JOIN! 12 Weeks for $1

Chewy Molasses Spice Cookies with Browned Butter Icing

18 Cookies

1 hour 25 minutes 25 minutes active, plus cooling

Made This Recipe? Write a Review.
Thank you for submitting your review! A member of our team is confirming the review meets our site's Community Guidelines. It will be posted on the site shortly.

These generously sized cookies are soft and cake-like. Spiced with cinnamon and ground ginger and made with just 4 tablespoons of butter, their flavor is mostly about the bittersweet, subtly smoky notes of molasses. Use either mild or “robust” (or “full”) molasses, but avoid blackstrap molasses; its potent flavor will overpower the spices and make the cookies taste harsh and bitter. A browned butter icing gives the cookies a rich, elegant finish. Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to three days.




Don’t ice the cookies until they have cooled to room temperature. If they are still warm, the icing may become too soft to spread.

1 hour 25 minutes

25 minutes active, plus cooling

For the cookies:

  • 390

    grams (3 cups) all-purpose flour


Pardon the interruption

You need to be a Milk Street Digital Member to see the full recipe


and get access to all of our recipes and articles online, as well as in print.

How we use your email.

Your email address is required to identify your subscription. We will use it for customer service as well as other communications from Milk Street. We will not share, or rent your email address.

Sarah R.
November 28, 2023
These were very nice—somewhat chewy and tasted strongly of molasses. I halved the recipe, and added 1/4 tsp of salt because I thought it was strange that the recipe didn’t call for any. I don’t think it tastes too salty, but I think they would be too strong tasting if it weren’t for the glaze.
Melodie R.
December 3, 2022
Chewy Molasses spice cookie with Brown butter frosting
They were light and flavorful and the frosting topped them off. I gave some to neighbors and took some to a party. Rave reviews
Louise A.
November 18, 2022
I want to make these for a cookie exchange - the recipe says to refrigerate. Is that due to the frosting? Do they have to be refrigerated if they are not iced?
Kate E.
November 8, 2022
I halved the recipe and still these came out delicious and beautiful.
Melanie B.

I tried making these using gluten free flour but the dough was not stiff at all, even after refrigeration, and the cookies really spread out. The icing is amazing though! Was it the flour do you think?

Janelle C.

Hi Melanie,

The GF flour substitution is more than likely is the culprit here as gluten is a structural protein. One thing you could try is adding Xanthan Gum to the mixture along with the GF flour (1 tsp for every cup). Xanthum Gum acts as a binder so the cookies should not spread out as much as they did.

The Milk Street Team

JoAnn M.

I added th Xanthum Gum and they were a little dry. I might add 2 tsp total to the 3 cups of GF flour next time. I also found that ¼ cup of buttermilk for the glaze made it far too runny. I needed to add over 2 more cups of powdered sugar to thicken enough. Still very flavorful though, with the brown butter.

Kathryn A.

Didn't have buttermilk so used regular milk plus lemon oil - yum! Consistency of the glaze was perfect as written.

Virginia V.

I’m making these for a holiday cookie exchange and need to make a larger amount of smaller cookies- I’m thinking about 30g/cookie rather than ~70g/cookie as the recipe is written. Do y’all have suggestions about altering the bake time to accommodate the smaller cookie? I think I will start at 8-10 minutes, then proceed from there. I was also thinking about adding a scant Tbsp of meringue powder to the icing to help dry/stabilize it for transportation in baggies. Is this advisable or might it ruin the texture of the icing?

Lynn C.

Hi Virginia -

I'd definitely start checking the smaller cookies after about 5 minutes, just to gauge how much cooking time you think is left. We haven't tested adding meringue powder to the icing, but we think it could work. Good luck!

The Milk Street Team

Jon G.

I just made this dough exactly as described and I have cake batter, not cookie dough. I let it sit for 5 minutes and it got a little more stiff but still not like cookie dough. I put it in the fridge to firm up and hydrate. The batter tastes good but it looks nothing like the picture in the demo.

Jennifer J.

I made these exactly as written and weighed all my ingredients. The consistency of both the batter and the icing were perfect. The only adjustment I needed was a little extra time in the oven. I have made many, many molasses cookies over the years and these are fantastic. The icing is so good!

Shirley P.

"Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to three days." I'm confused by this. What in these cookies need refrigeration?

Lynn C.

Hi Shirley -

If left at a too warm-room temperature it's possible that the glaze would melt.

The Milk Street Team