Ginger Molasses Cookies with Eggnog Frosting – Soft and chewy ginger molasses cookies with eggnog cream cheese frosting are the PERFECT Christmas cookie! Set out a platter of these beauties for your next Christmas party or holiday gathering and no one will be able to resist these richly spiced cookies! Put them on your holiday baking list – so EASY to make, no rolling or cutting out necessary!
Table of Contents
- Easy Ginger Molasses Cookie Recipe
- Ingredients in Ginger Molasses Cookies
- How to Make Ginger Molasses Cookies
- How to Make Eggnog Frosting
- Recipe FAQs
- Storage Instructions
- Ginger Molasses Cookies Recipe
- More Cookie Recipes with Molasses:
Easy Ginger Molasses Cookie Recipe
I love molasses cookies because they’re soft, chewy and richly spiced thanks to the molasses. The texture is definitely chewy but soft. These are not crunchy cookies like gingersnaps are. These are Team Soft and Chewy.
When you combine that rich molasses flavor and along with ground ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg like you’d find in gingerbread cookies, you’ve got the best of both worlds – molasses ginger cookies!
But I didn’t stop there.
I added the most delightful eggnog cream cheese frosting to this easy Christmas cookie recipe!
Of course you don’t have to frost them and they’re plenty good as-is, But it’s the holidays and ’tis the season to splurge and I say frost away! The overall eggnog flavor is pretty subtle in case you’re wondering but the cream cheese frosting is great to really stand up to and balance the bold flavors in the cookies.
What I really love about these cookies is that they’re easy to make. They’re not like a traditional cut-out gingerbread cookie recipe, which while delicious, cut out cookies are always more work because you have to roll them out. And then frost them.
With these chewy ginger cookies, you just chill the dough and bake them off, no rolling required. I also appreciate that you can just apply the frosting with a spoon. It’s thin enough that you can just spread it on, no fussy piping bags required.
Molasses + Gingerbread Cookie Fan?
I’ve got you covered with these additional Christmas cookie recipes:
Soft & Chewy Molasses Gingerdoodles – Not to be missed! Three cookies rolled into one – molasses, gingerbread, and snickerdoodles!
Soft Molasses Coconut Oil Crinkle Cookies – A decade+ long favorite that uses coconut oil rather than butter (long before coconut oil was trendy)!
Classic Chewy Gingerbread Cookies – The classic rollout and cutout cookies, piped to perfection, and timeless. Still softer than gingersnap cookies.
Ingredients in Ginger Molasses Cookies
To make this recipe for ginger cookies with molasses, you’ll need the following common fridge and pantry ingredients.
- Unsalted butter
- Granulated sugar
- Large egg
- Vanilla extract
- All-purpose flour
- Baking soda
- Baking powder
- Ground ginger
- Ground cinnamon
- Ground cloves
- Ground nutmeg
- Cream cheese
- Confectioners’ sugar
Note: Scroll down to the recipe card section of the post for the ingredients with amounts included and for more complete directions.
How to Make Ginger Molasses Cookies
These cookies are a cinch to make with very little prep time and follow pretty standard cookie making protocol:
Step 1: In a large mixing bowl, beat together the butter and sugar. You can use a stand mixer or a handheld electric mixer.
Step 2: Add the egg, molasses, vanilla, and beat to combine.
Step 3: Add all the dry ingredients – flour, all spices, salt – and beat to incorporate.
Step 4: Scrape the sides of the bowl to form a doug mound, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours to chill the cookie dough.
Step 5: Use a small cookie scoop to form 1-inch sized balls (about 1 tablespoon) and bake in a preheat oven for about 8 minutes. Chill the cookies on a wire rack.
Cookie Making Tips
1. Use room temperature ingredients. They combine better and are easier to work with.
2. Chill the dough. Don’t be tempted to skip this step. You can pop the whole mixing bowl into the fridge. You could probably shortcut it by placing the bowl in the freezer for 30 minutes but I use the fridge because it cools the dough more evenly than the freezer. If you don’t chill the dough at all, the cookies will spread during baking and turn into ginger molasses puddles which you don’t want!
3. If you’re a fan of really well spiced cookies with BIG bold flavors, you can add extra spices. As written the cookies are pretty well spiced, but an extra 1/2 to 1 teaspoon each of ginger and cinnamon will do the trick! You could go up to a teaspoon ground cloves and/or nutmeg but just make sure you love those flavors first!
4. Allow the cookies to cool completely before frosting them so the frosting doesn’t melt!
How to Make Eggnog Frosting
Homemade eggnog frosting is a cinch to make!
Step 1: Simply beat the cream cheese in a large bowl.
Step 2: Add the confectioners’ sugar, eggnog, and beat until the mixture is smooth.
Step 3: Spread a bit of frosting on each ginger cookie and place them in the fridge for about 15 minutes, or until the frosting sets up before enjoying!
Eggnog Frosting Tips
1. Use full fat cream cheese that’s at room temp. Do not be tempted to use fat free, lite, reduced fat cream cheese, or anything labeled as ‘spreadable’. You need the fat so the frosting sets up. The other product have a high water content and should be avoided.
2. No eggnog on hand? Or you don’t like it? No problem – use 2% or whole milk instead.
3. Use your judgment if you think you need to use a tiny bit more eggnog than called for depending on how thick or thin you like your icing.
No you certainly don’t but I love the boldness of the cream cheese frosting spiked with eggnog as a counterbalance to the rich and almost spicy nature of the ginger molasses cookies. However, if you don’t want to frost the cookies, you can skip it.
As written, the frosting or icing is a nice consistency to just dollop on with a spoon, offset spatula, or knife. It’s not designed to be piped, nor is piping necessary. If you’re looking for icing you can pipe, I recommend using the frosting from my Cutout Classic Gingerbread Cookie recipe.
If you don’t already have a carton of eggnog on hand – or you just don’t like it – it’s fine to use 2% or whole milk rather than eggnog.
Wondering what else to make with the rest of your carton of eggnog? Santa’s Magic Potion to the rescue!
I use Grandma’s Original Unsulphered Molasses. There are many types of molasses from blackstrap to various ‘specialty’ molasses brands. I use Grandmas brand because it’s been around forever and it’s just what I use, but use your favorite.
However, I do not recommend baking with blackstrap molasses because it’s exceedingly strong, pungent, and bitter.
Be my guest! Add to your heart’s content just after you frost them and before the frosting sets up.
The cookies will keep airtight in the fridge for up to 1 week but fresher is always better. If you’re planning on making them for an event, I suggest at most 48-72 hours ahead of time, stored in the fridge, but take them out at least 2 hours before you plan to serve them.
Yes of course. Double all ingredients. Bake time and temp remains the same. Don’t overcrowd your baking sheets which is tempting to do when you know you’ve got a lot of cookies to bake!
By today’s standards (hello Crumbl Cookies, I’m looking at your giant selves!) these cookies are on the smaller size, using just about 1 rounded tablespoon of dough each.
If you’d like to make them bigger, so you’ll yield 12-18 cookies rather than 24 cookies, that’s totally fine. Baking time will increase depending on the size, but an extra 2 to 4 minutes is my guess.
After you frost the cookies, I suggest placing them in the fridge for about 15 minutes to allow the frosting to set up. But it will set up on its own at room temp.
If I know I am serving these for a holiday party, putting them out on a cookie tray for a Christmas party, or they’re going to be consumed within 12-24 hours of frosting them, I just leave them at room temp. They will taste best that way! Of course, do as you wish on this, but I am fine with storing cream cheese frosted goods at room temp for up to 24 hours.
However, because these are frosted with cream cheese frosting, any frosted molasses ginger cookies that you aren’t going to consume within a day, should be stored airtight in the fridge. They’ll keep for up to 1 week.
Can I Freeze Molasses Ginger Cookies?
If you plan to freeze them, that’s fine. But make sure they are unfrosted.
- Freeze unbaked dough: Make 1-inch sized dough balls and freeze for up to 3 months. You can bake straight from frozen, adding 1-2 minutes or as needed.
- Freeze baked cookies: Cookies will keep airight for up to 3 months in the freezer. Thaw at room temp as needed and them frost them. Don’t freeze frosted cookies!
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Ginger Molasses Cookies
- ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup unsulphered molasses
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 to 2 teaspoons ground ginger, I use 2 but add to taste
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground cloves, or to taste
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg, or to taste
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 8 ounces brick-style cream cheese, full fat only
- 2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted recommended
- 2 tablespoons eggnog, or as desired (2% or whole milk may be substituted)
- Cookies – To a large mixing bowl (or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment), add the butter, sugar, and beat on high speed until fluffy about 3-4 minutes. Stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Note – There is no brown sugar in this recipe as written. However, if you'd like to use 1/2 cup granulated sugar + 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar, it will work fine.
- Add the molasses, egg, vanilla, and beat to just incorporate. Tip – When measuring molasses, first spray your measuring cup with cooking spray and the molasses will slide right out.
- Add the flour, all spices, salt, and beat on low speed to incorporate until a smooth dough forms; don't overmix.
- Cover the mixing bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours to chill the dough. Tip – Do not skip the chilling step or cookies will spread a lot during baking. I prefer to chill them in the fridge than the freezer because the dough chills more uniformly.
- After two hours, preheat the oven to 350F, line two baking sheets with parchment or a Silpat.
- Use a small cookie scoop to form approximately 24 mounds of dough. The dough mounds will be about 1 inch in diameter, or about 1 tablespoon in size.
- Place approximately 12 cookie dough balls on each baking sheet, or spaced evenly and as necessary.
- Bake for about 8 minutes, or until done. Baking Tips – If you make larger cookies, they will take longer to cook. As written, 1-inch cookie dough balls are pretty small cookies by today's standards and bake quickly, in just about 8 minutes, but all ovens vary. It's okay to pull cookies when they appear barely set because they'll continue to firm up as they cool. If possible, I suggest baking one baking sheet of cookies at a time, on the middle oven rack, rotating the baking sheet once midway through cooking for the most uniform baking results. Repeat with second baking sheet.
- Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for about 5-10 minuts, or until they're cool enough to remove with a spatula and place on a wire race to cool completely.
- Eggnog Frosting – Techinically this is optional but I highly recommend it! To a large mixing bowl (or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment), add the cream cheese and beat on high speed for 1-2 minutes. Stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Add the confectioners' sugar, eggnog, and beat on low speed at first, gradually increasing the speed, until a smooth frosting has formed. Tips – The exact amount of eggnog (or milk) you need will depend on how thick or thin you like your frosting, your ingredients, and climate. Add additional liquid 1 tablespoon at a time if frosting is too thick; add confectioners' sugar 2 tablespoons at a time if frosting is too thin or runny.
- Using a small spoon, knife, offset spatula, or small spatula, add a bit of frosting to the top of each cookies. Note – This frosting is not meant to be piped. It's applied casually and rustically. If desired, add sprinkles now.
- The frosting will set on its own at room temp in a few hours, but you can accelerate the process by placing the cookies in the fridge for about 15 minutes.
- Serving – I serve the cookies at room temp because they taste best to me, but some people may prefer them chilled.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
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More Cookie Recipes with Molasses:
Classic Chewy Gingerbread Cookies — Soft and chewy cut-out gingerbread cookies filled with plenty of ginger and warming spices! Decorated with a sweet, soft royal icing and topped with cinnamon candies, these gingerbread men are a nostalgic favorite Christmas cookie that everyone adores!
Soft & Chewy Molasses Gingerdoodles — These soft molasses cookies taste like a cross between chewy gingerbread cookies and crinkly snickerdoodles. An unbeatable holiday cookie recipe!
Soft Molasses Coconut Oil Crinkle Cookies — No butter, no problem. One of my favorite molasses cookie recipes!
Chewy Molasses Chocolate Chip Cookies — Amply flavored with molasses, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves. Chocolate is used three times! Cocoa powder, chocolate chips, and chocolate chunks are used, making these perfect for chocolate lovers!!
Soft & Chewy Brown Sugar Cookies — These cookies are sweetened entirely with dark brown sugar! Between the molasses in the sugar and the molasses in the dough, these cookies are rich, deep and caramely in flavor!
Iced Gingerbread Bars — Soft, chewy bars that are full of rich gingery molasses flavor!! Wayyyy faster and easier than rolling out gingerbread cookies! No mixer, no fuss, and the sweet icing seals the deal!!
Soft and Chewy Molasses Bars – Dense, rich and like eating a piece of molasses fudge. Easy no-mixer recipe that’s seriously like a big warm hug of fudgy molasses cookie bar!