Molasses Crinkle Cookies are a fun and easy alternative to traditional gingerbread cookies. Don’t mess with cut-outs, simply roll dough balls in coarse sugar for a fun, sweet treat!
These Molasses Crinkles are delicious when paired with other cookies such as Chocolate-Almond Biscotti, Peppermint Brownie Bites, or Easy Homemade Sugar Cookies for a fun and festive cookie spread.
Do you have a love-hate relationship with gingerbread cut-out cookies? All the mess, all the dough sticking to cookie cutters and rolling pin, all the hassle?
Well, you can have your gingerbread and not get all hot and bothered in the process.
I personally have not had great success with Gingerbread Cookie Cut-Outs. The end results never justified the hassle to get there. Since my mom’s gingerbread recipe has rarely worked for me, I decided to redeem it a bit. I made a few changes and baked up a test batch while she was visiting one weekend.
Why Make This Recipe
They were an extreme hit. Molasses Crinkle Cookies are a cookie I could get excited about. They are easy to make, taste just as good as traditional cut-outs, and are especially fantastic when you sandwich vanilla ice cream between a pair of them.
Molasses Crinkle Cookies are easy, fun, and tasty — exactly what a Christmas cookie should be. I love rolling them in coarse raw sugar. It gives them a nice crunchy coating
Here’s what you need to make Molasses Crinkle Cookies:
butter – I love to use real butter in Molasses Crinkle Cookies, but you can use margarine or a plant butter if you prefer.
sugars – You’ll need brown sugar for the Molasses Crinkle Cookie dough, and raw sugar or demerara sugar for rolling the cookie balls. If you run out, you can make your own brown sugar.
molasses – This is a key ingredient in the cookies, but you don’t need a lot. A little goes a long way. Use up extra molasses in Gingerbread with Lemon Sauce.
egg – You just need one egg for these soft and chewy Molasses Crinkle Cookies.
lemon zest – You can use fresh lemon zest or buy it in a jar in the spice aisle. If you’ve got lots of lemons, though, remember you can freeze lemon zest and juice.
flour – I like to use unbleached all-purpose flour, but you can use regular as well as whole wheat pastry flour.
baking soda – Don’t omit the baking soda. It’s what gives texture to the Molasses Crinkle Cookies.
spices – You’ll need ground cinnamon, ground cloves, ground ginger, ground nutmeg for these gingerbread-flavored cookies. If you’re short of one, that should be fine. You can also use pumpkin pie spice or apple pie spice if that’s what you have.
Here’s how to make a quick batch of Molasses Crinkle Cookies:
Prep step: Preheat the oven to 350 °. Line two baking sheets with parchment or silpat baking mats.
1. In a large bowl cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy. Mix in the molasses, egg, and lemon zest until well mixed.
2. Sift in the flour, baking soda, and spices and stir gently to combine.
3. Roll dough into 1-inch balls and roll in the demerara sugar. Place 9 cookies on a sheet, spacing evenly. The cookies will spread while baking so leave space for them to do so. If the dough gets too soft and sticky while you’re rolling the balls, chill the dough for 10-15 minutes before proceeding.
4. Bake cookies for 10 minutes or until set. Cool completely on wire rack.
Molasses Crinkle Cookies are good for 7 days stored in an airtight container at room temperature, up to 8 weeks when stored in a deep freeze.
These are great Christmas Cookies to Make Ahead & Freeze. You can keep a stash of Frozen Cookie Dough made from this recipe to bake later.
FAQs & Recipe Costs
Molasses Cookies will last about a week at room temperature or longer if you freeze them.
Molasses cookies can be frozen baked or unbaked. You can freeze the dough in one tub or in rolled balls that are ready to bake. Just be sure to store them in an airtight container and consume within two months.
Molasses cookies will not be baked hard. You want them to be set, but still soft. They will continue to cook from residual heat and firm up while they cool.
Knowing how much it costs you to prepare a recipe can help you decide if it’s the type of recipe to make regularly or one you might want to save for special occasions. Let’s crunch some numbers and see how this recipe pencils out.
- butter – $0.75
- sugars – $0.27
- molasses – $0.30
- egg – $0.15
- lemon zest – $0.10
- flour – $0.33
- baking soda – $0.02
- spices – $0.15
While your costs may vary depending on where and how you shop, you can expect to pay about $2.07 for a big batch of Molasses Crinkle Cookies, about 12 cents each.
How to save more:
Here are some of the strategies you can use to make Molasses Crinkle Cookies more economical:
- Stock up on ingredients when they are on sale. When I find regular kitchen staples on sale, I buy a lot. I’m currently using a price book to track prices and that’s saving me money. For this recipe, keeping an eye on the price of flour and butter can help keep the price down.
- Buying in bulk – It’s rare that I would buy just one bag of flour. Instead I stock up when I see a sale. I also have gotten into the habit of buying cases of flour from Bob’s Red Mill. I practice the same bulk buying for spices and other baking ingredients.
More Great Cookie Recipes
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Molasses Crinkle Cookies
- ½ cup butter softened
- ¾ cup dark brown sugar
- 2 tablespoon molasses
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 ½ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- demerara sugar or coarse sugar for rolling
- Preheat the oven to 350 °. Line two baking sheets with parchment or silpat baking mats.
- In a large bowl cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy. Mix in the molasses, egg, and lemon zest until well mixed.
- Sift in the flour, baking soda, and spices and stir gently to combine.
- Roll dough into 1-inch balls and roll in the demerara sugar. Place 9 cookies on a sheet, spacing evenly. The cookies will spread while baking so leave space for them to do so. If the dough gets too soft and sticky while you're rolling the balls, chill the dough for 10-15 minutes before proceeding.
- Bake cookies for 10 minutes or until set. Cool completely on wire rack.
This post was originally published on November 29, 2012. It has been updated for content and clarity.
Great recipe!! OMG that is the first time I have ever seen ‘cook mode’ Before love it!! It made me laugh!
Yay! Hope it helped!
I made these to take to our quilt club’s Christmas party. They were such a hit (even though I have to use gf floor) that there only two cookies left even though there were many other much fancier choices! On the table. A keeper for sure!!
Yay! So glad we could play a part in your success!
Lynn from NC Outer Banks
Hi Jessica. This comment isn’t at ALL about these cookies, (which sound delish by the way) but I wasn’t quite sure how else to make a comment. I am enjoying your posts re: Christmas preparations and cooking. But what I wanted to say was that I fixed your Spaghetti Squash Jambalaya again last night, and it is SO good. Both my husband and I remarked on just HOW good last night after dinner. Just love all those flavors. It had been a while since I made it, but it is delicious! We have some leftovers to eat for today or tomorrow. Though we finished the squash, it will be good over rice I’m sure. Thanks for your generous sharing.
I continue to enjoy all of your posts re: preparations for the holiday season, including your Advent tea and jam unveilings:) I need to get busy with my final “To Dos”. Merry Christmas to you and yours!
Just mixed these up. Super easy recipe that kids can help make. Smells wonderful! Thanks for always sharing great recipes and helpful advice for moms.
Thanks for your encouraging words, Wendy. I’m so glad it worked well for you.
Have you frozen this dough before baking? If so, can you bake the dough straight from the freezer? Thanks!!
I’m not sure if I have, but I’m sure it should bake from frozen without a problem.
Wendy (The Local Cook)
Thanks for hosting! I shared a duo of classic holiday cookies – no bakes & pecan sandies.