Recipe: Molasses Spice Cookies with Orange Sugar

updated May 2, 2019
Molasses Spice Cookies with Orange Sugar
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(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Looking for something sweet to spark your holiday season appetite?

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Around this time of year we start thinking about silken pies, decadent cakes and cookies formed into whimsical shapes. These warmly spiced molasses cutouts don’t disappoint those familiar holiday cravings. Cut into festive turkeys and autumn leaves (although that was simply our preference of the day – feel free to shape as you wish) and scented with the heady flavors of cinnamon, ginger, clove, nutmeg and a dash of black pepper, these cookies are thick with molasses and spectacularly irresistible. The orange-sugar topping adds a burst of fresh flavor and mouthwatering texture. Not to mention the smell. Oh the spice-laden, citrusy aroma that signals the start to this splendidly celebratory time of year.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Molasses Spice Cookies with Orange Sugar

Makes 24 to 36 cookies

Nutritional Info


  • 1 3/4 cups

    unbleached all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    baking soda

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 1 1/4 teaspoon

    ground cinnamon

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    ground nutmeg

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    ground ginger

  • 1/8 teaspoon

    ground cloves

  • 1/8 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper

  • 1/2 cup

    unsalted butter

  • 1/2 cup

    light brown sugar

  • 1


  • 1/4 cup


  • 1 teaspoon

    pure vanilla extract

  • 1

    orange, zested

  • 1/3 cup

    turbinado sugar


  1. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt and spices in a large bowl and set aside.

  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add in the egg, mixing just to combine. Stir in the molasses and vanilla extract.

  3. Fold in the flour mixture, until just combined. Separate the dough into 2 portions (it should be quite sticky) and place each half on a sheet of plastic wrap. Cover with another sheet of plastic wrap and, using a rolling pin, roll out the dough 1/4-inch thick. Chill until firm, at least 2 hours or overnight. Meanwhile, stir together orange zest and turbinado sugar with your fingers.

  4. Remove dough from fridge. Working in batches, cut out cookies into desired shapes. Keep unused dough chilled. Sprinkle with orange-sugar topping. Bake at 350 degrees F for 8-10 minutes until cookies are firm around the edges and set in the middle. Cool on the sheet pan for 5 minutes, then cool completely on a cooling rack.

(Images: Rebekah Peppler)