Ila’s Soft Molasses Cookies Recipe

Servings: 2 dozen serving(s)

Prep time: 15 minutes

Total time: 25 minutes

Cooking time: 10 minutes

Take me to the recipe

This recipe for soft molasses drop cookies is one of the oldest in my family. It’s a recipe my grandmother used to make and likely my great grandmother too. With a cake-like texture these are comforting cookies that are good plain or made as thumbprint cookies with a dollop of jam. Soft molasses cookies recipe: A soft, cake-like molasses cookie sandwiched with a cinnamon scented vanilla frosting

Childhood memories of food go way back in my family. One of my mom’s earliest memories of her grandmother is that the cookie jar was always filled to the brim with these big soft molasses cookies. It’s a wonderful image… except that my mom never liked soft molasses cookies. She preferred cookies with crunch.

My siblings and I grew up loving whatever cookies were offered, including these soft molasses cookies which we named Ila’s cookies, after my grandmother. Her cookie jar was also filled with them and among us kids they were as famous as my Puppa’s four-legged chickens.

When Ila was no longer able to cook my mom continued to bake them for us, often making them as thumbprint cookies with a dollop of raspberry jam.

My kids love them whoopee pie-style, sandwiched with a bit of frosting flavoured with vanilla and cinnamon or ginger.

Like many cookie recipes, this batter is very forgiving. I once accidentally doubled the butter which made the dough runny. I simply added an extra cup of flour, gave the dough a chance to firm up a bit, and the cookies were still delicious. I have also made the recipe with blackstrap molasses. Not popular with my kids but I enjoyed them. The intense flavour was reminiscent of good dark chocolate.


Ila’s Soft Molasses Cookies Recipe


  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¾ cup butter, softened
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 cup Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • 3 ½ to 4 cups flour (spooned in)
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. cloves
  • Pinch of salt
  • Raisins, if desired


  1.  Mix in order given.
  2. Drop by tablespoonful on a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet.
  3. Bake at 400 F for 10 min.
  4. Sandwich with a basic icing, flavoured with cinnamon or ginger.
  5. Chill the batter for 15 minutes if your cookies are too flat for your liking.

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2 thoughts on “Ila’s Soft Molasses Cookies Recipe

  1. Sarah says:

    Hmm….just made these. I must have done something wrong. Although they taste good, they are more like mini cakes than cookies. They puffed right up and have a very fluffy cake texture. A bit too big to make whoopee pies with.

    What do you think I did wrong?

    1. Bridget says:

      Hi Sarah, I’ll touch base via email so we can figure this out.

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