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Ginger Molasses Sandwich Cookies with Lemon Cream Filling

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These molasses spice sandwich cookies were a special creation for my mom’s birthday and were a well-recieved gift! I created them for her, but I knew they were too good to keep to myself.

These cookies smell absolutely amazing while they’re baking and the warm, spicy flavors of the soft cookie are complemented perfectly by the tangy lemon cream filling. It takes an extra minute to make the buttercream frosting at home, but it is ever so worth it! A neighbor invited me to hang out while I was making the frosting and, when I told her what I was doing, she said “They sell that at the store, you know.” It just isn’t the same – why spend the time baking made from scratch cookies and then using frosting from a can? If you decide the icing really is too much bother and you just want soft molasses spice cookies, I suggest you forgo the icing and bake up a couple dozen cookies, instead! Either way, I’m sure you’ll enjoy this recipe.

Molasses Spice Sandwich Cookies with Lemon Buttercream Icing

When you bake these cookies, it is extremely important you do not over bake them. They should look slightly undercooked while they’re still in the oven because they will reach the perfect level of done-ness out of the oven. If you bake them until they look totally ‘done,’ they will be much harder and less delightful and cookie sandwiches.

lemon buttercream frosting

Ginger Molasses Cookies with Lemon Cream Filling


For the cookies

  • 1/3 cup white granulated sugar + 1/2 a cup for rolling the dough balls.
  • 2 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon table salt
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), softened but still cool
  • 1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 large egg yolk (I recommend local free range eggs - they're so much tastier!)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup molasses (about 6 ounces), light or dark

For the lemon cream icing

  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon of grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup of granulated white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons of lemon juice (or more to taste)


  • Adjust an oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Next, line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Finally, place the 1/2 a cup of sugar in a pie plate or bowl.
  • Whisk the flour, baking soda, spices, and salt in medium bowl until thoroughly combined and then set aside.
  • With a hand mixer (or in a standing mixer if you're lucky and own one), cream the sugars and butter together, beating them at medium-high speed until they're light and fluffy. This should take about 3 minutes. It is possible to cream butter and sugar by hand with a fork, but it takes a whole lot of effort!
  • Reduce speed to medium-low, add the molasses and then beat until fully incorporated, scraping bottom and sides of the bowl with a spatula as needed.
  • Reduce the mixer's speed to lowest setting, add the flour mixture, and beat until just incorporated.
  • Give dough final stir with rubber spatula to make sure there are no lingering pockets of flour along the sides or bottom. The dough will be soft.
  • Using tablespoon measure, scoop rounded tablespoons of dough. Roll them in the sugar and then gently press them between your palms to form rounds about 1/2" thick. Place the cookies about 2" apart on the baking sheet.
  • Bake the cookies 1 sheet at a time until cookies are browned, still slightly puffy, and edges have begun to set but centers are still soft. The cookies may look slightly undercooked, but that's fine - they will finish cooking outside of the oven. If you cook them until they look totally firm and finished in the oven, they'll turn out hard and scorched. Ovens and baking trays vary, so keep an eye on the cookies, but they should take 9-11 minutes to bake.
  • Allow the cookies to cook for 5 minutes on the baking sheet and them move them to a wire rack to finish cooling. Make sure they are completely cool before icing.
  • For the lemon buttercream frosting

    1. Combine eggs and sugar in a glass or metal bowl and place the bowl over pan of simmering water.
    2. Whisk gently but constantly and heat mixture until it is thin and foamy and registers 160 degrees on instant-read thermometer. I use a Taylor instant-read thermometer and love it.
    3. Remove the egg mixture from heat and beat it on medium-high speed. Use a whisk attachment, if you have one. Beat it until the eggs are light and airy, about 5 minutes.
    4. Reduce the mixer's speed to medium and slowly add the butter, beating until combined.
    5. After all butter is added, add the lemon zest and juice and beat an additional minute, or until thoroughly combined and fluffy. Taste-test it and add more lemon juice, if desired.
    6. Assemble your cookie sandwiches and enjoy!

     Molasses Spice Cookies with Lemon Icing

    If you’d prefer to make just the cookies without the frosting, do not flatten the dough balls between your palms in step  7. They will form delightfully rounded cookies like these, instead.

    molassss spice cookies

    Whether you make these for a holiday gathering or just because, I know you’ll enjoy these ginger molasses sandwich cookies. They taste like fall and will make your home smell amazing!

    What’s your favorite fall cookie?


    { 20 comments… add one }
    • Oh my goodness, Natasha! These look mouth watering! I LOVE ginger and lemon together! YUM-O! This is one of the features this week over on Sweet & Savoury Sunday! 🙂

      • natashalh October 26, 2013, 21:50

        How exciting!! Thank you for letting me know. =) They were are very successful birthday present, that’s for sure.

    • Splendid Little Stars October 23, 2013, 19:19


      • natashalh October 23, 2013, 19:21

        Thank you very much! I appreciate the pin. =)

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