Nothing says holidays like the aroma of freshly baked molasses crinkle cookies filling the house. These chewy molasses cookies are a classic holiday treat that brings back memories of childhood and family traditions. With a perfectly spiced flavor and a sugary, crinkly top, these chewy cookies are always a crowd-pleaser.
This is the time of year when the baking gets into full swing, especially Christmas cookies. Some favorites are Cranberry Walnut Shortbread Cookies, Butter Tart Bars and Chocolate Chip Pretzel Cookies to name just a few. And our holiday baking wouldn't be complete without these chewy molasses crinkle cookies.
Why we love these cookies:
Delicious: the combination of spices and molasses gives these chewy molasses cookies a delicious flavor that nobody can resist.
Festive: Each cookie has a sugary, crinkly top, giving them a delicious crisp exterior and a pretty and festive appearance.
Easy: these ginger cookies are super easy to make, so they're a great option for baking with kids or for cookie exchanges during the holidays.
Simple: You don't need an electric mixer to make these chewy ginger molasses cookies, so clean up is easy.
Ingredients for chewy molasses crinkle cookies:
- Unsalted butter: Using unsalted butter for baking gives us control over the amount of salt in the cookies. However, it's fine to use salted butter. Just omit the added salt in the recipe.
- Molasses: Use unsulphured molasses. Either light molasses or dark molasses will work for this recipe. Light molasses is milder and less pronounced in flavor than dark molasses. Avoid using blackstrap molasses, which has a strong, bitter flavor that doesn't work well for these ginger cookies.
- All-purpose flour: This type of flour is best for this recipe because it provides the right texture and structure for cookies. I used an all-purpose gluten-free flour blend, which works perfectly if you are gluten free.
- Baking powder & Baking Soda: Baking soda and powder are our leavening agents. Make sure to check their expiry dates. Use gluten-free baking powder if needed.
- Spices: The classic combination of ground ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves give these cookies their warm and cozy flavor.
- Light brown sugar: Brown sugar adds moisture and a hint of caramel flavor to the cookies. Dark brown sugar also works.
- Egg: Use a large egg and have it at room temperature.
- Granulated sugar: White sugar for rolling the dough balls in before baking. You can use sanding sugar or turbinado sugar, too.
How to make this perfect molasses cookie recipe
See the recipe card at the bottom of this post for complete instructions.
- In a small sauce pan over low heat, melt butter and molasses together. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely.
- In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients and spices.
- Add the wet ingredients (cooled molasses / butter mixture and the beaten egg). Mix well.
- Shape the dough into 2" balls.
- Roll each ball in sugar before placing them, about two inches apart, on a prepared baking sheet.
- Flatten each ball slightly with the back of a spoon.
- Bake 10-12 minutes.
- Transfer to wire racks and allow to cool completely.
How to store ginger crinkle cookies
Store: After baking, cool the cookies completely and store them in an airtight container. They will keep for up to a week (but I promise they won't last that long). Freeze: Freeze the ginger cookies for up to three months. Pre freeze them in a single layer before packing in airtight freezer containers or bags.
Tips for Perfect Cookies
Cookie making is easy, but preparation and patience will ensure success with any recipe
- Read through the recipe completely to be sure you have everything that you need, including ingredients, equipment, and time.
- Have eggs and butter at room temperature.
- Have all ingredients and equipment out and ready
- Preheat oven
- Prepare baking sheets
- Use dry dry ingredient measuring cups for dry ingredients and liquid ingredient measuring cups for liquids.
- Measure ingredients precisely, levelling them.
- Use a cookie scoop or melon baller for uniform sized cookies.
- Space cookies well apart on a baking sheet to allow for spreading.
- Set the oven timer for a couple of minutes before the recommended time to check for doneness. This allows for variable oven temperatures.
- Use cold baking sheets to prevent excessive spreading.
- Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool.
- Allow cookies to cool completely before transferring to an airtight container.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Although both types of cookies have ginger and molasses, ginger snap cookies are crisp rather than soft and chewy like molasses cookies.
If your crinkle cookies don't turn out crinkled, there are a couple of reasons that may be the problem. First, maybe your oven wasn't hot enough. Be sure that the oven is preheated to 325° before you put the cookies in to bake. The second reason could be your baking powder. Baking powder has an expiry date so be sure to check it.
Molasses adds sweetness, as well as a deeper brown color to these ginger crinkle cookies as well as other baked goods. But more than that, molasses has it's own unique and distinct flavor. It's comforting sweetness it associated with warm and cozy recipes, like these classic chewy ginger cookies.
Yes, you can freeze the cookie dough. Form the cookie dough into a ball or log, in plastic wrap and store it in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months. When you're ready to bake, let the dough come to room temperature before rolling it into balls and baking as directed.
Yes, you can substitute the all-purpose flour for a gluten-free 1:1 flour blend. For best results, use one that contains xanthan gum.
The secret to a crinkled cookie is rolling the cookie balls in sugar before baking. As the cookies bake, the sugar turns to sryup and then back to chrystals. This causes the top of the cookies to dry out and crack. You can use powdered sugar, but granulated sugar works best because of it's crystalized form.
Did you make this recipe? Please leave a rating in the comments below and let us know how it turned out. Did you make any changes? We would love for you to share and your feedback is important! Thank you for visiting The Food Blog!
Chewy Molasses Crinkle Cookies
- ½ cup butter unsalted
- ½ cup molasses
- 2 ¾ cup all purpose flour
- 2 ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup light brown sugar packed
- 1 egg large, beaten
- granulated sugar for rolling
- Preheat oven to 325° Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper, or spray with cooking spray
- In a small sauce pan over low heat, melt butter and molasses together. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely
- In a large bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves
- Add cooled molasses / butter mixture and the beaten egg to the flour mixture
- Mix well. Dough will be crumbly
- Shape the dough into 2" balls.
- Roll each ball in sugar before placing them, equally spaced on prepared baking sheets
- Flatten each ball slightly with the back of a spoon
- Bake in center of oven 10-12 minutes
- Transfer to wire racks and allow to cool completely