Making homemade molasses cookies from Outlander Kitchen is easy…pairing them with Springbank 19yr scotch that was aged in rum casks is wonderful.

Molasses and rum

They go together like peanut butter & jelly. No, more like peanuts and peanut oil. Actually, they’re like cows and methane. (I’m going to stop now…you get the idea). One produces the other. And both are made from sugarcane juice, which is itself a byproduct from refining sugar. Molasses comes from repeated boiling of the juice until it’s a dark, viscous liquid (“You’re slower than molasses in January!” is an epithet I’ve heard uttered). Rum can be made from either distilling molasses or the sugarcane juice directly. And molasses is the key ingredient to one of my favorite treats…homemade molasses cookies!


Bacardi Rum bottle and Grandma's Molasses jar
They’re related, you know

The importance of Rum

Rum plays an important role in American history. Did you know that there was a disaster called the Great Molasses Flood in 1919? I didn’t until I moved to Boston (I’m not making this up…you can google it for the details). Rum was also part of the Triangle Trade between New England, Africa, and the Caribbean in the 18th Century (a shameful part of history, to be sure). Molasses was a very important commodity for quite a while. (Ok, I’ll stop the economic history lesson here before I really start going overboard, because you know I can…)

(Is there a point to this?)

Ahem…I’ve mentioned in previous posts that I’ve started baking items that I’ve paired with the whisky expressions at tasting events. Coming up with what food to pair with what whisky takes a bit of creativity and my knowledge of how the dram sits on my palate informs me on what flavor I want to highlight. This week I’m preparing another set of pairings for a tasting event pour list (actually, as you read this post the tasting has happened already, but not yet as I write it). Anyway, Gordon’s in Waltham is presenting/presented a seminar called Springbank Oak Exploration Seminar. One of those drams will be/was a rum finished whisky that I will pair/paired with my homemade molasses cookies. Here’s how Holly Seidewand, Gordon’s whisky specialist, put it:

  • Springbank 19yr Fresh Rum @ 55.7% ABV
    • Molasses cookies…the deep flavors of brown sugar, molasses, and warm spices are combined in this cookie, then dusted with powdered sugar for a rich treat

(Oh, this time thing is getting ridiculous! I’m just going to write in the present tense and you’ll just know that you’re in the future from me) (oooohhh…you’re a time-traveler!)


Springbank bottle with molasses cookes
Molasses cookies just enhance the rum and spice of the Springbank

Let’s pair up!

See? See? Since rum and molasses go so well together, the flavors of the cookie should really highlight the rum notes in the expression. Also, since whiskies have usually started their aging process in oak barrels, the warm spices from the cookie (like cinnamon, cloves, and vanilla) echo those flavors imparted into the whisky from the oak barrels.

So enough about why I paired the two…let’s talk about the cookie itself. The recipe I used is from the Outlander Kitchen website, Theresa Carle-Sanders wonderful ode to the food of Outlander. She has so many incredible recipes that, while inspired by 18th Century Scotland and America, are thoroughly modern in their ingredients and preparation. If you haven’t been to Outlander Kitchen, I highly recommend that you stop by for a visit. These cookies are soft and chewy, with the rich, dark molasses melding with the spices to practically melt on your tongue. They’re also super easy to make!


molasses cookies ingredients
We’re going to become cookies!


molasses cookies process collage
Making molasses cookies…so yummy!


I wish you could smell how good these molasses cookies are!


molasses cookies baked & cooling



molasses cookies on plate closeup
The best way to use sugar cane by-products (besides drink it in rum, of course)


I love the idea of complementing and contrasting the flavors of whisky and food…homemade molasses cookies and rum-finished scotch is a good place to start. The challenge to come up with appropriate pairings is real, but it’s creative and fulfilling also. Have you made an interesting pairing that you’d like to share with the group? You don’t have to raise your hand, just leave a comment below. Now I’m off to the pairing. Maybe I’ll run into future me!

Slainté! L’chaim! Cheers!


Homemade Molasses Cookies

Molasses cookies are darkly sweet, spicy, soft, and utterly delicious!
Adapted from Outlander Kitchen
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Chilling Time15 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American, Southern
Keyword: Cookies, Molasses, Molasses Cookies, Outlander Kitchen
Servings: 36 cookies
Calories: 75kcal
Author: Tammy Spencer, Scotch & Scones

Special Equipment

  • Two half sheet baking pans
  • Silpat
  • small cookie scoop


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (8.5 oz, 240g)
  • tsp baking soda
  • tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • ¼ to ½ tsp black pepper, freshly ground
  • ¼ tsp cardamom, ground
  • ¼ tsp cloves, ground
  • ½ cup butter (4 oz, 113g), melted
  • cup molasses (4 oz, 113g), light or fancy
  • cup granulated sugar (2.3 oz, 67g)
  • cup light brown sugar (2.5 oz, 71g), unpacked
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • ½ cup powdered sugar (2 oz, 57g), sifted


  • Move the racks to the upper and lower-middle positions and preheat the oven to 375℉. Line 2 half sheet baking pans with Silpat or parchment paper.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, pepper, cardamom, and cloves until well combined. In a separate bowl, beat together the melted butter, molasses, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and egg until smooth. Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and stir until just combined. Cover the bowl with a plate or plastic and refrigerate the dough for 15 minutes.
  • Using a small cookie scoop, portion out rounds of dough and roll in the powdered sugar. Knock off the excess sugar and arrange on the baking sheets, flattening each ball slightly with your fingertips.
  • Bake until the cookies are puffed and cracked, 8 to 10 minutes. Store in an air-tight tin for up to 5 days.

Recipe Notes

Did you make this recipe? Please share your pictures with the world on your social media outlets, tag me at @scotch_scones (on Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter) or @scotchandsconesblog (on Facebook), and use the hashtag #scotchandsconesblog. I can’t wait to see your creations!
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  1. Dianne Sanders June 30, 2017 at 10:04 am

    Yum, these sound delicious, definitely trying them, always with your bits of history and humour , love this site!

    1. Tammy June 30, 2017 at 10:21 am

      Thanks for your kind words, Dianne! ?


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