These soft Molasses Cookies are a simple and old-fashioned dessert recipe made with thick molasses, spices, and sugar. A classic cookies recipe that’s actually dairy-free!
I originally published the recipe for these Molasses Cookies back in 2013, but as some of you know, we moved this year. With the move came the packing and the unpacking. And even though it had only been a few months since I had seen it, when I unboxed the three generation photo of my mom, my grandmother, and me, it left me sobbing.
You see, that was just a few weeks ago and the photo was taken ten years ago this Christmas. It was our last Christmas with her and the last photo we ever took together. I miss her greatly and my grandfather too, who passed three and a half years later. It was memories of him that originally prompted this post on the blog.
But this was a recipe that both of them made, that my family has eaten and enjoyed for decades. My grandparents sent these to my uncle when he was deployed overseas and they made them for every holiday. To say this is a special recipe doesn’t quite cover it.
Because while I love new twists on old favorites, sometime’s there’s nothing quite like a classic sugar cookies or soft pillowy molasses cookies around the holidays. Maybe it’s because they’re so nostalgic, but really, I think it’s because they’re just so simple and delicious!
It seems like every time I visited my grandparents’ there were always molasses cookies. My grandparents would bag them up and share them with friends and family. They’re soft but not chewy, the perfect old-fashioned cookie. This recipe is definitely one you want to share because the cookies are so good.
- 1 cup molasses
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup vegetable shortening
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 4 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 heaping teaspoon Bakewell Cream
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 5 cups + 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a large bowl or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix together molasses, sugar, and vegetable shortening.
- Add the warm water to a medium bowl, hold it over the large bowl with the molasses mixture in it, and whisk in baking soda and Bakewell cream. Take caution as the mixture will activate. Pour into molasses mixture and mix until combined.
- Add egg, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, and salt. Mix well.
- Add flour 1 cup at a time and knead dough until it is soft and easily handled. Dough may be a little sticky, that's okay.
- Transfer dough to floured surface and knead gently with well-floured hands making sure the dough isn't too sticky. Cut the dough into quarters and work with one quarter at a time. Roll the dough out with a rolling pin until it's about a 1/4 inch thick. Use floured cookie or biscuit cutters to cut the dough as desired and transfer cut cookies to the cookie sheet.
- Sprinkle cookies with additional granulated sugar before baking, if desired. Bake for 8 to 11 minutes depending on cookie size. Edges should be a little more golden brown and the tops of the cookies should have small cracks along them. Transfer cookies to a cooling rack and continue baking off the rest of the dough.
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This post was originally published in October 2013 and updated in December 2017.
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Comments & Reviews
Rebecca Hubbell says
Hi there, you can purchase it on Amazon here: https://amzn.to/2TiVzUe (affiliate link) and here’s a guide to substituting for Bakewell Cream that you might find helpful: https://www.cooksillustrated.com/how_tos/5827-all-about-bakewell-cream
I’m a Maine native, and found your recipe and so want to try ! What would the measurements be for subbing out the Bakewell Cream? My mom’s biscuits also used this, and it is nowhere to be found in Minnesota ! Would love the breakdown..I do a lot of my own spice blending, so would love to make up a big batch !! I see the 2:1 – would this be 2 cream of tarter & 1 soda? Just wanting to be sure !! Thanks for the share ! Anxious to make these !
Rebecca Hubbell says
It can be substituted for cream of tartar or combined in a 2:1 ratio with baking soda as a replacement for baking powder.
Tammy Baker says
Is there anything I can use instead of the bake Wells?? Please??
Rebecca Hubbell says
Recipes from grandparents are the BEST!
jacquee - i sugar coat it says
YUMMMM-MEEEE! I am down for anything with molasses – reminds me of childhood with my grandma.
Megan Marlowe says
I love molasses cookies and I also use “Grandmas” I love the extra sugar on top for a gorgeous presentation and a slight crunch!
these looks grogeous! love the molasses flavour they look so cosy!
Jessica Formicola says
I just LOVE these old fashioned cookies!
Oatmeal cookies always remind me of my grandma as she always had a jar of very stale ones at her house. She knew I loved them! These molasses cookies looks so good though!
Melissa Griffiths says
I love classic Christmas cookies like this – they always bring back so many memories! Merry Christmas!
Hi Dawn, I hope this one is close, I was so thankful my grandparents wrote down their recipes on recipe cards, it helps to keep them alive!
Dawn Canfield says
These sound so much like the cookies my grandmother used to make, oh soooo many years ago. I haven’t found a recipe that comes close. Of course she never had the recipe written down, so that when she died in 1974, her recipe died with her. No one knew her recipe. This one sounds very close. Will be trying it out soon.