Don't forget to check out the Tips & FAQ section in the post!
These chewy and soft gingerbread cookies are easy, full of flavor and they’re made without molasses or rolling out the dough.
Have you ever wanted to make gingerbread cookies, but you didn’t have any molasses or maybe you just don’t like the taste of molasses? I hear ya.
Table of Contents:
You don’t have to miss out on ginger cookies because you don’t have molasses…this simple recipe is the answer. These homemade ginger cookies are easy to make and they come out soft and chewy with no need for molasses.
You get the same spicy, sweet greatness of soft ginger cookies without adding molasses.
These cookies are perfect for Christmas and at any time during the holidays. They stay soft and chewy even after a few days.
Now let’s talk about just some of the ingredients in these delicious ginger cookies. (The printable list of all ingredients are in the recipe card below.)
Unsalted butter: Buttery cookies are just the best and this recipe needs a full cup.
Dark brown sugar: For this recipe, you’ll use dark brown sugar instead of light brown. The dark brown sugar helps give the cookies a deeper flavor since you won’t be using molasses.
Honey: Using honey will also help give the cookies a deeper, richer flavor in place of the molasses.
Ground ginger: You’ll need ground ginger for these cookies. The great thing about this recipe is that if you want a stronger ginger flavor, you can always add more than the recipe calls for.
Cinnamon and cloves: These spices really bring out the ginger in these cookies. They just go perfectly together.
Confectioners sugar, vanilla, milk and corn syrup: These ingredients will be used to make the glaze. The glaze is optional, but it adds a little extra to the cookies.
(Make sure to check out the FAQ section below in this post for ingredient and substitution questions.)
How to Make these Cookies:
Let’s talk about how to make gingerbread cookies without molasses. (The printable instructions are in the recipe card below.)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and add parchment paper to two baking sheets. You don’t need to spray or grease the pans.
To a large bowl, add the butter and the sugar and mix with an electric mixer on medium-high for about 5 minutes. It should be light and fluffy.
Add the egg and honey and mix until well combined.
In another bowl, add the flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon and cloves. Whisk everything well and gradually add that mixture to the butter mixture.
Note that the batter will get thick and you may need to switch to hand mixing it.
Cover and chill the dough for about 30 minutes to an hour.
Using a medium-sized cookie scoop (or a tablespoon), scoop out dough and roll the dough into balls using clean hands.
Next, roll the balls in sugar and set onto them on the baking sheets.
Make sure to place the dough balls about 2 inches apart from each other because they will spread.
Bake the cookies at 350 degrees F for about 12-15 minutes on the middle rack.
Remove the cookies from the oven and set them on a wire rack for about 4 minutes.
After about 4-5 minutes, remove the cookies from the pans and place them directly onto the cooling racks to cool completely before adding glaze.
The glaze is optional, but if you want to make it, here’s how to: Just add all the glaze ingredients to a bowl and mix with a whisk or a fork.
Check the consistency. If it’s too thick, add another teaspoon of milk at a time and mix well.
Drizzle the glaze onto the tops of the ginger cookies. Set the cookies to the side for a few minutes for the glaze to set up.
(Remember, all of the instructions will be below in the printable recipe card.)
Soft & Chewy Gingerbread Cookies without Molasses
For the cookie dough:
- 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature (2 sticks)
- 1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 large egg
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger (may use 1 1/2 teaspoons of ginger if a stronger ginger flavor is desired)
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
For the glaze:
- 1 cup sifted confectioner’s sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 1/2 teaspoon corn syrup (optional, but this will help the glaze firm up)
For the cookie dough:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and add parchment paper to two baking sheets.
- To a large bowl, add the butter and the sugar and mix with an electric mixer on medium-high for about 5 minutes. It should be light and fluffy.
- Add the egg and honey and mix until well combined.
- In another bowl, add the flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon and cloves. Whisk well and gradually add to the butter mixture. The batter will get thick and you may need to switch to hand mixing it.
- Cover and chill the dough for about 30 minutes to an hour.
- Using a medium-sized cookie scoop (or a tablespoon), scoop out dough and roll into balls using clean hands.
- Roll the balls in sugar and set onto the baking sheets. Place the dough balls about 2 inches apart from each other. Don't press the cookies down as they will spread out on their own when baking.
- Bake at 350 degrees F for about 12-15 minutes on the middle rack. Cookies will spread out and will turn a darker brown. Remove the cookies from the oven and set on a wire rack for about 4 minutes, then remove the cookies from the pans and place directly onto cooling racks to cool completely before adding glaze. (Adding the glaze is optional.)
For the glaze: (This recipe makes just enough for a light drizzle on each cake as it is a rather sweet glaze.)
- Add all the glaze ingredients to a bowl and mix with a whisk or a fork.
- Check the consistency. If it's too thick, add another teaspoon of milk at a time and mix well.
- Drizzle the glaze onto the tops of the ginger cookies. Set the cookies to the side for a few minutes for the glaze to set up.
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Tips & FAQs:
Oh definitely. Using dark brown sugar in combination with honey makes it possible to make gingerbread cookies without molasses and you’ll still get that great gingerbread flavor.
Unsalted is always best because you can estimate the proper amount of salt that will be added plus salted has a different water content than unsalted.
However, if you’re unable to get unsalted butter, you can use salted in this recipe, but make sure to omit the additional salt the recipe calls for.
That may work out okay, but the flavor of the cookies will not be quite as deep as if you’d used dark brown sugar.
No, this recipe will not turn out with the same flavor if you use plain sugar.
No, this recipe will not turn out with the same flavor and texture if you leave out the honey.
Make sure not to pack the flour down into the measuring cup when you’re measuring. Spoon the flour into the measuring cup and level it off, but don’t scoop the flour with the measuring cup as that will actually pack the flour down into the cup, which ends up actually adding too much flour to the dough.
Absolutely. If you like a super strong ginger flavor, go ahead and use up to 2 teaspoons of ground ginger.
No, the glaze is optional and just gives the cookies a nice, flavorful finishing touch.
Corn syrup is optional, but adding it to the glaze will help it firm up so that the glaze doesn’t make a mess or smear onto the other cookies.
Cookies will spread out, firm up and will turn a darker brown.
I have not tried freezing these cookies although I think they would be just fine either frozen after baked or just freezing the cookie dough.
Make sure the cookies or the dough are covered well in plastic wrap and in foil and freeze for up to 2 months.
These cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to about 5-6 days.
These cookies are best served at room temperature.
Supplies used for this recipe:
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