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Molasses-Gingerbread Cookies

These cookies have a dark color and a pronounced molasses flavor. For the how-to to create different shapes, see Shaped Gingerbread Cookies.

  • Yield: Makes about 2 dozen town houses, 4 dozen deer or trees, or 6 dozen men
Molasses-Gingerbread Cookies

Photography: Sang An

Source: The Martha Stewart Show, December Winter 2007


  • 5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2 sticks (16 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup packed dark-brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups unsulfured molasses
  • Royal Icing


  1. Whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, and spices in a medium bowl.

  2. Beat butter and sugar with a mixer on medium-high speed until fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in molasses. Reduce speed to low. Gradually add flour mixture, and beat until just combined. Divide dough into 3 portions, and wrap each in plastic. Refrigerate for 1 hour.

  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. On a generously floured piece of parchment, roll dough to a scant 1/4 inch thick. Brush off excess flour. Slide dough and parchment onto baking sheets, and freeze for 15 minutes.

  4. Cut out desired shapes. Transfer to parchment-lined baking sheets, and freeze for 15 minutes.

  5. Bake cookies for 6 minutes. Remove sheets from oven, and tap them firmly on counter to flatten cookies. Return to oven, rotating sheets, and bake until crisp but not darkened, 6 to 8 minutes more. Let cool on sheets on wire racks.

  6. Spoon icing into a pastry bag fitted with a very small plain round tip (such as Ateco #0 or #1). Pipe designs on cookies. Let cookies stand at room temperature until set, at least 2 hours (preferably overnight). Cookies can be stored between layers of parchment in airtight containers for up to 1 week.

Reviews (19)

  • Felix CQ 18 Dec, 2013

    The recipe itself is calling for less flour and more molasses with the addition of nutmeg and exclusion of ground black pepper compared to a basic gingerbread recipe posted awhile back

    This recipe called for 6 cups of flour to 1 cup of molasses. Consistency and texture was perfect. So do take note.

    Add more ground ginger and optional freshly squeezed ginger juice and chilli powder for a kick

  • crafty-girl 13 Dec, 2008

    Looks like a good recipe.... I am so glad I found one without shortening. Just I wish it would tell you how many gingerbread houses it would make... I am following instructions from a magazine to make a house and I want some extra dough to make men, etc. If anyone knows, please tell me!

  • thresuan 1 Nov, 2008

    As of 5:52 PM November 1st there is no recipe with the Molasses-Gingerbread Cookies. Please, remedy this.

  • jimsqueeniechef 20 Jun, 2008

    I'm now nervous about taking this recipe on as we live in Iowa and I have not, as yet, gotten used to the humidity vs. cooking--we are from California. I wish there was a way for "Dkaye" to share her recipe with me, although she posted her comment clear back in (Vicki Robles) Thank you.

  • Susanbelle 15 Jan, 2008

    Sticky dough can be lightly packed into a loaf-shaped pan or plastic container, chilled, and sliced 1/2 " thick with a thin metal pancake turner. Roll out the slice gently on a floured pastry cloth and flour the top of the dough and the roller.
    This prevents the butter from melting in your hands and the flour from toughening! Good luck! Sue.

  • wendy14 27 Dec, 2007

    these cookies were delicious. I added an extra half cup of flour(to compensate for south florida humidity) and chilled over night. then just roll out quickly cut and remove as you cut . if you wait until all cookies are cut they stick together

  • kimwylie0523 27 Dec, 2007

    This molasses-gingerbread was great! I highly encourage that folks use the freshly grated nutmeg. It really does make a difference. :)

  • dee5280 26 Dec, 2007

    I also had an extremely sticky gingerbread cookie dough! Very dissapointing! I made this for the gingerbread cheesecake and was barely able to salvage any for the crust and cookie decor. Martha really needs to test her recipes before publishing. I wasted money and two days of baking as well! See post for cheesecake.

  • luckymom 20 Dec, 2007

    After reading others comment on stickiness, I thought it seemed like too much molasses, so I reduced it to 1 cup, and made the flour 5 cups. I kept all other measurements the same and they were perfect. Make sure to chill your dough well and keep flouring the board as you go. I usually roll several strokes then run my hand under it, lift and toss flour under and sprinkle some on top before rolling more. Also, I used brown sugar instead of white. We had a lot of fun making these.

  • sherryjackson 20 Dec, 2007

    The previous reviews almost scared me out of making this delicious cookie, but as one reviewer stated, you only need to add a little extra flour until the mixture takes on a perferable dough quality. Maybe Martha created this recipe while in her Arizona house, because I needed to add almost an extra 1/2 cup of flour, but the recipe was easy to work with and looks and tastes great. I'm very happy I decided to take the adventure on.

  • rsultzmaevari 18 Dec, 2007

    after reading all these reviews i just added a few extra tablespoons of flour during mixing and they came out perfect.

  • icedancediva 15 Dec, 2007

    Although it does have good flavor, this dough is too unmanageable and sticky to make it worth it. I want the last two days of my life back.

  • sarabozzini 14 Dec, 2007

    My friend and I were making a gingerbread house last night with this same recipe, and I agree. It is quite sticky. I think I'll add more flour next time. Smells sooo good though.

  • jleigh 13 Dec, 2007

    For those of you who had difficulty with this recipe being too sticky, you can always try adding more flour. Remember, recipes work differently in different parts of the country, with different levels of humidity, temperature, etc.

  • dkaye 6 Dec, 2007

    I'm going to try the extra freezer time...but something is wrong with the recipe for sure...too sticky...even on the paper...I've wasted a lot of ing. as I made up two batches initially....going back to my traditional recipe.

  • moethorne 2 Dec, 2007

    They did taste good but I agree with the other user they were hard to work with. I added extra freeze time and got them to work but the first batch sure was hard to deal with.

  • Thepandagirl 1 Dec, 2007

    i love these, they are so yummy and they look awsome.

  • Bree13 28 Nov, 2007

    made this last night and it was great, could not keep family out of the kitchen
    this will be my recipe every year to use for our cookies and our gingerbread house. thankyou Martha for this. Bree

  • TigerCook1 23 Nov, 2007

    This is a horrible recipe. I added extra freeze time and still ended up with unrecognizable blobs instead of Gingerbread Men. Great flavor, but horrible to work with. Will not use again.

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