Filed under: Cookies / Drop Cookies / Holiday
December 8, 2023

Brown Butter Ginger Molasses Cookies

The ultimate ginger molasses cookies are made with fresh and ground ginger, brown butter and unsulphured molasses. Spicy, perfectly chewy all over with gorgeous cookie crinkles and a sparkle of sugar coating.  

4.94 from 16 votes
Yield: 16 cookies
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Thebest ginger molasses cookie ever. Ginger molasses are one of my favorite cookies and I am very particular about how a they should look, taste and chew: I want it to spread and crack, but still be thick, I want so much chewiness, and I want that signature bite of ginger and spiciness. 

After some 6-7 batches, I landed on these. They’ve got two types of ginger, lots of flavor – partially from the spices but also we’re using some fresh ginger and letting it flavor the brown butter. The cookies do that magic thing in the oven where they puff up and crack. The process to make them might not be standard but they yield an iconic molasses cookie. I love these desperately, they’ll be on my christmas agenda every year from now on =) 


Recipe Ingredients 

Butter: Unsalted butter, cold is fine (we’re going to brown it). If you’re using european butter (83% butterfat, I’d expect a bit more of a spread in the cookies). If using salted butter, halve the amount of added salt. 


Ginger: I use a mix of fresh and ground ginger in this recipe. You can skip the fresh if you like but in that case I’d up the ground ginger to 1.5 to 2 teaspoons total. 


Cinnamon: Ground cinnamon, not necessary but I find it accentuates the ginger flavor in a lovely way. 


Sugar: A mix of granulated and light brown sugar. Dark brown should be fine too if that’s all you have. For the granulated, I use fine. You’ll also need a bit extra to roll the cookies in. 


Egg: One egg plus two yolks. Reserve the whites for some meringues or double chocolate cookies. 


Molasses: Use unsulphured molasses. Not blackstrap molasses, which is much stronger in flavor and could possibly alter the chemistry/structure of the cookie. 


Other flavorings: pure vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste and fine sea salt. 


Flour: All purpose flour. I use KAF’s which has a protein content of 11.7%. 


Leavening: Some baking soda and some baking powder. One to help them spread and a little bit of powder so they rise up and crack. The amounts are not interchangeable and cannot be substituted. 


How to make Brown Butter Ginger Molasses Cookies

Brown the butter with the ginger. I let the butter melt a bit first (you don’t want it hitting the pan directly or it’ll burn) and grate it over the melted butter. 


With the ginger in there, the butter browning process is a little different: you’ll see it get a lot more foamy than usual and it will be harder to detect if those milk solids are browning. Stir it and do your best to keep checking the bottom of the pan until you can see the brown bits.

As soon as it’s done, transfer to a heatproof bowl. If you leave the butter in the pan it will continue to cook and then burn.

To the hot butter, add the ground ginger and cinnamon to the butter, then let it cool.

After about 10 minutes, you can start making the dough. Start by whisking in the sugars, cinnamon, salt and vanilla. 

Once that is well mixed, add the molasses and whisk well.

Whisk in the egg and yolks, you’ll see the mix transform as you do: turning into a thick, shiny mixture. 

Stir in the remaining dry ingredients: the flour and leavenings. 

Cover the dough with plastic wrap then chill for a few hours. This will allow the flour to hydrate, the flavors to intensify and the butter to firm up. 

3-4 hours later

Preheat the oven and prepare two cookie sheets with parchment paper 

Portion the dough onto the prepared cookie sheets, 1.5-2.5 tablespoons of dough per cookie 

Roll the cookies in the additional granulated sugar. 

Bake until puffed up, cracked and slightly golden on the sides. 

Storing the cookies 

Stored in an airtight container the cookies will last a few days. For longer storage, freeze but keep in an airtight container. 

Making the ginger molasses dough ahead of time 

You can make the dough and portion the cookies, roll them in sugar and then flash freeze them (10 minutes on a plate or tray). Then transfer to an airtight container for longer storage (they’ll be fine in the freezer for a few months). 

If baking from frozen, add a couple of minutes to the bake time. Alternatively, thaw to room temperature then bake as directed. 


Brown Butter Ginger Molasses Cookie Recipe


Ginger Molasses Cookies

Ultimate ginger molasses cookies made with fresh and ground ginger, brown butter and lots of unsulphured molasses. Spicy cookies that are chewy all over.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Chill Time: 4 hours
Yields: 16 cookies
4.94 from 16 votes


  • 150 g (about 1 stick plus 3 tablespoons) unsalted butter cold is fine
  • 1-2 teaspoons fresh minced ginger about a 1 inch piece
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 100 g or ½ cup brown sugar
  • 100 g or ½ cup granulated sugar plus more for rolling
  • 100 g or scant ⅓ cup molasses
  • 1 egg plus 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 300 g or 2 ¼ cups all purpose flour


  • Set the butter in a medium sized frying pan or skillet. Once it begins to melt, grate the fresh ginger over it.
  • Keep cooking the butter as it melts, then sputters then foams. The milk solids will separate, and appear as cream colored bits then they will start to brown. Once the butter starts to go quiet, smells nutty and most or all of the bits are browned, transfer to a heatproof bowl. Add the ground ginger and stir it in, then leave to cool for 5-10 minutes.
  • Note: if the butter has black bits it’s burnt! You’ll have to start over.
  • Add the sugars, cinnamon, salt and vanilla to the butter in the bowl and whisk very well: the mix will start out loose and the sugar separate but as you mix it will start to become cohesive and get a bit of shine (see the video).
  • Pour in the molasses and mix well.
  • Add the egg and yolks and whisk for a good 30-45 seconds, until well mixed.
  • Add the flour, baking powder and baking soda and stir until no flour bits remain. Set the dough covered with cling wrap, in the fridge to chill for 3-4 hours.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 F and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper (grease, or rubbing the back of the butter wrapper onto the pan before you put the parchment will help keep it in place).
  • Portion the cookies onto the prepared pans (1.5-2.5 tablespoons of dough per cookie). Roll the dough balls in some granulated sugar. Space the dough out, leaving at least a one inch diameter around the cookies as they will spread.
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes (less for a 1.5 tablespoon dough, more for a 2-2.5 TB dough) until the edges are just golden and the cookies have puffed up and cracked.
  • Let cool on the pan briefly, transfer to a cooling rack.

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Recipe Reviews

  1. These are soooooo good!!!!! The texture and flavour is just phenomenal! I’ve made molasses cookies using others’ recipes before and now yours but idk why I never get those pronounced cracks. I always use metric measurements. But this one time I made your chocolate molasses cookies and I did get cracks so I was really hoping that these would have them too but 🙁

  2. 5 stars
    Made these last night and they are fantastic! Texture is incredible and flavor is so rich — you can really taste the depth the brown sugar gives them. Thanks for a great recipe!

  3. 5 stars
    These are now my favorite ginger molasses cookies! I love the zing the fresh ginger gives, and they’re so perfectly chewy. Honestly, I think I even liked them better on day two!

  4. 5 stars
    So flavorful and delicious. I love the addition of the fresh ginger to the browning butter, it definitely gives the recipe a kick. Perfect chewy texture. The warm spices make the kitchen smell incredible

  5. 5 stars
    These are the most amazing ginger cookies I have ever had! They are super chewy and have a very bold and delicious ginger flavor. I love the cracks in them! I baked them for exactly 10 minutes, let them sit on the pan for quite a bit, and they were perfect. They have the classic gingersnap-type cookie flavor, but just a bit different and wayyyyyy better. The perfect Christmas cookie!

  6. 4 stars
    This is the best recipe I’ve tried so far. I like chewy and the thickness of the cookie along with the 1 1/2 tablespoon scoop gave a nice sized cookie. Loved seeing the weight measurements first as once you get on that wagon it is so precise, faster and pretty much gives you the same result every time. The ingredients were not in order of the instructions below. Also the baking powder was missing in the instructions . I also pan banged them once to get more cracks. Thanks for posting.

  7. 5 stars
    I make these cookies all through the fall and winter seasons! I roll the dough balls in coarse turbinado sugar before baking for a little crunch in each bite!

  8. 5 stars
    The cookies were perfectly crusty on the outside and chewy on the inside with the most beautiful crinkles! (interestingly, the cookies on the top rack had perfect crinkles, the cookies on the bottom rack were a little less beautiful but just as tasty) The best molasses cookies I have ever made!