Cape Cod Soft Molasses Cookies

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Recipe photo
Hands-on time:
Baking time:
Total time:
Yield: 33 cookies

Recipe photo

These wonderful cookies are soft, moist, chewy... and spicy! Their secret? Ground black pepper, which gives their flavor delicious "bite" right at the end. Fresh-grated ginger and crystallized ginger add their own distinctive sweet-hot flavors. Thanks to Pies à la Mode, a bakery in Falmouth, Massachusetts, for the cookies that inspired this recipe.

Cape Cod Soft Molasses Cookies

star rating (38) rate this recipe »
Hands-on time:
Baking time:
Total time:
Yield: 33 cookies
Published: 12/29/2011


  • 3/4 cup (12 tablespoons) butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 cup molasses
  • 2 1/4 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/3 cup traditional or quick rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup crystallized ginger, finely diced
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger, or to taste
  • heaping 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice or ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper, optional
  • 1 teaspoon espresso powder, optional; for depth of flavor and added color
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup granulated sugar or coarse white sparkling sugar, for coating


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1) Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease (or line with parchment) two baking sheets.

2) In a large mixing bowl, beat together the butter, sugar, salt, and baking soda until they're well-combined.

3) Beat in the egg, and then the molasses, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl to blend in any sticky residue.

4) Add the flour, oats, crystallized ginger, fresh ginger, spices, and espresso powder. Mix just until thoroughly combined.

5) Scoop the sticky dough into 1 1/2" balls; a tablespoon cookie scoop works well here.

6) Roll the balls in sugar (either granulated or coarse), if desired. This is easily done by sprinkling the sugar into an 8" cake pan, and dropping the sticky dough into the pan. Shake the pan to coat the dough balls with sugar.

7) Space the cookies on the prepared baking sheets, leaving about 2" between them.

8) Bake the cookies for 8 to 14 minutes; bake for the shorter amount of time on a dark cookie sheet without parchment; the longer time if you've lined your baking sheet with parchment. The centers will look soft and puffy; that's OK. Cookies baked for the shorter amount of time will be VERY soft; bake them longer for a firmer cookie.

9) Remove them from the oven, and cool right on the pan; or transfer to a rack to cool. To maintain soft texture, store at room temperature once cookies are completely cool.

Yield: 33 cookies.

Nutrition information

Serving Size: 1 cookie (30g) Servings Per Batch: 33 Amount Per Serving: Calories: 120 Calories from Fat: 40 Total Fat: 4.5g Saturated Fat: 2.5g Trans Fat: 0g Cholesterol: 15mg Sodium: 115mg Total Carbohydrate: 20g Dietary Fiber: 0g Sugars: 13g Protein: 1g

* The nutrition information provided for this recipe is determined by the ESHA Genesis R&D software program. Substituting any ingredients may change the posted nutrition information.


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  • star rating 04/20/2015
  • Carol from Dover, MA
  • I have a beach house on Cape Cod and love spice cookies. Great flavor! Will make again.
  • star rating 04/06/2015
  • M from North Carolina
  • Delicious!
  • star rating 03/26/2015
  • Ku from IL
  • This is a great ginger molasses cookie! The addition of crystallized ginger adds wonderful ginger flavor without being too overpowering. These cookies come out soft and chewy, and the outer coat of sparkling sugar add good texture contrast. This is a great recipe!
  • star rating 12/08/2014
  • loves to bake from KAF Community
  • I gave this recipe five stars because it they came out exactly as "advertised" - soft, moderately spiced molasses cookie. I made them yesterday to include in a basket of Christmas cookies. I made three minor alterations to the recipe as written: 1. After reading the problems other had with them spreading too thin, I chilled the dough before shaping and spreading was not a problem 2. Since I was including them as Christmas cookies I mixed red crystalized sugar in with white sugar to coat the surface. Just fancied them up a bit. 3. I made them smaller than suggested and ending up with 46 cookies. At that size, baking for 12 minutes still resulted in a soft cookie with a slightly crunchy outside. For Dick who is looking for a spice cookie with a "punch" I suggest that he try "Lauren's spice cookie" originally in Gourmet - Feb, 1990 and available on the Epicurious website.
  • star rating 10/03/2014
  • Dick from Columbus, OH
  • OK, I'll be the "outlier" on the rave reviews this recipe received. I read the ingredient list and thought that with the combination of crystallized ginger, fresh ginger, black pepper, molasses, and espresso the outcome would be phenomenal. The majority of reviews raved about the "spot-on" spice they imparted. I was underwhelmed with the outcome. I found them to be "ho-hum." It might just be a personal taste thing, but I'll continue to search other options when it comes to cookies with a punch.
  • star rating 08/02/2014
  • Jeanne from St Augustine, FL
  • BEST MOLASSES COOKIES EVER!! These remind me of the molasses cookies my mother-in-law used to make to go with her coffee - except better.
  • star rating 04/09/2014
  • dan from arlington va
  • I am a tough cookie critic and these are AMAZING. Best spiced cookies I've ever made, perfectly chewy.
  • star rating 04/03/2014
  • valtaylor from KAF Community
  • My cookies turned out delicious, but they don't look like the ones in the photo...they're flat and spread out. What did I do wrong?
    There are several possible reasons why this happened. I would give our Baker's Hotline a call so that we can troubleshoot directly! Jon@KAF 855 371 2253
  • star rating 12/23/2013
  • Mel from St. Louis
  • Initially chopping up the crystallized ginger seemed to be a bit of a chore but now two days later after the flavors have melded it was so worth it! If you like ginger and spice these are perfectly delicious with a wonderful chewy texture.
  • star rating 12/17/2013
  • sarah from los Angeles ca
  • These are mine and my family's favorite I constantly have requests from friends and family for these!! So soft and delicious... Great ginger flavor!! Will be making as Christmas gifts as well!!
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