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Soft Molasses Cookies

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  • Prep 40 min
  • Total 60 min
  • Servings 24
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Mmm…molasses. These perfect, pillowy soft molasses cookies might even be better than the ones Grandma used to make. (But don’t worry, we won’t tell!) Betty has taken that classic spiced cookie recipe—with ginger, cinnamon and cloves—and positively perfected it to make the best ginger molasses cookies you’ve ever tasted. They’re baked with a soft, chewy center and a slightly crispy crunch on the outside, then dipped in sugar to give them a sweet finish. Whip up a batch during the holidays or whenever you’re craving cozy spiced cookies.
Updated Nov 20, 2023
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What are molasses cookies?

A true classic, molasses cookies have been around since the late 1800s. At the time, molasses was widely used in cookies because it was much less expensive than white sugar. After WWI, the price of white sugar fell and cookies and other baked goods were once again more commonly made with refined sugar. Today, molasses cookies are loved for their sweet and lightly spiced flavor with notes of ginger, cinnamon and cloves. This nostalgic sweet is popular around the holidays, but is absolutely delightful in any season.

How do you make molasses cookies?

The secret to the utterly irresistible chewy texture desired from a traditional molasses cookie is shortening. While many cookie recipes call for butter, shortening lends a lighter texture to your finished treat. For this simple recipe, combine shortening with brown sugar, molasses and eggs, then add the dry ingredients like flour, baking soda and that quintessential blend of spices. Dipping your dough in granulated sugar before baking gives your cookies that sparkly, crackly top everyone loves. And while your cookies are baking, your house will smell absolutely amazing. Is your mouth watering yet?


  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup shortening
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1 egg
  • 2 1/4 cups Gold Medal™ All Purpose Flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
Make With
Gold Medal Flour


  • 1
    Heat oven to 325°F. In large bowl, beat brown sugar, shortening, molasses and egg with electric mixer on medium speed, or mix with spoon. Stir in remaining ingredients except granulated sugar.
  • 2
    Shape dough by rounded tablespoonfuls into 1 1/2-inch balls. Dip tops into granulated sugar. On ungreased cookie sheet, place balls, sugared sides up, about 2 inches apart.
  • 3
    Bake 13 to 16 minutes or just until set and cookies appear dry. Immediately remove from cookie sheet to cooling rack.

Tips from the Betty Crocker Kitchens

  • tip 1
    When you add your eggs, make sure to add them one at a time and thoroughly beating each one in before adding the next. This allows the creamed shortening and sugar mixture to retain its trapped air, making for a thicker, chewier cookie.
  • tip 2
    When shopping for your ingredients, choose shortening in easy-to-measure sticks. It eliminates messy measuring in cups.
  • tip 3
    There is enough fat in these tender cookies that they won’t stick to the baking sheets. But for easier cleanup, line the baking sheets with baking parchment. The parchment can be used several times before composting or recycling it.
  • tip 4
    The key to successful baking is measuring accurately. Use a spoon to scoop the flour into the measuring cup, then level off the top with a flat-edged utensil such as a knife.
  • tip 5
    For easy cleanup, spray the inside of the measuring cup with cooking spray first so the molasses will slide out of the cup easily.

Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of molasses do you use for molasses cookies?

There are several kinds of molasses on the grocery store shelf, but which one is best for molasses cookies? Choices include light, cooking, unsulphured and blackstrap. Each style is a by-product of the sugar making process and they lend different flavors to baked goods. If you’d like a cookie with a lighter, sweeter flavor, cooking molasses is a good choice. Go with blackstrap molasses for a more robust flavor. If you’re not sure, unsulphured molasses is a great all-purpose choice.

Can I freeze molasses cookies?

This hearty cookie can stand up to a lot–freezing included. To save some of your molasses cookies for later, simply place cooled cookies in a plastic storage bag or airtight container and pop them in the freezer. Then when the cookie craving strikes, just defrost and enjoy.

Can I use butter instead of shortening in my molasses cookies?

While both would technically work, there are reasons for using shortening versus butter when mixing certain types of cookie dough. Shortening has a higher melting point, so cookies will hold their shape longer in the oven before the fat melts in the dough (and shortening doesn’t release any steam like butter) resulting in moist, chewy cookies–the ideal texture for soft molasses cookies. Butter melts more quickly and releases some steam so the cookies would be crisper and spread more, and have a distinctly buttery flavor. Some recipes even use a combination of the two fats.


160 Calories, 7g Total Fat, 1g Protein, 22g Total Carbohydrate, 12g Sugars

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1 Cookie
Calories from Fat
Total Fat
Saturated Fat
1 1/2g
Trans Fat
Total Carbohydrate
Dietary Fiber
% Daily Value*:
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
1/2 Starch; 0 Fruit; 1 Other Carbohydrate; 0 Skim Milk; 0 Low-Fat Milk; 0 Milk; 0 Vegetable; 0 Very Lean Meat; 0 Lean Meat; 0 High-Fat Meat; 1 1/2 Fat;
Carbohydrate Choice
1 1/2
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

More About This Recipe

  • The classics are classics for a reason–and this tasty, traditional treat proves that tenfold. With a spicy, sweet flavor that reminds you of happy holidays and time spent in the kitchen with loved ones, these soft molasses cookies are a little bite of nostalgia. Make a batch today to enjoy and share!
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