Blackstrap Molasses Cookies

My sister is a cookie making virtuoso and when it's her turn to host family dinner, Paul and I start perseverating about her dessert days in advance!  While my sister is a cookie genius, I am the cookie klutz in the family. The problem with my often laissez-faire attitude to cookie making is that baking depends on science and precision. In a spurt of baking abandonment this past weekend, I guesstimated the amount of baking soda and "tweaked" a recipe in a few too many places...the result was a cookie-bomb that covered the baking sheet and my oven. My kitchen filled with smoke and feeling my baking-esteem slipping, I ditched the improvised-cookie plan and soothed myself with a batch of one of our foolproof favorites: Blackstrap Molasses Cookies.

There are many things to recommend these Blackstrap Molasses Cookies. They have a complex, caramel taste with a warm spiciness and satisfying soft texture. Molasses is the mineral and flavor-rich by-product spun off of sugar during processing. "Blackstrap" is the darkest most intensely flavored version of molasses, so rich in minerals and vitamins that some people take it as a dietary supplement. These cookies are a favorite in our household: soft, rich, and deeply spiced. The recipe is adapted from Gourmet. 

Print Friendly and PDF

Yield: 2-3 dozen



  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 cups butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup blackstrap molasses
  • 1/4 cup corn syrup

   Sugar topping:

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon kosher salt


  1. Using a stand-mixer (or hand-mixer), beat the butter and brown sugar together at high speed for 3 minutes in stand-mixer (6 minutes with a hand-mixer). The mixture will become pale and fluffy.
  2. Add egg, molasses and syrup and mix to combine.
  3. In a separate large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients (flour, soda, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, cloves, pepper and salt).
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the butter-egg mixture and mix only enough to fully incorporate.
  5. Refrigerate for at least an hour. This allows the dough to firm up, leading to more even baking, less cookie spreading, and easier handling.  
  6. Preheat the oven to 375.
  7. Using a tablespoon scoop, make make the dough into small balls. In a separate small bowl mix together the sugar topping (sugar and salt). Roll each dough ball in the sugar and salt mixture to coat.
  8. Bake on a baking sheet for 11 minutes.  You are looking for the edges to be done, but the middles to appear under-cooked, this slight under baking helps these cookies to achieve their lovely soft texture and crackly appearance.