Picture this: a kitchen filled with the comforting aroma of spices like cinnamon and ginger, mingling with the deep, caramel notes of molasses. That's the magic that unfolds when you embark on making these gluten free molasses cookies. For me, these cookies elicit thoughts of Christmas with their rich fragrance. If you're a fan of gingerbread, then these soft molasses crinkle cookies might just become a regular in your cookie jar.
Molasses cookies were originally adapted from gingerbread cake into an easy to serve handheld treat - so they share a lot of the same flavors. These ginger molasses cookies have a hint of cinnamon as well, which mingles beautifully with the old fashioned taste.
If you're looking for more Christmas cookie ideas, check out my collection of all the best gluten free Christmas cookies and don't forget to make a gluten free gingerbread house to celebrate the holidays.
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Why You 'll Love These Old Fashioned Molasses Cookies
- Classic - This classic cookie recipe was adapted from a 60 year old cookbook from my collection.
- Flavorful - These cookies have the flavors of gingerbread in an easy drop cookie.
- Allergen Friendly - These ginger molasses cookies are both gluten free, dairy free, nut free and soy free as written.
These cookies require only a few common ingredients that you may already have in your pantry.
- Gluten Free Flour Blend - I used Bob's Red Mill 1-to1 flour for this recipe. You can use the gluten free flour blend you prefer, but ensure it contains xanthan gum or a similar binder. Using another brand of flour may result in a different outcome in your bake as all gluten free flour blends are a little different in their makeup.
- Baking Soda - This leavening agent reacts with both the brown sugar and the molasses to provide air for the dough. It also assists with making the cookies spread during baking to give the nice cracked appearance.
- Salt - Salt helps to balance the sweet flavors in the cookie. Don't be tempted to skip it.
- Cinnamon & Ginger - These spices perfectly compliment the molasses.
- Oil - I used light olive oil in this recipe, but any light flavored cooking oil will do.
- Light Brown Sugar - Brown sugar helps keep the cookies soft in the center with crispy, chewy edges.
- Egg - This recipe uses one egg to help hold everything together. If you're vegan or egg free, I'd recommend using a flax egg as a replacement.
- Molasses - I love Grandma's brand of Molasses. Don't use blackstrap as the flavor is too strong.
- Granulated Sugar - The sugar on the outside of the cookies makes for the pretty cracked look after baking.
See recipe card for full ingredient list and quantities.
Substitutions & Variations
- Make it Vegan - Use a flax egg in place of the single egg in this recipe.
- Spices - Add a pinch of nutmeg or cloves to up the spice factor.
- Double Chocolate - replace ½ cup of flour with cocoa powder and add a handful of mini chocolate chips.
- Nutty Crunch - Add ½ cup of finely chopped nuts into the cookie dough.
- Zesty - Replace the dried ginger with 1 tablespoon of freshly grated ginger for a spicy kick.
How to Make Gluten Free Molasses Cookies
These easy cookies are hand mixed in a bowl, no mixer required.
STEP 2: Add the oil and light brown sugar into a large mixing bowl. Whisk together until well combined.
STEP 3: Add the egg and molasses to the sugar mixture. Continue to whisk until smooth.
STEP 4: Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir together with a spatula until a thick dough forms.
STEP 5: Portion the dough into golf ball sized pieces. Roll them between your hands to smooth. Then roll the cookie dough balls in white sugar.
Note: for extra sugary coating, set aside coated balls for 10 minutes then roll them in sugar a second time right before baking.
STEP 6: Place the coated cookie dough balls on a parchment lined baking sheet. Leave 3 inches between the dough balls.
Store leftover cookies in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
Store cooled cookies in a freezer safe bag with extra air removed. Freeze for up to 4 months. Thaw to room temperature before serving.
If you're baking soda is expired, the cookies won't spread enough to crack. You can also run into this problem if your oven temperature is too high.
If you've used blackstrap molasses your cookies will have a bitter taste. Blackstrap has a strong flavor and it is not a suitable replacement for dark molasses.
Yes, molasses is made from sugar cane and it's naturally gluten free. Because of the way it's processed and packaged it would be unusual for molasses to be made on shared equipment.
Gluten Free Molasses Cookies
For the topping
- ¼ Cup Sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350F degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Combine the gluten free flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and ginger in a small bowl. Mix well and set aside.1 ¾ Cup Gluten Free 1-to-1 Flour Blend, 2 teaspoons Baking Soda, ½ teaspoon Salt, 1 teaspoon Cinnamon, 1 teaspoon Ginger
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the oil and brown sugar. Whisk together until well mixed.⅔ Cup Olive Oil, 1 Cup Light Brown Sugar
- Add the egg and molasses and continue whisking until it's a smooth mixture.1 Egg, ¼ Cup Molasses
- Add the dry ingredients into the west ingredients and fold them together with a spatula until a thick dough forms.
- Scoop the dough into balls about the size of a golf ball. Roll each ball between your hands to smooth the outside. Then coat the ball with sugar. To make the cookie extra sugary, set the coated dough ball aside for 10 minutes, then dip them in sugar a second time before placing them on the baking sheet.¼ Cup Sugar
- Place the dough balls on the baking sheet spaced 3 inches apart. Bake in the preheated oven for 10-11 minutes or until the edges are just stiff. remove from oven and cool on the baking sheet for 3 minutes, then move on to a wire rack to cool completely.
Tiffany is the recipe developer, stylist and food photographer behind Well Fed Baker. As a lifelong baker who had to go gluten free and dairy free in 2016, Tiffany strives to share allergen friendly recipes that never feel like they are free from anything.