The Perfect Fluffy Molasses Cookie

Yields: 24 Servings

I brought 2 bottles of American molasses when I moved to England in July of 2018. That much barely got me through to Christmas. To be fair, I do bake a lot of gingerbread men at Christmastime (and they’re vegan*, too!). When I ran out, the internet told me I could substitute the (readily available in the UK) ‘Lyle’s Black Treacle’ with no appreciable difference in the finished product.

The internet lied.

They shouldn’t be that different. They’re both dark, viscous,  and super sweet. Molasses is boiled longer during the refining process, and that makes it opaque and sort of bittersweet. Substituting dark treacle will work in a pinch, but I find it gives whatever I’m baking a sort of fruity aftertaste, and stays on my tongue too long.

All this to say, I’m a molasses snob and not ashamed to admit it. Every time my mom comes here, or I go home, at least one bottle makes the trip.  It’s officially Autumn in England, and that means warm & spicy baked treats…and that means molasses. We didn’t make it back to California in May so I’m running a little low. Might only be able to do two batches of ginger-men this Christmas.


These cookies are worth the sacrifice.



*My gingerbread men are as vegan as they can be considering the molasses in the recipe and the specifics of the sugar refinement process. Follow your own conscience here.


0/14 Ingredients
Adjust Servings


0/10 Instructions
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, xanthan gum, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, allspice, pepper, and sea salt. Set aside for now.
  • In the bowl of your stand mixer (or a large bowl if you're doing it by hand) beat the butter until very soft & fluffy.
  • Add the brown sugar and beat until very soft & fluffy. The color will go a little bit pale as it gets to the right texture. Should take about 2-3 minutes at a medium speed.
  • Add the egg and mix just until you no longer see strands of yolk.
  • Add the vanilla & molasses at once, and mix until fully combined.
  • Remove the mixing bowl from your mixer (if using) and grab a wooden spoon. Add your flour & spices mixture to the wet ingredients and blend well.
  • Cover and chill for at least an hour.
  • An hour (or 6 if you get sidetracked) later, prepare your baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone liner. Scoop your chilled dough out by the rounded tablespoon and shape into balls.
  • Roll your dough balls in the granulated sugar until well coated. Place 3" apart on your baking tray, and bake for 9-11 minutes. Do not overbake. -You can do larger cookies. Just bake larger balls for one or two minutes longer, and err on the side of caution.-
  • Enjoy with a cup of something lovely....preferably where your toddler can't see you and demand his share.