molasses sugar cookies

Molasses sugar cookies on a baking sheet with crystalized ginger and cookies on a napkin

I’ve tried other versions of molasses sugar cookies, but I always come back to this one. These cookies have an irresistible chewy center and an intense combination of flavors. On gray, stormy days I hanker for these cookies because molasses and ginger seem to calm a queasy stomach at sea. They store well for a multiple-day journey or as a treat in a packed lunch. My aunt, Phyllis Hyde Morgan, shared this recipe with me decades ago, and it has stood the test of time.

molasses sugar cookies

Serves: Makes 30 cookies
Cooking Time: 10 minutes


  • ¾ cup (1½ sticks) butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¼ cup molasses
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¾ teaspoon ginger
  • ½ teaspoon cloves
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • More sugar, for rolling



Heat the oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.


Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over low heat. Remove from the heat and let cool.


Add the sugar, molasses, and egg to the cooled butter and stir until well blended.


In a medium bowl, stir the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and salt. Add to the molasses mixture and stir until the dough forms into a ball. Cover and chill for at least one hour.


Form the dough into 1-inch balls and roll them in sugar. Set on the cookie sheet 2 inches apart and bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until they’ve spread evenly and look set in the center.


Remove the cookies from the pan and cool on a wire rack. They’ll store well in the freezer for a month or in an airtight tin for a week.

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  • Reply
    Heather Knight
    October 27, 2016 at 4:37 pm

    I am inspired to make the molasses sugar cookies! Nice layout and photography, sailing around with you looks like it would be delicious.

  • Reply
    December 31, 2016 at 9:00 pm

    My recipe is exactly the same except I add more of the spices – 1 tsp. cloves, 1 1/2 tsp. ginger, 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon. We make these every Christmas on Cookie Day. I am anxious to try your version. Patti

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