If fall makes you crave chewy molasses cookies that are packed with the perfect combination of spices, you need to try this recipe for Molasses Crinkle Cookies. The easy-to-make treats will become a staple in your autumn baking repertoire!
While I'm always happy to indulge in pumpkin treats in the fall, the cooler weather really makes me crave all the molasses cookies packed with warming spices like ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg.
There's not much better than a molasses cookie... Unless it's a molasses crinkle cookie! These easy-to-make fall cookies are packed with a deeply sweet flavor that you'll start craving the moment the temperature drops below 70.
❤️ Why you'll love this recipe
If you love a traditional molasses cookie, but also like the look and texture of crinkle cookies, this is the perfect recipe for you.
I make these molasses crinkle cookies with all brown sugar, so they're extra soft and chewy with a deeper flavor that complements the molasses.
However, note that you will need white sugar to roll the cookie dough balls in... And confectioners' sugar, too!
This cookie recipe is incredibly easy to make and will likely become a staple in your fall baking routine.
The ingredients needed for these cookies are pretty standard cookie ingredients, with the addition of lots of fall spices and molasses.
Here's everything required for the cookies (but be sure to check out the recipe card at the bottom of this post for ingredient amounts and full recipe instructions):
- All-purpose flour
- Baking soda
- Ground ginger
- Ground cinnamon
- Ground cloves
- Ground nutmeg
- Unsalted butter
- Light brown sugar
- Large egg
- Molasses: I recommend using unsulfured molasses because it hasn't been treated with sulfur dioxide (a chemical used to preserve and bleach some molasses varieties). I use a dark molasses, but not blackstrap molasses as that can be quite strong (but delicious if you want that stronger flavor!).
- Vanilla extract
- Granulated sugar
- Confectioners' sugar
🍪 How to make molasses crinkle cookies
These cookies are incredibly easy to make with just a few simple steps.
Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees and lining a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Then, in a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and salt.
Set this aside while you cream your butter.
If you don't have any type of mixer, you can certainly do this with in a bowl with a sturdy whisk or a wooden spoon. You'll just need to vigorously stir and beat the softened butter and sugar together until it's light and fluffy.
Add egg and mix until combined. Beat in molasses.
Now, mix the flour mixture into the wet ingredients until just combined, taking care not to over-mix.
Your cookie dough is ready to be rolled!
Place 3 Tbsp granulated sugar in a medium bowl and ⅓ cup confectioners' sugar in a separate medium bowl.
And, using your hands, form balls with about 2 Tbsp of dough at a time (I use a #40 cookie scoop to scoop dough).
Roll balls in granulated sugar to coat.
And then roll in confectioners' sugar to coat.
Place on prepared baking sheets about 2 inches apart.
Bake for 14-16 minutes until cookies are just turning golden around edges but are still soft.
Let cool on cookie sheet for a few minutes before moving to a wire rack to cool completely.
The perfect molasses crinkle cookies!
I love how beautifully the cracks formed... Like a perfect cookie earthquake. And though I hate to use the word moist, I have to say that you can actually see the moistness in these cookies.
These crinkles are perfectly soft with a chewy texture and a slightly crispy surface thanks to the sugary tops. They're absolutely lovely when paired with a cup of coffee or tea, but are also great on their own.
And though I consider these molasses crinkles to be the ideal fall cookie, they're really appropriate all year round. Plus, they make a pretty stunning addition to the holiday cookie platter, amongst the other Christmas cookies.
Trust me, nobody will complain if you bring these to all your holiday cookie exchanges. Old fashioned molasses crinkles never seem to go out of style when they're this good.
⏲️ How to store
Once cookies are completely cooled, put them in an airtight container and keep them at room temperature.
If you're layering the cookies in the container, I recommend placing a sheet of parchment paper or wax paper between the layers in order to prevent the cookies from sticking together.
When stored properly, cookies should keep fresh for about a week.
🥶 Can I freeze cookies?
If you want to make a batch of these molasses crinkle cookies and enjoy them at a later date, you can freeze them.
Be sure to place them in single layers between sheets of parchment paper or wax paper in an airtight container. They should stay fresh for for up to 3 months when frozen properly.
Thaw the cookies in the refrigerator or on the counter before enjoying.
If you want to freeze the cookies before baking them, form the cookie dough into balls and place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet (do not roll in sugars). Chill in the fridge for one hour.
Then place the chilled dough balls into a large Ziplock bag and place in the freezer for up to 3 months.
When you're ready to bake the cookies, you'll need to thaw the dough balls at room temperature for about 30 minutes. Then roll in granulated sugar and confectioners' sugar and bake as instructed.
❓ Why roll cookie dough in granulated sugar and confectioners' sugar?
Whenever I make crinkle cookies, I roll them in granulated sugar before rolling them in confectioners' sugar.
This helps create a textured surface on the cookies, which will caramelize a bit and give the cookies a very slight crunch on top.
The granulated sugar also works to dry the surface of the cookies quicker while baking, which causes more cracks to form than you'd get with just confectioners' sugar.
If you only have confectioners' sugar, the cookies will still be delicious and will still crinkle a bit, but I think they're even better in granulated sugar first!
🎉 Variations on recipe
These molasses crinkle cookies are a classic cookie in its simplest form. I absolutely love these as is. But there are also lots of ways you can jazz the cookies up and make them your own. Here are some ideas:
- Use the spices of your choice: I recommend using my favorite spice combination, but if you want to alter the amounts, you certainly can! I like to go heavy on the ginger, but you can make these more cinnamon-forward or use any other spice you prefer.
- Add an icing drizzle: A maple icing, vanilla icing, molasses icing, or cinnamon icing would be a delightful addition to these cookies.
- Add nuts: for a little crunch, feel free to add chopped pecans, walnuts, or the nuts of your choice to the dough.
- Add chocolate chips: I think white chocolate chips would be delicious in these cookies, but you can also use milk chocolate chips or dark chocolate chips. Cinnamon chips would be good, too!
- Top with sea salt: If you love the sweet and salty flavor combo, a little sea salt sprinkled over the top of the cookie would be perfect.
- Stuff with a cream cheese filling: To turn these into molasses cheesecake cookies, add a sweet cream cheese filling (like I do in these cookies).
🍂 More fall cookie recipes
There's something about the cooler weather that makes me crave cookies... Especially the kind that are packed with warming spices, pumpkin, and apple! Here are some of my favorite fall cookie recipes:
These soft molasses cookies are ideal for anyone who loves chewy cookies with a whole lot of flavor from molasses and warm spices and a pretty crinkle top.
I might be a little biased, but I'm declaring them the best molasses cookies!
What's your favorite autumn cookie?
Molasses Crinkle Cookies
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- 1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground cloves
- ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
- ¾ cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- ¼ cup molasses
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 Tbsp granulated sugar
- ⅓ cup confectioners' sugar
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer with paddle attachment or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, cream together butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
- Add egg and mix until combined. Beat in molasses.
- Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just combined, taking care not to over-mix.
- Place 3 Tbsp granulated sugar in a medium bowl and ⅓ cup confectioners' sugar in a separate medium bowl. Using your hands, form balls with about 2 Tbsp of dough at a time (I use a #40 cookie scoop to scoop dough). Roll balls in granulated sugar to coat and then roll in confectioners' sugar to coat. Place on baking sheet about 2 inches apart.
- Bake for 14-16 minutes until cookies are just turning golden around edges but are still soft. Let cool on pan for a few minutes before moving to metal rack to cool completely.