These are the ultimate soft and chewy gingerbread sugar cookies made without molasses. They are thick, sweet, and so easy to make with no chill time. Seriously, the best gingerbread cookies. Perfect for the Holidays!
The best soft gingerbread sugar cookies without molasses
Most gingerbread cookie recipes call for molasses, but it’s not a common baking ingredient for most households. That’s why I developed this super easy, no-chill, soft, and chewy gingerbread cookie recipe for you made with NO molasses. It’s crazy how delicious these cookies are.
These gingerbread cookies are way better than classic recipes! They are not thin and crispy like most gingerbread men. These cookies are next-level delicious since they are super thick, soft, and chewy. They are similar to a thick sugar cookie or snickerdoodle.
I am obsessed with these cookies, as I am sure you can already tell. They literally melt in your mouth and have the perfect soft, gooey centers and crisp, browned edges. Honestly, they taste like Christmas in a cookie.
One of my favorite things about this easy recipe, besides using maple syrup and brown sugar instead of molasses, is that there is NO CHILL time required. That means you will be in and out of the kitchen in less than 20 minutes.
Why you’ll love this recipe:
- There is no molasses in these delicious gingerbread cookies.
- The cookies are super thick, soft, and chewy.
- No chill time is required!
- Easily make these festive cookies in under 20 minutes.
- They taste like Christmas.
- Perfect for the holidays.
- Try these thick and chewy snickerdoodles next! One of my favorite recipes.
The taste and texture
These gingerbread cookies without molasses taste like a classic gingerbread man. They are sweet, ginger spiced, and buttery. The primary flavors come from ground ginger, nutmeg, and cloves.
Once baked, these thick gingerbread cookies have a soft and chewy texture similar to a classic sugar cookie or snickerdoodle. Each bite melts in your mouth!
Trust me when I say these are the BEST gingerbread cookies you’ll ever eat. Best of all, you don’t need molasses to make them. Here is a list of everything you need so you are prepared, but remember to scroll to the bottom of this page to get the exact measurements:
- Flour: I used all-purpose flour for these cookies.
- Spices: You’ll need a mixture of ground ginger, ground cloves, ground nutmeg, and pumpkin pie spice to flavor these delicious gingerbread sugar cookies. The pumpkin pie spice is my secret ingredient.
- Salt: For that perfect sweet and salty combo that everyone loves.
- Baking Soda: This helps the cookies rise. Don’t substitute baking soda with baking powder, they are not the same things.
- Butter: To make these gingerbread cookies extra soft and chewy. I used unsalted butter, but you can use salted butter, too – just don’t add extra salt to the dry ingredients.
- Sugars: You need light brown sugar to sweeten these cookies and granulated sugar to roll them in before baking.
- Egg: You only need 1 egg for these gingerbread cookies. It helps hold them together and gives them a nice chewy texture.
- Maple Syrup: We replace molasses with maple syrup in these gingerbread cookies. It adds sweetness and helps achieve the perfect soft and chewy cookie texture.
Kitchen tools required
These gingerbread cookies are very easy to make and call for standard baking supplies. Here is a list of kitchen utensils you will need so you are prepared:
- Two Rimmed Baking Sheets
- 2 Mixing Bowls
- Stand Mixer or Electric Hand Mixer
- Parchment Paper
- Measuring Tools: 1/4 teaspoon, 1/2 teaspoon, 1 teaspoon, 1/4 cup, 1/2 cup, and 1 cup.
How to make soft gingerbread cookies without molasses
These thick and chewy gingerbread cookies without molasses are super easy to make in under 20 minutes; you don’t need to chill the dough. Here are step-by-step directions with pictures for visual reference. The full recipe and ingredient measurements are at the bottom of this page in the recipe card.
First, preheat the oven to 350°F and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper. Then, set it to the side while you make the cookie dough.
Next, whisk together all your dry ingredients (the flour, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, and salt) in a medium mixing bowl and set to the side.
Now, in a stand mixer (with the paddle attachment) or using an electric handheld mixer, cream together the butter and brown sugar until it’s thoroughly combined, fluffy, and creamy. It should take about 1 – 2 minutes. Make sure to scrape the sides and bottom.
Then, add the egg and beat on medium until combined. After that, add the maple syrup and beat until combined. Be careful not to overbeat.
Now, add the dry ingredients to the mixing bowl on low in 2 – 3 increments, so the flour doesn’t spill everywhere.
Then, using a cooking scooper, portion out about 1.5 Tablespoons of dough for each cookie. Then, gently roll the dough balls in sugar. Evenly space them out on your lined cookie sheets about 2 inches apart. This recipe makes about 24 – 26 cookies.
Finally, bake for 8 – 10 minutes until puffed up. The cookies should look slightly underbaked, puffy, and soft. The bottoms will be golden, and the tops should be ever-so-slightly crisp. The cookies will collapse as they cool. Allow cookies to cool for 10 minutes on the cookie sheet, then transfer them to a wire rack.
Expert baking tips & tricks
Use room temperature butter and eggs. This is my #1 tip for these gingerbread cookies. It is very important to use room temperature ingredients so the butter and sugar cream together properly and the cookie dough is soft. Using cold butter, eggs, or maple syrup straight out of the fridge will increase the baking time and cause dry cookies.
Add pumpkin pie spice. This is an optional ingredient in these gingerbread cookies, but I love it! Adding 1/4 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice enhances the flavor of these gingerbread cookies a lot.
Remove the cookies from the oven while they still look underdone. These gingerbread cookies are lighter than classic recipes because there is no molasses in this recipe. They should look slightly underbaked, puffy, and soft when they come out of the oven. Don’t worry, the cookies will collapse as they cool and have the perfect soft and chewy texture.
Make sure your baking soda is NOT expired. Check the expiration date on your baking soda! If your baking soda is expired or has been open for more than six months, your cookies will be flat and spread out. To avoid this problem, I always write the date I opened a new container on the box.
Here is a list of the best ingredient substitutions for these gingerbread cookies without molasses. I only recommend swapping 1 – 2 ingredients so the original recipe doesn’t completely change.
- Light Brown Sugar: You can use light brown sugar or dark brown sugar.
- Unsalted Butter: You can use salted butter but don’t add extra salt to the dry ingredients.
- Maple Syrup: You can also use honey.
- Nutmeg: If necessary, you can use ground cinnamon instead of nutmeg.
- White Sugar: You can also roll the cookies in coconut sugar.
How to make gingerbread spice:
Here is a simple recipe to make your own gingerbread spice at home. Mix all the ingredients together, and then feel free to use this recipe to flavor baked goods, coffee, oatmeal, yogurt, muffins, and pancakes.
- 3 tablespoons of ground ginger
- 1.5 teaspoons of ground cloves
- 1.5 teaspoons of ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need to chill the cookie dough?
No, you do not need to chill the cookie dough for this gingerbread cookie recipe. You will be in and out of the kitchen in 20 minutes!
Why are the cookies so pale?
Classic gingerbread cookies and gingerbread men are colored with dark molasses syrup. Since there is no molasses in this gingerbread cookie recipe, these cookies are much lighter and paler. Don’t worry the flavor is the same!
Can I make these cookies gluten-free?
I have not tested this recipe with gluten-free flour; however, if you would like to make these gingerbread sugar cookies without molasses gluten-free, I reccomend using this brand of gluten-free 1:1 baking flour. It is the best substitute for all-purpose flour.
What’s the best substitute for maple syrup?
The best substitute for maple syrup is honey. For these cookies, make sure to use room-temperature honey.
Why are my cookies flat?
If your cookies are flat, one of two things may have occurred: (1) your baking soda was expired, or (2) your butter and eggs were not at room temperature. Make sure to use room-temperature ingredients when baking!
Why is my cookie dough dry and crumbly?
I have tested this recipe dozens of times and found two things that may cause dry and crumbly cookie dough. First, make sure your butter is at room temperature so it can properly cream together with the brown sugar. I like to leave my butter sticks out for a few hours before making these cookies.
Second, try to use a stand mixer for the best results. An electric hand mixer works too, but you may need to increase the time you beat the butter and sugar by a minute to ensure they are fully creamed together. If they are partially combined, the dry ingredients will not incorporate properly, and your dough won’t be soft.
How to store and freeze:
Storing: For best results, store leftover gingerbread cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 6 – 7 days.
Freezing: Add your cooled gingerbread cookies to a freezer-safe plastic bag or container and freeze for up to 3 months. Let them thaw or slightly reheat them in the microwave before enjoying them.
If you love this recipe, try these next!
- Chewy Coffee Cookies
- Chocolate Chip Cookies without Brown Sugar
- Oat Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Healthy Salted Cowboy Cookies
- Snickerdoodles without Cream of Tartar
Did you make this recipe?
If you make this recipe, be sure to comment and rate it down below. Also, don’t forget to tag me @healthfulblondie on Instagram and use the hashtag #healthfulblondie so I can see your delicious creation and share it with my followers!
Gingerbread Cookies Without Molasses
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour, spooned & leveled
- 2 ½ tsp ground ginger
- ¼ tsp ground cloves
- ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
- ¼ tsp pumpkin pie spice, optional but highly recommend
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 12 tbsp unsalted butter, softened to room temperature (very important)
- 1 cup brown sugar (I used light), packed
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- ¼ cup maple syrup, room temperature
- 2 – 3 tbsp white sugar, for rolling
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper. Set to the side.
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, and salt. Set to the side.
- In a stand mixer (with the paddle attachment) or using an electric handheld mixer, cream together the butter and brown sugar until it’s fully combined, fluffy, and creamy. It should take about 1 – 2 minutes. Make sure to scrape the sides and bottom. Add the egg and beat on medium until combined. Then, add the maple syrup and beat until combined. Be careful not to overbeat.
- Add the dry ingredients to the mixing bowl on low in 2 – 3 increments, so the flour doesn’t spill everywhere.
- Using a cooking scooper, portion out about 1.5 Tablespoons of dough for each cookie. Then, gently roll the dough balls in sugar. Evenly space them out on your lined cookie sheets about 2 inches apart. This recipe makes about 24 – 26 cookies.
- Bake for 8 – 10 minutes until puffed up. The cookies should look slightly underbaked, puffy, and soft. The bottoms will be golden, and the tops should be ever-so-slightly crisp. The cookies will collapse as they cool. Allow cookies to cool for 10 minutes on the cookie sheet, then transfer them to a wire rack.
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