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Chewy Molasses-Spice Cookies

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Yield: Makes 36
Chewy Molasses-Spice Cookies

Source: Everyday Food, December 2005


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup molasses


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. In a shallow bowl, place 1/2 cup sugar; set aside.

  2. With an electric mixer, beat butter and remaining cup of sugar until combined. Beat in egg and then molasses until combined. Reduce speed to low; gradually mix in dry ingredients, just until a dough forms.

  3. Pinch off and roll dough into balls, each equal to 1 tablespoon. Roll balls in reserved sugar to coat.

  4. Arrange balls on baking sheets, about 3 inches apart. Bake, one sheet at a time, until edges of cookies are just firm, 10 to 15 minutes (cookies can be baked two sheets at a time, but they will not crackle uniformly). Cool 1 minute on baking sheets; transfer to racks to cool completely.

Reviews (73)

  • mpg060598 20 Oct, 2015

    I followed the recipe perfectly however my cookies turned out slightly salty and they puffed up and became rock hard... Any idea what I did wrong?

  • joanna_holcomb 1 Jan, 2015

    A new favorite. Made them when another recipe didn't work out. Glad I did!! The person I made them for insisted I make them again when we had a cookie exchange for Christmas. Super easy and flavorful.

  • kelmerritt 7 Dec, 2014

    one of our go-to favs. use farmer's eggs, and they lend light, fluffiness to the middle. also, i add fresh (not dried) ground ginger. teaspoon? yummo! definitely give these the full 15 minutes of baking.

  • ebrians 4 Dec, 2014

    Has anyone tried this with margarine? There are dairy intolerant people in the family and I'm looking for a good dairy free molasses spice cookie recipe.

  • bwhipple254 23 Nov, 2014

    Delicious! Made the recipe gluten free using Arrowhead Mills Gluten Free All Purpose Baking Mix. I'll likely double the recipe next time.

  • jtaylor19812 16 Nov, 2014

    I made these two Christmases ago as a gift for everyone in my rather large family. Last year I didn't and I had an aunt ask me why. These are so good I'm in the process of doing the math for 44 dozen right now (family, cookie exchange and kids' teachers and bus drivers). If I don't make these, people get angry, they're that good!

  • cunninghamt2012 20 Feb, 2014

    Chewy center and crisp outside are great. I made these for someone else but fell in love with them even though I would put myself in the chocolate cookie category. I spaced 3" apart and only cooked one sheet at a time as directed. The cookies were perfect each time. I also put dough in fridge between batches making it easier and less sticking when rolling the dough into balls. Enjoy.

  • NicoleA 23 Nov, 2013

    These have been an all-time family favorite for years. However, we recently and to go gluten & dairy free (GFCF). So, this year I am going to try to make these GFCF and see how they turn out! Wish me luck & I will re-post with an update soon. Peace!

  • abbycbutcher 27 Oct, 2013

    These are SO good! Exactly what you need in a cookie, a good crunch on the outside and soft in the middle. I didn't have enough sugar so didn't coat mine but I don't think that mattered. It's not that easy to find molasses in the UK so I dissolved a little dark brown sugar in hot water and that worked a treat. Will be making these over and over I'm sure.

  • tamryngoodes 29 Sep, 2013

    Just made this for the first time and it will definitely be made on a regular basis. I replaced the butter with coconut oil (at room temp.) and next time I make them, I will halve the salt. Thank you for a great winter cookie recipe, absolutely delicious.

  • totlhottigger 12 Jun, 2013

    My husband and I had got to talking about molasses. He suddenly remembered how much he missed molasses cookies that his mother used to make. Upon searching the web we found this recipe. I just finished baking them! OH MY GOSH! This couldn't be a more perfect cookie. I did pull them out right at 10 mins to keep the chewy....Thank you for sharing this recipe!

  • pearson whitney 10 Apr, 2013

    Just made these. Could not be simpler or better. Used a 4 tablespoon ice cream scooper. Under baked - pulled at 10 mins. Cooled until firm.Used 2 rotating sheets.Sandwiched one scoop of premium vanilla between two cookies. I'll try pumpkin ice cream in fall. Cookie recipe is a keeper. Worth your time/effort...really!

  • Kim-ee 27 Dec, 2012

    Yum Yum Yum!!!!!!!

  • jlinlewis 8 Dec, 2012

    This recipe is a favorite in my family and at my office. Set a plate of these cookies out and they will disappear in the blink of an eye!

  • bizygrrl 26 Nov, 2012

    A new family fave! I made them exactly per the recipe with the exception of making them a little larger. Superb! A little chewy in the center and crispy on the edges.

  • earldiane 21 Nov, 2012

    Delicious! Very sweet with that nice molasses undertone...I have facebooked and pinned it! Keeper!

  • roulalowe 4 Oct, 2012

    I have used this recipe for the last 3 years. Love IT!...

  • Carolat 6 Sep, 2012

    Made this recipe exactly as is, and the cookies were wonderful. Not sure why it didn't work for others, but these cookies are delicious, and they are going in my holiday cookie file.

  • Fishbone 22 Dec, 2011

    My first attempt at baking this cookie was very disappointing. I won't use this recipe again. It was not sweet enough to be added to my Christmas cookie swap!

  • mstrazze 11 Dec, 2011

    Just took a test batch out of the oven. These are excellent!! I replaced the white sugar with light brown sugar. I also ground up crystallized ginger in the blender and placed in the center of each cookie, then rolled in red and green sugars. Baked at 350 for 5 minutes and rotated the tray. Baked another 4 minutes, they were starting to get really brown. Let them rest for 5 minutes. My husband really loved them. Not too sweet, but really tasty!!

  • jjavaras 11 Dec, 2011

    I have been making these cookies for the past couple of years. These are a Christmas staple in my home.

  • Ginisews 9 Dec, 2011

    I just finished baking the last batch of these cookies. They are wonderful with a cup of tea or coffee. The whole house smells good too!

  • Juliacr 23 Oct, 2011

    These are, without a doubt, among the sexiest cookies I've ever tasted. I added a few more spices: 1/2 tsp cardamom, generous 1/4 tsp of cloves, and 1/4 tsp of cayenne (but I couldn't taste it. Another reader added a full tsp and that seems the perfect amount for some heat). Be sure to use fresh grated nutmeg and blackstrap molasses for the best flavor. You might as well just make a double batch because you'll miss these cookies when they're gone!

  • Magduhlin 1 Aug, 2011

    These are amazing cookies!! Easily the best cookies I have ever made. My family enjoyed these cookies more than any other cookies I have ever made, and I've made a lot of cookies!

  • Igby 18 Feb, 2011

    Awesome! Smells heavenly baking in the oven. I used colored sugar to make them pretty. I made these for a dinner party and also sent some to a nephew in college. Happy faces, thumbs up, all around. I followed the recipe, kept my dough cold between baking...this is one crowd pleasing cookie. A perfect cookie.

  • hivcns 16 Jan, 2011

    Thanks sararin and edark for the extra details on an awesome cookie! These are so great - everyone loves them! Here are my tricks to add to yours. I used 1/2 brown sugar for the sugar that gets creamed. I also added one teaspoon of ginger, and 1/2 tsp of allspice-the ginger rocks it! I bake them 14 minutes at first, and the later sheets for 13 (when the oven is hot and moist from baking),,,that extra minute or two really brings out the ginger and still chewy middle, crispy edge. Enjoy!

  • Magduhlin 26 Dec, 2010

    These are the BEST cookies I have ever tasted! I don't even like molasses and these are amazing! My whole family loves them and I give them out all the time. Awesome recipe.

  • Crystalrosa 23 Dec, 2010

    I love this recipe! Try substituting 1/2 a cup of organic brown sugar for regular and it taste just as good.

  • edark 22 Dec, 2010

    I used a sm. cookie scoop to measure then rolled in sugar and baked for 14 minutes-crispy edge soft center. they taste great the whole family loved them. the molasses flavor isn't strong

  • lhdschmitt 19 Dec, 2010

    Overall, the flavor of these cookies is amazing. However, you really need to watch the size of balls that you make as I learned the hard way. Mine spread so thin that they pretty much all crumbled as I tried to put them on the cooling racks. Disappointing, but I'm willing to give this recipe another try.

  • rhinnrhinn 18 Dec, 2010

    I saw Martha S. make these on her show and they didn't look like the picture and when I made them they looked like the ones Martha made. If you follow the recipe they turn out much smaller and thicker which helps with the chewiness. Martha advices switching the cookie tray half-way through the baking time to help get the crackling more even. They are easy to make and a big hit with my family!

  • SienaV 17 Dec, 2010

    I followed the recipe as written except I added 1/2t ground ginger. They turned out perfectly at 11 minutes at 350 degrees. I used my regular bake setting instead of the convection bake setting on my oven. I didn't have to chill the dough at all. It was a little soft, but didn't stick to my hands. This will be a regular favorite cookie of mine for sure. Thanks for the recipe.

  • AnneN 17 Dec, 2010

    If you don't want the cookies to spread out so much, use 1/2 cup Butter Crisco and 1/4 cup butter. Chill the dough then scoop (or pinch) and roll into balls. Chilling the dough will develop the flavors and it will be firmer when you are rolling it. I like to roll the dough balls in turbinado sugar before baking so the cookies have some crunch and sparkle to them.

  • NicoleA 15 Dec, 2010

    These cookies have become my new signature Holiday Cookie! Everyone looks forward to them! I make several batches and freeze the dough to have it on hand! This year I want to try to use a cookie stamp in a holiday theme to see how they come out! Best cookie ever!

  • Syrup4Me 14 Dec, 2010

    These cookies are truly amazing - just the right spicyness, crispy outside and yummy chewyness inside - perfect combination of texture and flavor. I covered the cookies in turbinado sugar - looked very pretty

  • sas49 13 Dec, 2010

    I try not to bake these cookies too often. This is the ONLY cookie I make that I can not stop after 1 cookie. They are chewey but you do have to watch the baking time. I will try the 11 minutes. Christmas is one of the times I give in and make these. Everyone who eats these compliments me. They really are that good.

  • stefcia 10 Dec, 2010

    I actually used brown sugar instead and they turned out more plump rather then flat. I've baked these both ways (because they are so amazing) and found that brown sugar is great! Happy baking everyone!!

  • kabrett 30 Nov, 2010

    These are so amazing! Very easy. The person who recommended 11 were so right! Nicely done! Make sure you roll your balls no bigger than stated. Even a bit smaller. You end up with a plump chewy cooking!!! YUMMY!

  • RCD1212 11 Nov, 2010

    This recipe was wonderful! My husband now thinks I should be a baker. I used my food processor for the dough - makes the perfect consistency (needs to cool in the fridge for 5 min before pinching). Using a table spoon to pinch off the dough makes them all the same size so they bake evenly. LOVED THEM!

  • GrannieLouise 9 Nov, 2010

    I was very dissappointed. Spread out too thin and not as chewy as the recipe claims. Won't make them again.

  • mllefantine 9 Aug, 2010

    Amazing cookies! They were so tender and chewy! Next time, I am adding a bit of ground ginger though...

  • slosh8715 28 Jul, 2010

    This is to lpresley. I have made several recipes for molasses cookies. So far, in my experience anyway, they all spread a lot. I have tried chilling them but they still spread. I think its as much a trait of the cookie as hash marks for peanut butter cookies. This is to Mayson, just as I have yet to see a molasses cookie that does not spread I have yet to see one that turns out crisp, as long as you dont overbake.I have noticed these are very forgiving so if you dont burn they should be chewy.

  • marylesliejohnson 17 Mar, 2010

    Are these really chewy as the name promises? I am searching for a recipe that produces the chewy, ginger/molasses-y tasting cookies I find in coffee shops. I have tried different recipes at home, but they always turn out to be crisp "dunking cookies".

  • lpresley1978 23 Dec, 2009

    What am I doing wrong? Each time I put a batch into the oven they spread like crazy. I tried putting them into the fridge to firm, but once they were in the oven they spread. Any suggestions?

  • MandM2010 23 Dec, 2009

    These cookies are crazy good! Easy to make too!

  • czechmom 16 Dec, 2009

    I can't stop eating these cookies! Fabulous!

  • threebirds 8 Dec, 2009

    These are AMAZING! Thanks for the reviews, it allows me to get a great cookie. Thanks Martha. tp

  • hmscott 10 Oct, 2009

    These are super easy and super yummy! Thanks for the great recipe!

  • sallynena 5 Sep, 2009

    These are in my top 5 best cookies. We have a bakery in our small town that is famous for theirs and when I make these I get comments that they are much better!

  • Chocolate-Chip 6 Jun, 2009

    yum!!! these cookies taste delicious! we made lots and froze them to make them last longer!

  • brownebaby 29 Apr, 2009

    these are really good and easy to make!

  • sararln 8 Mar, 2009

    This is one of my favorite cookie recipes out there! I follow the recipe exactly, only I take the cookies out after 11 minutes on the nose. This keeps the cookies thick, chewy and moist. They are a real crowd-pleaser. People just keep coming back for more and more.

  • lisamaria 27 Dec, 2008

    These had a nice flavor. I did add some ginger and a pinch of cloves. They do stay chewy, but be sure not to overbake them. They are a very thin, flat cookie. I kinda prefer a puffier one.

  • kmbartosik 24 Dec, 2008

    these were great...I tried them with some cream cheese icing and they were even better

  • jennyraye 22 Dec, 2008

    Awesome cookies! The first molasses cookie recipe I tried yesterday was a flop--after the first batch cooked, I threw the rest of the dough in the trash......and came here. This was the first recipe to pop up, and I had all the ingredients, so I gave it a shot. Mine crackled beautifully. I got just under 36 cookies. The only change I made was adding a half tsp of ground cloves. Yummmmmm!

  • crawpl3 22 Dec, 2008

    One more thing: mine didn't "crackle" like the recipe said they would. I did bake them one sheet at a time, but they remained smooth with a crispy edge and chewy center. Anyone else had this minor "problem?"

  • crawpl3 22 Dec, 2008

    These are great. I accidentally put the whole 1 1/2 cups of sugar into the batter, but in the end I thought they were perfect. I don't like a really sweet cookie, so maybe they would have been better if I had followed the recipe better, but the bottom line is that they are delicious! I might add some ginger to give them a kick next time (like a gingersnap), but all my friends just love them they way they are.

  • TracyDawn 17 Dec, 2008

    Oh My Gosh! These are soooo good we couldn't leave them alone. Didn't change a thing and they turned out perfect!! Really easy to make too. Thanks Martha!

  • stamperprincess622 17 Dec, 2008

    These are so delicious--just enough molasses flavor. They are very easy to make, and everyone loved them.

  • Snowflake7867 14 Dec, 2008

    These cookies are a hit! Everyone who tries them loves them. I use coarse sanding sugar instead of regular sugar for rolling them in so they are a little crunchier and they sparkle! Definitely a keeper I'll make for years :)
    It is a pain to cook them one sheet at a time, however.

  • pfmandeville 11 Dec, 2008

    After trying a few molasses/ginger cookie recipes, this is the one I kept. They are delicious and always come out great.

  • eew9485 9 Dec, 2008

    Where can you find small jars like the one in the picture?

  • joanne evans2 6 Nov, 2008

    These cookies are totally awesome! They don't look like much and are a bit fussy (rolling out the cookies and rolling them in sugar) but they really are good. Don't change the recipe they don't require any tweaking!

  • yanksgirl 21 Oct, 2008

    These cookie are YUMMY!!! I made a dozen and froze the rest to start my christmas cookie trays. I ended up having to make a whole other batch because my whole family devoured the first dozen and were craven more a few days later. With the second batch, I made ice cream sandwiches with them filled with pumpkin ice cream...awesome!!!

  • welove2cook 11 Jul, 2008

    These cookies are good. I used a cookie dough scoop (it measures 1 tablespoon) and the recipe made closer to four dozen cookies.

  • AlixNYC 9 May, 2008

    These cookies are PERFECT and so easy to make. I wouldn't change a thing about this recipe and what I like the most is that they are universally liked. They are subtle yet delicious.

  • jatar 13 Mar, 2008

    So I've made these cookies twice now and they are amazing. The first time I used raw sugar instead of white and they didn't spread out (same thing happened to lttl_kim--she used Splenda instead of white sugar), and the second time I made them I did the recipe with white sugar and it worked out perfectly. Both variations of the cookie (thick and thin) were delicious, but as far as aesthetics go, use the white sugar for a prettier cookie. I also rolled mine in raw sugar for a nicer look.

  • jatar 13 Mar, 2008

    So I've made these cookies twice now and they are amazing. The first time I used raw sugar instead of white and they didn't spread out (same thing happened to lttl_kim--she used Splenda instead of white sugar), and the second time I made them I did the recipe with white sugar and it worked out perfectly. Both variations of the cookie (thick and thin) were delicious, but as far as aesthetics go, use the white sugar for a prettier cookie. I also rolled mine in raw sugar for a nicer look.

  • kmrws 12 Mar, 2008

    I love these cookies, i made them dozens of times while i was living in england and they came out perfectly delicious. i live in bermuda now, made the cookies last week, and they came out AWFUL - they didn't spread/crackle and were hard as rocks. any thoughts? I noticed the molasses was a bit thinner than im used to, but other than that i can't think of anything.

  • joanne evans2 26 Feb, 2008

    These cookies are totally AWESOME! Everyone that has had them love them. Time consuming with having to roll them in a ball and then in sugar but worth it. Maybe they didn't spread out because of the Splenda? Not sure because I used sugar and have not had any problems. Crispy and chewy.

  • lttl_kim 24 Dec, 2007

    I think I did something wrong - when I made them, the cookies did not spread out and flatten. They stayed as little balls or whatever shape you put on the tray before baking.
    Also, I substituted the sugar with spenda - could this be the reason they did not spread out?
    Any other suggestions?

  • Loribsj 21 Dec, 2007

    I think these are fantastic. I follow the recipe to the T, but under bake them slightly. I use one of those air cushioned cookie pans. They stay moist and chewy for days. EVERYONE loves them and I find myself making them again and again. My favorite cookie!

  • MNmichele 12 Dec, 2007

    These cookies are delicious! When my stepson was stationed in Iraq last year at Christmas-time, these were the cookies he asked me to make for him. I sent 2 batches.

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