Soft Molasses Cookies

These molasses cookies are amazing and one of my family’s favourite. The recipe (below) was in an old high school cookbook at my parents’ place, dated 1984 and I had to email it to myself to make when I got back to Toronto.

These cookies are soft, moist, delicious and super easy to make.  My hand-mixer recently broke, but these are just as easy to make with a bowl and wooden spoon.

Be sure to beat the egg before adding it to the sugar/margarine/molasses mixture, as previous experience has taught me that this makes a huge difference in the texture of the cookies.

My arm was pretty tired, so I think I need a new mixer.

The recipe says to alternate mixing the flour mixture and the baking soda/water mixture with the sugar/margarine/molasses mixture.  This means……

Add a little bit of the baking soda/water mixture. (The first time I made these, I thought I screwed it up, but keep mixing. I promise that the baking soda and water will smooth out).

Then add the flour mixture and combine.  Alternate this until everything is combined and add the spices and vanilla.

Drop by the spoonful on a baking sheet.  I tend to forget and burn things, so hence the red silicone baking cover.

Soft Molasses Cookies


  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 1/2 cups of flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda, dissolved in 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp vanilla


  1. Mix margarine, brown sugar and molasses. Add beaten egg.
  2. Sift flour and salt and dissolve baking soda into warm water.
  3. Alternate adding these mixtures separately with the first mixture. Add cinnamon and nutmeg and vanilla.
  4. Drop by teaspoon on cookie sheet and bake at 375*F for 7-9 minutes, the bottom should be slightly browned.
  5. Bake for 7-9 minutes. The cookies don’t really spread out and tend to keep their dropped shape.


16 comments on “Soft Molasses Cookies”

  1. I love this recipe. It’s amazing. The cookies are so fluffy. 🙂

  2. These have turned awesome!! Thx for sharing ….I would love a good white sugar cookie recipe?!?

  3. We’ve lost my mother’s ”good ol’ molasses cookies,” recipe that she made at least once a month. Yours recipe sounds like it! Can you answer a couple questions?
    1) I think she used hot coffee instead of water. Could I be remembering right?
    2) if I freeze before shipping, would these cookies travel well?
    My brothers will be thrilled if I’ve found our childhood cookie!

    • My mother’s recipe also used coffee , cold that way it didn’t effect the egg. I’ll see if I can find the recipe. But this one seems exactly the same, but used coffee.
      If I don’t have it one of my sisters will. I’ve been enjoying this cookie since the early 1960s.

  4. I’ve been looking for this recipe for so long! I used to make a similar cookie when I was in high school (35 years ago) but I lost the recipe when I moved out of home. The cookies were moist and dark, and so delicious. Your recipe is pretty well the same. I used blackstrap molasses and crisco shortening instead of butter/margarine because my dad didn’t like the taste of butter. The Blackstrap molasses has such a rich taste that quite honestly the cookies almost taste chocolate, but even better. Thank you sooooo much for sharing your recipe!

  5. I am so disappointed. The pictures look like what I was looking for. Similar to previous comments I didn’t retrieve my grandma’s recipes. However they spread out flat as a pancake. Can you think of a reason why or what I might do differently to keep their drop shape?

    • Hi Michele! Oh no, I’m not sure what would have happened. How hot was your oven when the cookies were baking? How did you measure your flour? If you can provide additional details, I would love to troubleshoot this.

      • i am curious with this comment. the old school recipes call for shortening, not butter or margarine. the shortening tolerates a higher temperature than butter. butter would cause cookies to spread/flatten more than if shortening was used. i don’t know if margarine has a high temperature allowance to prevent spreading. did you use butter or margarine when you made your cookies?

        • I agree with what you said about did she use butter or shortening. When a recipe calls for “SHORTENING” I would always use the shortening. In fact I use “Butter Flavored Crisco” but you can use any brand of shortening you want. A lot of people like to use BUTTER instead of the shortening. However, when deviating from the recipe, in this case replacing the shortening with butter, the heat used in the recipe can possibly have consequences and you’d probably have to see if using shortening made the cookies turn out better.

    • My experience is generally to add a little more flour. My grandma NEVER measured her flour. I’m not quite as good as her but I add the measured flour and then if cookies aren’t fluffy enough (look too runny) to add more flour. My grandma’s cookies always seemed so hard to stir when they’ve had enough flour added to the mixture. Another thing is to make sure you beat your eggs before adding them to the mixture. The final thing is to make sure you add the baking soda into your warm water!! That makes a big difference! I have my grandma’s old “Old Fashioned Brown Sugar Cookies Recipe” (Old Family German Recipe). Her recipe calls for “SOUR MILK” (add 1T vinegar to the milk to make it sour or use sour milk – sometimes I’d save some of my sour milk to use). In that recipe, you added the BAKING SODA to the sour milk & let it set for just a bit, like 15 minutes. This was important for the cookies to turn out right! I hope that all my tips help you out with your next batch of. Molasses Cookies!

  6. cookies were not very moist and dry I could have used them for fritzbee

  7. Mine spread out too 🙁
    I will be trying again!

  8. The recipe doesn’t say how many cookies it makes, mine spread out quite a bed as well but they were still fluffy. They look nice but they weren’t really a drop cookie. Any suggestions on how to keep them in the drop formation. The batter was quite runny and I did add a little bit more flour .

  9. Definitely spread. Very flat. Unfortunately they look nothing like the ones in the photo.

  10. Not as I expected. You should say to use shortening for the reason many people listed in comments. Also how many cookies does it make and should the mixture be a little soft?

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