Stack of soft molasses cookies on a decorative plate, showcasing their sugar-coated texture.

Soft Molasses Cookies III – A 175-Year-Old Family Recipe

Soft Molasses Cookies III is more than just a treat; it’s a piece of history. This recipe, handed down for at least 175 years, has been a beloved part of many families’ holiday traditions. Perfect for making gingerbread men, these cookies are rich in flavor and incredibly soft. If you’re looking for a cookie recipe that’s stood the test of time, this is it.

The Best Soft Molasses Cookies III

Notes on Ingredients

When making these Soft Molasses Cookies, the choice of ingredients is key to achieving the perfect texture and flavor. Dark brown sugar and dark molasses provide a deep, rich sweetness, while a blend of spices—cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves—adds a warm, festive aroma. The cream of tartar ensures the cookies stay soft and chewy, and buttermilk adds a slight tang and tenderness to the dough.

How to Make Soft Molasses Cookies III

  1. Cream Shortening and Sugar: In a large bowl, cream together 1 cup of shortening and 1 cup of dark brown sugar until light and fluffy.
  2. Add Molasses: Slowly add 2 cups of dark molasses to the mixture, stirring constantly to ensure it’s well incorporated.
  3. Mix Spices: In a separate bowl, mix 1 teaspoon each of ground cinnamon and ground ginger, ½ teaspoon each of ground nutmeg and ground cloves, and ¼ teaspoon of cream of tartar. Add this spice mixture to the molasses mixture.
  4. Prepare Buttermilk Mixture: Dissolve 1 tablespoon of baking soda in 1 cup of buttermilk.
  5. Combine: Alternately add the buttermilk mixture and 9 cups of all-purpose flour to the molasses mixture. You may not need all the flour; the dough should be fairly stiff.
  6. Chill Dough: Chill the dough overnight for easier handling.
  7. Preheat Oven: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  8. Roll and Cut Dough: Roll the dough out to at least 1/4-inch thickness using as little flour as possible. Cut into shapes and brush with beaten egg.
  9. Bake: Bake for 10-12 minutes. Alternatively, form dough into golf ball-sized rounds, roll in sugar, place on a cookie sheet, and flatten slightly before baking.

How to Serve Soft Molasses Cookies III

These cookies are perfect for serving at holiday gatherings or as a delightful afternoon treat with a cup of tea or coffee. Arrange them on a festive platter, and they’re sure to be a hit with guests of all ages. For an extra touch, dust them lightly with powdered sugar or decorate with icing.

How to Store Soft Molasses Cookies III

To keep your cookies fresh and soft, store them in an airtight container at room temperature. They’ll stay delicious for up to a week. If you need to store them longer, place them in the freezer for up to three months. Just make sure they’re well-wrapped to prevent freezer burn.

Nutrition Information

NutrientAmount per serving% Daily Value*
Calories292.13 kcal15%
Total Fat7.49 g11%
Carbs49.07 g19%
Sugars20.37 g23%
Protein4.15 g8%
Sodium102 mg5%
Fiber1.08 g4%
Saturated Fat2.98 g15%
Trans Fat0 g
Monounsaturated Fat3.14 g
Polyunsaturated Fat0.92 g
Cholesterol4.72 mg2%
Calcium21.28 mg3%
Magnesium9.94 mg3%
Potassium64.95 mg2%
Iron1.81 mg13%
Zinc0.3 mg3%
Phosphorus47.89 mg7%
Vitamin A4.15 mcg1%
Vitamin C0 mg0%
Thiamin (B1)0.3 mg27%
Riboflavin (B2)0.2 mg14%
Niacin (B3)2.23 mg14%
Vitamin B60.02 mg2%
Folic Acid (B9)109.47 mcg55%
Vitamin B120.04 mcg2%
Vitamin D0.11 mcg2%
Vitamin E0.1 mg1%
Vitamin K1.68 mcg2%
Nutrition Information for Grandma’s Ginger LSoft Molasses Cookies III

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

FAQs About Soft Molasses Cookies III

Can I use butter instead of shortening?

Yes, you can substitute butter for shortening, but the texture of the cookies may be slightly different.

Can I make the dough ahead of time?

Absolutely! The dough can be chilled overnight, and even for a couple of days, making it convenient to prepare ahead of time.

Are these cookies good for making gingerbread men?

Yes, this dough is perfect for making gingerbread men. Just roll out the dough, use your favorite cookie cutters, and decorate as desired.

Can I use light molasses instead of dark molasses?

While you can use light molasses, dark molasses provides a richer flavor and color, which is traditional for this recipe.

A batch of freshly baked Soft Molasses Cookies with a rich brown color and a slightly cracked surface.

The Best Soft Molasses Cookies III

Discover the delightful Soft Molasses Cookies III, a cherished family recipe handed down for over 175 years. Perfect for holiday treats and gingerbread men. Easy to bake and utterly delicious!
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Cookie Plate
Cuisine American
Servings 30 Cookies
Calories 292.13 kcal


  • 1 cup shortening
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 cups dark molasses
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 9 cups all-purpose flour


  • Cream shortening and sugar. Add molasses slowly, stirring constantly. Mix spices with cream of tartar and add to mixture.
  • Mix baking soda and buttermilk. Add alternately with the flour to the sugar and spices mixture. You may not need the whole 9 cups of flour but you should end up with a fairly stiff dough. Chill dough overnight.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  • Roll dough out to at least 1/4-inch thick (the thicker the better), using as little flour as possible. Keep dough refrigerated when not rolling and cutting. Cut into cookies and brush with beaten egg. Bake for 10-12 minutes at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Alternately, you can form the dough into golf ball size round, roll in white sugar, place on a cookie sheet and then flatten slightly.
Keyword Gingerbread Men, holiday baking, Soft Molasses
Soft Molasses Cookies III

Enjoy baking and sharing these delightful Soft Molasses Cookies III with your loved ones!

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