Indulgent Sourdough Molasses Cookies Recipe | Homemade Food Junkie (2024)

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Soft and chewy Sourdough Molasses cookies are delectable. My family loves these flavorful molasses cookies. And they use up your sourdough discard.

These cookies are perfect for the lunch boxand after school treats. They will hold up well and are not too messy.

Molasses Cookies are chewy cookies that are soft in the center. These cookies use blackstrap molasses which gives them a rich and dark flavor profile. The addition of the sourdough discard helps the cookies puff up and maintain that chewy soft texture.

These cookies are easy to make. We go over some tips and tricks in this post for making the best sourdough molasses cookies.

Indulgent Sourdough Molasses Cookies Recipe | Homemade Food Junkie (1)

Here are a few common questions we ran into about molasses cookies.

What Does Adding Molasses to Cookies do?

Molasses helps add moisture to cookies and will keep the texture of the cookies chewy. The molasses helps the proteins in the cookies spread evenly. Molasses is sometimes used as a substitute for sugar in baked goods. Molasses will make soft and chewy cookies that are full of moisture. For firm cookies that are dry its best to stick to sugar in the cookies and omit the Molasses.

Why Did Molasses Cookies not spread?

Molasses cookies that are not spreading is usually a result of cold dough. Warm dough will spread quickly and the cookies will overspread and become flat. Colder dough will keep the molasses cookies puffy and they will not spread. Too much flour in the cookies can also hinder the spreading process.

To keep Molasses cookies from overspreading, to chilling the dough for 30 minutes before baking. If you want the cookies to spread a bit more, keep the dough room temperature before baking. Do not melt the fats or the cookies will spread and become flat and crispy.

Is Blackstrap Molasses good for Baking Cookies?

Blackstrap molasses can be used for baking cookies. Blackstrap molasses will give the cookies a rich and darker flavor profile. Blackstrap molasses has been boiled down and refined more than regular molasses. Blackstrap molasses tends to be inky black in color and slightly saltier in flavor. This molasses is rich and dark.

We use blackstrap molasses in the molasses cookies. If you want a lighter molasses flavor, you can use regular molasses for these cookies.

Are Ginger Snaps the same as Molasses Cookies?

Gingersnaps are not the same as Molasses cookies. Many people confuse the two cookies, but they are different recipes and two different cookies. Molasses cookies are soft and chewy and contain less ginger than gingersnap cookies. The traditional gingersnap cookies will have a hard exterior that snaps when the cookie is bit into.

Indulgent Sourdough Molasses Cookies Recipe | Homemade Food Junkie (2)

More Delicious Sourdough Recipes:

Using up sourdough starter discard is a fun challenge. If you prefer to bake with your discard rather than throw in away. Here are a few more of our discard recipes.

Indulgent Sourdough Molasses Cookies Recipe | Homemade Food Junkie (3)
Indulgent Sourdough Molasses Cookies Recipe | Homemade Food Junkie (4)
Indulgent Sourdough Molasses Cookies Recipe | Homemade Food Junkie (5)

Looking for more sourdough recipes? Check out our entire section on sourdough recipes.

Sourdough Molasses Cookie Recipe:

Indulgent Sourdough Molasses Cookies Recipe | Homemade Food Junkie (6)

I’m a big fan of the traditional recipe for molasses cookies. The sourdough discard put a delicious twist on this recipe.

I’m a sourdough baker. I always have sourdough starter sitting around feeding and growing. It’s a wonderful addition to these cookies.

Indulgent Sourdough Molasses Cookies Recipe | Homemade Food Junkie (7)

Sourdough Molasses Cookies Ingredients:

Unfed sourdough discard improves the texture of these cookies quite a bit in my opinion. And adds only a slightly more intense flavor.

Indulgent Sourdough Molasses Cookies Recipe | Homemade Food Junkie (8)

The Starter:

The cookies pictured in this recipe post cam from two different batches. The ONLY difference in the recipe is the sourdough starter.

You control the outcome of your cookies appearance, texture and to some degree flavor with the starter.

TIP: Recently fed starter will add a milder flavor and puffiness to your cookies.

Unfed sourdough starter will have a grayish color. Using old and unfed starter will make a deeper flavored cookie that is also less cake like.

You’ll recognize a starving (weak) starter by its gray hooch sitting on top. And lack of bubbles in it.

Stir it up for a good sour starter and feed it. Using that in this recipe before it’s fed will definitely put some tang in your cookie.

The same is true for our sourdough peanut butter cookies. The starter makes a difference every time.

Adding sourdough starter to this recipe makes a chewy molasses cookies that is also fairly soft. The starter will help puff the cookie if it’s recently fed.

Indulgent Sourdough Molasses Cookies Recipe | Homemade Food Junkie (9)

I also added baking powder. So now we have a crinkly soft chewy molasses cookie. If you prefer a LESS puffy cookie and have a recently fed starter eliminate the baking powder.

If you are looking to use up some sourdough discard give this recipe a try.

The Fats:

Let’s get it right out there on the table. Cookies are not health food. OK. Moving right along.

Indulgent Sourdough Molasses Cookies Recipe | Homemade Food Junkie (10)

For this cookie recipe we swapped out the traditional shortening for coconut oil. Butter is also a great fat to use in this recipe.

Unfortunately the healthier oils like Avocado oil will destroy the structure of the cookie. It cannot hold up as a fat substitute for these molasses cookies.

TIP: DON’T melt the fats. softening means room temperature. NOT liquid. Or your cookies will be flat and crispy.

Shortening is always an option for you if you have it around. I put a note in the printable recipe card for you.

Visual Walkthrough:

Indulgent Sourdough Molasses Cookies Recipe | Homemade Food Junkie (11)

Here are all the steps of mixing and forming these great sourdough discard cookies. Please also watch out video for a complete recipe demonstration.

Our printable recipe card is at the bottom of the post for you. Happy Baking!

Indulgent Sourdough Molasses Cookies Recipe | Homemade Food Junkie (12)
Indulgent Sourdough Molasses Cookies Recipe | Homemade Food Junkie (13)
Indulgent Sourdough Molasses Cookies Recipe | Homemade Food Junkie (14)
Indulgent Sourdough Molasses Cookies Recipe | Homemade Food Junkie (15)
Indulgent Sourdough Molasses Cookies Recipe | Homemade Food Junkie (16)
Indulgent Sourdough Molasses Cookies Recipe | Homemade Food Junkie (17)
Indulgent Sourdough Molasses Cookies Recipe | Homemade Food Junkie (18)
Indulgent Sourdough Molasses Cookies Recipe | Homemade Food Junkie (19)
Indulgent Sourdough Molasses Cookies Recipe | Homemade Food Junkie (20)

TIP: Prepare your baking sheet with parchment paper or lay silicone mats on the sheets to prevent sticking. If you have neither grease the baking sheets.

Cool the cookies on wire racks and serve.

Indulgent Sourdough Molasses Cookies Recipe | Homemade Food Junkie (21)

Storing Molasses Cookies:

These cookies will stay fresh several days in your airtight cookie jar. They need to be covered or they will dry out.

You can store them in a plastic bag in your fridge for longer fresh storage. (up to a week) Just keep the air away from them.

Freezing Molasses Cookies:

Short term:

  • Stack the completely cooled cookies with parchment between the cookies to keep them from sticking together.
  • Place the stacks in an airtight freezer container.
  • Label with the Name of the recipe and date
  • Store in freezer up to one month.

Longer freezing:

Wrap the stacks of cookies in plastic wrap tightly and then bag or box in freezer bags or containers. Or vacuum wrap the cookies. They will keep up to two months.

Defrost by setting on the counter at room temperature for quicker defrost. Or set them in the fridge for longer defrosting.

Your Printable Recipe Card:

Indulgent Sourdough Molasses Cookies Recipe | Homemade Food Junkie (22)

Yield: 24 cookies

Sourdough Molasses Cookies Recipe

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Delicious molasses cookies full of flavor. These ever popular cookies are so easy to make. Your family will love them!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 Cup sourdough starter (recently fed)
  • 1 Cup Brown sugar
  • 1/4 Cup softened Butter
  • 1/4 Cup molasses
  • 1 egg
  • 2 Cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tsp, baking powder
  • 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp. Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • Additional Ingredient: 3 tablespoons sugar for rolling cookies

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees
  2. In a medium bowl Sift together the dry ingredients. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl beat sourdough discard, brown sugar, butter, egg and molasses (I'm using an electric mixer)
  4. Mix the dry ingredients into the wet mixed ingredients with a large wooden spoon.
  5. Shape dough by rounded Tablespoonful into one inch balls.
  6. Dip tops into sugar
  7. On ungreased cookie sheet, place balls, sugared side up about 2 inches apart.
  8. Bake 13 to 16 minutes or until cookies are set and appear dry.
  9. Immediately remove from oven, and place cookies on cooling rack.

Notes

Options:

  • Use 1/4 Cup shortening (easiest to use the oblong shortening blocks) in place of the butter or coconut oil.
  • Use your starter recently fed or when it's very hungry. Play around with this idea. Your cookies will change quite a bit in texture depending on the condition and liveliness of your starter.
  • This cookie has a lot of spice. We LOVE them. if you prefer a milder cookie eliminate the cloves and reduce the ginger by half.
  • Eliminate the baking powder for a less cake like puffy cookie.

Nutrition Information

Yield

24

Serving Size

1 cookie

Amount Per ServingCalories 119Total Fat 3gSaturated Fat 1gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 1gCholesterol 13mgSodium 143mgCarbohydrates 23gFiber 1gSugar 12gProtein 2g

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Indulgent Sourdough Molasses Cookies Recipe | Homemade Food Junkie (23)

Grandma’s cookie Recipe is from this Betty Crocker Recipe

Indulgent Sourdough Molasses Cookies Recipe | Homemade Food Junkie (2024)

FAQs

Why didn t my molasses cookies crack? ›

Why don't my molasses cookies crack? Molasses cookie dough won't have those signature cracks on top if the dough is too wet. The cracks happen when the surface of the dough dries up. Rolling in sugar really helps this because the sugar binds the moisture and dries out the dough.

Why are my molasses cookies cakey? ›

The cookies came out cakey. Baking powder or flour in excess will cause cookies to rise more, making them more fluffy and cakey. Increased sugar will make them caramelize more and increased fat will make the dough heavier and richer, all increasing retention of water in the dough- these all add up to chewier cookies.

Why are my molasses cookies bitter? ›

Use an unsulphered molasses, like Grandma's brand (pictured above) or Brer Rabbit “Full Flavor”. Avoid blackstrap molasses–it's too strong for this recipe and will make the cookies bitter.

Why are molasses cookies flat? ›

Consider Your Pan. The baking pan should be cool when it goes into the oven. Cookies will flatten when placed on hot baking pans, so when baking batches of cookies, either swap out pans or give your one pan time to cool between batches.

How do you keep molasses cookies from going flat? ›

Baking Soda: To avoid a super flat and overly greasy cookie, I increased the baking soda. Need that lift! Spices: Same amount. This careful blend of ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves is exactly what every molasses cookie needs!

How do you know when molasses cookies are done? ›

Easy to Notice Signs:
  1. Golden Brown Edges – Check the edges of the cookies for a golden brown colour. This indicates that the cookies have caramelized and are likely done. ...
  2. Set Centres – Gently touch the centre of a cookie. ...
  3. Light Cracking – Look for light cracks on the surface of the cookies.
Oct 18, 2023

What kind of molasses is best for cookies? ›

Light molasses is the sweetest and mildest out of the bunch because it is made from the first boiling cycle,” she said. “I like to use this type of molasses because it adds moisture to cookies, resulting in a soft and chewy texture.”

Are ginger snaps and molasses cookies the same? ›

What is the difference between molasses cookies and gingersnaps? They are the exact same base dough with molasses and ginger, but molasses cookies are soft and chewy and gingersnaps are historically crispy and crunchy, hence the “snap”.

What is the best molasses for baking? ›

Light molasses is the liquid that remains after the first white sugar is extracted from cane juice. The flavor is lighter and has more fruity notes to it, in the same way the first pressing of olives makes a lighter, fruitier olive oil. Light (sometimes called "fancy") molasses is ideal for baked goods and candies.

How do you mimic molasses flavor? ›

The Best Molasses Substitutes

"Other substitutes include Sorghum syrup, and Treacle, an English version of molasses, you may find at an international market." Honey, dark corn syrup, and maple syrup can also be used to replace molasses in recipes.

Do you use light or dark molasses in cookies? ›

Light molasses is the sweetest and mildest out of the bunch because it is made from the first boiling cycle,” she said. “I like to use this type of molasses because it adds moisture to cookies, resulting in a soft and chewy texture.”

Why do my homemade cookies taste like flour? ›

Improper flour measurement is the #1 cause of your cookie dough being too dry or the cookies tasting like flour.

What is the secret ingredient to keep cookies soft? ›

Light corn syrup is another ingredient that you can add to cookie dough that will help it stay softer longer. The corn syrup you buy at the grocery store is not the high-fructose corn syrup that soft drinks are made with; it's a sugar that is liquid at room temperature and helps other sugars say liquid at high heat.

Should I use baking soda or baking powder in cookies? ›

Baking soda is typically used for chewy cookies, while baking powder is generally used for light and airy cookies. Since baking powder is comprised of a number of ingredients (baking soda, cream of tartar, cornstarch, etc.), using it instead of pure baking soda will affect the taste of your cookies.

Why are my molasses cookies spreading? ›

Baking cookies in a too-cool oven will cause the fat to melt before your cookies set up, leading to spreading,” Dawn says. Grab an oven thermometer the next time you're in the grocery store so you can be sure your oven is at the correct temperature.

Why is my cookie not cracking? ›

Issues with cracking usually derive from the sugar coating, not enough or expired baking powder or baking soda, or the oven temperature isn't hot enough. Solution: Granulated sugar is more effective at drying the surface than powdered sugar.

What makes cookies crack when baking? ›

Coating the cookies with either type of sugar draws out moisture from their surface, promoting cracks by drying out their tops before the interiors set. But granulated sugar does so more efficiently because of its coarse, crystalline structure. As the crystals absorb moisture, some—but not all—dissolve into a syrup.

What makes gingerbread cookies crack? ›

You have a few things that can go wrong: The oven isn't hot enough. (it needs to set the top before the middle's fully risen) Not enough leavening (it needs to be strong enough to crack the top once it's set)

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