These homemade molasses crinkle cookies are thick, chewy, and perfectly spiced- with gorgeous crackled sugar tops! Made with sweet molasses and brown butter for extra flavor, they are the best-elevated twist on a holiday favorite!

Molasses crinkle cookie with a bite taken out of it on a baking tray.

Molasses cookies have always been my favorite Christmas cookie- they are soft, chewy, and packed with warm spices!

To elevate them into molasses crinkle cookies, we added brown butter, and ground ginger and rolled them in white sugar! This results in cookies with a beautiful crinkle top and a crispy texture, while still being soft and gooey in the center.

If you love these flavors together, you’ll love our brown butter snickerdoodles, glazed oatmeal cookies, and molasses chocolate chip cookies!

Why We Love Molasses Crinkle Cookies

  • Thick and chewy molasses cookies with crisp edges and soft centers.
  • Packed with classic holiday spices like brown butter, cinnamon, ginger, and molasses.
  • Delicious sugary tops that crack while baking.
  • No hand mixer or stand mixer is required- you can make molasses crinkle cookies with just a whisk and mixing bowl. (For more one-bowl recipes, try our butterscotch chocolate chip cookies or chocolate chip pumpkin cookies!)
  • Perfect cookies for Christmas and holiday baking- pack these gorgeous cookies into cookie boxes for your next cookie exchange or holiday party!

Ingredient Notes and Substitutions

Ingredients needed to make molasses cookies in bowls with labels.

Molasses: Like in our gingerbread cake, molasses adds a rich and sweet flavor to the cookie dough. We recommend using regular molasses, like Grandma’s Molasses, for its sweet and mild flavor. Avoid blackstrap molasses, which is stronger and bitter!

Egg: For structure and an extra chewy texture, we use one whole egg and an extra egg yolk! The extra fat from the egg yolk yields a super soft and chewy texture, similar to our chocolate crinkles!

Ginger: A little bit of ground ginger is added to the cookie dough for a mildly spicy ginger flavor. If you love a stronger-flavored ginger molasses cookie, you can add some finely diced candied ginger!

Cinnamon: Ground cinnamon gives these molasses crinkle cookies a delicious warm spiced flavor, like in our spiced oatmeal cake.

Granulated sugar: While crucial to the dough for sweetness and moisture, it is also a key component to achieving the beautiful cracks on the tops of the cookies. You can also roll them in turbinado sugar for a crunchier texture.

Butter: For a warm and buttery flavor, we are going to brown the butter! This adds another level of flavor to these molasses crinkle cookies. (We love brown butter so much that we put it in our brown butter toffee cookies and brown butter pumpkin cookies, too.)

The Science Behind Crinkle Cookies

Like in all baking, there is a bit of science involved in achieving the crinkled top! For the top of the cookies to crinkle in the oven, the top of the surface has to dry out before it has finished spreading and rising. This dry surface hardens, cracks, and pulls apart producing the super beautiful crinkly, cracked exterior.

We can achieve this by rolling the molasses cookies in sugar twice- with the second time leaving sugar on top before baking!

Recipe Instructions

A glass measuring cup with melted brown butter.

Step 1: Brown the butter. Cook the butter until there are brown bits of butter solid at the bottom of the pan. Scrape the browned butter into your mixing bowl and let it cool to room temperature before using.

A mixing bowl with brown butter and sugar whisked together.

Step 2: Whisk in the sugars. Whisk the dark brown sugar and granulated sugar into the melted butter.

A mixing bowl with creamed butter, sugar, molasses, and egg whisked together.

Step 3: Mix in the wet ingredients. Whisk in the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla extract until combined. Then mix in the molasses.

A mixing bowl with the molasses cookie dough before scooping.

Step 4: Fold in the dry ingredients. Fold in the all-purpose flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and ginger until just combined. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for 15 minutes.

Molasses cookie dough balls rolled in sugar on a baking sheet.

Step 5: Scoop the cookie dough. Scoop the molasses cookie dough using a large cookie scoop onto a parchment paper-lined baking tray. Roll each cookie in granulated sugar, cover, and chill for at least 2-3 hours (overnight for the best flavor!).

Molasses cookie dough ball on a baking sheet with a pile of white sugar on top.

Step 6: Bake the cookies! Roll each cookie dough ball in sugar, leaving a pile on top for crackly tops. Bake until puffy and crackled. Let the molasses crinkle cookies cool on a wire rack then enjoy!

Tips for Perfect Crinkle Cookies

  • Use a kitchen scale. Baking with a scale is much more accurate than cup measurements. To convert this recipe, click the “metric” button next to the ingredients title on the recipe card. If you do not have a scale, use a spoon to fluff the flour first, then spoon it into your measuring cup.
  • Room-temperature butter is key! If the butter is too hot it will melt the sugar prematurely, which will make the cookies spread excessively in the oven.
  • To prevent excess spreading, it’s important to chill the dough for a minimum of 2-3 hours.
  • For best results, pile an ample amount of sugar on top of the cookie dough balls before baking. See process photo #6 above for a visual of what they should look like!
  • For soft and chewy centers, underbake the cookies! Remove them from the oven when the edges are just set and the centers are crackled.

FAQs

Why didn’t my molasses crinkle cookies crack?

You likely need to have more sugar on the tops of the cookies before baking. The sugar helps dry out the top layer before the rest of the cookie bakes, which is what causes those deep crinkles.

Why didn’t my molasses cookies flatten? They are still balls!

This is almost always due to using too much flour. My top recommendation is to use a kitchen scale to weigh all of the ingredients for accuracy!

Do I have to chill the dough or can I skip it?

The dough must be chilled before baking otherwise the cookies will spread excessively when baking!

How do you store molasses cookies?

Store leftover molasses crinkle cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for 2-3 days.

Can they be kept frozen?

Once scooped and rolled in sugar, let the cookie dough balls freeze completely on the tray. Then transfer them to an airtight container or freezer bag for up to 3 months. They can be baked from the freezer for 12-15 minutes.

Molasses cookies with sugar tops stacked in a line with a bite taken out of the middle one.

More Christmas Cookie Ideas

If you tried this or any other recipe on my website, please let me know how it went in the comments below, I love hearing from you! Also, please leave a star rating while you’re there! You can also tag me on Instagram or Facebook so I can check it out!

Molasses crinkle cookie with a bite taken out of it on a baking tray.

Molasses Crinkle Cookies

5 from 19 votes
– by Cambrea Gordon

These homemade molasses crinkle cookies are thick, chewy, and perfectly spiced- with gorgeous crackled sugar tops! Made with lots of dark molasses and brown butter for extra flavor, they are the best-elevated twist on a holiday favorite!
Print Recipe Save Recipe Pin Recipe
Prep Time: 4 hours
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 4 hours 10 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 16 large cookies
Need Metric Measurements?Use the button options below to toggle between US cups and Metric grams!

Ingredients 
 

  • 14 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup + 2 tbsp dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1 egg yolk, room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup Grandma's Molasses
  • 2 1/4 cups + 1 tbsp all-purpose flour, *See notes below for measuring*
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar, for rolling

Instructions

  • Brown the butter. In a stainless steel pan, cook the butter over medium heat. The butter will foam, crackle, and pop- which is normal! Stand by and stir it occasionally. When there are brown bits of butter at the bottom of the pan and it smells nutty, scrape all of the butter into a large bowl and set it aside to cool to room temperature. You should have about 3/4 cup or 160 grams of browned butter!
    14 tbsp (196 g) unsalted butter
  • Whisk in the sugars. Once at room temperature, whisk in the sugar and dark brown sugar.
    3/4 cup + 2 tbsp (180 g) dark brown sugar, 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
  • Mix in the wet ingredients. Then whisk in the egg, egg yolk, vanilla extract, and molasses.
    1 (50 g) large egg, 1 (18 g) egg yolk, 1 tsp vanilla extract, 1/4 cup (80 g) Grandma's Molasses
  • Fold in the dry ingredients. Fold in the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and ground ginger until just combined. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for 15 minutes.
    2 1/4 cups + 1 tbsp (283 g) all-purpose flour, 1 tsp baking soda, 1 tsp fine sea salt, 1 tsp ground cinnamon, 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • Scoop and chill the molasses cookie dough. Scoop the dough with a large 3 tbsp cookie scoop. Roll each one in granulated sugar and place it on a parchment-lined baking tray. Cover the tray with plastic wrap and chill the dough in the fridge for a minimum of 3-4 hours, or overnight for the best flavor!
    1/2 cup (100 g) granulated sugar
  • Preheat the oven. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 F/180 C.
  • Bake the cookies. Roll the cookie dough balls in granulated sugar again, this time leaving a pile of sugar on the tops of the cookies. See photo #6 in the post above for a visual. Bake the molasses crinkle cookies spaced 2-3 inches apart until the tops are crackled, about 10-13 minutes. Let the tray cool on a wire cooling rack. Sprinkle the tops with more granulated sugar if desired.
  • Store baked cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for 2-3 days. You can also freeze the cookie dough balls and bake them frozen!

Notes

*Measure your flour properly. This is my #1 baking tip! Do not ever scoop a measuring cup into your flour as this always leads to using too much flour. Instead, use the spoon-level method. This means fluffing the flour first, then spooning it into your measuring cup/spoon. For the BEST results, use a kitchen scale!*
Room-temperature butter is key! If the butter is too hot it will melt the sugar prematurely, which will make the cookies spread excessively in the oven.
Serving: 1serving | Calories: 161kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.4g | Cholesterol: 49mg | Sodium: 222mg | Potassium: 87mg | Fiber: 0.1g | Sugar: 17g | Vitamin A: 338IU | Vitamin C: 0.01mg | Calcium: 18mg | Iron: 0.4mg

The calorie information provided for the recipe is an estimate. The accuracy of the calories listed is not guaranteed.

The calorie information provided for the recipe is an estimate. The accuracy of the calories listed is not guaranteed.

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25 Comments

  1. so good made multiple times never misses5 stars

  2. These were phenomenal!!5 stars