Soft and chewy Brown Sugar Molasses Cookies packed with deep molasses flavor and topped with a creamy molasses frosting. These cookies come together quickly and freeze beautifully.
The countdown is on, friends! I’ve got super soft Molasses Cookies coming in just in time to make it onto your holiday cookie tray. I have a batch of these Molasses Cookies sitting in the freezer waiting to be devoured over the Christmas holiday.
How To Make Molasses Cookies:
These Molasses Cookies are all about deep, rich molasses flavor. There is dark brown sugar and molasses in the cookies, as well as molasses in the creamy frosting that goes on top. This cookie dough comes together in just a couple minutes… here’s how to do it:
- Start by beating softened butter with dark brown sugar.
- Add an egg and molasses and beat until combined.
- Mix the flour, baking soda and salt; add it to the molasses mixture.
- Scoop the dough onto a lined baking sheet and bake!
Note: In order to allow the molasses flavor to be prominent I did not add any spices to this recipe. If you’d prefer a spiced molasses cookie, you can try these Ginger Molasses Cookies.
How To Make Molasses Frosting:
- Beat softened butter with powdered sugar. Add molasses and a splash of milk, beat until fluffy and smooth.
Once the cookies have cooled, use a butter knife or small offset spatula to spread frosting on each cookie. Top with sprinkles or sparkling sugar, if desired. You can also make sandwich cookies by sandwiching two cookies with a generous portion of frosting in between.
My #1 Tip for Baking Molasses Cookies:
OK, in all fairness, this is my #1 tip for almost every cookie recipe, but it bears repeating for this recipe specifically.
DO NOT OVERBAKE.
These cookies are incredibly soft and chewy and that is partly due to the fact that they are removed from the oven before they are completely baked through. They should be slightly underbaked in the center, but baked enough that they are in the shape of a cookie (not a dough ball). They should be so soft that you can’t pick them up from the baking sheet straight out of the oven. They will firm up as they cool.
Can You Freeze Molasses Cookies?
Yes! You can freeze the baked cookies or the cookie dough balls.
Baked cookies: If you’re planning on freezing the whole batch of baked cookies, I recommend freezing the cookies unfrosted, and adding frosting after thawing. If you have a few leftover frosted cookies, you can throw those in the freezer, too.
Cookie dough: You can freeze portioned cookie dough balls. Scoop the dough into even-sized balls (preferably 1.5 tablespoons) and place the dough balls in a freezer storage container. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before baking. Note: you will likely need to add a minute or two to the bake time since the dough is chilled.
FUN FACT: Did you know that brown sugar is actually white (granulated) sugar with molasses added to it? The darker the brown sugar, the more molasses is in it.
- ½ cup unsalted butter, softened slightly, still cool to the touch
- ½ cup dark brown sugar, packed
- 1 large egg
- ½ cup unsulphured molasses
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 ½ cups powdered sugar, plus more, if needed
- 3 teaspoons unsulphured molasses
- 1 teaspoon milk or half & half, plus more, if needed
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Using a hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and brown sugar until creamy and combined. Add egg and molasses, beating until combined and scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary (note: it might look curdled, that's ok).
- In a separate bowl combine flour, baking soda and salt. Add the flour to the molasses mixture beating until fully combined. Note: You can bake these cookies right away and they will be the thickness pictured, or you can chill the dough for one hour for slightly thicker cookies.
- Scoop 1.5 tablespoon portions of dough (a cookie scoop works great because the dough is soft and sticky). Place the dough balls onto the lined baking sheets, spacing them a couple inches apart. Bake for 9-11 minutes, until the edges are beginning to set but the cookies still look slightly underdone*, rotate the baking sheets halfway through bake time to ensure even cooking.
- Place the pans on cooling racks to cool completely. The cookies will set as they cool.
- Using a hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and powdered sugar until smooth and combined (it will be thick). Add molasses and milk, beat on medium-high speed until smooth and fluffy. Adjust the consistency by adding more powdered sugar (to thicken) or more milk (to thin). I like this frosting on the thinner side for easy spreading.
- Use a butter knife or small offset spatula to spread frosting onto each cookie. Add sprinkles, if desired. I store these in the refrigerator and bring to room temp before serving.