Top 12 Molasses Recipes of 2018

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If you crave comfort food then you’ll love our top molasses recipes of 2018. Muffins, gingerbread cake, baked beans and brown bread all top our bakers-dozen of most-viewed recipes on this website in 2018.

Top 12 molasses recipes of 2018

The more things change the more they stay the same…

When I tallied the most popular recipes on this website for 2018 the list looked vaguely familiar. That’s because all of the recipes, save one, were on the Top 10 list for 2017, and many were on our Top Recipes for 2016. It just goes to show that when you’re craving old fashioned comfort food, you’ve come to the right spot.

So here they are, in ascending order (beginning with the top recipe):

Top 12 Molasses Recipes of 2018

6-Week Refrigerator Bran Muffins

This light-textured bran muffin recipe is made with natural bran and buttermilk. Store the batter in the fridge for fresh muffins whenever the craving strikes.

six week refrigerator bran muffins made with natural bran

Molasses Baked Beans with Sass

This is the baked beans recipe that I grew up with and remains my very favourite. The “sass” is a good dose of black pepper and mustard powder.)

Molasses baked beans with a touch of sass

Chewy Hermit Bars

Another old recipe that I grew up with. It is the closest thing to hermit bars that we sometimes treat ourselves to at a local bakery.

classic chewy hermit bars recipe

One-Bowl Gingerbread Cake

This easy recipe is made in a 9″ x 13″ pan so can feed a crowd.

gingerbread for a crowd: Beautifully spiced and with a texture that is just dense enough

Old-Fashioned Gingerbread

When it comes to choosing a favourite gingerbread recipe it’s a toss up between this recipe and the one-bowl gingerbread above. The recipe is from the wonderful Laura Secord Canadian Cookbook.

old fashioned gingerbread cake

Sarah’s Molasses Brown Bread

There’s nothing like a chewy oatmeal brown bread. This recipe was contributed by a reader so you know it’s a keeper.

Sarah's molasses brown bread, a moist, chewy oatmeal brown bread recipe

Oatmeal Brown Bread

You can never have too many recipes for a good oatmeal brown bread. This is another recipe I grew up with and ate most Saturday nights with baked beans.

oatmeal brown bread - Mom's

Sticky Toffee Pudding

This recipe is decadent and not too heavy on the date flavour. The texture is lovely and you can’t go wrong with the caramel sauce. Tuck this recipe away for a special occasion.

sticky toffee pudding with rich toffee sauce

Effortless Oven-Baked Ribs

When I was little my mom would make this recipe with whatever ribs she happened to find at the grocery store – pork or beef. The recipe works well with either.

oven baked spareribs

Refined Sugar-Free Banana Cake

Refined sugar free banana cake is great for snacking but you can also frost it with naturally sweetened cream cheese icing to dress it up a bit.

Refined sugar free banana cake is moist, delicious and not too sweet.. Frosted with cream cheese icing that's sweetened only with honey and molasses.

Pubnico Molasses Cookies

This is one of those classic, old fashioned, soft (but not too soft) molasses cookies. Also known as Long Johns, Moose Hunters, Fat Archie’s and Lumberjacks.

Pubnico Soft Molasses Cookies: Soft but sturdy molasses cookies have been around for a long time. They travel well and are filling so are as practical as they are delicious.

Healthy Blueberry Bran Muffins

This is the kind of muffin that works for breakfast, for school lunches, and for an after school snack.

Healthy Blueberry Bran Muffins

Bonus recipe:

Chocolate Gingerbread Bundt Cake

Beautifully spiced and a firm crumb this cake is easy to slice and travels well. Even better, it doesn’t need frosting. Just a sprinkling of icing sugar will dress it up enough.

Chocolate gingerbread bundt cake is a beautifully spiced Holiday cake meant for sharing.

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Molasses Raisin Buns Recipe (Lassy Buns)

Servings: 12-18 buns serving(s)

Prep time: 20 minutes

Total time: 35 minutes

Cooking time: 15 minutes

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Lassy (or Lassie) buns are a satisfying cross between a soft molasses cookie and a molasses biscuit. Not too sweet, they’re perfect with a bowl of soup or a cup of tea. 

Lassy Buns -- Newfoundland molasses raisin buns. A simple tea bread, Lassy Buns are sort of a cross between a molasses cookie and a biscuit.

Lassy Buns — Newfoundland molasses raisin buns.

There’s a reason why so many old fashioned recipes are still around. They’re delicious classics that never get tiresome. Take for instance,  Newfoundland molasses raisin buns (also known as Lassy Buns or Lassie Buns). A simple tea bread, Lassy Buns are sort of a cross between a molasses cookie and a biscuit.

Lassy Buns -- Newfoundland molasses raisin buns. A simple tea bread, Lassy Buns are sort of a cross between a molasses cookie and a biscuit.

The bun that goes with everything

There’s nothing fancy about them and that’s their charm. It’s also why they seem to suit every part of the day. Eat them with tea, as an afternoon nibble, with a slice of cheese, warmed and slathered with butter, alongside a cup of soup. You’ll find that Lassy Buns are simple and satisfying.

These buns have a very tender crumb but are not crumbly. They will last 3-4 days in a bag on the counter.

This recipe is from the Newfoundland blog, Stuffed at the Gills.

Tip: The dough is very soft but resist the urge to add extra flour. Adding extra flour will make the buns tough.

Molasses Raisin Buns – Lassy Buns Recipe

Makes 12-18 buns

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups flour (a little more if necessary)
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 ½ tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon (optional)
  • ¼ tsp. cloves (optional)
  • ½ cup raisins or dried currants
  • ½ cup butter, melted
  • ½ cup molasses
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl whisk together dry ingredients.
  3. In another bowl (or saucepan) whisk the molasses and milk with the melted butter. Make sure it’s cool to the touch then beat in egg and vanilla (if using).
  4. Add wet mixture to the dry ingredients and stir gently until combined. Let site for a couple of minutes.
  5. Scrape dough onto a well-floured surface and knead gently a few times. (The dough will be very soft.)
  6. Pat or roll to one-inch thick and cut into rounds.
  7. Place on prepared sheet, with edges just touching. Bake 12-15 minutes.

(Place them further apart for buns with crusty sides).

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Fanny Farmer Sour Cream Gingerbread

Servings: 6 serving(s)

Prep time: 15 minutes

Total time: 45 minutes

Cooking time: 30 minutes

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Sour cream gingerbread is so easy to make. It's a light textured cake that stays moist for days stored in a tin. Great as a snack cake or for entertaining.

You never have to worry about gingerbread going stale.

Leftover cake on the counter isn’t always a blessing. Sometimes you just don’t feel like eating it three days in a row. Unfrosted cakes can always be frozen but gingerbread offers a better solution — You can store it on the counter in a tin and a few days later it tastes even better. Gingerbread gets more and more sticky (which is part of its charm) and the flavour intensifies.

Sour cream gingerbread is so easy to make. It's a light textured cake that stays moist for days stored in a tin. Great as a snack cake or for entertaining.

Gingerbread stores better than any other cake I have ever baked. It actually gets more moist as each day passes and the flavours develop beautifully. We nibbled away at this cake for a week. We served it with Pumpkin Molasses Caramel Sauce when we had guests over and then slathered leftovers with butter to nibble with tea.

This recipe makes a reasonably-sized 8″x8″ cake. You could also bake it in an 8″ round pan if you prefer to serve pretty wedges of cake.

Feel free to play with the spices. Go with the teaspoon of ginger or use a gingerbread spice blend like French Gingerbread Spices from Spicetrekkers. (This is a beautiful blend of ginger, cinnamon, mace, allspice & anise.)

French gingerbread spices

I love old cookbooks that actually have sections devoted to gingerbread. This recipe comes from the Fanny Farmer Cookbook (originally published in 1896 as The Boston Cooking School Cookbook). It’s a classic East Coast cookbook full of gingerbread recipes and other treats that never go out of fashion. The cookbook is also full of molasses. My copy is from the 1950s, a wedding gift to my mom and dad.

Fanny Farmer Sour Cream Gingerbread Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup sour cream or Greek yogurt
  • ½ cup Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 ½ cups flour (can use half whole wheat)
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. ginger (or a blend of your favourite gingerbread spices)
  • ½ cup melted butter

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Grease and flour an 8”x8” baking pan or line it with parchment paper.
  3. Beat eggs well. Add sour cream, molasses and sugar.
  4. Whisk flour with baking soda and ginger and stir into the egg mixture. Add butter and beat well.
  5. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes or until the top springs back when lightly pressed and the edges start to pull away from the sides of the pan.

One more thing…

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We’d love to send you our monthly newsletter too. Our Molasses and More newsletter includes cooking tips, menu ideas and featured recipes. Here’s the link to our monthly email sign-up form.

Bear Paws | Old Fashioned Soft Molasses Cookies

Servings: 20 serving(s)

Prep time: 20 minutes

Total time: 40 minutes

Cooking time: 20 minutes

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Bear Paws | Old Fashioned Soft Molasses Cookies

I’m not sure if it’s the cakelike softness of Bear Paws that draws me to these cookies or the cute name.

Whatever it is they’re irresistible. No matter who is in the house, young or old, these cookies go flying off the counter when I bake them. Even during all of my testing the early versions got devoured.

These are definitely good lunchbox and afterschool snack cookies.

I am typically not one for fiddly cookies but I made an exception for these because I wanted them to have cute toes. Even though they take a little bit to assemble – middle and four toes – the process went quickly once I created the first few. They’ll look shaggy when you put them together but the edges will soften as they bake.

Sure they’re not smooth on top like the store-bought version but I was going for texture as I worked with this recipe. In the end we all agreed that they really resemble puppy paws.

Bear Paws | Old Fashioned Soft Molasses Cookies
If you’re not in assembly mode you could always roll the dough and use a hand-shaped cookie cutter to create these. Maybe there are paw-shaped cookie cutters out there too.

Whichever method you choose to shape these cookies, they’ll be delicious. The gentle spicing is wonderful and the texture is just so perfect.

Bear Paws | Old Fashioned Soft Molasses Cookies

Bear Paws | Old Fashioned Soft Molasses Cookie Recipe

Makes about 20 cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup hot water
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 3 cups flour, spooned in (can use half whole grain)
  • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. salt

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F and line cookie  sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl cream butter and sugar. Beat in molasses and egg.
  3. In a separate bowl whisk the flour, spices, and salt.
  4. Combine the hot water and baking soda in a little cup. Pour into the butter mixture and stir to combine.
  5. Add the dry ingredients and stir until incorporated.

To make the paws:

  1. Using a medium cookie scoop or a tablespoon, make the middle of the paws and then use a teaspoon measure to make four toes. This will be a little messy but will get easier once you have done a few.
  2. Bake in the preheated oven for 8-10 minutes. Let cookies cool for a few minutes before transferring to a rack to cool completely.

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. Our Molasses and More newsletter includes cooking tips, menu ideas and featured recipes. Here’s the link to our monthly email sign-up form.

Aunt Marcia’s Soft Molasses Thumbprint Cookies

Servings: 24-30 serving(s)

Prep time: 15 minutes

Total time: 45 minutes

Cooking time: 28 minutes

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soft molasses thumbprint cookies

My husband’s Aunt Marcia is a true old fashioned baker. She goes by feel when it comes to cooking and her hands and a tea cup are her measuring implements. And she always gets it just right.

She used to fry her famous doughnuts in an open pot, without a thermometer. Instead she’d lean her face over the shimmering vat of oil to feel the steam against her cheek and that’s how she’d judge if the temperature was right for frying.

When we’d visit she’d load our car with her homemade treats: chokecherry wine, pickled watermelon rind, candied pumpkin, homemade doughnuts, date-filled oatmeal cookies and her comforting soft molasses cookies. Visit after visit these molasses cookies sustained us during the long drive home from Northern New Brunswick.

soft molasses thumbprint cookies

I have her son Leonard to thank for the written recipe. He spent a lifetime watching Aunt Marcia make these cookies so figured out the quantities and wrote them down.

The beauty of a cookie like this is that they’re a not-too-sweet treat and are as good with a slice of cheese or dab of peanut butter as they are on their own. The cookies are soft, but not in a cake-like way so travel well too.

Here I have made a thumbprint version of Aunt Marcia’s molasses cookies.

soft molasses thumbprint cookies

Aunt Marcia’s Soft Molasses Thumbprint Cookie Recipe

Makes 2 ½ to 3 dozen.

  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup butter
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • ¼ cup strong tea with 1 ½ tsp. baking soda
  • 1 ½ tsp. ginger
  • ½ tsp. cream of tartar
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 2 ½ – 3 cups flour (plus more for rolling out)
  • Jam (optional)
  1. In a large bowl cream butter and sugar. Add egg and beat well. Add molasses and tea mixture and beat until well combined.
  2. In another bowl combine the ginger, cream of tartar and flour (start with 2 ½ cups). Add dry to wet ingredients and mix well.
  3. Scrape dough out onto a lightly floured counter and gently knead in additional four until the dough is no longer sticky.
  4. Roll out ¼” thick and cut into rounds.
  5. With your thumb press a gentle dent in the top of the cookie and fill with ½ tsp. of jam.
  6. Bake at 350 F on a parchment-lined baking sheet for 10-14 minutes.

 

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Sarah’s Molasses Brown Bread

Servings: 2 loaves serving(s)

Prep time: 2 hours

Total time: 3 hours

Cooking time: 1 hours

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This easy molasses brown bread recipe is ready in three hours (including rising time).  If you’re new to yeast bread, this is the best beginner recipe ever. 

Molasses Brown Bread, a sweet and chewy oatmeal brown bread richly flavoured with molasses

I’m one of the bloggers participating in The Canadian Food Experience Project, a national program that’s helping to identify (or at least add clarity to) a Canadian food identity. This month’s task is to write about a regional Canadian food.

So, I have a question for you…

If I was to put in front of you a plate of homemade cookies, a slice of homemade cake and a loaf of homemade bread that’s just warm enough to melt the butter, which would you choose?

Molasses Brown Bread, a sweet and chewy oatmeal brown bread richly flavoured with molasses

Is there anything better than homemade bread? Is there anything more satisfying?

Growing up in Southern New Brunswick, and anchored by Irish and Acadian roots, homemade bread meant one thing to me: molasses brown bread. Sure there’s the classic Maritime Brown Bread that’s steamed but I grew up on the sweet and chewy oatmeal brown bread richly flavoured with molasses.

We’d eat it on Saturday night with baked beans, as would half of Atlantic Canada I suspect.

Molasses Brown Bread is still my all-time favourite bread – nothing can match it in flavour or texture.

This molasses brown bread recipe is an easy yeast bread to make, takes just one rising, and is very forgiving (unlike the Irish).

Molasses Brown Bread, a sweet and chewy oatmeal brown bread richly flavoured with molasses

This recipe came to me from one of our Facebook fans, Sarah Ingalls. It’s similar to my mom’s brown bread recipe only it has more molasses so is a little moister. Sarah called it Three-Hour Brown Bread, which is a pretty accurate description since it’s a cinch to mix up, rises to double in about 1 1/2 hours then goes straight in the oven. I added whole wheat flour to the original recipe and used butter instead of the shortening originally called for.

Enjoy this bread alongside a bowl of Roasted Red Pepper Lentil Soup or Molasses Baked Beans. It’s great as a mid-morning snack too, no butter necessary since it’s sweet and moist.

Sarah’s three-hour Molasses Brown Bread Recipe

Makes two large loaves

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. yeast
  • 3/4 cup Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour (spooned in)
  • 4 1/2 cups flour (spooned in)

Instructions:

  1. In a small bowl dissolve sugar in the 1 cup of warm water and sprinkle over the yeast. Leave for 5-10 minutes.
  2. In a large bowl mix molasses, rolled oats, butter and salt.
  3. Add the 1 cup boiling water, whisk, and then add the 1 cup cold water.
  4. Stir in yeast mixture.
  5. Add flour gradually and scrape dough onto a floured surface to knead in the final cup of flour.
  6. Cut dough in half and place in two large bread pans that have been well greased or lined with parchment paper.
  7. Cover each plan with a dishtowel and set in a warm place to rise until almost double in size (about 1 1/2 hours).
  8. Remove dishtowels and bake at 325 F for about an hour
  9. When ready, remove from oven and let cool about five minutes before removing from pans to cool.

What’s a distinctly Canadian food in your region? Do you have a favourite family recipe?

The Canadian Food Experience Project began June 7 2013. As we (participants) share our collective stories through our regional food experiences, we hope to bring global clarity to our Canadian culinary identity.

Here’s my mom’s recipe for Molasses Brown Bread

oatmeal brown bread - Mom's

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.

Here’s to eating well, everyday,

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