Crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside, and chock-full of warming spices, these Soft & Chewy Ginger Molasses Cookies are just like the ones Grandma used to make. These utterly delicious old-fashioned spice cookies are simple to make, requiring just 20 minutes of active time. They’re also awesome for freezing into cookie dough balls, meaning a warm and comforting treat is never far from reach!
About This Recipe
When it comes to cookies, I feel like there are two distinct camps: Team Crispy and Team Chewy. My friends, this delectable molasses cookie recipe is a uniter, not a divider.
With perfectly crisp edges and a soft, sumptuous middle, you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who didn’t absolutely swoon over a plate of them!
My old-fasioned molasses spice cookies are studded with bits of candied ginger, giving them delightfully surprising pops of spicy-sweet, chewy goodness throughout. They’re also rolled in cinnamon sugar before baking, so they literally sparkle with flavor!
In addition to ginger and cinnamon, these chewy molasses cookies incorporate both cloves and nutmeg for a serious spice explosion. Perfect for pairing with coffee or tea, they are simply superlative. Let’s get to making them, shall we?
What is Candied Ginger?
Candied ginger is made of ginger root that has been cooked until softened, and then lightly coated in sugar. Sprinkling roughly chopped bits of candied ginger into this cookie dough adds such a delightful surprise and texture when biting into each and every cookie, not to mention the intense burst of spicy-sweet flavor. I like to incorporate the candied, crystallized ginger bits as I would chocolate chips, right before the dough is completed and ready to be chilled.
This ginger molasses cookie recipe primarily depends on a host of pantry staples. Here’s what you’ll need to gather:
- All Purpose-Flour - If you don’t have a scale yet, make sure to employ the scoop and sweep method for measuring your flour to ensure your cookies don’t end up too dry.
- Baking Soda - Don’t confuse this with baking powder; they work differently!
- Ginger, Cinnamon, Cloves, & Nutmeg - You can’t have molasses spice cookies without lots of warm spices!
- Unsalted Butter - As a self-proclaimed butter snob, I’m of the opinion that you should reach for organic, grass-fed, and/or cultured butter for the best results. If you are dairy-free, feel free to swap in your favorite plant-based substitute.
- Granulated Sugar & Brown Sugar - In order to reach Goldilocks preferred status of *just* right, with crispy edges and a chewy center, you’re going to need both. Granulated sugar inhibits the creation of gluten, allowing the cookies to spread more and become light and crispy. The brown sugar, on the other hand, is acidic, meaning it aids in the formation of gluten and helps the eggs to set up, resulting in a thick, chewy center. Science is cool!
- Egg - Let your egg come to room temperature before incorporating it into the dough. It will mix in more easily, which will help to prevent over-mixing.
- Molasses - There are several options for you to choose here, depending on your palate. Light molasses, treacle, or sorghum molasses will provide the sweetest, most mild flavor. Medium or dark molasses will have a stronger flavor profile with a hint of bitterness (which I LOVE) and a darker hue. Blackstrap molasses is the most pungent and least sweet option, with just 55% sucrose. I suggest using dark or blackstrap for the most old-fashioned molasses cookie flavor.
- Candied Ginger - This is the secret ingredient that gives these cookies their WOW factor — tiny bites of chewy, spicy-sweet, gingery goodness. Be sure to chop it into very small pieces, then incorporate them at the end like you would chocolate chips.
Making these chewy gingersnap cookies doesn’t require a ton of fancy equipment. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Mixer - When it comes to creaming butter and sugar, a little electricity will go a long way toward saving your arms. Either a handheld or stand mixer will do well here.
- Tablespoon or Cookie Scoop - A tiny disher is the fastest and easiest way to portion these ginger molasses cookies, but you can totally use a regular tablespoon and your fingers if you don’t have one.
- Medium Bowl or Large Mixing Bowl
- Parchment Paper - Not only will this save you time during cleanup, it’ll also ensure that your beautiful, sparkling spice cookies release from the pan without damage.
- Baking Sheet - If you don’t already have one, invest in a good quality cookie sheet that doesn’t warp.
- Wire Rack or Cooling Rack
How to Make Old-Fashioned Molasses Cookies
Dry Ingredients: Whisk together your dry ingredients – the flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, sea salt and nutmeg in a bowl and set aside.
Cream Butter & Sugars: Place the butter and sugars in your mixing bowl and using the paddle attachment, cream until you reach a fluffy, rather pale color. Make sure to take a second to scrape down the bowl before adding your egg, then finally adding the molasses.
Combine: Slowly add the dry ingredients in three separate stages, mixing until your ingredients have fully combined. Then, add candied ginger mixing for a few moments more to incorporate.
Chill: At this point, the dough will seem quite sticky! Place into an airtight container let it rest in the fridge for an hour or so until firm and chilled.
Baking Prep: Before getting ready to scoop each cookie, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and prepare your baking tray with parchment paper.
Roll Dough Balls: Using a cookie scoop or a tablespoon, roll your chilled dough into small balls. Place the cinnamon sugar into a small bowl, and one by one, coat each cookie completely in sugar.
Bake: Place your preferred number of cookies onto a baking sheet and bake for about 11 minutes. Remove from the oven once you start to see some slight cracks on top and let cookies sit undisturbed for 3-5 minutes. Then, transfer ginger spice cookies to a wire cooling rack and allow to cool completely. Enjoy your fresh cookies during the holiday season!
Freezing scooped cookie dough
Instead of baking all your cookies all at once, I prefer to keep the scooped dough wrapped in the freezer. Then, when you get another craving, pull a few out and bake them fresh!
Once you've chilled the cookie dough for at least one hour, scoop into balls using a cookie scooper or tablespoon. Place scooped cookies on a small baking sheet or plate lined with parchment paper after coating in cinnamon sugar. Wrap with plastic, then place in the freezer for thirty minutes.
This process allows the cookies to firm up a bit before placing frozen cookies into a ziplock bag and storing them in the freezer. Freezing the cookies separately for thirty minutes will prevent them from sticking together in the ziplock.
Baking frozen cookie dough
The next time you have a craving for a freshly baked ginger molasses cookie, simply remove the cookie from the freezer and bake! It may take you a few extra minutes to bake as they are frozen so keep this in mind as you set your timer.
Frequently Asked Questions
Molasses is a bittersweet syrup that's incredibly dark and known to flavor countless holiday baked goods and the classic ginger molasses cookie. It's made during the extraction of sugars from sugarcane and sugar beets and was used quite often as a sweetener in the past when sugar was rather hard to come by!
To get a close substitute, I suggest using a 50/50 mixture of brown sugar and honey, or a 50/50 mix of maple syrup and dark corn syrup.
I’m a firm believer that most cookies are best when they are still warm from the oven. That said, these little beauties will keep well in your cookie jar for 4-5 days.
More Cozy Cookie Recipes
- Dark Chocolate Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies
- Pastel Holiday Cookies
- Rosemary Shortbread Cookies
- Horchata Ginger Molasses Ice Cream Sandwiches
As always, I love seeing your creations and hearing from you! If you try this Soft & Chewy Ginger Molasses Cookie recipe, please leave a review or share your creation with me on social media! You can find me on Instagram, Facebook, Youtube and Pinterest - for more delicious recipes sent straight to your inbox, sign up for my newsletter!
Chewy Molasses Cookies with Candied Ginger
- Tablespoon or Small Cookie Scoop
- Parchment Paper
- Baking Sheet
- 2 Cups + 2 Tbsp (270 g) All Purpose-Flour
- 2 teaspoon Baking Soda
- 2 teaspoon Ginger
- 2 teaspoon Cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon Cloves
- ½ teaspoon Salt
- ¼ teaspoon Nutmeg
- ¾ Cup (170 g) Unsalted Butter, room temperature
- ½ Cup (100 g) Granulated Sugar
- ½ Cup (110 g) Brown Sugar, packed
- 1 Egg, room temperature
- 4 tablespoon Molasses
- ¼ Cup (50 g) Candied Minced Ginger
- Cinnamon Sugar: 4 Parts Granulated Sugar, 1 Part Cinnamon
- Whisk together your dry ingredients – the flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, sea salt and nutmeg in a bowl and set aside.2 Cups + 2 tablespoon All Purpose-Flour, 2 teaspoon Baking Soda, 2 teaspoon Ginger, 2 teaspoon Cinnamon, ½ teaspoon Cloves, ½ teaspoon Salt, ¼ teaspoon Nutmeg
- Place the butter and sugars in your mixing bowl and using the paddle attachment, cream until you reach a fluffy, rather pale color. Make sure to take a second to scrape down the bowl before then adding your egg then the molasses.¾ Cup Unsalted Butter, ½ Cup Granulated Sugar, ½ Cup Brown Sugar, 1 Egg, 4 tablespoon Molasses
- Slowly add the dry ingredients in three separate stages, mixing until your ingredients have fully combined. Then, add candied ginger mixing for a few moments more to incorporate.¼ Cup Candied Minced Ginger
- At this point, the dough will seem quite sticky! Place into an airtight container let it rest in the fridge for an hour or so until firm and chilled.
- Before getting ready to scoop each cookie, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and prepare your baking tray with parchment paper.
- Using a cookie scoop or a tablespoon, roll your chilled dough into small balls. Place the cinnamon sugar into a small bowl, and one by one, coat each cookie completely in sugar.Cinnamon Sugar: 4 Parts Granulated Sugar, 1 Part Cinnamon
- Place your preferred number of cookies onto a baking sheet and bake for about 11 minutes. Remove from the oven once you start to see some slight cracks on top and let cookies sit undisturbed for 3-5 minutes. Then, transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool completely.
- If you don’t end up baking off all your cookies at once, place your scooped and sugar-coated extras in a ziplock bag and throw them into the freezer. Bake them fresh as desired!