Double Ginger Molasses Rye Cookies

The smell of butter and sugar and spices called them, one by one, into the kitchen. Molasses cookies were in the oven, beckoning with their aroma. As I pulled out the first batch, the response from the kids was immediate and inevitable. The question I get every time I bake:

“Is it healthy? they ask, with an air of curiosity laced with skepticism. They wonder why it is that their mother doesn’t cook like a normal person, using normal recipes without the nearly pathological need to tinker, to add whole grains, scale back on sugar, and trim portion size.

My answer this time? Not healthy, exactly, but healthier. They’re buttery, after all. And there’s no shortage of sweetness. But stacked up against a box of treats from the supermarket or a typical recipe in a dessert book or Google search? Yes, healthier.

Whole Grain Flour

If you’re going to grab a molasses cookie, here’s the upside of doing it my way: The recipe works in two kinds of whole grain flours — whole-wheat, and my current obsession, dark rye flour.  That means more fiber and nutrients, and to my tastebuds, a more interesting flavor, too.

Less Sugar and Butter

They’ve also got a little less butter than many recipes and use honey in place of some of the sugar. Even better is the role of molasses here. In addition to giving the cookies their signature dark, rich hue, blackstrap molasses contributes calcium, iron and potassium to every batch. And have I mentioned the potential role of spices like cinnamon and ginger in health….?

Plenty Good

But my kids could care less about all of that — fiber, fat grams, trace minerals, and research linking cinnamon to heart health. And when it comes down to it, where cookies are concerned, I care most about what they care about, which is, how do they taste?

They don’t taste healthy ….or even healthier. They taste like you want seconds.

Molasses Ginger Cookies
4.67 from 3 votes

Double Ginger Molasses Rye Cookies

This recipe makes a chewy, flavorful cookie spiced with cinnamon and cardamon, along with ground and crystallized ginger. If you can't find crystallized ginger and the need to bake is urgent (I understand completely) then increase the amount of ground ginger to 2 teaspoons.
Course Dessert
Prep Time 20 minutes
Servings 3 dozen
Author Katie Morford


  • 4 ounces butter (one 1/2 cup stick)
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup blackstrap molasses (see notes)
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/4 cups white whole wheat or whole-wheat pastry flour
  • 3/4 cup rye flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped crystallized ginger
  • Sugar for rolling the cookies


  1. In a large bowl, cream the butter, honey, molasses, brown sugar, and egg with an electric mixer or vigorously by hand until light and smooth, scraping down the sides as needed.
  2. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the white whole wheat flour, rye flour, cinnamon, ground ginger, cardamom, baking powder, and salt. Add the flour mixture to the butter/sugar mixture and mix until blended, scraping down the sides as needed. Add the crystallized ginger and mix again just to blend. Cover and refrigerate at least 30 minutes.
  3. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pour about 1/2 cup of sugar (coarse sugar if you have it) into a cereal-sized bowl. Make balls of dough that are about 2 teaspoons each, rolling them between the palms of your hands until smooth. Roll the balls of dough in sugar, coating them entirely. Arrange the dough on a baking sheet with 1 1/2 to 2 inches of space between. Use the bottom of a glass to gently flatten the cookies until they are about 1/3-inch thick.
  4. Put cookies into the oven to bake. For a chewy cookie, bake until the color begins to darken, particularly around the edges, about 10 minutes. If you cook them longer, they will be crispy.
  5. Remove from oven and let cool for at least 15 minutes. Transfer to a covered storage container.

Recipe Notes

*Molasses labeled "blackstrap" is much higher in calcium, iron, and other minerals than regular molasses. If your market doesn't carry it, any molasses will do. **White whole wheat flour is a whole grain flour from a variety of wheat that is pale in color and lighter in texture than regular whole wheat. If you can't find white whole wheat flour, use whole wheat pastry flour instead.



01.16.2015 at8:33 AM #

liz - Meal Makeover Mom

Dark rye flour! I need to try it. The combo of flavors in your cookies looks amazing. I LOVE cardamom! Back at ya w/ the pin 🙂

01.16.2015 at8:33 AM #

Katie Morford

I’ve been playing around a lot with rye flour. The flavor reminds me a bit of sourdough, which I love. It pairs nicely with the warming spices and molasses here. Thanks for chiming in.

01.17.2015 at10:09 PM #


Just tried these tonight & they tasted fantastic! Thanks so much for sharing the recipe.

For some reason my cookies didn’t flatten out like yours. They stayed chewy, small and thick/tall. I used a silpat instead of parchment paper (shouldn’t make a difference) and used wheat pastry flour since I had it on hand. The first dozen baked for 10 minutes and the second for 15. The second batch was crispier but still chewy and didn’t flatten. Any ideas on why they may not have flattened out & gotten crispy?

Either way, I could eat half the tray right now but my husband was hoping for a thinner, crispier cookie. Can’t wait for our five year old to try them tomorrow…he’s gonna love them and will definitely be asking for seconds…and probably thirds as well.

01.17.2015 at10:09 PM #

Katie Morford

So glad you like them. It’s hard to say why yours are different than mine. Baking is tricky that way. Small changes in oven temp, how chilled the dough was, and even the darkness of the baking tray can make an impact. If you want to be sure they flatten, you could lay out the dough balls on the tray and press the bottom of a juice glass down to flatten them manually. Hope your little one likes them too!

01.29.2015 at9:54 AM #


These look so good Katie! I haven’t tried making anything with rye flour but am too tempted by your cookies not to pick some up this weekend and give them a try!

01.29.2015 at9:54 AM #

Katie Morford

I’m super hooked on rye right now for certain baked goods. It has a tang to it that I love. Hope you like these.

01.29.2015 at11:33 AM #

anna @ annamayeveryday

Haven’t tried anything other than bread with rye but these look great and I can see how the tang of the rye flour would work – great idea!

10.06.2018 at5:31 AM #


Excellent! I used all rye flour and substituted 1/3. Cup oil for the butter

10.06.2018 at5:31 AM #

Katie Morford

Love hearing your healthy swaps! Thanks for sharing.

12.25.2019 at9:12 PM #


I have never left a comment like this before but these cookies turned out so damn good for me. I just used regular molasses and regular whole wheat flour I had on hand. I was super busy and couldn’t get around to baking them so the dough was in my fridge for over a day. They turned out so soft and pillowy in the middle. I pre-rolled balls and froze them so I can make a few here and there I hope they turn out just as delicious. Love how theres honey to cut down some of the sugar and add another layer of flavour.
Just wonderful!

12.25.2019 at9:12 PM #

Katie Morford

Thank you Candice. I’m so glad you liked them. Makes me want to bake a batch right now 🙂

08.09.2021 at3:03 AM #


Wow, so great hearing all great stuff in here! Tell me something:Is rye flour from a flour with lesser carbohydrates? Is it possible to mix spices like cinnamon,ginger and garlic flour or better ones to increase their health impact on this bread, biscuits etc? Idont have a single knowledge on how to bake or make this. To make things a little worse is that I am presently not accessing email since I lost my password and have failed repeatedly to access it but still trying.

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