Grandma’s sugar-coated, crinkly molasses cookies with soft, chewy insides. Perfect for cookie exchanges and holiday treat trays.

Molasses Cookies on Decorative Cookie Sheet

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.

Stacked Molasses Cookies

Ingredient Notes

Here is a list of simple ingredients you’ll need.

Ingredients for Molasses Cookies

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.)

Molasses – regular molasses. We like to use Grandma’s original molasses (unsulphured).

🧈 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.)

Molasses and Other Ingredients Used for Molasses Cookies

Supplies

  • 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 – we love baking sheets by Nordic Ware. Check out their Amazon shop for more beautiful bakeware.

How to Make Molasses Cookies

Follow these easy steps to make these delicious cookies.

Step 1 | Preheat oven to 350°F

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Step 2 | Combine dry ingredients

In a medium mixing bowl, combine all the dry ingredients, including flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and cloves. Set aside.

Dry Ingredient Mixture

Step 3 | Cream shortening and sugar

In a separate large mixing bowl, cream the shortening and brown sugar, using an electric or stand mixer on low speed.

Brown Sugar and Shortening Mixture

Step 4 | Mix in eggs and molasses

Then, add the eggs and molasses. Mix until combined (don’t over-mix).

Adding Eggs and Molasses to Brown Sugar Mixture

Step 5 | Add flour gradually

Add the flour mixture gradually to the molasses mixture and mix until completely combined.

Adding the Flour Mixture to the Molasses Mixture

Step 6 | form balls

Use a cookie scoop to measure the cookie dough (or about a tablespoon) and form a ball.

Rolling Dough Into Balls

Step 7 | roll in sugar

Roll the dough ball in white sugar.

Rolling Dough Balls Into Sugar

Step 8 | Place on cookie sheet

Place onto a prepared baking sheet, leaving at least 2 inches of room in between each cookie.

Rolled Dough Balls on Cookie Sheet

Step 9 | repeat

Repeat with the remaining dough.

Rolled Dough Balls on Cookie Sheet Close Up

Step 10 | Bake for 10 to 12 minutes

Bake at 350°F for 10 to 12 minutes.

Note on bake time: 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.

Dough Balls (left) Baked Molasses Cookies (right)

Step 11 | Remove from oven and let cool

Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely on a wire rack.

Molasses Cookies on Cooling Rack

Step 12 | Enjoy or store for later!

Store in an airtight container. (The cookies will soften in a plastic container.)

Tall Stack of Molasses Cookies

More About This Cookie 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.
Baked Molasses Cookies on Cookie Sheet

Crinkle Tips

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.
Close Up of Molasses Cookie

How to Store

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
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Molasses Cookies on Decorative Cookie Sheet

Grandma’s Old Fashioned Molasses Cookies

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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 minutes
  • Yield: 5 dozen 1x

Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 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

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix all of dry ingredients, including baking soda, salt, flour, cinnamon, and cloves. Set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, cream the shortening and brown sugar using an electric mixer.
  4. Then add the eggs and molasses. Mix well.
  5. Add the flour mixture to the molasses mixture and stir.
  6. Use a cookie scoop (or a tablespoon) to measure cookie dough and form a ball.
  7. Roll the dough ball in white sugar.
  8. Place onto a prepared baking sheet, leaving at least 2 inches of room in between each cookie.
  9. Repeat with the remaining dough.
  10. Bake at 350°F for 10 to 12 minutes.
  11. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely on a wire rack.
  12. Store in an airtight container. (The cookies will soften in a plastic container.)

Notes

  • 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.
  • Author: Kelsey Restemayer
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Nutrition

  • 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
Recipe Card powered byTasty Recipes
Baked Molasses Cookies on Decorative Baking Pan

Final Thoughts

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.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Have You Tried This Recipe? Please rate it in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

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