Soft Molasses Cookies (gluten-free + egg-free + vegan)

Ali Segersten Dec 07, 2009 166 comments

Welcome to Christmas Cookie season! Today I am sharing my recipe for gluten-free and egg-free soft molasses cookies. These cookies are delicious and so easy to make, I am sure you will enjoy them. Although I normally use Sucanat to sweeten them (unrefined dried cane juice), I have also tried making them using coconut sugar. I brought a batch, made with coconut sugar, to our large Thanksgiving gathering this year and they were a hit with the children! I have a 2-pound bag of coconut sugar I am giving away today, so be sure to leave a comment to enter!

The trick to making perfect molasses cookies is to CHILL the dough for at least an hour or more! If you are hasty and don't wait for the dough to chill completely, the fat will spread quickly while baking before the other ingredients have a chance to set up. This leads to very flat, thin cookies. The dough can actually be chilled for days before baking. I store mine in a large, tightly covered glass container. I don't use plastic wrap if I don't have too.


About the Author

Ali Segersten

Alissa Segersten holds a Bachelor's of Science in Nutrition from Bastyr University and a Master’s of Science in Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine from the University of Western States. She is a Functional Nutritionist, the mother of five children, a whole foods cooking instructor, professional recipe developer, and cookbook author. She is passionate about helping others find a diet that will truly nourish them. Alissa is the author of two very popular gluten-free, whole foods cookbooks and guidebooks: The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook and Nourishing Meals. She is also the co-author of The Elimination Diet book. Alissa is the founder and owner of Nourishing Meals®.

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I made a few modifications to these to eliminate/change the "sugar" and oil, and they turned out amazing!! Here is the ingredient list that I actually used:

1 cup sorghum flour
1 cup coconut flour
½ cup tapioca flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
1 ½ teaspoons xanthan gum
½ teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground ginger
½ cup raw honey
½ cup blackstrap molasses
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 tablespoons ground flax seeds

the cookies look so good - i wish i had one to eat right now.

YUM, I'm excited to try these!

Do you think that I could use coconut oil, and/or buckwheat or millet flour?

I am close to 60 and am ALL new to this revised way of cooking. I am excited at the possibilities of renewed health and vitality and look forward to good cookin too! Thank you!

What is palm shortening? Could you use coconut shortening>

I just finished my first semester of law school and my husband made these for me as "motivators". They are amazing. Now I don't have to miss out on cookies!

I am on the "Heartburn No More" to heal my acid reflux and your blog has been a lifesaver. These cookies are awesome and my five kids and husband are begging for more. Thank you from Pinson, AL!!!

Thank you so much for this recipe!! My 2 yr old's pediatrician and I have come to the conclusion that she may have celiac, so I'm trying to cut gluten out of her diet. It's been a month and she's finally starting to grow. She LOVES molasses cookies, so I was so excited to find this. I used brown sugar, as that's what we have, and I used rice flour in place of the sorghum for the same reason. They look great, waiting for them to cool right now before we see if she approves of them!

Made these wonderful cookies and they were a hit for the holiday party :) Always looking for glten free vegan options that tast GOOD!

Hi.i am so grateful that i found your website. Im new to all these food allergies and just love using coconut sugar as i cannot hve cane/brwn/maple sugar or honey. Thank u so much for the help you give to others.

I'm so excited, can't wait to share them at our xmas party next week. I've been looking for just the right recipe. Thank you for sharing.
Dena :o)

Oh my gracious! THANK YOU! Molasses cookies are my favorite and I have a ton of applesauce to use up because DS didn't eat any after his surgery like I thought he would. I'll get right on trying these when we're done homeschooling but I'm out of sucanat I think. Will have to improvise I think I have some maple sugar. Been wanting to try coconut but too cheap to buy it.

I've been curious to try coconut sugar for awhile. And these cookies are going on my to make list.

OMGoodness! There are a lot of comments, and I hope I am not repeating a question, but do you think it would be ok to sub a gf baking mix (like pamela's) for the flours? I don't keep separate flours on hand. I am so excited to try these out! I luuuuve molasses cookies. I may just mix some up tonight and refrigerate til morning.... mmmmmmm

Looks delicious. Never used palm shortening before. Is it a good replacement for butter. My son cant eat dairy and I was trying to make a christmas cake but all recipes either had butter or margerine and don't touch that stuff. Got thinking that maybe the shortening would be a great replacement.

Cheera Fee

Whipped up a delicious batch this evening and they were a hit! Everyone loved them!! <3 Thanks for sharing <3

Heather - I think if you read through the comments others have given great feedback using either butter or Earth Balance. Enjoy! :)

Hi Ali, my mom's birthday is right after Easter so I was quite happy to find your recipe for molasses cookies (her favourite flavour) BUT she is allergic to palm oil. What would be a suitable replacement?

Thanks so much if you are able to respond quickly - I know it's a busy time of year.


I put these in the oven as balls for two minutes to soften up and then used a fork to smoosh them down. I wasn't crazy about them when they first came out of the oven but when they cool off they are the perfect combination of crunchy outside and chewy inside. My daughter is allergic to dairy and eggs and this is the first cookie I've made that looks and tastes like a normal cookie. Thank you!

This was the second Molasses cookies recipe I tried, and it turned out amazing!

I used butter instead of shortening(as I'm not vegan, just allergic to eggs), and brown sugar. I also didn't use applesauce as a part of the egg replacer. I always go the same route with 2 tbsp ground flax seed and 6 tbsp warm water. Beat them together for a bit and let sit a few minutes and you've got yourself a very nice egg-like consistency. Mix in the vanilla and you're set!

I like them a bit spicier too, after three batches, I got a pretty good balance: 2 tbsp Ginger, 1 tbsp Cinnamon, 1 1/2 tbsp Nutmeg, 1 1/2 tbsp Pumpkin Pie Spice. I ground up cloves for the first too batches, but that was way too much work, so I substituted with P.p. spice.

I also rolled them in a mixture of cane sugar, sea salt and a bit of p.p. spice.

Wish I could post a picture because they look so great.

Thanks so much for the recipe!

Hi Ali,
Thanks for the cookie recipe. Not sure what I did wrong. Fridged the dough for a couple of hours, but the cookies still ended up being very thin. They cooked very interestingly, kinda like they were perculating on the baking pan. They didn't turn out like your wonderful picture at all. The taste, though, was quite good. Next time, I'll be adding either more powdered ginger or a good tablespoon of grated fresh ginger. I love ginger! Thank you for any suggestions you may have for my next batch, which will happen.

I made these cookies tonight for a Holiday Social I have tomorrow for my special needs support group. We taste-tested them here for "quality control!" Delicious! The only change I made was to press them (one side only) into organic sugar before placing them on the cookie sheet to bake. It gave a nice color contrast to showcase the cracked texture, as well as giving it a little bit of a crunch on top. Yum.

these cookies are delicious! if it's of any interest to anyone i made the following adjustments with success:

- grapeseed oil instead of palm shortening
- organic cane sugar instead of coconut sugar
- parchment paper instead of greasing the pan

also i used a small cookie scoop/ice cream scoop to speed up the assembly line.

otherwise i followed the rest of the recipe. refrigeration and all. yum!

My 5 year old daughter and I really enjoyed these cookies.
I couldn't find the coconut sugar and the palm shortening, so in place I used a natural sweetener, Agave and Olive Oil.
These two ingredients may have made the mixture a bit thicker than it should have been but they were still very delicious!!
Do you recommend anything else other than the palm shortening?

These cookies are DELICIOUS and the house smelled AMAZING while they were baking. I am still enjoying the batch that I made before Christmas and they are just as fresh and tasty as the day that I baked them. Even my family had to agree that they were good. Thank you for another wonderful recipe!

Since my son has become Vagan I have changed my whole way of cooking, and I am so thankful to you for giving me such wonderful recipes to try!

Wow, Ali, I just made these [with a bunch of little tweak] to add to the Christmas cookie platter! They are cooling as I write... holy YUM! I am having a hard time resisting them...i really shouldn't bake things like this, i have very little self-control, and these are a bit of cheat with all that molasses. :) I added some freshly cracked pepper to the dough - my favorite molasses cookie from my former wheat-filled life called for it, and I always thought it added a nice twist. Nothing like a bite of pepper with all those tasty spices and molasses, give it a try! anyway, thanks for another great recipe - I've been scouring your cookbook and blog lately, and will be serving some of it at the Christmas family dinner! Happy holidays, and thanks for sharing so much of yourself with all of us.

Tamara - Thanks for sharing all of your substitutions, grated apple is a great idea. Glad you all enjoyed them. :)

~M - Not sure how the coconut oil would work. You'd need to make sure the dough has been chilled for quite some time. A reader emailed me that a combo of ghee and coconut oil worked, so maybe? If you try it please let me know, thanks! :)

Kenlyn - I am working on creating xanthan gum-free recipes. I'll let you know what I come up with. :)

Kent - Hmm, possibly pear baby food or homemade pear sauce to replace the applesauce? I think that would work. I buy my coconut sugar from in 2-pound bags. Glad you are enjoying the recipes! :)

This sounds great! We are avid followers of this site and LOVE the cookbook! I can't seem to make a meal any more without it. I was wondering what could replace applesauce because my son is allergic to many things including apples, nuts, eggs, dairy,wheat and the list goes on. Do you have more info on coconut sugar? I would love to try it.
Thanks for all the fabulous recipes!!

Loving all the stuff you are doing. Two things: 1) what is a good substitute for palm shortening? and 2) I eat a lot of gluten free things and xanthum gum seems to be in everything. Is there a substitute for cooking so I don't eat too much of it?

Hi Ali!

Do you think that unrefined/cold-pressed/virgin coconut oil would work instead of the shortening?I have a new gallon of it but have never used or bought palm shortening.

The molasses cookies turned out really nice - thanks for posting the recipe. For anyone making them, do watch them carefully: since the dough is so dark, it's hard to tell if they are done. I overcooked my first sheet. They only needed 9-10 minutes in my oven.

I didn't have applesauce, so used 1/4 cup finely grated apple. Another time, I might also try adding raisins and chopped nuts (my kids wouldn't care for those additions, but my husband and I would!)

Thanks for all your work on this blog - we are dairy-free, and have friends and relatives who are gluten-free and/or egg-free, so your recipes are a HUGE help!

And the winner is......

comment #7 - Living and Loving in L.A.!!

Could you please email me your mailing address?

And a big thanks to ~M who suggested in my last post to run this giveaway again!

Thanks everyone, hope you enjoy the cookies! Have a merry holiday season! -Ali :)

I'm just entering the world of gluten, dairy, egg free cooking, and found your blog through my search. Looking forward to learning more about using alternative cooking/baking ingredients! Thanks for the chance at the sugar.

I would love to try coconut sugar! I have been wanting to try this for quite some time! The cookies look great too!

Thanks for all your lovely recipes and ideas.
I would love! to try coconut sugar. PEACE and JOY.

Just tweeted this at

These cookies look so good. Great giveaway!

I have made these before and they are THE best molasses cookies I have EVER had. :)

Oops! Forgot to leave my name - Chelsea! :)

Hi Ali,

I have been reading your blog for awhile now and I bought your cookbook a couple of months ago. I cook out of it probably 2-3 nights a week and I have loved most EVERY recipe I've tried (my two little sons also eat your waffles often... I make and freeze a bunch at a time.) My 21 month old son is gluten intolerant and has a peanut allergy, so your recipes have been the perfect thing for our family... nutritious, YUMMY and gluten free. THANK YOU, Ali, for your hard work. It has been SUCH a huge blessing for us to discover you and Tom and all of your resources.

We love molasses cookies and would love to try the coconut sugar! Thanks! ;)

I posted this on Facebook, too.

I made these last night, then baked them in the morning for breakfast. My oven has been broken for months, but my girls are getting tired of the same old toast for breakfast and had been begging for muffins or scones all week. I didn't listen to that little voice telling me "no cookies for breakfast" and decided to make them in my toaster oven. Boy were the kids thrilled to get to eat cookies in the morning!

I'd LOVE to win some coconut sugar!! And I will totally check the blog!!! :-)
I'll be trying the cupcakes either way ...

Hello again,

I'm so coconut obsessed right now! Just tried coconut flour, and would love to try the sugar too.
Also, I adore molasses, and I'm going to try these immediately. Thank you! :)


Looks yummy once again! I'd love to try the coconut sugar.


I have not tried coconut sugar. I am incredibly interested since I love sucanat in all my baking!!! Thanks for the continuous inspiration and love from your kitchen!

I did also share this on Facebook.

Molasses cookies are one of my favorite holiday cookies to make. I'm excited to see this recipe which doesn't have a single thing that I can't tolerate ( potato starch!). I can't wait to gather my ingredients and pans and get started. I'm intrigued by the coconut sugar as well.

Yum, i can't wait to make these for the children!

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