Old-Fashioned Soft Molasses Cookies Recipe

Do you ever pine for old-fashioned cookies from your childhood?

I surely do.

But keep in mind, there are many different types of molasses cookies - some you roll out and cut with cookie cutters, some you shape into balls and roll in sugar before baking and others are quick and easy drop cookies.

Some recipes call for shortening which I try to avoid as much as I can, preferring to bake with butter and/or oil instead.

Every now and again, I get a hankering for the homemade old-fashioned soft molasses cookies my mom use to make.

Her soft molasses cookies recipe, clipped from her hometown Maine newspaper, The Quoddy Tides, made soft, thick, chewy cookies that she rolled and cut with a simple round biscuit cutter and sprinkled with sugar before baking.

If I close my eyes I can smell the aroma of molasses, sugar, and spices wafting through the kitchen.

This desire can't be satiated until I get in the kitchen, pull out her soft molasses cookies recipe card from my treasured recipe box, and bake up a batch!

Molasses, a thick by-product from the processing of sugar beets - or sugar cane - into sugar crystals, was a staple in my Mom's and Nana's New England Kitchens.

Molasses was routinely stirred into Saturday's pot of baked beans, poured onto Nana's homemade bread and fried dough, and used to sweeten homemade baked goods like gingerbread, gingersnaps, oatmeal bread, and soft molasses cookies.

Soft Molasses Cookies

Soft Molasses Cookies

If you long to recreate the simplicity of days gone by or begin your own special homemade cookie traditions, this soft thick molasses cookies recipe cut out with your favorite cookie cutter is perfect for keeping the cookie jar filled!

To start with, we have two variations of soft molasses cookies here for you to choose from - one made with butter and the other with shortening or margarine.

Grandpa's Molasses Cookies recipe is more representative of the cookies I grew up eating, but if you prefer to bake with butter, Grandma's molasses cookies recipe is just as delicious in its own right.

Then we have a few more easy molasses cookies recipes for you to choose from.

Grandma's Soft Molasses Cookies Recipe

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup dark molasses (not blackstrap)
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, dissolved in a little bit of hot water
  • 1 egg
  • 3 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  1. In a medium heavy bottom saucepan, boil first seven ingredients (butter through ginger) until the butter is melted, the mixture is boiling rapidly, and everything is well combined.
  2. Remove from the heat and stir in the baking soda mixture and let cool for a few (about 5) minutes.
  3. While the mixture is cooling, in a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and baking powder and set aside.
  4. Stir the egg into the molasses mixture and then stir in the flour mixture until incorporated.
  5. Place the saucepan in the refrigerator to cool thoroughly. This will take about 1 hour.
  6. When you are ready to bake the cookies, make sure one of your oven racks is in the middle of the oven and preheat your oven to 350F degrees.
  7. Line your cookie sheets with silicone liners, parchment paper, or nonstick foil or lightly grease them and set aside.
  8. Scoop the dough out onto a floured surface and then roll it to 1/2-inch thickness. Sprinkle the dough lightly with flour to prevent sticking.
  9. Cut the dough into shapes with your favorite cookie cutters and place on the prepared cookie sheets about 2 inches apart.
  10. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until set, and then remove from the oven and allow to cool for 1 to 2 minutes before transferring your cookies to wire racks to cool completely.
  11. Once completely cool, store your cookies in an airtight container with a slice of soft bread to keep them soft.

This recipe yields about 3 dozen soft molasses cookies, but will vary greatly depending on the size and shape of cookie cutters used.

Grandpa's Soft Ginger Molasses Cookies Recipe

  • 5 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 cup molasses
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup shortening or margarine, melted
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 teaspoons vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda dissolved in 2 tablespoons water
  1. Sift together the flour, salt, ginger, and cloves into a large bowl and set aside.
  2. In another large bowl stir together the molasses, brown sugar, and shortening or margarine with a wooden spoon until well combined.
  3. Beat in the eggs, vinegar, and baking soda mixture then stir the flour into the molasses mixture until blended.
  4. Cover the bowl and refrigerate it until well chilled. This will take at least 2 to 3 hours.
  5. When you are ready to bake your soft molasses cookies, make sure one of your oven racks is in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 400F degrees.
  6. Line your cookie sheets with silicone liners, parchment paper, or nonstick foil or lightly grease them and set aside.
  7. Scoop out your dough a generous cupful at a time onto a floured surface.
  8. Roll the dough out to 3/4-inch thickness, flouring lightly as necessary to prevent sticking.
  9. Cut your cookies out using your favorite cookie cutters and place on the prepared cookie sheets about 2 inches apart.
  10. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until set, and then remove from the oven and allow to cool for 1 to 2 minutes before transferring your cookies to wire racks to cool completely.
  11. Once completely cool, store your cookies in an airtight container with a slice of soft bread to keep them soft.

This recipe yields about 4 to 5 dozen soft molasses cookies, but will vary greatly depending on the size and shape of cookie cutters used.

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Molasses Cookies

Molasses Cookies

Chewy Molasses Cookie Recipe

This is a quick and easy recipe for drop cookies using oil instead of butter, so it's lower in saturated fats, and stirs together all the ingredients in a single bowl - so there's less clean-up!

  • 3/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  1. Position an oven rack in the center and preheat oven to 350F degrees.
  2. Line at least two cookie sheets with parchment paper or lightly spray them with nonstick cooking spray.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together the oil, sugar and molasses.
  4. Add the egg and mix well.
  5. Add the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and allspice and mix well.
  6. Drop cookie dough by teaspoonfuls at least 2 inches apart onto prepared cookie sheets.
  7. Press slightly with palm of your hand to flatten.
  8. Bake until firm, about 10 to 12 minutes.
  9. Remove from oven and transfer cookies to wire racks and cool completely.

This recipe yields about 2 dozen chewy molasses cookies, but will vary greatly depending on the size and shape of cookie cutters used.

Old-Fashioned Molasses Drop Cookie Recipe

This easy recipe for molasses cookies includes applesauce, raisins and walnuts. It makes satisfying wholesome cookies that are especially delicious right from the oven.

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  1. Position an oven rack in the center and preheat oven to 375F degrees.
  2. Line at least two cookie sheets with parchment paper or lightly grease them, then set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt and spices until well blended.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, beat together the butter, sugar and molasses with an electric mixer, until well blended. Beat in the egg and applesauce.
  5. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and stir just until well combined. Over mixing will cause tough cookies.) Then stir in raisins and nuts.
  6. Drop teaspoonfuls of dough at least 2 inches apart onto prepared cookie sheets.
  7. Bake, one sheet at a time om the center rack of the oven, until set around the edges, about 10 to 12 minutes.
  8. Remove from oven and allow cookies to rest on the cookie sheet for a minute or two before transferring them to wire racks to cool completely.
  9. Be sure each cookie sheet is completely cooled before putting your next batch of dough on it!

This recipe yields about 4 dozen old-fashioned molasses drop cookies

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Easy Molasses Spice Cake Mix Cookies Recipe

This easy cookie recipe begins with a box of spice cake mix and tastes a lot like gingerbread. The nice thing about cookies made from cake mix is that they save you from having to measure the flour and dry ingredients, which can be the trickiest part for beginning bakers.

  • 1 (18.25 ounce) package spice cake mix
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1/4 cup dark molasses
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  1. In a large mixing bowl, place half the cake mix along with the ginger, cinnamon, cloves, baking soda, oil, egg yolk, molasses and vanilla extract. Combine with an electric mixer on medium high speed, until smooth, about 1 to 2 minutes.
  2. Stir in the remaining cake mix.
  3. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator to chill for 1 hour.
  4. When you are ready to bake the cookies, preheat oven to 375F degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or lightly grease with nonstick cooking spray.
  5. Place the granulated sugar in a small shallow dish.
  6. Roll small portions of the dough into 1-inch balls and then roll them in sugar to coat completely.
  7. Place the cookie dough balls about 2 inches apart on prepared cookie sheet, then flatten slightly with palm of hand.
  8. Bake until cookies are firm with surface cracks, about 9 to 10 minutes.
  9. Remove from oven and transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
  10. Be sure each cookie sheet is completely cooled before putting your next batch of dough on it!

This recipe yields about 3 dozen Easy Molasses Spice Cake Mix Cookies

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