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This holiday season make these Soft and Chewy Ginger Cookies featuring Molasses with a few simple steps and basic ingredients. Crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside, these tasty cookies with ginger spice and cinnamon make a yummy sweet treat. Follow along to see just how fun and easy this cookie recipe is!

Definitely a family favorite, Chewy Ginger Molasses Cookies are perfect for cookie swaps and gifting. The aroma in the kitchen is like gingerbread baking — what could smell more like the holidays than that?!

Also, be warned, these chewy ginger cookies with crunchy edges are pretty irresistible hot out of the oven!

Why you’ll love these soft ginger snap cookies!

  • Simple Ingredients. With the exception of molasses, you will likely have most of these staple kitchen ingredients already at home.
  • Quick and Easy. The dough doesn’t have to chill, which means you can mix, roll, and bake the cookies in just one baking session!
  • Festive Flavor. Enjoy warm and cozy holiday seasonal flavors with notes of cinnamon, ginger, and more delicious spices — YUM!
ingredients for molasses crinkle cookies on a table.

Ingredient notes

  • Vegetable shortening | Use vegetable shortening to get chewy, tender cookies.
  • Sugar | Sweeten the dough with granulated white sugar, or use cane sugar, dark brown sugar, or another sweetener, if preferred. You’ll also need more to coat the rolled dough balls before baking.
  • Egg | One large egg at room temperature will help the dough rise and produce the desired texture.
  • Molasses | I prefer to use unsulphured molasses, like Grandma’s brand. It has a good flavor, while blackstrap molasses can be overpowering.
  • Baking soda | Help the dough rise as it bakes with a pinch of baking soda.
  • All-purpose flour | Give the soft ginger snap cookies structure with classic all-purpose flour. 
  • Salt | A sprinkle of salt enhances the sweeter notes of the recipe and brings out the warm spices.
  • Spices | Some ground ginger and cinnamon are just the right amount of spice to bring these Christmas season cookies to life!

How to make Molasses Crinkle Cookies

Remember to have some fun making this simple chewy ginger snap cookies recipe! 

STEP 1 | Preheat and mix shortening and sugar

First, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and add the shortening to the bowl of a stand mixer or use a handheld mixer to cream. Gradually add a cup of sugar, mixing until light and fluffy.

whisking dry ingredients together in a bowl; creaming vegetable shortening in a stand mixer.

STEP 2 | Mix in the egg and molasses

Next, mix the egg and molasses until well incorporated, then turn off the mixer.

STEP 3 | Combine flour mixture and wet ingredients

In a large bowl, add the flour and whisk in the baking soda, salt, ginger, and cinnamon. Then, pour the dry ingredients all at once into the creamed mixture.

Using the paddle attachment, turn the mixer on low and mix until the flour is incorporated.

combining wet and dry ingredients together for molasses crinkle cookies in a stand mixer.

STEP 4 | Roll dough balls and coat with sugar

Now for the fun part! Use a cookie scoop to get the right amount, then 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 or parchment-lined baking sheets.

tips

  • Rinse your hands in cool water and don’t dry them thoroughly to make rolling the cookie dough balls easier. The water will help keep the dough from sticking to your hands. Repeat as necessary.
  • Prepare the workspace with parchment paper to make rolling the small balls a bit easier and less messy.
  • Don’t overbake the cookies as you want them to be soft in the middle. Leave the cookies on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes after you remove them from the oven—the baked cookies will continue to firm up during this time.
rolling cookie dough into balls and in a bowl of sugar before placing on a baking sheet.

STEP 5 | Bake, cool, and serve or store cookies!

Finally, bake the ginger cookies for 8 to 10 minutes, then cool them on the baking sheets for 5 minutes before removing them to a wire rack to finish cooling. Then, dig on in and enjoy!

cookies cooling on a wire rack with a spatula and a bottle of molasses on a table.

Frequently asked questions

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 gingersnaps.

Can you make ginger cookies ahead of time?

Absolutely! Make the dough up to rolling it into balls, skip the sugar coating, and place it on a plate, cover, and freeze for about 30 minutes. Next, transfer the dough to a freezer bag and keep it for up to three months. When ready to serve, thaw the dough in the fridge overnight, roll in sugar, and bake for a little longer than instructed. 

Why didn’t my chewy molasses cookies crack on top?

There are a few reasons why your cookies may not have cracked when baking. First, ensure the oven is preheated before baking. Also, your baking soda may be stale. Believe it or not, baking soda expires. In other words, it becomes less effective over time. And finally, be sure to coat the dough with sugar to help them crackle.

Variations and substitutions

  • Mini Ginger Cookies. This recipe makes about four dozen chewy cookies when you roll the dough into 1-1/2 inch balls. If you like a smaller cookie, roll it into 1-inch balls, which will yield about six dozen. Either measurement should be a little over or under a tablespoon of dough.
  • Gluten-Free Ginger Cookies. Use gluten-free flour and double-check that the spices, molasses, and baking soda are labeled gluten-free.
  • Use whole wheat, unbleached, or organic flour if preferred.

Storage and reheating tips

Store the soft ginger cookies sealed in an airtight container for up to two weeks in the refrigerator or for a few days on the countertop.

Serving suggestions for Chewy Ginger Molasses Cookies Recipe

Serve these delicious ginger cookies with refreshing and festive Peppermint Ice Cream, or enjoy a hot mug of Dark Chocolate Peppermint Mocha or a steamy glass of this Easy Hot Apple Cider Recipe.

molasses crinkle cookies on a festive platter.

Looking for more Holiday Cookies?

If you’re hosting a holiday cookie swap, need the perfect cookie to share at a holiday party, or just want homemade sweet treats for the holidays, here are some of my all-time favorite recipes to add to this year’s cookie platter:

  • 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 – an essential peanut butter cookie with added chocolate chips & toffee bits topped with creamy caramel and a chocolate drizzle.

breaking a molasses crinkle cookie in half.

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molasses crinkle cookies stacked on a plate.

Chewy Molasses Crinkle Cookies (Ginger Cookies)

Crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside, these Ginger Molasses Cookies are spiced with ginger, cinnamon, and molasses for a tasty, homey treat that's not overly sweet.
4.50 from 8 votes
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Total Time 38 minutes
Course Sweets
Cuisine American
Servings 4 dozen
Calories 71 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 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

Instructions
 

  • 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.

Notes

  • Rinse your hands in cool water and don’t dry them thoroughly to make rolling the cookie dough balls easier. The water will help keep the dough from sticking to your hands. Repeat as necessary.
  • Prepare the workspace with parchment paper to make rolling the small balls a bit easier and less messy.
  • Don’t overbake the cookies as you want them to be soft in the middle. Leave the cookies on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes after you remove them from the oven—the baked cookies will continue to firm up during this time.
  • Store the cookies tightly sealed for up to two weeks.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cookieCalories: 71kcalCarbohydrates: 10gProtein: 1gFat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 6mgSodium: 77mgSugar: 6g

Life Love and Good Food does not claim to be a registered dietician or nutritionist. Nutritional information shared on this site is only an estimate. We recommend running the ingredients through an online nutritional calculator if you need to verify any information.

Keyword baking, cookies, desserts
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was.
Sheila Thigpen, blogger

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.

12 Comments

  1. Ginger molasses cookies are a favourite in our house year round, but particularly around the holidays. Can’t wait to give your recipe a try!

  2. Ginger molasses cookies are my husband’s favorite and I can’t wait to try these for him this holiday season!

  3. I am going to give these a try this Christmas season, these are exactly the type of cookie I absolutely adore!

  4. I’ve been on the hunt for a not super sweet Christmas cookie and I think I’ve found it. Looking forward to making these.

  5. 5 stars
    I finally made these a couple of weeks ago, and everyone loved them! Thanks for sharing, looking forward to trying more of your recipes!

  6. 5 stars
    I just made this recipe and they were scrumptious!! Lydia enjoyed rolling them out with me and rolling them in sugar too. Thanks for sharing the recipe

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