Easy recipe for gingerbread cookies without molasses. A perfect gingerbread dough made with honey, nicely spiced and so easy to work with.
No molasses in the house, but you still want to bake gingerbread? This is the recipe you have been looking for! Gingerbread cookies without molasses, just some honey and spices, a few other ingredients that you already have in your pantry and you are good to go.
The result? Spicy and beautiful looking gingerbread that you can make together with your kids, a perfect holiday project. Or you could try these German Butter Cookies or these Owl Cupcakes, kids love to decorate those as well.
Why love this recipe?
- It is made without molasses, so you will not need to buy something extra, something that you might not be able to use up.
- The recipe has fewer ingredients than most gingerbread recipes I know and that is always great! Still, you will not be missing anything on taste.
- It is perfectly spiced so that both grown-ups and children can enjoy the cookies. Regular gingerbread made with molasses it is often too much for kids.
- You will need less than 10 minutes to stir the dough.
- You will not even need a mixer, a fork will be enough to mix the ingredients.
- The dough is so easy to roll and cut, it is a delight to work with.
- The gingerbread cookies will not spread AT ALL during baking.
- They can be decorated with colored icing pens. This way, you will not be bothered with making some extra royal icing or regular icing.
Most gingerbread recipes I know require molasses, golden syrup or a combination of the two. Well, I never have molasses or golden syrup in the house, unless I specifically buy them to make a recipe.
And what happens with the leftovers? They gather dust for months and months... I might use a little in one recipe or another, but I never seem to actually empty one of those jars... a waste!
So, I have been making gingerbread without molasses for years now. What to use instead?
- Plain, regular honey, the golden, runny kind. Not the white, solid kind.
- It already has some molasses in it and that adds the needed extra flavor.
- Not too many, just some most people already have in their cupboard. Still, the gingerbread cookies are perfectly spicy and delicious, just the way they are supposed to be.
- You will need cinnamon, ground ginger, and all-spice.
Other ingredients: flour, unsweetened cocoa powder, baking powder, salt, and one egg.
How to make ginger cookies without molasses?
- Place honey, sugar, and butter in a small saucepan. Heat over medium-low heat and stir until the mixture is smooth. Let cool for about 5 minutes. (1)
- Whisk the dry ingredients in a large bowl. (2)
- Add the honey mixture and the egg. (3)
- Mix with a fork as long as possible.
- When the dough becomes stiffer, knead it shortly with the hand until smooth. (4)
- Form a disc, wrap it in cling film and refrigerate for 3-4 hours until firmer. You can leave it overnight as well. The dough might still seem rather soft, but it is very easy to roll, it is sturdy and pliable.
- Preheat the oven and line two baking trays with parchment paper.
- Divide the dough into two and keep the one you are not using refrigerated.
- Roll the dough about 5 mm/ 0.2 inches thick on a lightly floured surface.
- Cut the cookies, in my case cute gingerbread men. But you can use absolutely any cutters you like.
- Set the leftover dough aside.
- Roll the second dough batch and cut more cookies.
- Shortly knead all the leftover dough and roll it again. Cut more cookies and repeat until you have used all the dough.
- Bake each batch for 5 to 7 minutes.
- Let the cookies cool on the tray for at least 10 minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.
- Decorate with the icing pens or royal icing.
- Candy icing pens make decorating super easy, especially if you are baking with children. (Amazon affiliate link)
Always use a kitchen scale to measure the ingredients when baking, it guarantees for best results.
Let the honey mixture cool shortly before adding it to the flour, if it is too hot, it might scramble parts of the egg. Stir it briefly with the fork into the flour and then add the egg and finish stirring the dough.
The dough might seem very soft at first and it does need a few hours in the fridge to firm up. However, it is very easy to roll, a dream of a dough!
Bake the cookies in batches. Fill one tray, place it in the oven and cut the next batch while the first one is in the oven.
How to store?
Keep in airtight containers. The gingerbread cookies without molasses will last for at least one week at room temperature. If kept refrigerated, they will last longer.
The dough needs to spend a few hours in the refrigerator, so you will have to make it ahead. You can actually make it up to 3-4 days ahead and keep it well wrapped in plastic foil/cling film in an airtight container in the fridge.
You can also freeze the dough for up to 6 months.
More Christmas cookies:
Gingerbread Cookies Without Molasses
- 170 g honey ½ cup
- 60 g brown sugar ⅓ cup
- 30 g unsalted butter 2 tablespoons (1 oz)
- 300 g flour 1 ¾ cups
- 15 g unsweetened cocoa powder 2 tablespoons (½ oz)
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon all-spice
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- pinch of fine sea salt
- 1 egg
- cookie cutters
- candy icing pens or royal icing
- Combine wet ingredients: Place honey, brown sugar, and butter in a small saucepan. Stir gently over medium-low heat until the mixture is smooth. Let cool for about 5 minutes.
- Combine dry ingredients: Whisk the flour, cocoa, cinnamon, ginger, all-spice, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.
- Mix: Slowly add the honey mixture, mix briefly with a fork, and add the egg. Mix with a fork as long as possible.
- Knead: When the dough becomes stiffer, knead it shortly with the hand until smooth. Form a disc, wrap it in cling film and refrigerate for 3-4 hours until firmer (Note 2).
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius/ 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line 2-3 baking trays with parchment paper.
- Roll: Divide the dough into two equal parts. Keep the one you are not using refrigerated (and still wrapped). Roll the dough about 5 mm/ 0.2 inches thick on a lightly floured surface with a lightly floured rolling pin.
- Cut the gingerbread men or any other shapes you like. Set the leftover dough aside.
- Repeat with the second batch of dough.
- Cut leftover dough: Shortly, knead all the leftover dough and roll it again. Cut more cookies and repeat until you have used up all the dough.
- Bake each cookie batch for 5 to 7 minutes. Let cool on the tray for at least 10 minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.
- Decorate with icing pens or royal icing. (Amazon affiliate link)
- Store in airtight containers.
- A digital kitchen scale will give you the most precise measure ensuring the best bake possible.
- You can leave it overnight as well. The dough might still seem rather soft, but it is very easy to roll, it is sturdy and pliable.
Is this cookie dough stable enough to be used to make Gingerbread houses?
Hi Amber, I can't say, I've never used this dough for houses.
Odin Stephen says
Hi, can this dough be made ahead and frozen prior to baking?
Hi. It says in the blog post that you can freeze the dough for up to 6 months. Happy baking! It also keeps well in the fridge (well wrapped) for 3-4 days.
Hi I have heard that molasses attracts moisture so that is why the cookies are a bit softer/chewier. Are these soft or drier/crispy? Recipe looks way easier without running out to get extra items so thank you for posting!
Hi Debs. The cookies are rather soft. Happy baking!
If I were to omit the cocoa powder, would it be advisable to add 15g more flour to replace?
Cornstarch is better.