These old fashioned molasses crinkle cookies are so soft and chewy! They’re packed with flavor thanks to all the cozy spices, and they’re so easy to make. They have crackly tops and are the perfect cookie for the holidays.
There is nothing I love more than cookie season! But when I don’t feel like decorating cookies, I go with a tried and true favorite – like these molasses crinkle cookies! These ginger cookies stay soft for days and are covered in sugar before baking, giving a beautiful crackly top!
These ginger molasses cookies do need a little bit of dough chilling time, but I promise you it is worth it to have these chewy and extra soft cookies! These cookies are baked at a slightly higher temperature. This will make the cookies puff up faster, then they will gently sink causing the cracks and crinkles!
Why you’ll love these molasses crinkle cookies!
- They use simple pantry ingredients that you probably already have at home.
- It only takes 10 minutes to prep the cookie dough, then you’ll need to let the cookie dough chill out for a bit before baking.
- They’re rolled in white sugar just before baking, giving them a beautiful sparkly finish.
- This recipe makes 24 cookies, so it’s perfect for cookie swaps!
- These molasses cookies are so soft and will stay soft for days thanks to a secret ingredient.
- Flour: I have only tested this recipe with all purpose flour. Let me know if you try it with gluten free flour!
- Molasses: make sure you are using unsulphured molasses. If you’re in the UK you can use black treacle instead!
- Unsalted Butter: I’m using European style butter here as it is richer and creamier.
- Spices: I’m using a combination of ground ginger, cinnamon, allspice, cloves and nutmeg. Make sure your spices are fresh as that will make a huge difference to the cookies. If you use old and stale spices they won’t taste as strong.
- Apple Cider Vinegar: the secret ingredient! This is going to react with the baking soda, giving us an even bigger lift to the cookies. It is also going to make them slightly softer. I first saw this in Claire Saffitz’ book ‘Dessert Person‘! If you don’t have any apple cider vinegar on hand, just leave it out. I’ve tested this recipe without it and it is still delicious, you just won’t have as many cracks and they might be a little less soft.
Step by Step Instructions
Step 1: In a large or medium bowl, whisk together all of the dry ingredients – the flour, baking soda, salt and all of the spices. Set aside.
Step 2: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl with a handheld mixer, cream the softened butter with the light brown sugar. Combine on medium-high speed for 1-2 minutes until light and fluffy.
Step 3: Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the egg, molasses, vanilla and apple cider vinegar. Mix on medium speed for 2 minutes.
Step 4: Stop the mixer and pour in the dry ingredients. Mix on your lowest speed until just combined and there are no more streaks of flour. Chill in the fridge for 1 hour.
Step 5: Preheat the oven to 375°Fahrenheit/190°Celsius and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Scoop out 1.5 tablespoons of cookie dough (I use this cookie scoop) and roll each cookie dough ball in between your palms briefly so they are round. Roll each cookie dough ball in the white sugar. Place on the prepared baking sheets, 3 inches apart.
Step 6: Bake one sheet at a time for 10-12 minutes. The edges will have set and there should be some cracks. While one sheet is baking, put the other sheet in the fridge to stay firm. Let the baked cookies cool on the baking sheet for 15 minutes before placing on a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
Baking Tips & Tricks
- Measuring – I highly recommend using a weighing scale and measuring out your ingredients the metric way. It makes a huge difference to your baking and is the most accurate way to bake!
- Fluff and Sprinkle Flour – if you aren’t weighing your ingredients and are using a measuring cup, then use the fluff and sprinkle method to measure your flour. Go to this link here to find out how to do that. If you use too much flour then the cookies will be dry instead of soft and chewy!
- Room Temperature Ingredients – make sure all of your ingredients are at room temperature before you start baking. Pull out those ingredients from the fridge an hour or two before you start the recipe.
- Not enough cracks – if your cookies don’t have as many cracks and crinkles as you would like, as soon as they’re out of the oven bang them on top of the oven once or twice. This will cause more cracks to develop!
- Make sure dough is chilled – there are a few things you need to do in order to have perfectly cracked cookies, and one of those things is chilling the cookie dough! You need the cookie dough balls to be cold when they go into the hot oven.
Frequently Asked Questions
There are a few reasons why your cookies might not have cracked! First, make sure you used the right amount of baking soda and that it is still in date. Next, make sure your oven was preheated to the right temperature as we need the oven to be hot before the cookies go in. Also make sure your cookie dough was chilled before going into the oven! Finally, I recommend using regular white sugar when rolling the cookies. Rolling the cookie dough balls in sugar helps draw out moisture, causing those cracks we want. However, raw sugar or demerara sugar has bigger and coarser crystals and aren’t as efficient at doing this.
If you’ve followed the guidance above and your cookies still come out a bit less crackly than you would have liked, there is one thing you can do! As soon as the cookies come out of the oven, bang the pan on your oven or stove a few times. This will cause more cracks to appear.
Yes you do. The cookie dough is going to be too sticky to work with, and we also want chilled cookie dough to react with the hot oven, so you do need to chill the cookie dough before baking.
Nope, that will be too bitter for these cookies!
Yes, you can use the same amount of treacle!
Molasses Crinkle Cookies
- 2 ¼ cups all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 ½ sticks unsalted butter room temperature
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 large egg room temperature
- ¼ cup unsulphured molasses or treacle
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- ½ cup white sugar for rolling
- In a large bowl, whisk together all of the dry ingredients – the flour, baking soda, spices and salt. Set aside.
- In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, cream the butter and light brown sugar together until light and fluffy. This will take 1-2 minutes.
- Add the molasses, egg, vanilla extract and apple cider vinegar. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Make sure to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl so all of the batter is combined!
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix on your lowest speed. As soon as there are no more streaks of flour, stop the mixer.
- Place the cookie dough in the fridge to chill for at least 1 hour. If you want to leave it any longer (you can leave it overnight!) I recommend covering the top of the bowl with plastic wrap.
- Preheat the oven to 375°Fahrenheit/190°Celsius and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Take the cookie dough out of the fridge, it should be quite firm. Scoop out the dough in 1 ½ tablespoon balls. Roll the cookie dough between your palms to form them into perfect cookie dough balls. Roll the cookie dough in the white sugar until completely covered. Repeat with all of the dough.
- Place the cookie dough balls on the prepared cookie sheets, making sure they are 3 inches apart.
- Bake the cookies one sheet at a time for 10-12 minutes. Keep the remaining unbaked cookie dough balls in the fridge so they don't become too warm. The cookies are done when they have cracked on top and the edges are set. The dough in the cracks might look slightly underdone which is what you want, that way you have a soft and chewy cookie!
- If the cookies aren't as cracked as you would like, bang the cookie sheet on your counter or stove once or twice, this will create more cracks. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 15 minutes before moving to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.