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Ginger Molasses Cookies have been a Christmas baking tradition in our house for over twenty years. It just wouldn’t seem like the holidays without baking up a batch.
Crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside, these shaped cookies spiced with ginger and cinnamon make a yummy treat that’s not overly sweet.
Definitely a family favorite, Ginger Molasses Cookies are perfect for cookie swaps and gifting. They stay fresh for up to two weeks when sealed tightly. Early in December, our cookie jar gets filled up with ginger cookies.
I like to sneak a Ginger Molasses Cookie (or two) to enjoy with a cup of tea or hot cocoa as I wrap gifts—yummy holiday fun!
Ginger Molasses Cookies
I found the original recipe for ginger cookies in a Southern Living Christmas Cookies book way back in 1992.With two active little girls (ages two and four) at the time, I was looking for a cookie recipe that was simple to make with my young daughters.
This recipe looked just right. We stocked all the ingredients in our pantry and the dough didn’t have to chill, which meant we could mix, roll, and bake the cookies in just one baking session.
Since then, making Ginger Molasses Cookies is one of my favorite family traditions. Over the years, the girls helped me make dough and roll it up into balls coated in sugar for baking.
As these cookies bake, the balls flatten and they end up with a crinkled texture that’s slightly crisp on the outside while remaining chewy on the inside.
The aroma in the kitchen is like gingerbread baking—what could smell more like Christmas than that?! Also, be warned, these cookies are pretty irresistible hot out of the oven!
On a side note, we have a pretty funny video from one year that involved a mixing mishap. If I shared it with you the girls might not forgive me, but it might win a spot on that Funniest Home Videos show!
What kind of molasses do you use?
I prefer to use usulphured molasses like Grandma’s brand. It has a good flavor, while blackstrap molasses can be overpowering.
What’s the difference between Ginger Molasses Cookies, Gingerbread Cookies, and Ginger Snaps?
All three cookies contain ginger and molasses, but the key difference is the texture of the baked cookie:
- Ginger Molasses Cookies are slightly crisp on the outside and remain chewy on the inside.
- Ginger Snaps and Gingerbread Cookies are essentially the same except Ginger Snaps are baked longer to get a snappier and crisper texture.
- Gingerbread Cookies are chewier than ginger snaps
‘Tis the Sweetest Season!
Today’s Ginger Molassses Cookies recipe is a part of a food blogger virtual cookie swap (The Sweetest Season) hosted by my friend Erin at TheSpeckledPalate. I participated last year with these Caramel Pecan Thumbprint Cookies.
If you’re hosting a cookie swap, need a sweet treat to share at a holiday party, or just want homemade sweet treats for the holidays, here are some of my all-time favorite cookie recipes:
- Buckeye Brownie Bites — miniature brownies topped with peanut butter “buckeye” candy balls and drizzled with dark chocolate ganache
- Gingerbread Gems — Soft, chewy gingerbread KISSES cookies glistening with sugar and crowned with HERSHEY’S Milk Chocolate Holiday KISSES.
- Heath Bar Blondies — a chocolate-topped sweet dessert bar that’s studded with Heath bar toffee bits inside and out
- Homemade Peppermint Oreos — a simple chocolate cookie with a creamy peppermint filling
- Sand Tarts — tasty little pecan butter cookies coated with powdered sugar
- Pecan Candy Cookies — chewy bite-size cookies made with brown sugar meringue
- Peanut Butter Toffee Turtle Cookies — a basic peanut butter cookie with added chocolate chips & toffee bits topped with creamy caramel and a chocolate drizzle.
Ginger Molasses Cookies Recipe
This recipe makes about 4 dozen cookies when you roll the dough into 1-1/2 inch balls. This results in a chewy ginger cookie, not a crispy cookie like like ginger snaps.
If you like a smaller cookie, roll into 1-inch balls which will yield about 6 dozen.
Don’t over bake the cookies as you want them to stay a little soft in the middle. Leave the cookies on the baking sheet for 5 minutes after you remove them from the oven. They will continue to firm up during this time.
This recipe was originally posted on December 2, 2013, and was updated on December 2, 2019.
Ginger Molasses Cookies
- 3/4 cup vegetable shortening
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 cup molasses
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon ginger
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- Additional sugar for rolling
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Using a handheld mixer or a stand mixer, cream the shortening. Gradually add the sugar, mixing until light and fluffy.
- Add the egg and molasses and mix until well incorporated. Turn off the mixer.
- In a large bowl, measure out the flour and whisk in the baking soda, salt, ginger, and cinnamon. Pour all at once into the creamed mixture. Turn the mixer on low and mix until the flour is incorporated.
- Shape the dough into 1-1/2 inch balls and roll each ball in a bowl of sugar. Place the sugar coated dough balls about 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets.
- Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes before removing to wire racks to finish cooling.
About Sheila Thigpen
Recipe Developer, Food Photographer, Food Writer
Sheila Thigpen is the publisher of Life, Love, and Good Food — a Southern food blog — and the author of Easy Chicken Cookbook and The 5-Ingredient Fresh and Easy Cookbook. After 20+ years in the publishing industry, she retired in 2018 to focus on her own creative endeavors full time. She and her husband live near the beautiful Smoky Mountains and have a precious little granddaughter who has stolen their hearts. As an influencer, Sheila has collaborated with brands like Creamette, Kroger, HERSHEY’S, Hamilton Beach, Garafalo Pasta, OXO, Smithfield, Valley Fig Growers, and more.