Molasses Cookies & Molasses Ice Cream

The Recipes: An unexpected pair of recipes rich with classic molasses flavor. First up, old-fashioned Molasses Cookies, my forever-favorite recipe. Second but not to be overlooked, a most surprising and alluring no-cook Molasses Ice Cream.

These recipes are all about the molasses, mix and match. The cookies are old favorites but really, Molasses Ice Cream is a big surprise. A real fall treat? Spread a little Molasses Ice Cream onto a couple of Molasses Cookies: instant Molasses Sandwich Cookies!

The Conversation: Who else remembers cranking a wooden ice cream maker in the back yard? Fun times for kids!

~recipe updated 2016 for a little fall-weekend inspiration~
~more recently updated recipes~

Molasses Cookies ♥, an old-fashioned cookies, soft, chewy or crisp, your choice.

A neighbor captured this scene on eight-millimeter film in the 1960s. A few kids are circled round a wooden ice cream bucket on a summer day. We take turns cranking the handle, the bigger kids helping the littler ones as the ice cream thickens. As the film rolls in my memory’s eye, our laughs and jostling occur in jerky slow-motion. A grown-up removes the creamy-pink paddle. Pudgy fingers reach toward it for the first tastes.

How things change! How things stay the same!

Last year, a friend persuaded me to purchase an electric ice cream maker. “You’ll use it all the time,” she promised. She was right: I keep the bowl in the freezer so unusual flavors of homemade ice cream are no more than an hour away, no ice, no rock salt, no mess.

Molasses Ice Cream ♥, unusual and alluring, familiar and unexpected.

If there's ever a reason to get an ice cream maker, it's this recipe for Molasses Ice Cream. Both at once, it's unusual and completely familiar. If you like the flavor of molasses, you'll love the rich creaminess of molasses ice cream. Yummy! (And if you don't? Well, other unusual ice creams are just a churn away using my recipe for Chameleon Ice Cream or a master recipe Rustic Fruit Ice Cream).

More than that? This may be my very simplest ice cream recipe. All the ingredients are measured directly into a blender, then move straight to the ice cream maker. That's right. No cooking! No waiting!


Mix: 10 minutes
Chill: At least 2 hours
Shape and bake: 45 minutes
Makes 5 dozen small cookies

  • 3/4 cup (170g) salted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup (200g) sugar
  • 1/4 cup (70g) mild or blackstrap molasses
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, fluffed to aerate before measuring or 250g
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 2 tablespoons additional sugar for rolling (don't skip this step!)

MIX DOUGH Cream butter and sugar with an electric mixer in a large bowl. Add molasses and egg and combine well. Stir together dry ingredients in a separate bowl, then combine well with butter mixture.

CHILL DOUGH Gather dough into a round, cover with plastic wrap and chill until ready to bake, at least 2 hours or overnight.

ROLL, SUGAR & BAKE Heat oven to 375F (190C). Between your hands, roll dough into 1-inch balls (about 12g in weight), then roll in sugar. Place on baking sheet, about 20 cookies per sheet. Flatten each cookie slightly with bottom of a glass. Bake for 8 – 11 minutes, the shorter time for "soft" cookies, the longer for "crispy", somewhere in the middle for "chewy". Cool on a rack or on paper towels.

VARIATIONS The mother of invention! A reader found herself without molasses and substituted maple syrup. She went one step further and used nutmeg instead of ginger. "Excellent" were her results!

ALANNA's TIPS I use both mild molasses for a slightly milder cookie and blackstrap molasses, my favorite, for that lovely distinctive molasses flavor. Chilling the dough makes it easier to shape the balls. If you skip this step (I do, occasionally) the cookies will really spread; just arrange them well apart on the baking sheet. For years, I've used regular white sugar for rolling the balls of cookie dough. But then I tried using the so-called "raw" sugar. Those cookies turned out especially crisp on the exterior, while the centers were especially chewy. Wonderful! How do you like your Molasses Cookies? Just vary the baking time for "soft" or "chewy" or "crisp" molasses cookies! People do love Molasses Cookies! They are real crowd pleasers and ship and travel well, too.

NUTRITION INFORMATION Per Cookie: 54 Calories; 2g Tot Fat; 1g Sat Fat; Sat Fat: 1g; 10mg Cholesterol; 63mg Sodium; 8g Carb; 0g Fiber; 4g Sugar; 1g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS POINTS WW Old Points 1, WW PointsPlus 1 (but careful, 2 cookies = 3), WW SmartPoints 3 (but 2 cookies = 5)


Hands-on time: 10 minutes over 40 minutes
Time to table: 8 hours
Makes 4 cups ice cream

  • 3 ounces (85g) cream cheese, low fat Neufchatel is fine
  • 1/2 cup (100g) brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup (115g) molasses, mild or blackstrap
  • 2 cups half & half

In a blender, mix the cream cheese, brown sugar and molasses until smooth. With the motor running, add the half & half. Transfer to an ice cream maker and process until mixture thickens. Transfer to a covered container and freeze until hard.

ALANNA's TIPS I had great hopes for make-ahead Molasses Sandwich Cookies, pressing Molasses Ice Cream between a pair of Molasses Cookies. The combination of the two is just wonderful but make one up and eat it on the spot. For some reason, even in the freezer, once the ice cream is spread onto the cookies, it continues to melt, making a big mess. Yes, that's experience talking!

NUTRITION INFORMATION Per Half Cup: 204 Calories; 10g Tot Fat; 7g Sat Fat; 34mg Cholesterol; 64mg Sodium; 26g Carb; 0g Fiber; 20g Sugar; 3g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS Old Points 5 & PointsPlus 6 & SmartPoints 10 CALORIE COUNTERS 100-calorie serving = 1/4 cup (1g protein).

More Recipes for Old-Fashioned Classic Cookies

(hover for a description, click a photo for a recipe)
Cinnamon Sugar Cookies Oatmeal Raisin Cookies Old-Fashioned Chocolate Chip Cookies

More No-Cook Ice Cream Recipes

(hover for a description, click a photo for a recipe)
Easy Fruit Sorbet Homemade Frozen Yogurt with Blackberry Sauce Master Recipe: Rustic Fruit Ice Cream

Shop Your Pantry First

(helping home cooks save money on groceries)

Quick Links to This Page

(for easy bookmarking and searching)
Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. Anonymous10/09/2008

    I think those molasses cookies would make great ice cream sandwiches with just some plain vanilla in the middle! Since it's still hot in San Diego, that sounds perfect right now! But the molasses ice cream also sounds great!

  2. Molasses is one of my favorite baking ingredients. I can't remember ever having molasses ice cream, so I must give that a try. It sounds delish!

  3. Nicole ~ I think you're exactly right, in fact, I made sandwich cookies using both the molasses cookies and the molasses ice cream. They tasted great but didn't look so hot. To be soft enough to spread, the ice cream was so soft that it spread a lot when back in the freezer. This is the price for no-preservative, no-stabilizer ice cream.

    Andrea ~ It had been a good four or five years since making the molasses ice cream and honestly, I wondered. Would it still taste good?! It really was! It's completely creamy and the molasses flavor is just perfect. I'm sorry that I've put the ice cream freezer away for the season. Hmm. It's still 80F, maybe the season's not over yet!

  4. Anonymous1/31/2009

    After starting these cookies, I realized there was molasses in the pantry. I subsititued maple syrup and nutmeg for the ginger. Excellent! These cookies will help keep me on track.



Post a Comment

Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. But I also love hearing your reactions, your curiosity, even your concerns! When you've made a recipe, I especially love to know how it turned out, what variations you made, what you'll do differently the next time. ~ Alanna