Some people are timid about using oil instead of dairy-free margarine in cookies, but I’m here to tell you that hundreds of batches scarfed down in minutes cannot be wrong! I’ve been baking up depression era-style cookies with oil for years, or “pantry” cookies as I like to call them. Our favorite recipe is still my good old-fashioned chocolate chip cookies (published in the guide and cookbook Go Dairy Free), but one should not live on chocolate chip cookies alone! Oh no, there are oatmeal cookies, pumpkin cookies, and these scrumptious molasses cookies.
The goal was to create thick, soft and chewy molasses cookies. To my initial dismay, these cookies were firmer and a little more like gingersnaps in our dry climate. Yet, after I got over my initial disappointment, I settled into these snappy cookies and realized how amazing they are in their own right. In fact, I forgot all about pursuing those soft, thick molasses cookies as I dunked these delicious morsels into a tall glass of almond milk.
Again, I do live in a dry, high desert climate. If you are in a more humid area, then your cookies will probably remain more soft and pliable. Either way, the taste and texture of these molasses cookies are divine. And yes, they are naturally dairy-free, soy-free, and I’ve included an option for egg-free / vegan.
Special Diet Notes: Snappy Molasses Cookies
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free, optionally egg-free, nut-free, peanut-free, soy-free, optionally vegan, and vegetarian.
- ⅔ cup grapeseed, vegetable, or melted coconut oil
- ½ cup white sugar
- ½ cup packed brown sugar
- 1 egg or 1 Ener-G “Egg” (for egg-free)
- ¼ cup molasses
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2¼ to 2½ cups all-purpose flour or whole wheat pastry flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1¼ teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground cloves
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ⅓ cup white sugar (for rolling)
- Preheat your oven to 350ºF (180ºC) and line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the oil and sugars. Beat in the egg, molasses, and vanilla.
- In a separate bowl, stir together 2-1/4 cups of the flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg.
- Stir the flour mixture into the wet mixture in your large mixing bowl until fully incorporated. If the dough isn’t firm or seems too greasy, add a little extra flour.
- Shape the dough into 1-inch balls, roll them in the ⅓ cup sugar and place them a few inches apart on baking sheets.
- Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until beginning to look firm around the edges.
- Remove them to a wire wrack or wax paper to cool. Repeat with remaining dough (I bake one sheet at a time).
I attempted to modify the recipe using coconut flour to make a starch and dairy free cookie. They turned out… OK I guess. They taste good, just slightly dry, but they did not flow at all, so after baking they are just bigger balls! I believe this is because coconut flour is probably “thirstier” than regular flour, so increasing the amount of oil could have probably counteracted this effect.
P.S: a couple of typos in the recipe: “groun” nutmeg in ingredients list, and step 3 in the instructions says to mix in the “pices” instead of spices
Hi Liam, yes, you can’t swap coconut flour 1:1 for all-purpose flour. If you add more oil, it will produce greasier results – I don’t recommend it. With coconut flour, you usually need to add a direct liquid for moisture, like dairy-free milk beverage. But I couldn’t advise how much exactly, or how that would affect he texture. If you do succeed in making this recipe grain-free, I’d love to hear how you do it! And thanks for then notes!
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These were delicious. So delicious that we’re on our second batch! Didn’t make a single substitution and they were perfect. At 10 minutes they were chewy and soft. This recipe is a keeper. 🙂
That’s fantastic! So glad you enjoyed my recipe Kaya and thank you for the feedback.
These are delicious! I was searching for a non-dairy recipe and when I saw how easy it looked, I also decided to replace the egg for a vegan style option.
My very first Vegan cookies. A huge success!
I simply replaced the egg with ground flaxseeds. (I added 1 tablespoon ground flaxseeds to 3 tablespoons of water and let it stand for 2 – 3 minutes).
Thank you so much for sharing.
That’s awesome! And thanks for sharing your adaption Beatrice.
I made these but at 12 minutes were only slightly flattened mounds. They had a dense, cakey texture. I did use turbinado sugar instead of white because it’s all I had. Not sure if that is the problem. Humid, northern winter climate, no elevation.
I couldn’t say exactly what went wrong there Whitney. It’s possible that it was the sugar – I haven’t worked with that type much in baking.
I’m in Melb too.
Loooove these biscuits. I ran out of butter and was trawling for a dairy free biscuit recipe. Made a second batch of them for my husband for Christmas. The recipe makes a generous sized batch too. Tea & coffee dunkers love em.
Thanks for a great recipe.
So glad you enjoyed them Anne!
Has anyone tried replacing the flour with gluten free all purpose…like Pamela’s?
I haven’t yet Berta.
I JUST made them with Krusteaz gluten free ap and they’re wonderful! Somewhere between chewy and crunchy and look just a little puffer than the picture.
Thank you SO much for sharing your feedback on a gluten free version Kristen! I know this will help many. A friend of mine just mentioned the Krusteaz gluten-free blend to me on the phone today, too – funny coincidence. Happy holidays!
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These cookies are delicious! I’m a nursing mama and my son has a dairy allergy (which he will likely grow out of) so I’m on a strict diet. It’s so great to find recipes that are no fuss and easy to throw together that taste the same or better than a dairy option. Thank you so much!
Glad you liked the recipe Kenzi! I hope you keep enjoying it well after nursing 🙂
These are wonderful cookies, but did anyone else have to extend cooking time? Mine were ready in about 20 minutes versus the 12.
So glad you enjoyed them cate! That’s a long cooking time – 12 min has been my max – perhaps an oven temp variation? Altitude and humidity can also play a slight part, as well as cookie size.
I replaced the white sugar with honey and brown sugar with coconut sugar to make the cookies a lot healthier and they taste amazing!
Thank you so much for sharing this modification Tiffany! Did you use the same amount of honey as white sugar or reduced?
I used the same amount, the honey I have is pretty light.
Thanks for sharing this Tiffany!
These are amazing!!!! I used olive oil, macadamia oil and rapadura sugar to provide a little bit of extra nutrition. So delicious! Thanks for a fab recipe!
So glad you like my cookie recipe Kymelle. The macadamia oil must add wonderful richness!
I was wondering if you had anymore dairy free recipes that are more plain than this that need no special ingredients. I am having a family over in the next week or so and I would like to have a home-made treat for them!!! I was just wondering because this looked like such a great recipe.
thank you anyways
Hi Clara, what special ingredients are in this recipe? It’s a pretty simple any-grocery store ingredient list.
Absolutely love it! I used honey instead of molasses, and made it with coconut oil. I’m in cookie heaven. Thank you for this lovely recipe.
Glad you enjoyed Asmaa!
I made a batch of these today for my Mother in Law. They were a huge hit with the whole family including me (I’m not dairy free and am not a fan of cooking with oil!).
I made a couple of changes – replaced molasses with golden syrup, doubled the spices and reduced the sugar. Extra yum.
That’s wonderful Gynelle – glad you all enjoyed them! Thanks for sharing your successful adaptations.
I made these today and they are amazing! Thank you for a great recipe. I think these are the first non-dairy cookies I’ve made that feel like a ‘real’ cookie (normal texture and taste). Will definitely be making these again 🙂
hi can you freeze molasses cookies
I don’t see why not!
Would a flaxseed egg work in this recipe to make it egg free or is the Ener-g the best choice?
Sarah, I’m going to assume that it would, but must preface that I haven’t tested these cookies with a flax egg as of yet!