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Soft and Chewy Ginger Molasses Cookies

Baking these chewy ginger molasses cookies will make your home smell like Christmas. They’re delicious too! So bake a batch and get into the holiday spirit.

(Are you a fan of ginger? Try this fresh lemon ginger tea. Tastes great and helps with the sniffles too!)

Soft and Chewy Ginger Molasses Cookies

Happy 1st of December everyone! (I cannot believe it either.)

Last Monday we had very chocolatey chocolate crinkles. To continue our Christmas cookie week, today we have chewy ginger molasses cookies, another holiday favourite.

There’s just something about these cookies that screams Christmas.

The first time I baked these was in the summer and I immediately got why this is a go-to Christmas cookie. It’s sweet, indulgent and the spices used are like a tight hug in cookie form.

Let’s get baking!

What are molasses?

Soft and Chewy Ginger Molasses Cookies

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First of all, what are molasses? Sounds like an alien life form or a really scary chemical, right?

But they are simply (and I’m quoting directly from Google here): a thick, dark brown syrup obtained from sugar cane during the refining process, a version of which is used in baking.

So bottomline: they’re sugar syrup.

In this recipe, I used light molasses which is made from the first boiling of the sugar cane. You can learn more about molasses here

What can you substitute for molasses in baking?

If you can’t find molasses where you are, it’s fairly easy to find substitutes. You can use maple syrup, honeybrown sugar,  dark corn syrup, granulated sugar and even apple sauce and yogurt.

Just be aware (and this is true for most substitutions in baking) that there will be slight (sometimes significant) changes in taste, texture and appearance. Here’s a great reference about molasses substitutions. 

Another fabulous baking ingredient to try is golden syrup. I use it for this recipe for treacle tart. Yes, Harry Potter’s favourite dessert!

Do you need to chill your cookie batter before baking?

Soft and Chewy Ginger Molasses Cookies

Now that’s out of the way, baking these ginger molasses cookies is easy.

You do need to chill the dough for at least an hour though (one time, I left my dough in the fridge overnight and it was still okay). Otherwise, they will be very hard to work with and will spread considerably.

Do you need to chill all cookie batters before baking? Some bakers do it 100% of the time but I don’t.

For me, it depends on how soft the batter is. If it’s very sticky to begin with and I want to prevent it from spreading too thinly, I pop it in the fridge for an hour or so before baking, like what I did with these White Chocolate Chip Pistachio Cookies.

Otherwise, straight to the oven they go, like these Chewy Double Chocolate Chunk Cookies.

Do you need to flatten your cookies before baking?

Soft and Chewy Ginger Molasses Cookies

Also, I don’t normally flatten my cookies after I scoop them into my cookie sheet. I know they will spread and I want my cookies thick and chunky.

So no flattening for me 90% of the time, except for these Healthy Superfood Breakfast Cookies because they do not spread at all.

These ginger molasses cookies spread to kingdom come even after a good amount of time in the fridge so for a meatier cookie, don’t bother flattening these cookies at all before baking. No matter what you do they will spread so why help the process?

That’s just me though. Experiment with your cookies and see what you like.

How long do these ginger molasses cookies stay fresh?

A lovely thing about these cookies is they stay fresh for days. I put mine in a regular cookie jar and 1 week in (I know, what’s wrong with us?) they were still good as new. That makes them awesome Christmas presents!

So if you’re looking to give cookies away this holiday season, take these chewy ginger molasses cookies for a spin. There’s a reason they are a holiday favourite!

Another holiday favourite is homemade chocolate bark. You won’t find an easier foodie gift!

Other foodie presents for the holidays

Speaking of foodie presents this Christmas, these are delicious and always appreciated:

  • You don’t need frosting or glaze on this delightful Meyer lemon ricotta pound cake. Sweet and salty, soft and moist, it’s perfect to gift your neighbours with!
  • Think of these Irish cream chocolate truffles as shots you can munch on! Chocolatey, slightly boozy, and highly customizable, your friends will love them on Christmas day or any day.
  • White chocolate pistachio cookies — delightfully sweet and salty in one delicious bite! Get ready to meet your new favourite cookie.
  • Sweet and tart, fruity and chocolatey, these dried mango chocolate bites are ridiculously addicting! Give them out as presents or snack on them throughout the day.
Soft and Chewy Ginger Molasses Cookies

Soft and Chewy Ginger Molasses Cookies

Author: Jolina
Baking these chewy ginger molasses cookies will make your home smell like Christmas. They’re delicious too! Bake a batch and get into the holiday spirit.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Chilling Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 30 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine North American
Servings 24 cookies
Calories 142 kcal



  • In a large bowl, sift 2 1/4 cups flour, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 2 teaspoons ground ginger, 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves. Set aside.
  • Using a handheld electric mixer or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream 3/4 cup butter, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, 1/2 cup brown sugar until creamy and significantly paler in colour (about 3 minutes on medium-high speed).
  • Add the egg and beat until well incorporated. Then add 1 tablespoon orange juice, orange zest, 1/4 cup light molasses and stir until combined. Scrape the bottom and sides of your bowl as needed.
  • Add your flour mixture in 3 parts and stir until each addition is incorporated.
  • Cover your bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour. When you're ready to bake, preheat your oven to 350F.
  • Scoop the dough into 1 inch balls and thoroughly coat in granulated sugar before placing on your cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. The cookies will spread so space them about 2-3 inches apart.
  • Bake for 8-10 minutes or until the edges are starting to get crispy. Cool slightly on the cookie sheet (about 2 minutes) before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.



The number of cookies you get from this recipe depends largely on how big (or small) you scoop the cookie dough. I typically get around 24 fairly large cookies using my 1.5 TBSP cookie scoop.


Calories: 142kcalCarbohydrates: 21gProtein: 1gFat: 5gSaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 15mgSodium: 80mgPotassium: 73mgSugar: 12gVitamin A: 175IUVitamin C: 0.3mgCalcium: 15mgIron: 0.8mg

Nutritional information are estimates only.

Keyword Christmas, Cookie Swap, Easy
Tried this recipe?Tag @iamtheunlikelybaker I'd love to see your creations!

Happy baking!

Did you make ginger molasses cookies? I’d love to hear from you in the comments section below.

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Rate the Recipe

Marisa Franca

Monday 10th of December 2018

Your cookies look delicious. Using the spices and ginger gives the treats such a flavor punch. After all of the vanilla and chocolate cookies, these cookies are a welcome flavor change. We usually have the dark molasses - I assume we could use that instead of the light?


Monday 10th of December 2018

Hi Marisa! I've always used light but I think yes, generally dark molasses are used as sub for light molasses.

Veena Azmanov

Thursday 6th of December 2018

Molasses has got to be my favorite ingredient this time of the year. The things you can do with it. Right? I do love chewy cookies so these would be an absolute treat.


Wednesday 5th of December 2018

I don't know why but I have grown to love molasses. I have never had this flavor of cookies but it sounds awesome! You are such a talented baker.


Monday 10th of December 2018

Thanks Denise! :)


Monday 3rd of December 2018

I think everyone has a version of this kind of cookie. Always a favourite this time of year. Perfect to add to the holiday treat tray too.


Tuesday 20th of June 2017

The cookies looks so yum! Thank you for sharing the recipe! Gonna try it this weekend.