Chewy Chocolate Ginger Molasses Cookies

Chewy Chocolate Ginger Molasses Cookies

These chewy ginger molasses cookies, made with plenty of warm spices plus melted chocolate and cocoa powder, are really something special. They might just be your next “signature” cookie!

These chewy ginger molasses cookies, made with plenty of warm spices plus melted chocolate and cocoa powder, are really something special. They might just be your next "signature" cookie!

What cookies can do is nothing short of amazing. The main cast of characters (butter, sugars, eggs, flour) can be tweaked here and there and go from thin and crispy to thick and chewy just like that.

These chewy chocolate ginger molasses cookies add melted chocolate to the butter, and amp up the sugar situation with granulated and dark brown sugars, along with plenty of molasses. They need just one egg yolk (for texture), and they really (really) pack in the spices: cinnamon, nutmeg, ground ginger, cloves and even freshly grated ginger. Pow!

If you’re looking for a chewy molasses cookie that’s a little more low key, try these thin and chewy gluten free molasses cookies. For a cutout holiday gingerbread cookie, try these soft gluten free gingerbread men, or these thin and crispy gluten free gingerbread men. The point is this: whatever your cookie needs, we’ve got you covered!

These chewy ginger molasses cookies, made with plenty of warm spices plus melted chocolate and cocoa powder, are really something special. They might just be your next "signature" cookie!

The result? Rich chocolate, warm spices (and some serious bite from all that ground and fresh ginger), a slightly crispy outside and the chewiest of cookies. Rolling them in sanding sugar before baking adds to that crispy shell, and also keeps the cookies from baking up too dark as well.

You don’t want the dough to be super cold during baking, or the cookies won’t spread enough in the oven. Chill it to allow the flavors to marry, and then shape it with your hands but don’t chill it again. If the cookie dough becomes hard during chilling, just break it up with a fork before pulling off portions and shaping them.

Click play ▶️ to watch this 1 minute video of ginger molasses cookies

These chewy ginger molasses cookies, made with plenty of warm spices plus melted chocolate and cocoa powder, are really something special. They might just be your next "signature" cookie!

Ingredients and Substitutions

As always, unless I specifically state otherwise, I haven’t tried this recipe with any of the following substitutions. They’re just my educated guesses!

Dairy-Free: I’d try Spectrum butter-flavored nonhydrogenated shortening in place of butter in this recipe.  Just make sure the semisweet chopped chocolate and chocolate chips you use are dairy-free, too.

Egg-Free: Replacing an egg yolk is always tough, since a “chia egg” won’t do. Maybe try just leaving it out and replacing it with another ounce of chopped chocolate?

Fresh Ginger: These cookies are pretty spicy. If you’d like a bit less of a ginger bite, leave out the grated fresh ginger. By the way, did you know you don’t have to peel fresh ginger before grating it? Just grate on a Microplane, peel and all.

Sanding Sugar: It’s oddly rather difficult to find reliably gluten free sanding sugar. Wilton and India Tree products are not reliably gluten free, and they seem to be the most available. I was able to find Chef’s Select brand on Amazon.com (affiliate link, but shop around!). Of course, you can simply skip this step or just use regular granulated sugar. The sanding sugar is just, well, festive. 🎉

These chewy ginger molasses cookies, made with plenty of warm spices plus melted chocolate and cocoa powder, are really something special. They might just be your next signature cookie!

Like this recipe?

Prep time: Cook time: Yield: 16 cookies


8 tablespoons (112 g) unsalted butter, chopped

2 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped

1/4 cup (84 g) unsulphured molasses

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 cups plus 1 tablespoon (219 g) all purpose gluten free flour (I used Better Batter)

3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1 tablespoon (5 g) unsweetened cocoa powder

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 1/4 teaspoons ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger

1/4 cup (50 g) granulated sugar

1/2 cup (109 g) packed dark brown sugar

1 egg yolk (25 g), at room temperature

6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips

White sanding sugar, for rolling (optional)


  • In a medium-size bowl, place the butter and chopped chocolate and melt in a double boiler or in the microwave in 30-second bursts, stirring until smooth. Add the molasses and baking soda, and mix to combine. Set the bowl aside.

  • In a large bowl, place the flour, xanthan gum, salt, cocoa powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, ground ginger, cloves and freshly grated ginger, and whisk to combine. Add the sugars, and mix to combine, breaking up any lumps in the brown sugar. Create a well in the center, add the melted butter and chocolate mixture and the egg yolk, and mix to combine. The cookie dough will be soft but thick. Add the chocolate chips and mix until evenly distributed throughout the dough. Cover the cookie dough and refrigerate for at least an hour and up to a few days.

  • Before baking, preheat your oven to 375°F. Line rimmed baking sheets with unbleached parchment paper. Remove the dough from the refrigerator. Break up the dough with the tines of a fork, and gather pieces of dough about the size of a golf ball (about 2 tablespoonful), roll tightly into a ball and press into a 1/2-inch thick disk. Roll on all sides in the optional sanding sugar, pressing to help the sugar adhere. Place on a prepared baking sheet about 2 inches apart.

  • Place the baking sheets, one at a time, in the center of the preheated oven and bake until the surfaces crack slightly and the cookies are just set in the center (about 10 minutes). Remove from the oven and allow to cool for at least 10 minutes on the baking sheet before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

  • This recipe can be doubled easily, and the cookies can be frozen once baked. If you’d like to freeze the shaped dough, freeze it without the sanding sugar in a single layer on a baking sheet before piling the pieces into a freezer-safe bag. Allow the dough to soften to room temperature before rolling in sanding sugar and baking. Adapted from Martha Stewart.


Comments are closed.

  • Lynn
    December 21, 2017 at 3:42 PM

    Thanks for the great recipe! I made them dairy free (df chocolate and smart balance spread) and egg free (Ener-G egg replacer) and they turned out fantastic. Just thought I’d share in case anyone had questions about making them egg and dairy free. I really appreciate that you’ve started adding substitutions at the bottom of your recipes, Nicole. Thanks!

    • Nicole Hunn
      December 22, 2017 at 9:04 AM

      That’s great, Lynn. Thanks so much for letting us know. Substitution trial information is always welcome! It’s a big help. :)

  • Maggie
    December 20, 2017 at 6:03 AM

    Nicole, I just bought your book. I love it so far. I am confused if I’m using a flour without xanthan gum. . When I look at your mock better batter mix, there is 1 tsp of xanthan gum per cup but some of your recipes call for less xanthan gum if you use a gum free flour. Like in this recipe or your butter cookie recipe. Why isn’t the xanthan gum equal?

    • Nicole Hunn
      December 20, 2017 at 8:02 AM

      Hi, Maggie,
      Xanthan gum is like any other ingredient. Sometimes you need more, sometimes you need less!

  • Renee
    December 16, 2017 at 3:07 PM

    Can I substitute coconut sugar for the granulated sugar?

    • Nicole Hunn
      December 16, 2017 at 5:26 PM

      No, I don’t recommend that at all, Renee.

  • Liddie Deshotel
    December 14, 2017 at 2:35 PM

    OMG!! I just made these as per the recipe and they are out of this world delicious!! Thanks for your hard work on all the recipes!

  • Abigail
    December 13, 2017 at 12:09 AM

    I made these tonight without an egg (because I didn’t realize I was out!) and also forgot to add the chocolate chips at the end and they were still good! (I opted for no fresh ginger since I’m not huge on the spice, maybe the chips would be more necessary to balance out the more intense ginger?) Looking forward to having a few with coffee tomorrow!

  • Mollie
    December 12, 2017 at 8:35 PM

    I just made these today, and they are absolutely delicious! I am known in my family for making hundreds of Christmas cookies every year, but since going gluten-free, I’ve struggled to make even a few favorites. Thanks to your yummy recipes, my freezer is quickly filling up with lots of cookies again – and they are so tasty! Thank you, Nicole!

  • Linda
    December 12, 2017 at 8:40 AM

    The fresh ginger is an amazing addition! But I’m going to say something I never thought I would ever say…too many chocolate chips. I used Ghirardelli chips, which are a little larger than Nestle, and I had a very hard time keeping the chips in my disks. I think maybe half as many would be fine, and the cookie is so delicious, I don’t think they’d be hurt by fewer chocolate chips. (Did I really say that? That’s so not like me!)

    • Nicole Hunn
      December 12, 2017 at 12:50 PM

      Haha Linda that’s crazy talk! Actually, generally I think fewer chocolate chips are better, but there are already only 6 ounces, which is about 1 cup. I could see larger chips being more of an issue, though. Thanks for letting us know! 🙂

    • Mollie
      December 12, 2017 at 8:39 PM

      I actually used Ghirardelli chips today, and no one complained about the chocolate! It takes a little extra work when rolling into a ball, but super yummy!

  • Julia
    December 11, 2017 at 1:02 PM

    HEY NICOLE – Great recipe – I’ll try chia egg, and, just so you know . . . .
    You DID add the egg yolk to the directions, but, It is NOT added to the ingredients
    Many thanks
    Happy baking

    • Julia
      December 11, 2017 at 1:06 PM

      Now i see it way at the bottom – 1 egg yolk!
      My bad

    December 10, 2017 at 4:43 PM

    Hello nicole! Do you think I could scratch the cocoa if I don’t want the chocolate flavor? I wanted chewy ginger molasses no chocolate ❤️

    • Nicole Hunn
      December 10, 2017 at 4:57 PM

      No, Heather, you definitely can’t do that. There isn’t just cocoa, there’s also melted chocolate in the batter. Please see the link in the text of the post to my chewy molasses cookies—or just use the search function!

  • Glenna
    December 10, 2017 at 11:14 AM

    Nicole, thank you for so many wonderful cookies and other recipes! I love everything I make from you and I know these cookies will be great too. You mentioned making and storing cookies, what do you recommend the best way to store cookies until you give/serve them?

    • Nicole Hunn
      December 10, 2017 at 1:44 PM

      Hi, Glenna, thank you for the kind words. I always recommend freezing in a freezer-safe container. Air is the enemy of frozen baked goods, so try to remove as much of that as possible. I’m working on 22 boxes of cookies for gifting to my husband’s coworkers, and I’ve got a freezerful. :)

  • Lisa Gibbs
    December 8, 2017 at 1:32 PM

    Wow! They are wonderful! I did use sanding sugar, the outer crunch is fantastic, chewy inside is delicious! I did not use the freshly grated ginger (would use it for myself, but my husband is the GF person and can’t do too much ginger) but otherwise followed the recipe as posted (see other comments from me about baking soda and egg yolk). I asked my husband what he thought after he ate his first cookie, and his reply was, “Oh…this is my third! Does that tell you what I think?” LOL!

    • Nicole Hunn
      December 8, 2017 at 1:54 PM

      That’s awesome, Lisa! Thanks for letting us know. :)

  • Joanna
    December 8, 2017 at 12:05 PM

    Hi – when do you add the egg yolk? In the melted butter/chocolate or by itself?

    • Nicole Hunn
      December 8, 2017 at 1:24 PM

      After you add the melted butter/chocolate mixture to the flour mixture. I added it. So sorry, Joanna!

  • Lisa Gibba
    December 8, 2017 at 11:49 AM

    I am about to shape these, roll in sugar, and slide them into the oven! I did see that the addition of the egg yolk is left out of the directions – I added it with the sugars. Fresh egg from my own hens this morning! I will let you know how the cookies turn out.

    • Nicole Hunn
      December 8, 2017 at 1:23 PM

      It’s all fixed now, Lisa. So sorry!

  • Lisa Gibbs
    December 8, 2017 at 10:27 AM

    I am making this right now, looks as though it will be delicious! I did not see baking soda in the ingredients listing, so I googled the Martha Stewart recipe and found it calls for 1 teaspoon of baking soda, hopefully that is correct! Can’t wait to have my home filled with all these wonderfully rich spicy smells!

    • Alison
      December 8, 2017 at 1:11 PM

      I noticed that too about the baking powder. I was going to do the same. 😀

      • Nicole Hunn
        December 8, 2017 at 1:24 PM

        There’s no baking powder, Alison. Only baking soda. I included it now. So sorry!

  • Anneke
    December 8, 2017 at 10:19 AM

    I have been making lots of cookies lately — really doing the shoestring approach to the food budget! I finally have a handle on baking cookies (it took me years to get good at it) and these are getting added to the repertoire. They look delicious!

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