipe
- Our favorite recipes are the ones that bring back wonderful memories of our loved ones. This recipe is extra special as it’s our Grandma Opal’s. It reminds us of the way her face lit up when we came to visit and how she loved to share cookies and treats.
- This large batch recipe (makes about 5 dozen) is perfect for cookie exchanges and gift-giving during the holiday season. You can easily half the recipe, too.
- We may be biased, but these are the best molasses cookies—they are full of molasses flavor and so easy to make. Perfect for busy moms and families, especially during the busy holiday season.
Shortening – we use Crisco shortening sticks, but you can also use butter. We highly recommend shortening—in our opinion, the molasses taste is more flavorful; if you use butter, the rich butter flavor competes with the molasses and is a bit more crispy on the outside. Also, with butter, the cookies may spread a bit more than they do when you use shortening. (See this helpful article on butter vs. shortening.)
Brown sugar – light brown sugar, packed.
Eggs – whole eggs, using both the yolks and whites.
Molasses – regular molasses. We like to use Grandma’s original molasses (unsulphured).
Baking soda – regular baking soda like Arm and Hammer.
Salt – regular table salt.
Flour – all-purpose white flour.
Cinnamon – ground cinnamon.
Cloves – ground cloves.
Sugar – granulated white sugar for dipping right before baking.
🧈 Butter vs. Shortening
For this recipe specifically, here is how swapping butter for shortening can affect these molasses cookies.
- Taste – the rich butter flavor will compete with the molasses. We prefer how the molasses flavor is more robust when using shortening.
- Texture – the outsides will be a bit more crisp when using butter compared to shortening. But still delicious.
- Spreading – the butter may cause the cookies to spread a bit more, but not excessively.
(See this helpful article on butter vs. shortening.)
- Medium bowl and spoon – mixing dry ingredients
- Large bowl and spoon – mixing wet ingredients
- Cookie scoop (or about 1 tablespoon)
- Cookie sheet
- Baking spray or parchment baking sheets
- Wire racks for cooling
- Stand or electric hand mixer – optional, but makes it so easy.
Decorative baking sheet – here are adorable baking sheets by Nordic Ware. You can also check out their Amazon shop for more beautiful bakeware.
How to Make Molasses Cookies
Preheat oven to 350°F.
In a medium mixing bowl, combine all the dry ingredients, including flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and cloves. Set aside.
In a separate large mixing bowl, cream the shortening and brown sugar, using an electric or stand mixer on low speed.
Then add the eggs and molasses. Mix until combined (don’t over-mix).
Add the flour mixture gradually to the molasses mixture and mix until completely combined.
Use a cookie scoop to measure the cookie dough (or about a tablespoon) and form a ball.
Roll the dough ball in white sugar.
Place onto a prepared baking sheet, leaving at least 2 inches of room in between each cookie.
Repeat with the remaining dough.
Bake at 350°F for 10 to 12 minutes.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely on a wire rack.
Store in an airtight container. (The cookies will soften in a plastic container.)
Let’s talk about the crinkle of these molasses cookies—there are ways to get more or less crinkle using these tips.
- If you leave it in the rolled ball shape and bake, you will have a deeper and wider crinkle, as pictured above.
- If you flatten the dough ball, it will result in smaller and shallower crinkles.
- When you gently tap the pan on the counter or stovetop once the cookies are out of the oven, this will slightly deepen the crinkle.
How Long to Bake Molasses Cookies
At 350 degrees Fahrenheit, bake molasses cookies for 10 to 12 minutes. Ovens can be slightly different, so try 10 minutes and check on them. If the bottoms are browned, they are done. For softer cookies, bake for 10 minutes. For crispier cookies, bake them for closer to 12 minutes.
How to Store Molasses Cookies
Store molasses cookies in an airtight container for optimal freshness. We choose to store them in a plastic container or ziplock bag as it keeps them soft. You can also freeze molasses cookies and store them for an extended period.Print
Grandma’s Old Fashioned Molasses Cookies
Old-fashioned melt-in-your-mouth molasses cookies—this is Grandma’s recipe for soft, chewy cookies with the most delicious molasses flavor.
- Total Time: 20
- Yield: 5 dozen 1x
- 1 cup shortening
- 2 cups light brown sugar, packed
- 2 eggs
- 6 tablespoons molasses
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- Granulated sugar – for dipping
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- In a medium bowl, mix all of dry ingredients, including baking soda, salt, flour, cinnamon, and cloves. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, cream the shortening and brown sugar using an electric mixer.
- Then add the eggs and molasses. Mix well.
- Add the flour mixture to the molasses mixture and stir.
- Use a cookie scoop (or a tablespoon) to measure cookie dough and form a ball.
- Roll the dough ball in white sugar.
- Place onto a prepared baking sheet, leaving at least 2 inches of room in between each cookie.
- Repeat with the remaining dough.
- Bake at 350°F for 10 to 12 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely on a wire rack.
- Store in an airtight container. (The cookies will soften in a plastic container.)
You can use butter, but be sure to read how butter vs. shortening affects this recipe.
Allow about 2 inches between each cookie dough ball, they will spread while baking.
No need to press the cookies down on the pan, but you can if you choose to – this will make the cookies less crinkly. Read our crinkle tips.
Nutritional information is our best estimate.
- Prep Time: 10
- Cook Time: 10
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American
- Serving Size: 1 cookie
- Calories: 90
- Sugar: 8.9 g
- Sodium: 52.1 mg
- Fat: 3.6 g
- Saturated Fat: 0.9 g
- Carbohydrates: 13.8 g
- Protein: 0.9 g
- Cholesterol: 6.2 mg
Keywords: christmas cookies, cookie exchange recipe, holiday baking
This cookie recipe is definitely a classic. The combination of molasses and spices gives these cookies a unique flavor that is perfect for the winter holidays. And if you’re looking for a festive activity to do with your family or friends, baking these cookies is the perfect way to spread some holiday cheer.
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