Soft and chewy Molasses Cookies just like grandma used to make! These are sweet and spicy with a light sugar coating and plenty of molasses in the dough.

The best molasses cookies are soft and chewy with a crackly top, a light dusting of sugar, and plenty of warm spices and love baked right in the dough.

My grandma made old-fashion molasses cookies every Christmas without fail because they are my grandpa’s favorite.

And when they’re done right, Molasses cookies could wind up being everyone’s favorite.

Molasses cookies in a stack on a gray cake plate.

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How to Make Molasses Cookies

While I recommend a standing mixer or hand-held electric mixer in the recipe, Molasses cookie dough comes together easily by hand, too.

Once you’ve creamed the butter, shortening, and sugar together, add the eggs and molasses. Then, add the rest of the dry ingredients.

Chill the dough for at least 2 hours, or up to 3 days in advance. This will make it really easy to handle when you roll out cookie dough balls.

Roll the cookie dough balls in sugar and flatten with a glass. Sometimes I sprinkle a little extra sugar on top once the cookies are flattened. Bake until warm, fragrant, and crackly on top.

Molasses cookies on a gray platter.

A stack of molasses cookies on a black and white cake platter.

Molasses Cookies

Soft and chewy Molasses Cookies just like grandma used to make! These are sweet and spicy with a light sugar coating and plenty of molasses in the dough.
5 from 6 votes
Prep Time 25 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 5 mins
Total Time 1 hr 30 mins
Servings 36 cookies
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Calories 118


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 cup butter softened (1 stick)
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar firmly packed
  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 3/4 cup molasses
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar for rolling


  • In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and salt. Set aside. 
  • In a standing mixer fit with the paddle attachment on medium speed, or with an electric mixer, beat butter, brown sugar, and shortening until smooth. Add molasses and egg and beat until combined.
  • Reduce speed to low and gradually add flour mixture. Cover and chill at least 2 hours or up to 3 days in advance.
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats. Place sugar in a shallow dish for rolling.
  • Roll dough into 1 1/2-inch balls, toss in sugar, and arrange at least 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Flatten with a glass.
  • Bake until the edges are set, about 8 to 12 minutes. Transfer to wire racks and cool completely.


Adapted from Martha Stewart's Chewy Molasses-Spice Cookies


Calories: 118kcalCarbohydrates: 19gProtein: 1gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 12mgSodium: 75mgPotassium: 121mgFiber: 1gSugar: 11gVitamin A: 86IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 21mgIron: 1mg
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Meggan Hill

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  1. note: cannot substitute shorting with more butter. oops! my bad! : | I started the recipe and realized i didn’t have any shortening, so I used more butter. they still taste amazing but are just more dense than I wanted, but that is my bad!
    good flavor and we still ate them up!
    thank you for sharing!

  2. Sorry Meggan…I didn’t want you to think I am an uber heathy cookie maker…that would take all the fun out of cookies in general. I am always puzzled about what shortening really is in various recipes. What do you prefer to use when “shortening” is listed in any ingredients? Is there a general rule that tells you what would be best to use and when? Which did you use in your molasses cookies? Is there a difference in what kind of molasses to use, too? I LOVE YOUR HUMOR AND OF COURSE YOUR RECIPES!

    1. Hi Tig! LOL, no problem at all! Shortening is a very specific thing – basically vegetable oil that is solid at room temperature. It’s like a can of white fat… super gross when you look at it, but it tastes awesome in things like pie crust and cookies. Pretty sure there is no ingredient more processed on the face of the planet though! But anyway, vegetable shortening is available in the baking aisle at every store. It’s a lot like lard but made from plants instead of animals (that doesn’t mean it’s healthy, though). Crisco is a popular brand, as you mentioned, but I usually just buy generic and have never had any issues. For molasses, usually there are two kinds: Blackstrap and everything else. Blackstrap is extra bitter, less processed, and stronger than you want, probably. So just pick anything that is called “molasses” or “mild molasses” and avoid anything that says blackstrap. You should be safe. THANK YOU FOR BEING HILARIOUS YOURSELF! Happy cookie making, I hope all your dreams come true! :D

    1. Hey there Tig! In my experience there is no healthy shortening. If that’s what you’re looking for, you would probably want to seek out some kind of “healthy” molasses cookie that has been tested with something like vegan butter or coconut oil or whatever your preferred fat is. Doing a blind substitution like that using my recipe would almost certainly end in disaster. I wish I could be of more help but unfortunately alternative baking isn’t my specialty… yet! Thanks again.