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Gluten-Free Molasses Cookies

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This soft, chewy gluten-free molasses cookies recipe has warm spices and a satisfying crackle crunch on the outside you’re going to LOVE. They make perfect holiday cookies!

chewy gluten-free molasses cookies on a white background

I’ve had SO much fun testing gluten-free holiday cookie recipes to share with you this year! My goal was for this to feel kind of like a virtual holiday cookie exchange, with a wide variety of fun holiday cookies to choose from.

From gluten-free classics like Peppermint Chocolate Crinkle Cookies and Peanut Butter Blossoms to creative combinations like Holiday Kitchen Sink Cookies and Pumpkin Snickerdoodles, my goal is for you to have great options you’ll LOVE to share with friends & neighbors.

That’s definitely true of these Gluten-Free Molasses Cookies. These soft, chewy molasses cookies have a satisfying sugar crinkle that gives them a gorgeous appearance, and delicious notes of flavor from warm holiday spices and molasses.

If you’ve got molasses on hand, you probably have everything else you need to get started on a batch of these gluten-free molasses crinkle cookies. So, grab your mixer, and let’s get baking!

ingredients for gluten-free molasses cookies

Simple Ingredients For Gluten-Free Molasses Cookies

  • Softened Butter. For the best flavor and texture, these cookies start with softened butter. Unsalted butter will give you better control of the salt content, but salted butter also works!
  • Brown Sugar & White Sugar. Light brown sugar and granulated sugar combine to give these gluten-free cookies a soft, chewy texture that’s tough to beat! Feel free to use dark brown sugar for even more molasses flavor.
  • An Egg. A room temperature egg blends in easily!
  • Molasses. They wouldn’t be molasses crinkle cookies without molasses! You’ll need regular, unsulphured molasses NOT blackstrap molasses.
  • Vanilla. I love adding a kiss of vanilla extract to my molasses cookies. It’s that perfect little something!
  • Gluten-Free Flour. I love keeping things simple with a measure-for-measure gluten-free flour blend. My go-to is this one from King Arthur, but if you use another gluten-free flour blend, like Bob’s Red Mill 1:1, make sure it contains xanthan gum so the cookies turn out properly.
  • Baking Soda. For the perfect softness & spread.
  • Warm Spices & Salt. One thing I LOVE about this holiday cookie recipe is the blend of warm spices. A mix of ground ginger, cinnamon, and cloves adds delicious flavor that’s perfect this during the holiday season.
  • Coarse Sugar. Last, but not least, you’ll need some coarse sugar to coat the cookie dough balls. I love sparkling sugar for the biggest impact, but raw sugar/Turbinado sugar or demerara sugar are other great choices.

So what kind of molasses is best for cookies?

For gluten-free molasses crinkle cookies, you want to use regular unsulphured molasses (sweet, syrupy) NOT blackstrap molasses (thick, bitter). In the United States, look for brands like Grandma’s, Brer Rabbit, and Wholesome.

making gluten-free molasses cookies step by step
soft gluten-free molasses cookies cooling on a wire rack

How To Make Gluten-Free Molasses Crinkle Cookies, Step By Step:

  1. Cream Butter & Sugars. In the bowl of a stand mixer (or a large mixing bowl), combine softened butter, brown sugar, and sugar. Cream on medium speed with a paddle attachment or hand mixer for 2-3 minutes, until light and fluffy. 
  2. Finish Wet Ingredients. Mix in the molasses. Add egg and vanilla and mix on low speed until smooth (30-60 seconds).
  3. Add Dry Ingredients. Next, add gluten-free flour blend, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and salt.  Mix on low speed until just combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl one more time and cover the cookie dough.
  4. Chill Dough At Least 2 Hours in the fridge, up to overnight. (Make sure the dough is covered well if chilling longer than 2 hours so the dough doesn’t dry out. Honestly, the longer you chill them, the better, up to 2 days. 
  5. Preheat Oven & Prep Pans. When you’re ready to bake, preheat the oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  6. Scoop & Roll. Place coarse sugar in a small bowl. Use a medium cookie scoop to form 2-Tablespoon sized balls of dough. Roll each ball smooth in your hand, then roll in the sugar to coat well. Place 6 cookie dough balls on one of the baking sheets and return the rest of the dough to the fridge in between batches.
  7. Bake Cookies. Bake each batch of cookies 9-11 minutes in the oven, or until edge are set and the centers look just slightly underdone. (The cookies will continue to set as they cool.) Remove the cookies from the oven and gently coax into perfect circles with a large cookie cutter, if desired.
  8. Cool. Let the cookies cool 1-2 minutes on the baking sheet before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
  9. Repeat this process until all cookies are baked, alternating baking sheets with each batch so you don’t put cold cookie dough on a hot cookie sheet.
  10. Serve & Store. Enjoy molasses cookies right away or store leftover cookies in an airtight container at room temperature 2-3 days. Or, transfer cooled baked cookies to a freezer bag and freeze up to 2 months.
soft gluten-free molasses cookies cooling on a wire rack

FAQ + Tips And Tricks For The Best Gluten-Free Molasses Cookies

Can I Use Blackstrap Molasses For Molasses Cookies? Not for this recipe. Blackstrap molasses is thick and runs bitter, while regular unsulphured molasses is sweeter and more syrupy.

Can I Make These Dairy-Free? Yes! For gluten-free dairy-free molasses cookies, just swap in softened vegan butter or non-hydrogenated shortening. Both work!

What Kind Of Sugar Do You Roll Molasses Cookies In? The more coarse the sugar is the better! There are several types of sugar that work well for rolling cookies. My top pick is sparkling sugar for an impressive, bakery-style finish (lots of brands are cheaper in-store!). But other coarse sugar like raw sugar/Turbinado sugar, and demerara sugar work well. Even coarse grained organic sugar is a good option!

Don’t Skip The Chill Time! Chilling cookie dough IS an extra step, but it’s a critical one for best results. When the cookie dough chills, the flour absorbs more liquid from the dough and the cookies spread less in the oven. This will give your gluten-free ginger molasses cookies a thick, soft, chewy texture. Don’t skip this step!

gluten-free molasses cookies stacked on a white background with a bottle of milk in the background

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soft gluten-free molasses cookies cooling on a wire rack

Gluten-Free Molasses Crinkle Cookies


  • Author: Emily Dixon, Sweets & Thank You
  • Total Time: 3 hours
  • Yield: 24 cookies 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

These soft, chewy gluten-free molasses cookies have warm spices and a satisfying crackle crunch on the outside you’re going to LOVE. They’re a perfect cookie for a holiday cookie tray or cookie exchange!


Ingredients

Scale

Dry Ingredients:

  • 2 1/3 cup (280 grams) gluten-free measure-for-measure flour*
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (use half the amount if using fine table salt)

Wet Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup butter, softened to room temperature (1 1/2 sticks or 12 Tablespoons)*
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar (100 grams)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar (100 grams)
  • 1/4 cup unsulphured molasses*
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

To Roll The Cookies:

  • 1/2 cup coarse sugar*

Instructions

  1. Cream Butter & Sugars. In the bowl of a stand mixer (or a large mixing bowl), combine softened butter, brown sugar, and sugar. Cream on medium speed with a paddle attachment or hand mixer for 2-3 minutes, until light and fluffy. 
  2. Finish Wet Ingredients. Mix in the molasses. Add egg and vanilla and mix on low speed until smooth (30-60 seconds).
  3. Add Dry Ingredients. Next, add gluten-free flour blend, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and salt.  Mix on low speed until just combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl one more time and cover the cookie dough.
  4. Chill Dough At Least 2 Hours in the fridge, up to overnight. (Make sure the dough is covered well if chilling longer than 2 hours so the dough doesn’t dry out. Honestly, the longer you chill them, the better, up to 2 days. 
  5. Preheat Oven & Prep Pans. When you’re ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  6. Scoop & Roll. Place coarse sugar in a small bowl. Use a medium cookie scoop to form 2-Tablespoon sized balls of dough. Roll each ball smooth in your hand, then roll in the sugar to coat well. Place 6 cookie dough balls on one of the baking sheets and return the rest of the dough to the fridge in between batches.
  7. Bake Cookies. Bake each batch of cookies 9-11 minutes in the oven, or until edge are set and the centers look just slightly underdone. (The cookies will continue to set as they cool.) Remove the cookies from the oven and gently coax into perfect circles with a large cookie cutter, if desired.
  8. Cool. Let the cookies cool 1-2 minutes on the baking sheet before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
  9. Repeat this process until all cookies are baked, alternating baking sheets with each batch so you don’t put cold cookie dough on a hot cookie sheet.
  10. Serve & Store. Enjoy molasses cookies right away or store leftover cookies in an airtight container at room temperature 2-3 days. Or, transfer cooled baked cookies to a freezer bag and freeze up to 2 months.

Notes

  • FLOUR. We highly recommend King Arthur Baking Measure-For-Measure gluten-free flour blend. If you use another brand (like Bob’s Red Mill), be sure it contains xanthan gum or your cookies will not turn out properly. Do not substitute coconut flour, oat flour, or almond flour in this recipe.
  • BUTTER. Salted butter or unsalted butter works here. Just make sure it’s softened. You finger should just make an indent when pressed, but the butter shouldn’t look sweaty or greasy. (That’s a sign it’s too soft!) 
  • MOLASSES. Use regular unsulphured molasses, NOT blackstrap molasses. We recommend Grandma’s brand or Wholesome brand.
  • COARSE SUGAR. For the prettiest cookies, use coarse sugar, like Turbinado sugar, raw sugar, Demerara sugar, or sparkling sugar. (I used sparkling sugar for these photos.) If you don’t have any of those, even something like organic cane sugar has a bigger grain than typical granulated sugar!
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Chill Time: 2 Hours
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: gluten free molasses crinkles, gluten-free molasses crinkle cookies, gluten-free molasses cookies

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2 Comments

  1. We LOVED these! we are big fans of Molasses Crinkle Cookies, and these were pretty magical!
    Thank you for creating this delicious GF version of our favorite holiday cookie!😋






  2. These are delicious and the sugar gives them an extra festive little sparkle. These taste like the holidays to me.