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Indulgent Sourdough Molasses Cookies Recipe


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Soft and chewy Sourdough Molasses cookies are delectable. My family loves these flavorful molasses cookies. And they use up your sourdough discard.

These cookies are perfect for the lunch box and after school treats. They will hold up well and are not too messy.

I have had cravings for molasses cookies for months. My mom and grandma made molasses cookies when I was a kid.

I have my Grandma’s recipe book. but I could NOT find her molasses cookie recipe.

I invited Mom over. We sorted through all the bits and pieces of paper recipes grandma had taped into her cookbook. Many had faded and disintegrated so it wasn’t easy.

sourdough molasses cookies

We finally found the recipe. Mom gave me tips on just how they are made to Perfection.

sourdough molasses cookies on a plate
soft textured, crinkly and full of good chew.

We baked and ate molasses cookies and remembered all the good things…and then I got my sourdough starter out.

More delicious Sourdough Discard recipes:

Using up sourdough starter discard is a fun challenge. If you prefer to bake with your discard rather than throw in away. Here are a few more of our discard recipes.

Looking for more sourdough recipes? Check out our entire section on sourdough recipes.

Sourdough Molasses Cookie Recipe:

sourdough cookies with molasses
A well fed starter can add a lot of puff to your cookies.

I love Grandma big soft molasses cookies Betty Crocker Recipe. but I also enjoy the difference sourdough starter in the batter makes.

I’m a sourdough baker. I always have sourdough starter sitting around feeding and growing. It’s a wonderful addition to these cookies.

sourdough Ginger molasses cookies
Sourdough ginger molasses cookies made with a weaker starter. Delicious and not so puffy.

So of course in it went.

Sourdough Molasses Cookies Ingredients:

Unfed sourdough discard improves the texture of these cookies quite a bit in my opinion. And adds only a slightly more intense flavor.

Ingredients for molasses cookies
Ingredients for molasses cookies

The Starter:

The cookies pictured in this recipe post cam from two different batches. The ONLY difference in the recipe is the sourdough starter.

You control the outcome of your cookies appearance, texture and to some degree flavor with the starter.

TIP: Recently fed starter will add a milder flavor and puffiness to your cookies.

An old gray unloved starter gasping for flour in your fridge will make a deeper flavored cookie that is also less cake like. Do what you like.

You’ll recognize a starving (weak) starter by its gray hooch sitting on top. And lack of bubbles in it. Poor thing.

Stir it up for a good sour starter and feed it. Using that in this recipe before it’s fed will definitely put some tang in your cookie.

The same is true for our sourdough peanut butter cookies. The starter makes a difference every time.

Adding sourdough starter to this recipe makes a chewy molasses cookies that is also fairly soft. The starter will help puff the cookie if it’s recently fed.

Sourdough molasses cookies top view
A strong starter will make a puffy cookie.

I also added baking powder. So now we have a crinkly soft chewy molasses cookie. If you prefer a LESS puffy cookie and have a recently fed starter eliminate the baking powder.

If you are looking to use up some sourdough discard give this recipe a try.

The Fats:

Let’s get it right out there on the table. Cookies are not health food. OK. Moving right along.

raw molasses cookies on tray.
The proper fats will bake these cookie dough balls into the texture you prefer.

I never use shortening. It’s a bit TOO much hardening of the arteries for me. So I exchanged the shortening in grandma’s recipe for either butter or Coconut oil in this recipe.

Use what you like. A true healthy oil like avocado oil or other oil will destroy the cookie structure. Just can’t do it.

TIP: DON’T melt the fats. softening means room temperature. NOT liquid. Or your cookies will be flat and crispy.

Shortening is always an option for you if you have it around. I put a note in the printable recipe card for you.

soft sourdough molasses cookies-pin image
These sourdough molasses cookies are soft, chewy and full of delicious spice. Our recipe is easy to follow and create a tasty plateful of treats that keep well for days.

Visual Walkthrough:

Add brown sugar, egg, butter and molasses
Blackstrap Molasses is just right for these cookies.

Here are all the steps of mixing and forming these great sourdough discard cookies. Please also watch out video for a complete recipe demonstration.

Our printable recipe card is at the bottom of the post for you. Happy Baking!

TIP: Prepare your baking sheet with parchment paper or lay silicone mats on the sheets to prevent sticking. If you have neither grease the baking sheets.

Cool the cookies on wire racks and serve.

molasses cookies with sourdough
A wonderfully soft molasses spice cookie.

Storing these cookies:

These cookies will stay fresh several days in your airtight cookie jar. They need to be covered or they will dry out.

You can store them in a plastic bag in your fridge for longer fresh storage. (up to a week) Just keep the air away from them.


Short term:

  • Stack the completely cooled cookies with parchment between the cookies to keep them from sticking together.
  • Place the stacks in an airtight freezer container.
  • Label with the Name of the recipe and date
  • Store in freezer up to one month.

Longer freezing:

Wrap the stacks of cookies in plastic wrap tightly and then bag or box in freezer bags or containers. Or vacuum wrap the cookies. They will keep up to two months.

Defrost by setting on the counter at room temperature for quicker defrost. Or set them in the fridge for longer defrosting.

Your Printable Recipe Card:

sourdough Ginger molasses cookies
Yield: 24 cookies

Sourdough Molasses Cookies Recipe

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Delicious molasses cookies full of flavor. These ever popular cookies are so easy to make. Your family will love them!


  • 1/2 Cup sourdough starter (recently fed)
  • 1 Cup Brown sugar
  • 1/4 Cup softened Butter
  • 1/4 Cup molasses
  • 1 egg
  • 2 Cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tsp, baking powder
  • 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp. Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • Additional Ingredient: 3 tablespoons sugar for rolling cookies


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees
  2. In a medium bowl Sift together the dry ingredients. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl beat sourdough discard, brown sugar, butter, egg and molasses (I'm using an electric mixer)
  4. Mix the dry ingredients into the wet mixed ingredients with a large wooden spoon.
  5. Shape dough by rounded Tablespoonful into one inch balls.
  6. Dip tops into sugar
  7. On ungreased cookie sheet, place balls, sugared side up about 2 inches apart.
  8. Bake 13 to 16 minutes or until cookies are set and appear dry.
  9. Immediately remove from oven, and place cookies on cooling rack.



  • Use 1/4 Cup shortening (easiest to use the oblong shortening blocks) in place of the butter or coconut oil.
  • Use your starter recently fed or when it's very hungry. Play around with this idea. Your cookies will change quite a bit in texture depending on the condition and liveliness of your starter.
  • This cookie has a lot of spice. We LOVE them. if you prefer a milder cookie eliminate the cloves and reduce the ginger by half.
  • Eliminate the baking powder for a less cake like puffy cookie.

Nutrition Information



Serving Size

1 cookie

Amount Per Serving Calories 119Total Fat 3gSaturated Fat 1gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 1gCholesterol 13mgSodium 143mgCarbohydrates 23gFiber 1gSugar 12gProtein 2g

Did you make this recipe?

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Betsy Eisenhut

Friday 30th of April 2021

I made this recipe and am in love with the flavor and texture! I spent a year in The Netherlands and found their native specloos/speculaas spice combinations amazing and you have duplicated it here! Thank you so much ❤️


Friday 30th of April 2021

Hi Betsy, How interesting! This is a moment of serendipity since I have no experience with that spice combination or the Netherlands. But this is one of my very favorites spice blends. I am happy it served you well. Thanks you so much for letting us know and the great review. Have a wonderful day!


Sunday 7th of February 2021

Its 0 degrees here in Montana and my husband requested molasses cookies. Having plenty of sourdough starter on hand I searched recipes. This is by far the best cookie I have ever made. I'm only angry that it makes enough to last maybe a day lol. They are perfectly spiced. Tastes like Christmas in your mouth. Thank you for an amazing recipe.


Sunday 7th of February 2021

Oh my goodness! That is cold. I'm so happy our cookie recipe can help warm you up and give comfort. Make a double batch next time. They also freeze well. I'm delighted you love them like we do. Happy Baking!


Wednesday 23rd of December 2020

OH! Also, thank you for the info about stirring in the hooch--my sourdough spends significant time off in the fridge and there's always a little moonshine on the top. I have poured it off, but will stir it in next time.


Wednesday 23rd of December 2020

Hi Elizabeth, Thanks you so much for the great review on this recipe AND your ideas on how to use it and change it up. These cookies are always a favorite around here. I'm glad you liked the tip on the hooch. Sometimes I worry I overshare information in my sourdough recipes. It just seems like it's a big subject that needs a lot of clarity. I'm encouraged. Have a wonderful holiday. God bless and best wishes to you and your family.


Wednesday 23rd of December 2020

used about 2 TBSP fresh grated ginger, and a little bit of nutmeg because I didn't have pumpkin pie spice, and THEY TURNED OUT AMAZING!! Thank you for the recipe. I am loving to make cookies with sourdough. Have a Happy Holiday Season and Stay Safe!


Monday 14th of December 2020

My sourdough starter is runny and I accidentally added twice the molasses. Do I just keep adding flour to thicken it to roll? What else can I do?


Monday 14th of December 2020

@Diane, I added some more flour then put it in the fridge for a bit go make it manageable. Unfortunately, I can't taste (thanks covid) but my family loves them! I like the texture. Thank you for the great recipe!


Monday 14th of December 2020

Hi Jenn,...I think the first thing to do is taste the dough and make sure you are liking that extra molasses. If you do just add more flour and see how it goes. But the best solution here may be to double the entire recipe and add a bit more flour to overcome the runny starter. Just make sure you love the flavor before you go on. Personally this is one of my all time fave cookie recipes. If you have a bad result please try again. Happy Holidays!

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