Gluten Free Soft Molasses Cookies - soft and chewy with hints of ground cinnamon, freshly grated nutmeg, and ginger. They are perfect for Thanksgiving and of course the holiday season but let's be honest - chewy molasses cookies are perfect all year round. Add these chewy ginger molasses cookies to your Holiday Cookie Platter or package them in cookie tins to share with loved ones as homemade gifts.
This recipe for Gluten Free Soft Molasses Cookies can easily be adapted to be dairy free.
If you love traditional cookies, please make sure to check out my Gluten Free Chocolate Sugar Cookies, Gluten Free Ginger Cookies, and my Gluten Free Snickerdoodles.
- Recipe Ingredient Notes
- How to make Gluten Free Molasses Cookie Dough
- How to bake Gluten Free Soft Molasses Cookies
- Storage & Freezing
- Recipe Variations for Gluten Free Soft Molasses Cookies
- How long does Molasses last?
- FAQ about Molasses Cookies
- Baking in grams
- Note about Ovens and Oven Temperatures
- Substitutions and Modifications
- 📖 Recipe
- 💬 Comments
Recipe Ingredient Notes
Gluten Free Flour: I tested this recipe for Gluten Free Molasses Cookies with King Arthur Measure for Measure and my own gluten-free flour blend. While this recipe should work without any issues with any gluten-free flour blend you may have on hand, the cookies made with King Arthur stayed softer longer. Please make sure the blend does contain xanthan gum.
Cornstarch: The added cornstarch gives those molasses cookies their ultra-soft and tender crumb we all love. It also helps with the structure of the cookie.
Shortening: In this recipe, we are using a mix of butter and shortening. Shortening helps the cookies hold their shape and prevent spreading. Cookies baked with all butter will most likely spread more and be more on the crispier side. I highly recommend not skipping the shortening in this recipe. I use Crisco Vegetable Shortening.
Molasses: Molasses is the liquid that is left after white sugar is processed from sugar cane juice. It is a thick, dark syrup, high in minerals and lower in sugar than other syrups. It normally can be found in the baking aisle of your grocery store. I recommend using unsulphured light molasses such as Grandma's Molasses. Please be aware when using Blackstrap Molasses your cookies will have a slightly bitter flavor.
Spices: Spices used in this recipe are ground ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. While spices don't go bad like milk or become moldy like fresh produce, they will lose their "oomph" over time. So make sure to check their freshness from time to time.
How to make Gluten Free Molasses Cookie Dough
This simple recipe can be made in no time. Please make sure all your ingredients (butter, shortening, and egg) are at room temperature.
Step 1: Sift together gluten-free flour blend, cornstarch, baking soda, kosher salt, ground ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves in a bowl and set aside. Sifting dry ingredients together may seem like an extra step Chefs like to add to the recipe but there is actually a reason behind the sifting. Not only does sifting dry ingredients make sure all the ingredients are blended well but it also helps to lighten up the flour mixture.
Step 2: In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, combine room temperature shortening, unsalted butter, and light brown sugar and mix at a medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Around 4-5 minutes.
Step 3: Turn off the mixer and scrape down the sides and the bottom of the bowl. Without scraping down the sides, fat/sugar builds up on the sides of the bowl. When you add the flour, that film of fat will create random streaks of fat in your dough. And we have all seen those ugly cookies where a pocket of fat makes them look sloppy. To avoid this, I recommend scraping your bowl once mid-creaming, after adding the egg, and after adding the flour. Every time make sure to whip your dough for 10 seconds or so after.
Step 4: Add the molasses, egg, and vanilla extract and mix at medium-high speed for an additional minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Step 5: Mix the dry ingredients at a low speed into the wet ingredients until a dough forms. Your dough will be very soft and wet. Do not add any additional flour no matter how tempted you are.
For the best results, transfer the dough to an airtight container and allow it to rest for at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator. At this point, you can store the dough in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
How to bake Gluten Free Soft Molasses Cookies
Step 1: When ready to bake, preheat your oven to 350F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set them aside.
Step 2: With a medium cookie scoop (around 1.5-2 tablespoons), portion out the cookie dough and roll it into balls. You should get around 16-18 cookie dough balls from this batch.
Step 3: Roll each ball in granulated sugar and divide your cookies between your sheet trays. If you used only shortening, gentle press down the cookies before baking. This will help with spreading.
Step 4: Bake them at 350F, one tray at a time, for 10-12 minutes. They will be slightly underbaked in the center.
Step 5: Remove the gluten-free ginger molasses cookies from the oven and allow them to cool on the baking sheet for 5-10 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack.
Storage & Freezing
Store fully baked and cooled gluten free molasses cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. If you plan on having them around longer, I recommend freezing the baked cookies. To thaw them place them in the fridge overnight or carefully defrost them in the microwave.
To freeze the unbaked cookie dough, scoop the dough, roll it into balls and place the sheet tray in the freezer. Once fully frozen, transfer them to an airtight container for up to 2 months. Allow them to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes when ready to bake while the oven is preheating. Once the oven is fully preheated, roll them in granulated sugar and bake as directed. You may need to extend the baking time by 1-2 minutes.
Recipe Variations for Gluten Free Soft Molasses Cookies
Chocolate Molasses Cookies: Love chocolate? Add 100 grams of chocolate chips to the cookie dough. You could even dip half of them in dark chocolate.
Orange Molasses Cookies: Add the zest of one small orange to the cookie dough - this brings out the flavors of the spices used even more
Cardamon Molasses Cookies: Personally, I love adding ground cardamon (around ¼ teaspoon) to my molasses cookies
How long does Molasses last?
While unopened jars of molasses can last up to 10 years when stored in a dry, cool place once Molasses is open, it has a shelf life of 6 months.
Open jars of molasses need to be stored in a cool, dry place away from sunlight. Hot and humid weather can promote mold growth and will spoil the product.
It is not very easy to tell if Molasses has gone bad so keep an eye on the color, smell, and flavor.
FAQ about Molasses Cookies
Yes! In place of the butter, you may use all shortening or replace the butter with vegan butter such as Earth Balance. Make sure to gently press down the cookies before baking.
Using all butter may result in a slightly thinner but still delicious gluten-free molasses cookie.
The dough for Gluten Free Soft Molasses cookies freezes beautifully. I recommend making the dough, allowing it to chill for at least 30 minutes (it will be easier to scoop that way), and form into balls. Do not roll it in sugar before freezing! Place them on a small sheet tray that’s lined with parchment paper and freeze the dough balls. Once the dough is frozen you can transfer it to a ziplock bag and store it in your freezer for up to 3 months.
I know Molasses can be sometimes difficult to find outside the US. In Austria and Germany, it is called "Zuckerruebensyrup" or "Melsasse" and is normally available in organic food stores (Reformhaus)
Baking in grams
I share my recipes in grams and by weight since baking by weight is the most accurate way to bake. Digital Scales are very affordable and very affordable. You can purchase them on Amazon for less than a set of measuring cups. Measuring cups are very inaccurate and can cause significant errors when it comes to baking. Especially since I bake with gluten-free flours which weigh differently than “regular” flours. I do provide some ingredients like spices and leavening agents in measuring spoons. To learn more about Baking with a digital scale, make sure to check out my post about Baking by weight.
Note about Ovens and Oven Temperatures
All my recipes are tested and developed with a conventional oven. I always bake my baked goods on the rack placed in the MIDDLE of my oven. This way the heat coming from the bottom will not burn my baked goods.
If you are baking with convection (fan-forced), please adjust the recipes accordingly. Be also prepared that the convection oven can cause your baked goods to dry out quickly and still be raw inside. Be aware that it takes at least 15-20 minutes for a standard American Oven to be fully preheated. I highly recommend investing in an Oven Thermometer.
Substitutions and Modifications
Any dietary or ingredient modifications/substitutions to this recipe may alter the end result in appearance and taste. I test my recipes several times as published in this post and The Gluten Free Austrian Blog is not responsible for the outcome of any recipe you find on our website.
Gluten Free Soft Molasses Cookies
Gluten Free Soft Molasses Cookies – soft and chewy with hints of ground ginger, freshly grated nutmeg, and cinnamon. This gluten-free molasses cookies recipe is perfect for the holidays but let’s be honest – they are perfect all year round.
For Gluten Free Soft Molasses Cookies
- 285 grams Gluten Free Multi Purpose Flour
- 10 grams cornstarch
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¾ teaspoon (3 grams) kosher sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ⅛ teaspoon - ¼ teaspoon ground cloves (See Note)
- 100 grams vegetable shortening, room temperature
- 55 grams unsalted butter, room temperature
- 150 grams light brown sugar
- 85 grams unsulphured molasses
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- Granulated White Sugar, as needed
How to make Gluten Free Soft Molasses Cookies
- In a bowl sift together gluten-free flour, cornstarch, baking soda, spices, and salt and set aside.
- In the bowl of your stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, combine vegetable shortening, butter, and light brown sugar. Mix at medium speed until light and fluffy. Around 4-5 minutes.
- Turn off the mixer and scrape down the sides and the bottom of the bowl.
- Add the molasses and egg and mix for an additional minute
- Mix in the dry ingredients at a low speed until a dough forms.
- Transfer the dough to an airtight container and allow it to rest for at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator.
How to bake Gluten Free Soft Molasses Cookies
- When ready to bake, preheat your oven to 350F.
- Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set them aside.
- With a medium cookie scoop (around 1.5 tablespoons), portion out the cookie dough and roll it into balls.
- Roll each ball in granulated sugar.
- Divide your cookies between your sheet trays.
- Bake at 350F, one tray at a time, for 10-12 minutes. The centers of the cookies will look slightly underbaked.
- Remove the cookies from the oven and allow them to cool on the sheet tray for 5-10 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack.
- Store cookies at room temperature in an air-tight container for up to 5 days.
Ground Cloves: Cloves can be very powerful. Personally, I prefer ⅛th of a teaspoon but if you enjoy cloves please add ¼ teaspoon
Flour: 275 grams of “Regular” All Purpose Flour instead of the gluten-free flour if you don't have celiac.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 165
Calories are a guestimate and randomly generated.
Lynn Allan says
I have made molasses cookies many times since my daughter was diagnosed with Celiac Disease over 6 years ago. Each time I was met with a flat mess. These are amazing! The texture is perfect. We prefer ours a little on the spicier side but that is an easy fix when the base recipe is already perfected. Thank you!
Daniela Weiner says
Thank you so much! Yes, the spices can be adjusted as needed. I am so glad you enjoy them!
Molasses cookies are my absolute favorite holiday cookies. I’ve tried to convert other recipes to gluten free and miserably failed in the past until now. THESE ARE ABSOLUTELY AMAZING. Thank you for bringing them to the world!
Note: I also used Cup4Cup and didn’t have any issues.
Yay! Thank you Rachel for sharing. So glad you love those cookies
These are so good!! Thank you, Daniela 👏
Thank you, Sophie. I love hearing this.
These were delicious! Even those at the party that weren't gluten free loved them! The texture was perfect and soft.
Hello -- I love ginger spice cookies and have not made one with corn starch - as mentioned in the headnotes. However, in the recipe that follows there is no mention of cornstarch. Was it omitted from the recipe?
Also, I don't need to use gluten free flour. I assume I can substitute regular all-purpose flour in its place? I use Bob's Red Mill flour for baking.
Thank you and I look forward to making these.
Thank you for mentioning the missing cornstarch. I have updated the recipe.
Gluten Free Flour and regular flour have different weights so you can not just swap 1:1. As mentioned in the FAQ Section of this recipe, please use 275 grams All Purpose Flour and the additional 10 grams of cornstarch as mentioned in the recipe. Thank You.
I have appreciable food sensitivies to both cornstarch and vegetable shortening. Is there something that I may substitute in place of those ingredients? (It may help to know that I have no problem with coconut, avocado and olive oils. I'm also ok with butter and ghee.) Thanks in advance. Btw: I love Molasses cookies! 😀 Thank you!
Hello, if you take the time to read the blog post - I do answer those questions 🙂 Cornstarch can always be substituted with the same GF flour blend you are using in the recipe.
Can I make this recipe with all butter?
Using all butter may result in a slightly thinner but still delicious gluten-free molasses cookie.
Morgan Smith says
A new favorite for the Christmas cookie rotation!! Made these last night (with all butter because I was out of shortening and it was snowing) and they turned out amazing! Can’t wait to share with friends this season