The Best Molasses Cookies for the Holidays

I’ll probably end up saying this a couple times over the next week or so because this is only day 3 of my cookie challenge and so many more recipes are yet to be discovered, but so far, this cookie is my favorite.

A bonus of this particular cookie is that it’s actually a holiday cookie! I have vivid food memories from childhood holiday celebrations (beef tenderloin, mashed potatoes, duck confit) but hardly any memories of holiday-themed cookies. I'm not going to say that I was deprived of holiday cookies as a child but I have a feeling I went with candy canes and ice cream rather than cookies. Per usual.

This year, my family is visiting me in DC and we are doing Christmas Day dinner with family friends who are very serious about sweets. More precisely, serious about cookies so I have to bring my A game. This recipe is definitely making the shortlist.

The original recipe for these cookies calls for a maple mascarpone icing. Mascarpone, pronounced [mah-skar-POH-nay], is a northern italian creamy and buttery cheese. It’s unimposing taste and smooth texture makes it the perfect base and pairing for so many other flavors.

I have a hard time turning down maple anything, my Canadian heritage means that I have quite the attachment to pure maple syrup, but these cookies were so good on their own I didn’t think the icing was necessary. It also made transporting them incredibly difficult. If you are making these at home then go for it, ice those cookies and enjoy the creamy topping. If you are traveling, skip the icing

Cookie Ingredients (Recipe from Lemons for Lulu)

  • 1 ½ Cup (275g) shortening
  • 2 Cups (400g) granulated sugar + ¾ Cup sugar for topping
  • ½ Cup (160g) molasses
  • 2 Eggs, large
  • 4 Cups (500g) flour
  • 4 Teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 Teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 Teaspoon salt
  • 1 Teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ Teaspoon ground cloves

Icing Ingredients

  • 8 Ounces Mascarpone cheese, softened
  • 4 Ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 4 Tablespoon maple syrup
  • 4 Cups powdered sugar


  • In a large bowl, cream together 2 cups of sugar and shortening
  • Once light and creamy, mix in Molasses and eggs
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, ginger and cloves
  • Slowly add dry ingredients into wet, mixing until just combined
  • Refrigerate for an hour
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  • Place left over sugar in a bowl
  • When dough is easy to handle, roll into one inch balls and roll in sugar and place on baking sheet covered with parchment paper or a silicon baking mat
  • Bake for 8-9 minutes
  • Wait a few minutes before transferring to a cooling rack and cool completely before icing
  • While cookies are cooling, beat mascarpone and cream cheese in a large bowl
  • Mix in the maple syrup and icing sugar in thirds
  • Spread icing over cookies and enjoy!