Spiced Molasses Doughnut Cookies

Total Time

Prep: 45 min. Bake: 10 min. + cooling


2 dozen donut cookies plus donut hole cutouts

Updated: Sep. 24, 2022
I don't know where this recipe came from, but my family has been making these cookies for four generations. I am from upstate New York, and I haven't met anyone who has heard of doughnut cookies outside of that area. But when folks try these, they love them! —Brenna Phillips, Lawrenceville, Georgia
Spiced Molasses Doughnut Cookies Recipe photo by Taste of Home
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  • 1/2 cup baking cocoa
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup water
  • 1 large egg
  • 3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • Pinch ground nutmeg
  • Pinch salt
  • 6 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 3 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons 2% milk
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch salt
  • Assorted jimmies


  1. Preheat oven to 350°. In a large bowl, mix cocoa and oil until smooth. Beat in brown sugar, molasses, 1/4 cup water and egg. In a small bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, spices and salt; gradually beat into cocoa mixture. If necessary, add additional water to form a stiff dough.
  2. Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface; knead a few times, forming a smooth dough. Divide dough in half; roll each portion to 1/4-in. thickness. Cut with a floured 3-in. doughnut cutter. Place
  3. doughnut and doughnut-hole cutouts 1 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets.
  4. Bake 7-9 minutes or until set. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
  5. In a bowl, beat butter, confectioners' sugar, 3 tablespoons milk, vanilla and salt until smooth. If necessary, beat in additional milk to reach spreading consistency. Spread over cookies. Sprinkle with jimmies. Let stand until set. Store in an airtight container.