Vegan Molasses Cookies (the best texture, so easy!)

These vegan molasses cookies are soft, chewy and can also be made a little healthier! Can be made with all-purpose, gluten-free or whole wheat flour. If you don’t need them to be vegan, you can just use an egg.

I feel pretty much alone in my molasses cookies love. It’s like… you tell some people that you’re bringing peanut butter cookies, chocolate chip cookies, or anything other than molasses cookies to a party and this is their reaction:

“Aaaah! Thank you! I can’t wait!”

But when I say I’m bringing molasses cookies, I get:

“That would be great. Thank you.”

I don’t get it. Molasses cookies are amazing!

When I was in school, sometimes I’d find some Archway molasses cookies in my lunchbox. The kind that came in a cardboard package with cellophane.

I absolutely loved them! I haven’t had an Archway cookie in ages, but I’m positive that these healthy molasses cookies are just as good or even better.

And they definitely don’t have any of that funky stuff that pre-packaged cookies tend to have.

If molasses cookies aren’t your thing, check out these other cookie recipes!

Different flour options

You’ve got lots of options with this recipe. I’ve made them with all-purpose flour, whole spelt flour, white whole wheat flour, regular whole wheat flour and even gluten-free flour.

There’s so much spice and molasses in these cookies that any whole grain taste is covered up. And they certainly don’t taste like cardboard, the way some whole wheat treats do.

If you prefer a grain-free version, these Paleo Gingerbread Cookies are great. They are much spicier than these vegan molasses cookies and are crisp on the outside and chewy on the inside.

Can I use cookie cutters?

If you’re not making the gluten-free version, you can make these molasses cookies with cookie cutters. If you want to do that, you really need to chill the dough first for a few hours to make it easier to roll out and handle.

You’ll want to roll the dough out between two pieces of parchment paper. If it’s too sticky, then knead a bit of flour into the dough. But I’ve never had a problem with that!

They’ll definitely spread a bit, so I wouldn’t recommend any cutters that are too intricate.

Ingredient notes

In the cookies pictured, I used blackstrap molasses and brown sugar. If you use blackstrap molasses and coconut sugar, your cookies will be darker.

If you use brown sugar and regular molasses, your cookies will be lighter.

Sometimes I like to add a little orange zest, but I usually prefer my molasses cookies plain. You can also rub some orange zest in the sugar you use to roll the cookie dough in for an outer orangey sugary coating.

Note that if you don’t roll them in sugar, then they likely won’t crackle while baking.

Can I use a regular egg?

Yes! If you’re not vegan, you can replace the chia egg with a regular large egg.

Other vegan egg subs would likely work, but I haven’t tried them. So I can’t guarantee it!

Soft and Chewy Molasses Cookies {gluten-free, vegan, 100% whole grain and dairy-free options} With a how-to recipe video.

What’s up with blackstrap molasses?

I’ve always used blackstrap molasses in everything and have loved everything I’ve made with it. My paleo + vegan Gingerbread Brownies recipe originally called for blackstrap molasses.

And then I learned that WOW! Some people really hate it.

It appears to be an acquired taste. I shared those gingerbread brownies with a ton of people, and everyone claimed to have loved them and wanted more, so I don’t get it.

So what I’m going to say is this – if you regularly use blackstrap molasses and like the results, you can use it here. If you’ve never tried it before, I recommend going with regular light molasses.

By regular light molasses, I mean the molasses you find in every grocery store. Brands like Grandma’s or Crosby’s. It’s lighter in taste than blackstrap.

Blackstrap is thick, dark and concentrated with spicy overtones. It has an ultra-high mineral content and can be bitter.

Everything I’ve read says not to use it in a recipe unless it specifically calls for it, but I always do. Maybe there are big differences in brands of molasses? Perhaps some are very bitter and others aren’t?

I use the blackstrap molasses from Wholesome, a British brand named Meridien, and a German one from Rapunzel. That one doesn’t specifically say blackstrap (it seems like all brands here are blackstrap), but it looks and tastes just like the other two.

Gluten-free version

You can use your favorite gluten-free flour mixture that’s a 1:1 substitute for regular all-purpose flour.

I’ve made them with Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 Gluten-free Baking Flour but thought the results were better with this homemade mix:

  • 188 grams white rice flour
  • 68 grams potato starch
  • 26 grams tapioca flour/starch
  • 3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum

There are a few differences when making the gluten-free version. First, the dough will be quite wet.

You’ll need to refrigerate it for 1-2 hours or until firm enough to easily roll into balls.

The cookies also won’t crackle during baking as much as the ones pictured and may not crackle at all.

You do not need to press the cookies down with your palm. They spread quite thin but then puff up. That’s why I said no cutters for the gluten-free version.

My gluten-free molasses cookies were perfectly done at 7 1/2 minutes. Earlier than that and they were uncooked in the middle and any longer than that and they became cakey.

All ovens are different, so I recommend doing one test cookie to make sure 7 1/2 minutes is correct for your oven. The middle should no longer appear wet when they’re ready.

When you take the cookies out of the oven, slide the piece of parchment paper (along with the cookies) onto a cooling rack so that they don’t continue to bake. If they’re firm enough to remove with a spatula, you could also just do that.

These don’t taste 100% like the ones made with wheat. They have a slightly grainy texture that you sometimes get when you use rice flour. It’s really noticeable when you eat them straight from the oven and much less noticeable once they’ve cooled.

Source

I wish I could say that this recipe is my own original creation, but I’ve been making it since I was about 10 years old and have no idea where it came from.

I looked for the source, but I think I’ve made too many changes over the years to recognize the original. If anyone recognizes it, please let me know!

These molasses cookies are soft, chewy and can also be made a little healthier! With gluten-free, vegan, 100% whole grain and dairy-free options.

Other Vegan Christmas Desserts

With the holidays nearing, it’s always nice to plan ahead for holiday treats, and I have loads of vegan dessert recipes.

  • Starting with this Vegan Hot Chocolate! It’s thick, rich and can be naturally sweetened. Paleo option.

  • This Vegan Caramel Pecan Cheesecake is such a beauty! It’s also paleo, no-bake, yet rich, creamy and decadent. Plus, it freezes great, so it’s perfect for the holidays.

  • This Vegan Chocolate Cake is super moist and fudgy with an easy chocolate ganache frosting. It can be made with gluten-free, whole wheat or all-purpose flour.

  • Vegan Fudge is a must at my house! It’s super creamy and made in minutes. It stays solid at room temperature and tastes just like traditional fudge. If you like mint, this Mint Chocolate Fudge Recipe is for you! Both have paleo options.

  • These Mini Apple Pies with Caramel have an oatmeal cookie crust are terrific mini Christmas desserts! They’re gluten-free and vegan.

  • Speaking of easy recipes! Energy balls are a perfect addition to your holiday treats. They’re all vegan, easy with simple ingredients, and healthy. Find the ones you like here in these easy Sweet Snacks recipes.

  • If it’s cookies you want, try these Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies or these Cassava Flour Cookies, which are perfect for the cookie cutters!

That’s it! I hope you enjoy these Vegan Molasses Cookies! If you try them, drop a comment below, I’d love to hear your feedback.

Note: photos updated 11/2021! Here’s an old one.

Soft and Chewy Molasses Cookies {gluten-free, vegan, 100% whole grain and dairy-free options} With a how-to recipe video.

Vegan Molasses Cookies (gluten-free option)

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Rated 4.9 by 26 readers
Vegan Molasses Cookies (the best texture, so easy!)
  • Prep Time:
  • Cook Time:
  • Ready in:
  • Yield: 16 cookies

Ingredients

  • 2 cups (240 grams) all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, or for gluten-free, see notes below1
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) brown sugar or coconut sugar
  • 6 tablespoons (84 grams) coconut oil2 or another neutral oil
  • 6 tablespoons (132 grams) molasses3
  • 1 chia egg4
  • 1-2 tablespoons orange zest, optional
  • 3 tablespoons raw sugar, optional, for rolling

Directions

  1. In a medium mixing bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, salt, and spices.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, mix together the remaining ingredients except for the 3 tablespoons raw sugar.
  3. Add the dry mix to the wet mix and stir just until combined.
  4. Depending on the combination of ingredients used, you may need to refrigerate the dough for 1-2 hours or until the dough is firm enough to easily roll into balls. If you used coconut sugar, you must refrigerate the dough (regardless of whether or not it's firm) for at least an hour. The ones pictured were made from non-refrigerated dough. If you refrigerate the dough, the cookies will be a little thicker.
  5. Preheat the oven to 350 °F (175°C) and line a baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper.
  6. Roll the dough into 40 gram balls (about 1 1/2"), roll them in the sugar, flatten them a little with the palm of your hand, and bake for 6-9 minutes.
  7. Let the cookies cool for 3 minutes on the baking sheet and then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
  8. Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

Notes

  1. You can use your favorite gluten-free flour mixture that's a 1:1 substitute for regular all-purpose flour. I used Bob's Red Mill 1:1 Gluten-free Baking Flour but thought that the result was better with this homemade mix:

    – 188 grams white rice flour
    – 68 grams potato starch
    – 26 grams tapioca flour/starch
    – 3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum

  2. I used refined coconut oil for no coconut taste. You can use unrefined if you don't mind some coconut taste.
  3. I used blackstrap molasses, but it seems to be an acquired taste. Unless you know that you like blackstrap molasses, it's safer to use Grandma's or another brand of molasses that's not blackstrap.
  4. Mix 1 tablespoon ground chia seeds with 3 tablespoons water to create the chia egg.
  • Additional notes for the gluten-free version:
  • The dough will be quite wet. You'll need to refrigerate it for 1-2 hours or until firm enough to easily roll into balls.
  • The cookies won't crackle as much as the ones pictured (and may not crackle at all).
  • You do not need to press the cookies down with your palm. They appear to spread quite thin but then puff up.
  • My cookies were perfectly done at 7 1/2 minutes. Earlier than that and they were uncooked in the middle and any longer than that and they became cakey. All ovens are different so I recommend doing one test cookie to make sure 7 1/2 minutes is correct for your oven. The middle should no longer appear wet when they're ready.
  • When you take the cookies out of the oven, slide the piece of parchment paper (along with the cookies) onto the cooling rack so that they don't continue to bake. If they're firm enough to remove with a spatula, you could also just do that.
  • These don't taste 100% like the ones made with wheat. They have a slightly grainy texture that you sometimes get when you use rice flour. It's really noticeable when you eat them straight from the oven and much less noticeable once they've cooled.

Recipe by  | www.texanerin.com

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130 comments on “Vegan Molasses Cookies (the best texture, so easy!)” — Add one!

3 comments are awaiting moderation!

  • Laura Kouba
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    September 20, 2020 @ 1:40 am

    BEST ever!! For the flour I used a combination of Eikhorn, garbanzo and brown rice flour….As you had mentioned that sometimes non-wheat flours don’t always get “The Crackle” I was hoping mine would….and they did!!

    Dark, rich, chewy, crackled….perfection!!😃

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Laura Kouba
      September 21, 2020 @ 12:52 pm

      Wow, that’s an interesting flour combination! I am quite shocked but very happy that that worked out well. ;) And awesome that they crackled. Thanks a bunch for your feedback!

      Reply
  • Lori
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    March 21, 2020 @ 8:28 pm

    These are wonderful! I am vegan and don’t use oil so I substituted 5 tbsp of applesauce for the oil and used a flax egg instead of chia. They are so gooey! Thank you for a great recipe. I didn’t have to refrigerate mine even though I used coconut sugar-don’t know why but dough was perfect! Yummy!!!!!

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Lori
      March 22, 2020 @ 7:27 am

      I’m so glad that it worked out well, especially with your subs! How awesome you could make them oil-free. :) Thanks for sharing your changes!

      Reply
  • Charlotte Moore
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    December 18, 2019 @ 7:54 pm

    Just made these using spelt flour and sucanat. My husband got to try them warm. He loved them. They are some of the prettiest cookies I hav ever made. I could hardly roll them in sugar my hands were so sticky. I chilled the dough over 2 hours. I did not flatten them. They were so pretty.

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Charlotte Moore
      December 20, 2019 @ 12:19 pm

      I’m so glad you liked them! Do I remember correctly that you use freshly ground flour? If so, do you weigh the flour? If you don’t, that could explain why your dough was so sticky (because less flour was used). Thanks so much for your feedback! I was excited to see that you made one of my recipes. :D

      Reply
      • Charlotte Moore replies to Erin
        December 6, 2021 @ 7:45 pm

        I am a bit late on this reply. Haha! Yes, I do use fresh ground flours. It sure does make a difference in measuring.

        Reply
  • Jennifer says
    February 8, 2019 @ 9:11 pm

    These cookies are delicious!! They are slightly crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. I followed the recipe exactly (using all purpose flour and a flax egg) and everyone in my family loved them!!

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Jennifer
      February 20, 2019 @ 8:19 pm

      I’m so sorry for just now seeing your comment! I’m really glad that everyone enjoyed them. :) Thanks for your feedback and sorry again for my slow reply!

      Reply
  • Katherine says
    December 13, 2018 @ 12:09 am

    What are your thoughts on using this recipe with avocado oil and almond flour? Or are there any other flour substitutes that would work well with this recipe?

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Katherine
      December 16, 2018 @ 11:16 pm

      Sorry for just now seeing your question! I’ve only tried this recipe with the 5 flour options listed but I’m pretty sure almond flour wouldn’t work. It’s not a sub for wheat flour. Avocado oil should work, though! These paleo gingerbread cookies might work for you. :)

      Reply
      • Amber replies to Erin
        November 1, 2019 @ 6:32 pm

        I used a mix of blached almond flour & coconut flour and used avocado oil and they are great! I also mixed raw sugar with mo k fruit sweetener granules for lower carbs.

        Reply
        • Erin replies to Amber
          November 1, 2019 @ 9:23 pm

          Oh, awesome! Exactly how much almond and coconut flour did you use? Thanks for your feedback!

  • Katie says
    December 11, 2018 @ 2:37 am

    These are so ridiculously delicious! They are, without a doubt, my favorite Christmas cookie recipe. I replaced the egg with a flax egg and the flour with King Arthur’s all-purpose flour (and added the 3/4 tsp xanthan gum). It is such a great feeling to have a GF cookie recipe that turns out well reliably. Thank you!

    Reply
  • Emily K.
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    October 1, 2018 @ 5:15 am

    I made these GF using King Arthur Alll Purpose cup for cup blend. It worked so well, my mom loves them too! Soooo good!

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Emily K.
      October 2, 2018 @ 8:23 pm

      Awesome! I’m so happy that you and your mom enjoyed them! Thanks for the tip on the flour and for your feedback. :)

      Reply
    • Alene replies to Emily K.
      January 29, 2020 @ 7:00 pm

      I assume you’re referring to KA Measure for Measure flour. Is this correct?

      Reply
  • Rebecca
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    May 16, 2018 @ 11:03 pm

    These were great! I made the gf/vegan one (my own gf flour) and then tried a 1/2 whole wheat and 1/2 white flour one. I was afraid the blackstrap molasses would be bitter but it is surprisingly perfect. 5 stars! Thanks!

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Rebecca
      May 18, 2018 @ 11:15 am

      You’re welcome! I’m happy that you enjoyed them. :) It’s great to know that the recipe works with other GF flour blends, too. Thanks for your comment!

      Reply
  • Kerri
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    says
    December 24, 2017 @ 12:26 am

    I’ve made these twice now. I used all-purpose flour and an egg. Not too sweet, good taste from the spices, and a bit of salt comes out. So good! My dad doesn’t like cookies, but these he will eat 3 at a time. Thank you for sharing.

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Kerri
      December 29, 2017 @ 2:38 pm

      Aww, yay! So happy you and your dad enjoyed them. :) Thanks a bunch for your comment and sorry for my slow reply (Christmas chaos got in the way!).

      Reply
  • Jenna
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    says
    December 18, 2017 @ 7:36 pm

    Just made these and I am in love! I used whole wheat flour and egg. They were nice and chewy and I had them in for about 9 minutes. Thank you for the recipe, I’ll definitely be making these again!

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Jenna
      December 18, 2017 @ 9:09 pm

      So happy to hear that! Thanks a bunch for your comment. :)

      Reply
  • Jessica says
    December 18, 2017 @ 5:14 pm

    I’m making these for my in-laws who have major dietary restrictions due to medical reasons. I’ve never had to bake anything gluten-free and vegan before, so I’m a little lost. Would Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 Baking Flour work for this? The flour doesn’t contain xanthate gum, so I’m assuming I’ll have to purchase some to add, right? Any help is appreciated! Thanks :)

    Reply
    • Jessica replies to Jessica
      December 18, 2017 @ 5:17 pm

      *Xanthan gum, sorry!

      Reply
    • Erin replies to Jessica
      December 18, 2017 @ 9:09 pm

      You usually don’t need to add xanthan gum when using that 1 to 1 flour. I’ve had great results with it in place of wheat flour (which you’d be doing here) so I’m thinking it would work but since I haven’t tried it, I can’t guarantee it. My only worry is that the result may be a little grainy or gritty. The dough is super thick and sometimes that happens with that flour and thick doughs. If you try it out, I’d love to hear how it goes. :)

      Reply
  • Nick says
    December 17, 2017 @ 10:02 pm

    Hi, my mixture has been in the fridge for over 1 hour and it’s flaky. There’s no way balls will hold together. What do I do??
    Nick

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Nick
      December 17, 2017 @ 10:18 pm

      Flaky? None of the commenters have ever mentioned that. I also just made them tonight and while the dough is quite thick, it shouldn’t be flaky! Did you make any subs or changes to the recipe at all? You could try mixing in a little liquid (water or milk), a bit at a time, until it holds together.

      Reply
      • Judith replies to Erin
        March 28, 2020 @ 3:19 am

        Hi, I made this with regular unbleached wheat flour, olive oil and a flax meal egg, and found that it was flaky/too dry as well — however I added one more flax meal egg and it worked out well, though it did take a while to mix manually. Very tasty, nice texture; cooked precisely 6 minutes and did not need parchment. I used yellow and pink decorative sugar to make them pretty for Spring-time. Thx.

        Reply
        • Erin replies to Judith
          March 30, 2020 @ 8:16 am

          Spring-time molasses cookies! I love it. I’m so glad you found a way that works with flax egg! I’ve only made these with chia eggs and never had much luck with flax eggs in general (although I know everyone else seems to!). Thanks for your feedback. :)

  • MichelleW
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    November 22, 2017 @ 3:47 am

    These cookies are the perfect mix of spicy, sweet, and salty. I love the flavor! I made them tonight, and have eaten too many, LOL. I am going to make these again. Oh, and they look so pretty. That extra step of rolling them in sugar is worth the pretty result. I used whole wheat pastry flour, and you wouldn’t know it. Thanks :)

    Reply
    • Erin replies to MichelleW
      November 24, 2017 @ 5:26 pm

      I’m so happy that they worked out well! I also love the look when rolled in sugar. :) Thanks a bunch for your feedback!

      Reply
  • Ren says
    October 2, 2017 @ 6:00 pm

    Sounds delish! How would I adjust this recipe for high altitude baking? Did you melt the coconut oil first before measuring? Or scoop it as a dry ingredient?

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Ren
      October 2, 2017 @ 6:04 pm

      Thanks! You can measure the coconut oil before or after melting – it’s the same. :) And I unfortunately have zero experience with high altitude baking but I think this guide might be helpful! Sorry I don’t have a better answer for you.

      Reply
  • Olga
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    says
    September 14, 2017 @ 10:37 am

    Thank you so much!!! They came out delicious and perfectly crackled. I used your GF flour mix, put in some dry mandarin zest and maple sugar for coating. They were still soft and chewy after 11 minutes in the oven. I could hardly stop eating them after the 4th one:)

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Olga
      September 17, 2017 @ 7:33 pm

      Oooh! That sounds delicious. I’m so happy you liked them! Thanks for your comment. :)

      Reply

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