Soft Molasses Crinkle Cookies — In a word, these are the BEST molasses cookies you’ll ever make! Ultra chewy, easy to make, and you can really taste the spices. Make these for Christmas, or just because!
Easy Molasses Christmas Cookies
These chewy molasses cookies are my idea of heaven. They’re the best ‘traditional’ molasses crinkle cookies I’ve ever made.
But I made them with coconut oil. How’s that for traditional? And no, you can’t taste it.
The former continues to be one of my most popular recipes on Pinterest, and it’s one of my favorite cookie recipes on my entire site. The latter is a seasonal reader favorite and I get tons of positive feedback on them.
You’d think I’d just be happy and leave well enough alone. No, that would be too easy. I took my favorite elements from both of those recipes and rolled them into these cookies.
I wanted to use ‘The Best’ or ‘My Favorite’ in the title, but the minute I’d do that, something else would immediately come along that I would deem better. But for now, they’re my definition of the best molasses cookies.
They’re supremely soft on the inside, in a tender, almost falling-apart way.
The tenderness is encased by a chewy exterior with a chewiness and texture boost from the cinnamon-sugar coating. The texture from the sugar granules is exquisite and the fine grittiness just melts away.
I have a Pinterest board dedicated to all things molasses and ginger, but I’m a very tough connoisseur when it comes to cookies. However, when done right, I’d opt for a molasses cookie over a chocolate chip cookie.
I don’t want them crunchy like a gingersnap. No snappiness. Only softness.
And I’ve got to really be able to taste the molasses and they must be well-spiced. These cookies are truly the perfect balance of soft, chewy, and the richness and depth of the dark molasses, coupled with dark brown sugar and spices, make them some of my favorite cookies I’ve ever made.
It’s hard to believe there’s not a drop of butter in them!
Lots of molasses cookie recipes use vegetable or canola oil, margarine, or shortening instead of butter. Rather than using butter or another oil, I used coconut oil. If you’ve never baked cookies with coconut oil, I have many in the Related Recipes section below.
Of all the baking I’ve done with coconut oil, these molasses crinkle cookies taste the least like coconut, and I can’t even taste it, and I was looking for it because I know some of you are not coconut fans.
You have nothing to worry about because the flavor isn’t detectable, being masked by the boldness of the molasses and spices.
In previous cooking baking with coconut oil, I’ve always creamed solid-state coconut oil with sugars and an egg. This time, however, I used liquid-state coconut oil.
It was sort of a happy accident because I thought my coconut oil was solid, but it wasn’t. My kitchen was warmer than 76F, the temp at which coconut oil solidifies. Rather than popping the jar in the freezer for an hour, I just used it in liquid form.
I used 1/3 cup molasses, for only 17 medium cookies. Many recipes use 1/4 cup for 2 dozen, so these are very molasses-intense cookies.
The cookies are boldly spiced with cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg, plus they’re rolled in a cinnamon-sugar coating before baking.
I cannot wait to make them again. They’re my perfect molasses cookies!
What’s in Molasses Crinkle Cookies?
To make traditional molasses Christmas cookies, you’ll need:
- Dark brown sugar
- Coconut oil
- Unsulphered molasses
- Vanilla extract
- All-purpose flour
- Baking soda
- Granulated sugar
What Kind of Molasses Should I Use?
I used a robust molasses because I wanted bold flavor. Use your favorite, with a caveat that blackstrap is likely going to be too pungent and bitter, but suit yourself.
How to Make Molasses Crinkle Cookies
I made the molasses spice cookies using my stand mixer, but in retrospect, there’s no reason you can’t just whisk the batter together. A nice time-saver not to do mixer dishes.
To make the chewy molasses cookies, simply stir together the wet ingredients, then add the spices and the dry ingredients.
Scoop the dough into balls and chill for at LEAST 3 hours before baking them. Just before baking the dough balls, roll them in a cinnamon-sugar mixture.
Do I Have to Chill the Dough?
Yes! Because there’s 1/2 cup liquid coconut oil, 1/3 cup molasses, 2 tablespoons vanilla, and an egg, the dough is super soft and must be chilled before baking. The coconut oil must re-solidify or your cookies will spread into oily, molasses puddles.
Tips for the Best Molasses Cookies
I used dark brown sugar, which has twice the molasses content that light brown sugar has. Usually about 2 to 3 tablespoons of molasses to 1 cup granulated sugar versus 1 tablespoon to 1 cup granulated sugar in light brown sugar.
A tip if you ever run out of brown sugar is that you can stir molasses into white sugar until you get it as brown as you like.
With the robustness of the molasses and the intensity of the dark brown sugar, the only way for me to go with the spices was to use a heavy hand. If you prefer milder spiced cookies, dial the spices back, possibly even halving them.
Pin This Recipe
- 1 large egg
- 3/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed (light brown sugar may be substitued)
- 1/2 cup coconut oil
- 1/3 cup unsulphered molasses (I used robust molasses
- 2 tablespoons vanilla extract (yes tablespoons, not teaspoons)
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- pinch salt, optional and to taste
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 heaping teaspoon cinnamon
- To the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or use large mixing bowl and hand mixer; or simply whisk together in a large bowl), combine the egg, brown sugar, coconut oil, molasses, vanilla, and beat on medium-high speed until well-mixed, smooth, and glossy about 4 minutes.
- Stop, scrape down the sides of the bowl, and add the cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, optional salt, and beat on medium-high speed until combined and smooth, about 1 minute.
- Stop, scrape down the sides of the bowl, and add the flour, baking soda, and mix until just combined, about 1 minute.
- Preheat oven to 350F, line baking sheets with Silpats, or spray with cooking spray; set aside.
- Cinnamon-Sugar Coating: Add granulated sugar and cinnamon to a small bowl and stir to combine.
- Roll each ball of dough through the coating, liberally coating all sides. After all cookies have been coated, I like to go back and double-dip each mound, to get an extra-thick coating.
- Place coated mounds on baking sheets, spaced at least 2 inches apart (I bake 8 cookies per sheet).
- Bake for 8 to 9 minutes, or until edges have set and tops are just beginning to set, even if undercooked and soft center. Do not bake longer than 9 minutes for soft cookies because they firm up as they cool; bake for 9-10 minutes if you like firmer cookies (The cookies shown in the photos were baked with dough that had been chilled overnight, allowed to come to room temp for 10 minutes while rolling them through the coating mixture, and were baked for 8 1/2 minutes).
- Allow cookies to cool on baking sheets for about 5 minutes before removing and transferring to a rack to finish cooling.
Coconut oil: Measure like you’d measure vegetable or olive oil; you need 1/2 cup of liquid-state coconut oil. If your coconut oil is in a solid state, microwave enough so you get 1/2 cup liquid-state coconut oil.
Storage: Store cookies airtight at room temperature for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 4 months. Alternatively, unbaked cookie dough can be stored airtight in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 4 months, so consider baking only as many cookies as desired and save the remaining dough to be baked in the future when desired. Do not roll cookies through cinnamon-sugar mixture until you plan to bake them.
More Easy Christmas Cookies:
Soft & Chewy Molasses Gingerdoodles — These soft molasses cookies taste like a cross between chewy gingerbread cookies and crinkly snickerdoodles. An unbeatable holiday cookie recipe!
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies — Between the molasses, pumpkin pie spice, and pumpkin pie spice extract that I used, these pumpkin chocolate chip cookies beautifully showcase the flavors of fall!
Pumpkin Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies— These pumpkin oatmeal cookies are bursting with chocolate chips in every bite! They’re thick, hearty, perfectly chewy, and not at all cakey.
Pumpkin White Chocolate Chip Cookies — Soft, chewy, loads of white chocolate, and so much pumpkin flavor!! A pinch of salt balances the sweet white chocolate for a salty-and-sweet treat!!
Chai Cookies — The chai spices give the cookies so much depth of flavor. Cozy, comfort-food cookies that warm you up inside!
Soft Butter Pecan Cookies — Buttery soft dough with big chunky pecans in every bite! Salty-and-sweet and so hard to resist!!
Molasses Chocolate Chip Cookies – Chocolate is used three times for a fun twist on the traditional. No mixer required!
Soft Batch Dark Brown Sugar Cookies — One of my favorite cookie recipes of all-time and partly inspired these molasses spice cookies.