Katie’s Fat Molasses Cookies – big, soft & comforting

Servings: 24 serving(s)

Prep time: 15 minutes

Total time: 30 minutes

Cooking time: 15 minutes

Take me to the recipe

The texture of these cookies is lovely and light, almost a little biscuit like. And they’re not too sweet.

There’s nothing I love better than hearing the stories behind your favourite molasses recipes. It takes me back to my own childhood kitchen and makes me feel welcomed into your home. This recipe for Katie’s Fat molasses cookies came from Leone Campbell, who recalled the day 48 years ago that she first tasted them.

Here is Leone’s story:

“Reading through my recipe box I came across my recipe for molasses cookies that I have been baking for over 48 years. As a young woman I had walked over to visit my older aunt and as I entered the house was delightfully welcomed by the smell of molasses. Her housekeeper, Katie, had just taken a pan of cookies from the oven. I was invited to sit for a cup of tea and a “fat molasses cookie”. I immediately asked for the recipe and “Katie” happily shared it with me.

Forty eight years later it is still my family’s favorite and has been present on many car trips as we travelled through the Maritimes visiting family and friends. Our travel snack has always been fat molasses cookies and cheese—never McDonald’s!!! Now my grandchildren are baking and eating them using the same recipe and silently thanking “Katie” and Crosby’s.”

The texture of these cookies is lovely and light, almost a little biscuit like. And they’re not too sweet.  Yes, great with a slice of cheese or on their own. Take care not to roll them too thin (for me that meant keeping the dough twice as thick as usual). That’s the key to the addictive texture. And I suppose why they’re called “fat” cookies.

The texture of these cookies is lovely and light, almost a little biscuit like. And they’re not too sweet.

I made big fat rounds and my daughter (she’s 9) used her half of the dough to make Halloween cut-out cookies for the kids in our neighbourhood .

Katie’s Fat Molasses Cookies

A molasses memory from Leone Campbell

  • 4 3/4 cups of flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3 teaspoons ginger or cinnamon
  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 cup Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  1. In a large bowl cream the butter, sugar and eggs.
  2. In another bowl combine dry ingredients.
  3. Add dry to creamed mixture, alternating with molasses and milk.
  4. Roll or pat out on a lightly floured surface, keeping the dough thick (up to 1 cm).
  5. Cut in favourite shapes.
  6. Bake 375 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes (watch closely after 10 minutes)

These freeze beautifully, if they last that long.

What’s your family’s favourite cookie recipe?

One more thing…

If you’re in search of family-friendly food that’s easy to prepare, healthy and tastes good, then sign up to receive blog posts by email. We’d love to send you our monthly newsletter too. It includes cooking tips, menu ideas, featured recipes and more. Here’s the link to subscribe.

39 thoughts on “Katie’s Fat Molasses Cookies – big, soft & comforting

  1. Jennifer B says:

    Every year when it snows for the first time we stop what we are doing and make gingerbread. This is something we have been doing for about 9 years now. In October the kids start asking if we have molasses!

    Those cookies look wonderful!

    1. Bridget says:

      What a great story. I might start the same tradition with my kids!

  2. Jay says:

    Thanks for the familiar-sounding story. Molasses cookies (of a similar recipe) were always a treat from my grandmother, as kids, and will always remind me of family get-togethers.

  3. Jane says:

    When I saw these cookies it reminded me of the ones my Grandmam and Mom used to make. We called them Fat Archies. They truly are delicious.

    1. Bridget says:

      Isn’t it great how recipes get their names!

  4. Rita Doucet says:

    I use again and again

  5. linda says:

    the recipe I have calls them Joe Froggers, I have no idea where the name comes from, but the cookies are delicious.

    1. Bridget says:

      Hi Linda — I was given a recipe for Joe Froggers! It recipe came out of a cookbook compiled by the Peterborough Historical Society. Does your recipe call for rum?

  6. Judy says:

    I am definitely going to make these…Christmas would not be Christmas without gingerbread cookies.

  7. Susan says:

    These cookies sounded so good! So I tried them and I couldn’t roll them out since the dough was so soft. So I made drop cookies instead. Not as pretty but still tasty!

    1. Bridget says:

      Hi Susan,
      You’re right, the dough is very soft. If you make them again you could try patting out the dough. Also, I used a generous amount of flour with mine and keep a very light touch with the rolling pin. The cookie texture is lovely if you can get it to work for you.

  8. evelyne brien says:

    My question is can the milk be substituted by tea or coffee or plain water? Thank you.

    1. Bridget says:

      Hi Evelyn,
      Yes, all would make great substitutions!

  9. Sue Robinson says:

    HI…I have been trying to find a molasses cookie recipe for a long time now. As a little girl, I couldn’t wait to visit my Great Aunt Gladys so I could have some of her fantastic molasses cookies. They were big & fat, not quite round because I guess they must’ve spread while they baked so they’d always have one or 2 flat sides. They would be a little chewy & moist & oh so good with a glass of milk. I still remember she kept them in a round, red plaid tin. I was especially lucky if I got to her house right after she had baked new ones! Not only could I then have a nice warm one but walking into her kitchen was like being wrapped in a spicy, brown sugary, “lally” scented blanket. (for those who don’t understand, lally was our family’s word for molasses) I am so hoping that this recipe turns out to be like my Aunt’s. I will be baking them tomorrow & will let you know.

    1. Bridget says:

      Hi Sue,
      What a beautiful story! I just love it when people share their cookie memories. I hope that these are similar to your Great Aunt Gladys’. Let me know!

  10. Kristen says:

    This will be the recipe my grandchildren ask for in 30 years. These cookies ARE what you remember from your childhood.

    1. Bridget says:

      Hi Kristen, What a great thought!Baking cookies and making memories…

  11. Deidre says:

    I been searching for THE perfect molasses cookie recipe for a long time. I made these- used half butter and half shortening. Without a doubt THE best cookie ever. Thanks so much for sharing.
    My grandmother used to make a similar cookie but with caraway seeds sprinkled on top- which as a young girl I would promptly scrape off!

    1. Bridget says:

      Dear Deidre, I’m so glad you liked them! There’s nothing like finding a great cookie recipe.

  12. Daniel Brideau says:

    Hi there, my name is Daniel and I live in Chilliwack , BC. I grew up in New Brunswick in a small city named Saint John, population approximately 75,000. One day I was walking through Saint John City Market, Est. 1786, when I stopped at the bakery and purchased a pack of molasses cookies that were exactly like these, 6 in a row for $1.50. I was young then and had a big appetite but could only accomplish 2 3/4 of these maritime classic molasses cookies. I tried your recipe and boy was I some happy when these huge bad boys come outta the oven and arrived in my mouth. Thanks for sharing the awesome recipe and bringing good memories back to me.

    1. Bridget Oland says:

      Hi Daniel, Great that you rediscovered an old favourite. By the way, we’re based in Saint John and still have all of our operations on Rothesay Ave.

  13. Nathalie says:

    Good day,

    Found this recipe through a Facebook page and was wondering if I can use whole wheat flour to make it healthier. Apparently, the recipe was used to replace the Bear Paws and it was a hit. Planning on making these to put in my daughter’s lunch box for school.

    1. Hi Nathalie, Yes, go ahead and use whole wheat flour for the recipe. The first time you make them you might want to try substituting ww for half of the flour and decide if you like the texture.

  14. Brenda says:

    Are these a crisp cookie? Or soft & chewy?

    1. Hi Brenda, These fat molasses cookies are a soft cookie, and not chewy. If you rolled them thinner and cookies them longer they’d be crispy.

  15. Pat Dixon says:

    When I was a small girl my sister and I would walk a small country road from our farm to my Grandmother’s farm
    to catch the school bus because the bus only came as far
    as Grandma’s house ‘ often times it was a cold winter walk
    And when we got to Grandma’s we were greeted with cold milk and the most delicious large cake.ike molasses cookies
    That was our favorite breakfast it made the walk more fun
    we were young in elementary school didn’t mind the walk but it is one of my happiest memories getting to Grandma’s and eating those giant molasses cookies I’ve tried for years to recreate those cookies but can never get them cake like
    and can never taste the molasses enough

    1. Bridget Oland says:

      Hi Pat, What a lovely memory. Thank you for sharing it. I do love how food memories are about so much more than food.

  16. Doreen says:

    There was an older re wipe that was famous in our family of 9. Molasses cookies were made regularly once a week. They were the best. But I do remember watching my mom using colts tea and would pit the babying soda on the tea before adding to the mixture. Do you have the order the ingredients would go I using this method and I loved when they were big and have crackes going through them. What makes them crack and not smooth.

    1. Lynn Purdy says:

      Doreen, the method of putting the baking soda on tea before adding it, is not something I am familiar with. The baking soda mixed with warm water is usually one of the last ingredients added, as it makes the cookies rise while baking, causing the cracks. Fresh baking soda and a correct temperature oven are tow of the tricks to getting a cracked top on a cookie. I do hope that this was helpful.

  17. Joan Dow says:

    These are just like my Grammy Johnson used to make and when I pulled the first pan out of the oven they put a huge smile on my face….my parents would load 6 kids into our station wagon and off to the village of Gagetown we would go to Grammy’s house….we knew these cookies would be waiting for us in a big tin can in the pantry…it didn’t matter if she knew we were coming or not…no matter how many of her numerous grandchildren showed up, there was always cookies in the can. That can is still in the family and gets passed around at every family gathering by our aunt. Now I can carry on the tradition…thank you for the wonderful recipe!

    1. Lynn Purdy says:

      Joan, I am always amazed at the lovely memories that people share, all in the name of food (molasses). Thanks for sharing and I am happy that you have a recipe that will make your family happy.

  18. Eleanor dean says:

    I have been trying numerous molasses receipe as my wonderful mother inlaw from nfld. Now deceased made the best but hers were drop cookies. Hoping this works for me.

    1. Bridget Oland says:

      Hi Eleanor, I hope you enjoyed the cookies. I know I have a molasses drop cookie someplace…

  19. Thelma dixon says:


    Many fond memories of molasses cookies baked by my mother. In Chipman, New Brunswick. My grandmother lived down the road and always had rolled out molasses and sugar cookies in a big tin in her back porch. Lovely Memories of Crosby molasses.

    Thelma Dixon
    Aurora, Ontario.

    1. Bridget Oland says:

      Hi Thelma, I love that tradition of always having cooking on hand for family snacking and for visitors. Such a generous gesture. Thanks for sharing your memory.

  20. Jean says:

    I have a similar recipe from my mother-in-law. She would always leave the dough sit in the refrigerator for an hour or so before rolling it out. That seemed to help to firm it up a little so it wouldn’t be so sticky. Hope that helps.

    1. Bridget Oland says:

      Thanks Jean, that’s a great tip.

  21. Sandra says:

    I must be the only one that had an issue with these cookies. They were too sticky to roll & after adding another cup of flour, that didn’t help . I finally ended up making drop cookies out of them, but I ruined the taste with too much flour . I should add I am 75 yrs old so not my 1st time making cookies lol

    1. Bridget Oland says:

      Hi Sandra, The dough is very soft. I use lots of flour on the counter and rolling pin and roll with a light hand to keep them from sticking. Another option is to pat them out.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *