Soft and Chewy Ginger Molasses Cookies

Classic soft and chewy ginger molasses cookies – these delectable, holiday (or anytime) treats are like gingerbread in cookie form!

stack of three soft and chewy ginger molasses cookies on cooling rack

These chewy, ginger molasses cookies are the epitome of holiday flavors, if you ask me. They taste like Christmas. They make your house smell like Christmas.

Basically, it’s just not the Christmas season without them. I grew up eating these delightful little cookies and can’t live without them this time of year. 

Once the soft ginger molasses cookies are baked – well, game on. It’s officially time to jingle the bells and trim the tree and blare the Christmas carols (except I’ve actually been playing Christmas music for weeks now – don’t sue me).

bowl of ginger molasses cookie dough

The super soft cookie dough is rolled into balls and then rolled into granulated sugar to give that signature crunchy-sweet outer coating. 

rolling soft and chewy ginger molasses cookie dough in sugar

The key to this recipe is to use *just* the right amount of flour. 

Too little and the dough will be too soft to roll (and the cookies will spread like crazy); too much and the tasty cookies will stay mounded instead of flattening with the signature crackly tops. 

I use my handy kitchen scale to measure exactly 20 ounces. If you’re measuring with a cup, fluff the flour really well, scoop the measuring cup into the flour and then level off with a straight edge.

ginger molasses cookie dough balls rolled in sugar

There really is nothing quite like these classic soft molasses cookies. They are divine. 

If you want a crazy delicious variation, try adding fresh orange zest to the dough. You have to trust me on this one. It takes these cookies completely over the top. 

soft and chewy ginger molasses cookie baked on sheet pan

I shouldn’t know this, but I do: these cookies are still amazingly chewy, albeit slightly chilly, straight out of the freezer, which makes me think they’d be absolutely ridiculous (in a good way) with some pumpkin or vanilla or cinnamon ice cream sandwiched inside.

Ok, so now that I’ve said that out loud, I’m not going to be able to sleep until I make that happen.

soft and chewy ginger molasses cookies on cooling rack soft and chewy ginger molasses cookie broken in half 

These cookies have been around a long time and are insanely popular with so many of you! I’ve compiled a list of FAQ’s below in case you don’t want to read through the hundreds of comments. 

My cookies didn’t flatten and crackle? What happened? 

Answer: Often when cookies stay puffy while baking instead of flattening the way they should, the dough has been overfloured. Make sure to measure the flour with a light hand (if you are weighing, it should be 20 ounces). I fluff the flour in the container, dip in the measuring cup and then level. Don’t pack the flour in the measuring cup. Also, because ovens vary in exact temperature (sometimes by upwards of 25-50 degrees!), try decreasing the oven temperature by 25 degrees and see if that helps.

My cookies spread all over the place? Help!

Answer: On the flipside of what I answered above, cookies can spread for a couple reasons, but one of the most common culprits (and easiest to fix) is oven temperature. If you have convection bake option on your oven, using it can help (if a recipe says to bake at 350 degrees F, I suggest using 325 for convection bake and checking 1-2 minutes earlier than normal). If you don’t have convection bake, try increasing the oven temperature to 375 degrees F – that often helps! Otherwise, your dough might need a bit more flour (sometimes just a couple tablespoons).

Can I leave out the cloves? Or add allspice? Or use real ginger?

Answer: Great questions! The only variation I’ve ever tried is cutting down and/or leaving out the cloves. Otherwise, you’ll have to experiment and see what flavor profile you like best! Leaving out or changing the spices most likely won’t affect the texture of the cookies – just the flavor.

Can I make these ginger cookies ahead of time? 

Answer: Yes! The baked and cooled cookies stay soft and chewy for several days (well-covered at room temperature). The baked cookies also freeze great. I usually stack them in a large, rectangle tupperware-type container separating the layers with wax or parchment paper or in a freezer ziploc bag. The dough can also be made ahead of time, shaped into balls, and frozen. The cookies can be baked from frozen (add a few minutes to the baking time). 

One Year Ago: Homemade Peppermint Patties {Sugar Rush Gift Edition #3}
Two Years Ago: Killer Crunch Brownies
Three Years Ago: Sweet Berry Bruschetta

Soft and Chewy Ginger Molasses Cookies

Yield: 2-3 dozen cookies
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Soft and Chewy Ginger Molasses Cookies

Ingredients

  • 4 cups (20 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 cups (12 ounces, 3 sticks) butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups (11.25 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • Sugar for rolling

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a couple large, rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper, silpat liners or lightly coat with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves, and ginger. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl (or in the bowl of an electric stand mixer), beat together the butter and granulated sugar, 2-3 minutes, until light and creamy. Add the molasses and eggs and mix until well-combined, another 2-3 minutes.
  4. Stir in the dry ingredients and mix until combined.
  5. The dough can be rolled and baked right away, but the cookies will be slightly thicker and chewier if refrigerated for a bit. If so, chill for 20-30 minutes (or up to several days) before rolling into balls.
  6. Roll the dough into 1-inch balls (you can make them smaller or larger, too) and then roll the cookie dough balls into granulated sugar. Space the cookies an inch or so apart on the lined cookie sheets and bake for 8-10 minutes (don't over bake if you want a soft, chewy cookie). Adjust the baking time, more or less, if the cookies are overly small or large.
  7. Remove the cookies to a cooling rack and let cool completely. These cookies stay soft and chewy well-covered for several days at room temperature and the baked cookies also freeze very well.

Recommended Products

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Follow @melskitchencafe on Instagram and show me the recipes you are making from my blog using the hashtag #melskitchencafe. I love seeing all the goodness you are whipping up in your kitchens!

Recipe Source: from this recipe (same as the one my mom made growing up, come to find out) at Meadowbrook Farm
Recipe originally posted Dec 2014; updated Jan 2020 with new photos, recipe notes, etc.

A stack of five brown molasses cookies on a white plate.