Ginger Spiced Molasses Sugar Cookies

March 30, 2010

Test Kitchen-Approved

Author Notes: These cookies are spicy, sweet and rich with molasses. Take care not to overbake the cookie and you will have a chewy center that will melt in your mouth. For added spice and bite, add diced candied ginger to the batter.TasteFood

Serves: 24
Prep time: 1 hrs 20 min
Cook time: 24 min


  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup unsulfured molasses
  • 1/3 cup finely diced candied ginger (optional)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar, for rolling
In This Recipe


  1. Combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ground ginger, allspice, salt and cloves in a bowl and mix well.
  2. Beat butter and sugar together in bowl of electric mixer until light and fluffy, 3 minutes.
  3. Add egg and molasses. Mix to combine well. Stir in dry ingredients. Stir in candied ginger if using. Refrigerate batter 1 hour.
  4. Preheat oven to 375° F. Roll dough into 1 1/2-inch balls. Roll balls in granulated sugar. Arrange on baking sheets lined with parchment paper and gently flatten. Bake in oven until set and crinkled on top, about 12 minutes. Remove and cool.

More Great Recipes:

Reviews (78) Questions (1)

78 Reviews

Kari2011 January 11, 2019
I've made this cookie many times, but this Christmas season, my brain must have been on holiday which means I messed up the recipe that resulted in deliciousness! <br /><br />My goof was this - 1/2 cup more butter than the recipe called for and an addition of baking powder, probably between 1/2 teaspoon to 1 whole teaspoon. I tried to take it out, but wasn't successful in getting it all. The addition of the baking powder resulted in a little more cakey cookie that also was a little more savory. A perfect little bite to go with coffee.
Pragna H. December 23, 2018
Hi there! Are you able to share the weight measurements for this recipe? I want to make sure I get the right amount of flour, molasses, and brown sugar. Thanks much!
Kristine December 21, 2018
Hands down the best cookies I've made this year! I've been looking for ginger cookies for a long time and these are so good! <br /><br />Did everything as written, only increased baking time to 15 mins (at 12 they barely felt set)
Miachel B. December 8, 2018
Loved this recipe. I subbed out all-purpose flour for whole wheat pastry flour, and the cookies came out fluffy and delicious. Not the "chewy center" texture I expected, but I'll definitely repeat!<br /><br />Like another reviewer mentioned I was also hesitant taking the cookies out of the oven so early because they looked soft, but they definitely firm up after resting out of the oven.
Martin December 2, 2018
How pronounced is the molasses in this cookie? Just came off another gingerbread cookie with the same amount of molasses. While I wouldn't mind tasting a hint of molasses, if it's one of the dominant tastes then I wouldn't enjoy them. Anyone know if this is so, and if yes, then if it can be changed?
Author Comment
TasteFood December 2, 2018
The molasses is somewhat prominent, but the ginger and spices nicely balance it. You might try upping the brown sugar to 1 cup and reducing the molssses to 1/4 cup as an alternative.
Martin December 3, 2018
Thanks a lot for the answer. Is it possible to reduce the molasses without upping the sugar? Or will this compromise the cookie?
Kristine December 21, 2018
Try it yourself and tell us!
Mica G. October 7, 2018
Just made these and they turned out amazing! Super fluffy and soft on the inside, with a nice bite on the edges. I added a bit more ginger & cinnamon because I love spice and iced them with a light cream cheese frosting for a lil extra sumn sumn
VF June 10, 2018
These are the perfect mix of spices and sugar. They hold up well in a sealed container and the dough freezes well.
SweetArlene December 4, 2017
I just made these cookies for the first time and they are simply amazing. I didn't have crystallized ginger so I just grated some fresh ginger. These cookies are definitely going on my Christmas cookie gifts this holiday season! The flavors are outstanding and the crunch of the sugar on the outside, combined with the soft center, make these my new favorites.
Sarah D. December 9, 2016
These were fantastic! Soft, chewy and looked beautiful. My sister (who lives 1,700km away) requested I make her a batch and send her way. I cooked them for about 10-11 minutes, makign sure to keep an eye on them during the last minute. This recipe is my go-to for molasses cookies!
saramarsh October 1, 2016
Followed the recipe exactly and they were flat and no cracking! Took them out so as not to burn them, and while the flavor was fantastic, they look pretty ugly. <br />I used a cookie scooper, flattened them a bit with the back side of a spoon, and put them in, at 10 min. I could see they weren't raising or cracking..I'm not sure what went wrong :(<br />I'd love to make these again, so if anyone can shed light, or had a similar problem and you were able to remedy it, please let me know.
Gtpublic December 6, 2015
I consider myself a good baker and something is very wrong with this recipe. I hate giving this kind of review because when ever I read a review like this I usually think that the person can't read a recipe or doesn't have much baking experience, specially when there are so many good reviews. <br /><br />The flavor of this cookie is fabulous but the balance of dry to wet is off. I put my batter in the refrigerator for an hour but the batter was still way too soft. The size of the ball in the recipe is an inch and a half. That makes a very large cookie. Did you mean an 1 1/2" when the cookie is flattened? My cookies were huge and spread out covering the entire cookie sheet and were very greasy? Not presentable for the party I intended to bring them to. <br /><br />This cookie may have worked as a ice box cookie. An hour in the refrigerator was certainly not enough. I hate it when recipes are not clear or inaccurate. Disappointed in food52 specially for a community pick.
mrslarkin December 6, 2015
Sorry to hear that! I've made this cookie many times, and it always works for me. One of my favorites.
Gtpublic December 6, 2015
how long did you refrigerate the batter?
Author Comment
TasteFood December 6, 2015
I am also sorry to hear that! I have no idea why your batter was so wet. Could it be that you added 3/4 pound butter instead of 3/4 cup? (As much as I bake, I've done that before.) I will be making these again soon and will be back to comment.
Gtpublic December 6, 2015
I used a stick and half of butter which is 3/4 of a cup. Also the size of the cookie was huge. A one and half inch rolled ball is very large.
mrslarkin December 6, 2015
Did you make 24 balls, Gtpublic? I think that's how many the recipe makes, right TasteFood?
Micki December 6, 2015
Hmm, that is strange. I made them last night and they turned out perfectly as they always do (making these since 2013). However, I left my batter outside for 1.5 hours in probably -4 a bit colder than the fridge. Maybe that's why. Sorry to hear it didn't work. They aren't greasy cookies at all so something is off.
Gtpublic December 6, 2015
Thanks everyone for your input. Although they looked very strange I brought them to tonight's party because they actually did taste good. I think the problem with my cookies was that the dough was not cold enough when I rolled them into balls. One hour in the frig was not long enough. I think I had about 20 cookies but when they cooked it just formed one giant cookie which I cut into squares. I think I will try this again with a longer chill time.
Veronica H. December 5, 2015
These are so tasty! Didn't have candied ginger, so I substituted 2.5 tbsp of a mixture that was half grated ginger, half sugar.
kumalavula January 14, 2015
ginger molasses can only be improved by adding what? cardamom! <br />these were easy to put together and came out of the oven soft but became harder as they cooled. the aroma wafting out of the oven was pretty amazing as well.
em-i-lis January 14, 2015
These are delicious! I made them on sdebrango's recommendation, and, as usual, she didn't lead me astray. Fantastic!
happycao November 26, 2014
I just made this, it's still cooling, but it didn't have that crinkley top! :( Is it because I made it too small, about a big tablespoon each?
kzmccaff November 24, 2014
I made these cookies last night--and froze most of them to bake for my holiday baking extravaganza. I doubled the recipe and was just under the recommended amount of molasses, but they turned out great! I did half with the candied ginger and half without. I'll report back on which I prefer, but I tried the version with the ginger and really enjoyed it--not too much at all!
Petite F. November 6, 2014
Awesome cookies and loved the bits of ginger...adds a nice kick! I used the unsulphured molasses by Plantation (Whole Foods) and it came just like yours :)<br /> Thanks for the recette!
Connor S. September 4, 2014
Tasty and easy recipe. Like strawberrygirl, I used demerara sugar for coating the cookies. Also, you probably don't need to chill the batter for an hour, I just left it in the fridge for 40 min. Cookies go really well with Sweet Corn and Black Pepper Ice Cream (
strawberrygirl January 17, 2014
I made these as part of this year's mountain of holiday baking, and they were a big hit. I left out the candied ginger this time (and increased the ground ginger to compensate) but will probably try it next time I make these. The dough freezes really well - we actually just baked up the last of the frozen holiday cookie dough tonight. I formed the balls and then froze some before the step of rolling in sugar. I didn't fully thaw them before baking, just left them out on the counter for 10-15 minutes to soften up enough to roll them in sugar, and then added an extra minute or two to the baking time. Demerara sugar for rolling looks really pretty and adds a nice crunch.
KellyAnneP December 16, 2013
I've made these a bunch of times and they always get great reviews! One note - the dough freezes really well. I put it in the fridge a couple hours before baking to thaw.