Wicked Halloween Costume Ideas, Enchanting Tricks & Delicious Treats

Jack-o-Lantern Molasses Cookies

Kids of all ages will enjoy making a variety of fun Halloween jack-o-lantern faces on these frosted molasses cookies.

Molasses is a thick and dark-colored syrup made from processing sugar cane or sugar beets into sugar. There are three grades of molasses: mild, dark and blackstrap and any of these grades may or may not contain the preservative, sulphur.

Mild molasses is a result of the first boiling of sugar crystals from the sugar cane plant and has the highest sugar concentration. Dark molasses results from the second boiling and blackstrap comes from the third boiling. Blackstrap molasses is a natural source of significant amounts of calcium, potassium, magnesium and iron.

These wonderfully soft and chewy molasses cookies have a great spicy flavor from the cinnamon, ginger and cloves which make them the perfect Halloween treat.

Decorated Jack-o-Lantern Molasses Cookies

Frosted & Decorated Jack-o-Lantern Molasses Cookies

Jack-o-Lantern Molasses Cookies Recipe

Chill Time: 1 to 3 hours
Baking Time: 6 to 9 minutes



  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup molasses
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons grated orange peel
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves

Buttery Icing:

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons milk
  • 3 drops red food color
  • 6 drops yellow food color
  • 4 drops green food color
  • Miniature chocolate chips
  • Gumdrops
  • Candy Corn


  1. In large bowl, beat sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Add molasses and egg and blend well.
  2. Lightly spoon flour into measuring cup and level off. Stir in flour and remaining cookie ingredients and mix well.
  3. Cover cookie dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 to 3 hours for easier handling.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  5. On well-floured surface, roll half of dough to 1/8-inch thickness.
  6. Cut with floured 3-inch pumpkin-shaped or round cookie cutter.
  7. Place cookies 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets.
  8. Repeat with remaining half of dough.
  9. Bake at 350 degrees F for 6 to 9 minutes or until set.
  10. Immediately remove cookies from sheets and place on wire rack to cool completely.
  11. In small bowl, combine half of Buttery Icing, 3 drops red food color and 3 drops of yellow food color and blend well to make orange icing.
  12. Divide remaining icing mixture in half and place in two small bowls.
  13. Add 4 drops green food color to one bowl and remaining 3 drops yellow food color to second bowl and blend each bowl well to make green and yellow icing.
  14. To decorate cookies, frost each cookie with orange icing.
  15. Use green and yellow icings, chocolate chips, candy corn and gumdrops to make faces on the frosted cookies.

High Altitude Tip:
Above 3,500 feet - Decrease sugar to 2/3 cup and increase flour to 2-1/2 cups. Bake as directed above.

Directions to make Icing:

  1. In large bowl, beat butter and shortening until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and salt.
  2. Beat in powdered sugar 1 cup at a time, scraping down sides of bowl.
  3. Add 2 tablespoons milk and beat at high speed until light and fluffy.
  4. Add enough additional milk for desired spreading consistency.

Icing Making Tip: This icing can be made up to 2 weeks in advance and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Be sure to bring to room temperature and rewhip before using.

This recipe makes about 24 Jack-o-Lantern Molasses Cookies.

Nutrition Information

Serving size: 1 cookie

  • 220 calories
  • 1g protein
  • 35g carbohydrate
  • 9g fat
  • 16mg cholesterol
  • 160 mg sodium
  • 65mg potassium