Cape Breton Molasses Biscuits with butter

Cape Breton Molasses Biscuits

Cape Breton Molasses Biscuits are old fashioned thick-cut molasses cookies. Not-too-sweet.

A little while ago, writer and photographer Kelly Neil wrote a lovely piece in the Halifax Chronicle Herald about two Cape Breton grandmothers. As you may have guessed (or assumed) an East Coast article about grandmothers is bound to include memories of fresh baking and time around the table.

As an added treat, this article included an old fashioned recipe for molasses biscuits, a thick cut soft molasses cookie that isn’t too sweet.

Cape Breton Molasses Biscuits with knife and butter

Our version below includes a couple of slight modifications to the original recipe as it was printed in the paper. We use butter instead of shortening and double the amount of ginger.

The dough is quite soft but resist the urge to add much extra flour when you’re rolling or patting them out.

Reader tips:

  • Refrigerate the dough overnight if you find it too soft.
  • Use a cookie scoop instead of rolling and cutting the dough. Flatten the dough with a fork before baking.

Cape Breton molasses biscuits are good served with butter, peanut butter or a slice of cheese.



Cape Breton Molasses Biscuits

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

No reviews

Cape Breton Molasses Biscuits are old fashioned thick-cut molasses cookies. Not-too-sweet.

  • Author: Crosby’s Molasses
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 16 minutes
  • Total Time: 31 minutes
  • Yield: Makes about 2 dozen biscuits (using a 2 ½” round cookie cutter) 1x
  • Category: Cookies


  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1 cup Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • 1/2 cup milk soured with 1 Tbsp. vinegar*
  • 4 1/2 cups flour, spooned in
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. cloves
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 ½ tsp. ginger


*To sour the milk: Add 1 Tbsp. vinegar to ½ cup measuring cup and fill with milk. Let sit 5 minutes until it curdles.


  1. Preheat oven to 350º F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl cream the butter and sugar.
  3. Beat in the egg, then the molasses and milk.
  4. In a separate bowl whisk the flour, baking soda, salt and spices.
  5. Stir dry into the wet mixture in two additions (don’t over mix).
  6. Scrape dough onto a lightly floured surface and roll or pat  ½” thick.
  7. Cut into rounds and prick with a fork.
  8. Bake 16-18 minutes, until the tops just bounce back.
  9. Let cool on the pan.


Cape Breton molasses biscuits are good served with butter, peanut butter or a slice of cheese.


  • September 23, 2023


    Hi. Can I use blackstrap molasses for this recipe ?

    • December 13, 2023

      Crosby Molasses

      Hello Alisa. Absolutely, you can use blackstrap molasses in the Cape Breton Molasses Biscuits recipe! However, it’s important to note that blackstrap molasses has a more robust and intense flavor compared to regular molasses. If you enjoy a stronger molasses taste, go ahead and use blackstrap molasses. Just be mindful that it might impart a deeper, more pronounced flavor to the biscuits. You can also make a blend of blackstrap and fancy molasses. Adjust the quantity based on your personal preference, and feel free to experiment to find the perfect balance for your taste buds. -Marie from Crosby’s Kitchen

  • November 17, 2022


    In the Cape Breton molasses one I followed the recipe exactly. I am an experienced baker and that dough was overly soft , impossible to to handle . I managed to to roll it lightly after
    adding another cup of flour .

    • March 27, 2023


      Made these cookies and found they are very dark and I think 1tsp of cloves is way to much, cookies turned out dark and taste very strong of cloves !

  • April 30, 2022

    Liette Saint-Amand

    Hi Bridget! I love molasse and want to make those delicious cookies but I have tonwatch my sugar. What can I substitute the sugar with outside of the molasse of course? Tks in advance!

    • May 9, 2022

      Crosby Molasses

      Hello Liette, thank you for your comment. We have never tried this recipe without sugar so if you give it a try, let us know! -Marie at Crosby’s Kitchen

  • March 6, 2021

    Lee Anne Watt

    I am making these today. I have fond memories of growing up in Cape Breton and my mother baking molasses cookies in our coal stove . They were a favourite treats with some butter and a hot cup of tea. I just took the first batch out of the oven and can’t wait to try them!

  • March 5, 2021

    Elaine T

    Hi Bridget
    My grandfather worked in logging
    camps as a cook in NB, both my mother and father made them,but unfortunately they never did have a written recipe. I’m sure this recipe
    is very close to his. I’m going to make this recipe today. These cookies were referred to as Camp Cakes I’ll let you know if this just might be the recipe
    I’ve been searching for.

  • February 16, 2021

    Janet Siebert

    Hi Bridget. Love love love molasses. My grandmother loved her entire life on the Gaspe peninsula. Because of distance I only got to see her a few times. One of the things she would make was molasses tea biscuits. Would anyone have a recipe? I’d love to recreate them, and of course I’d like the cookbook if it’s still available. Thank you

    • February 24, 2023


      Hi,love molasses, may I have your recepie for molasses tea biscuits please.Hope to hear from you soon.

  • January 24, 2021

    Kathy Madden

    Hi Bridget, I would truly appreciate receiving Crosby’s recipe books, please. My eyes are so very bad at reading small print in emails but I find the printed page okay.
    Your help would be greatly appreciated. My address is:
    321-11 Coatsworth Crescent,
    Toronto, Ontario
    M4C 5P8

    Thank you so very much. Have a great day and say safe.
    Kathy Madden

  • September 27, 2020

    Sheila Brett/McKinnon

    I’m so excited to try these two recipes. I have been searching for years to try and find one like my Great Grama, MacGillivary/MacGillvray (she spelled it one way and my great grandfather spelled it another, lol) made when I was a child in the 1960s. She was from Sydney Cape Breton and was well into her 80s/90s then. Gram did everything from memory. She cooked with a coal stove. Her cookies/biscuits were so thick, you would slice them and put butter on. I sure hope these are similar!

  • July 29, 2020

    Valerie Ann MacKenzie

    Hi Bridget:

    Many thanks for the recipe on the Grandmother from Cape Breton Molasses cookies. Our grandmother here at Piper’s Cove made the very best molasses cookies and she always had a batch made whenever we came to visit. Plus she was cooking on the wood stove! There were no electric stoves back then!
    Once again, many thanks and have only super nice days.

  • July 5, 2020


    My mother in law made these a lot. We called them fat Archie’s! I’m so glad I wrote out her recipe years ago! I love them with a bit of butter and a cup of tea! ?

  • March 20, 2020

    Terry Prentice

    I. Found this way too soft and sticky to roll out a 1/2 inch thick. Did one tray anyway, then put the dough into the refrigerator overnight. Worked way better and the cookies were thicker. Actually made three dozen with a 2-1/2 inch cutter.

  • March 19, 2020


    I needed some comfort food so when I saw the link to this recipe in your recent email I knew it was time to bake! These biscuits are delicious. For an extra special treat we had with a bit of butter and some cheddar cheese.
    I didn’t roll out the dough – instead I used a cookie scoop and flattened to 1/2″ with a fork (and a little flour). Thanks for another great recipe.

  • March 19, 2020

    Lynda MacAulay

    Good morning. I made these biscuits and added 2 tablespoons of fresh grated ginger. My favourite spice. I split them when cooked, browned the cut sides in a dry frying pan and added fresh ginger butter. Divine. Going to try them with buttermilk later today. My Mom used to make these when we were kids and a a big sticky raisin on top. Then they were called cookies. We hailed from the North Side of PEI and always used lots of molasses. Love using your recipes. Thank you

  • March 18, 2020

    Marjorie Green

    Please send me a recipe book if possible. I will be 83 in May and still make everything from scratch and we also do all our own canning.
    I find the on line cookbooks has printing too small and the computer does not stay open long enough.
    Thank you

  • March 18, 2020

    Glenda Livingstone

    I have made the Healthy Gingerbread muffins & Blueberry Oat Muffins. Delicious! I’ve shared them with friends & they loved them. I would love to receive a copy of your free.recope book. I always have Crosby Molasses in my house. So good on homemade bread toasted.

    • February 24, 2023


      Hi, am from New Brunswick, I would love to havecur recepie

  • January 24, 2020

    Not sure whether the free cookbook is still available, but if it is,I sure would appreciate this from you!
    Planning on making The Cape Breton Molasses Biscuits Recipe today.
    I do enjoy baking. My favourite Hobby.

  • June 20, 2019

    Sheila champion

    I found 4 1/2 cups was not enough had to keep adding flour so I could handle it. The taste was there

  • April 21, 2019

    Dorothy Macisaac

    I made the 1 bowl gingerbread cake yesterday,the best moist, the next time I will add a little more ginger,nevertheless I love all your recipes thank goodness for technology,I look fwd to all molasses recipes. Thanks for sharing.

  • March 14, 2019

    Caron. Harker

    Hello. Bridget. Love these recipes here. My new best brownie is yours !

  • March 14, 2019

    Barb Morrison

    Hi, I saw that nice article about the 2 grandmothers in the Herald and I actually saved the recipe. But of course, I want to try this one for Cape Breton Molasses Biscuits. I haven’t had a recipe from here fail yet! Being a born & bred Cape Bretoner you caught my eye with this post. I’m not sure if they are the same thing we called Fat Archies – similar for sure. Thank you!! :-)

  • March 13, 2019

    shirley bergen

    I have enjoyed baking more since getting your helpful hints like ‘use eggs at room temp.” Why? When I baked the Cape Breton biscuits I was shocked at how much sugar so I halved it. I ran out of molasses so I used 2 oz molasses and 6 oz corn syrup. My family was happy because they do not like the taste of molasses as much as I do. I also skipped spices except ginger. It was still a sharp snappy biscuit – not too sweet.

  • March 13, 2019

    Colleen Withrow

    My Mother made these cookies, but would have collected bacon fat and added with the butter. These cookies were a staple in our home because my Father loved these treasures and would have for lunch or dinner dessert. My Grandmother made the crisp ginger version, also very tasty.

  • February 26, 2019

    nancy lavigne

    Please send me the free cookbook that you advertise on the molasses containers.
    My eyes are too far gone for email recipes. Thank you. I love molasses and use it a lot.
    please send to me at

    Nancy Lavigne
    2811 – 67 Ave.
    Lloydminster AB
    T9V 3H6

  • February 21, 2019


    Thanks Bridget for modifying this recipe!
    I copied it from the Cape Breton Post but I didn’t want to use shortening. I wasn’t sure how or if I could substitute butter. It’s as though you read my mind!

  • February 21, 2019


    I have been looking for a receipt like this. I am originally from NB and my Mom use to make these cookies. She never did use a written receipt and we foolishly never did write it out.

    • June 19, 2019


      Yes, my moms molasses cookies were the best as well. She was from NB and baked these all the time when
      I was small. No recipe just threw them together. They always came out the same. Perfect.

Post a Comment

Recipe rating 5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star