Learn About Molasses

Author: Chef Sydney

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What is Molasses?

Molasses is a syrup created while making sugar.  The syrup is the boiled-down juice of sugar cane that remains once the sugar crystals are removed.  Molasses is thick and comes in regular, dark, or blackstrap varieties.  Regular molasses results from the first boiling process and is a medium-dark brown color.  Dark molasses forms after a second boiling process with a dark brown color.  Blackstrap molasses occurs after the third boiling process and is almost black.  Molasses smells sweet and strong.

What Does Molasses Taste Like?

All molasses has a sweet flavor.  Regular molasses tastes the sweetest because of its higher sugar content.  Dark molasses tastes slightly bitter.  Blackstrap molasses has a strong flavor.

Learn About Molasses
Molasses oozing from a spoon into a bowl.

How Do You Eat Molasses?

While most people do not often cook with blackstrap molasses, regular and dark molasses work well mixed into dishes.  Molasses is a staple in gingerbread cookies, molasses cookies, and some cakes.  For savory dishes, molasses works well with ginger as a glaze for carrots, as a component for barbecue sauces, and as a sweet and spicy glaze for chicken.  Ginger and molasses balance each other well, so consider adding molasses to a ginger-flavored dish.

Where Can You Buy Molasses?

Look for molasses in the baking aisle of the grocery store, typically near the sweeteners.  Or, check in the breakfast foods aisle near the maple syrup.

How Do You Store Molasses?

Store unopened jars of molasses in a cool, dry place.  Once opened, seal the jar tightly and store in a cool, dry place.  You can store molasses in the refrigerator to increase its shelf life.

Fun Facts About Molasses

Molasses can be made from beets.  Molasses made from beets is sometimes used as mortar to keep bricks together.

Did You Know?

Brown sugar tastes warm and sweet because of molasses.  Manufacturers produce brown sugar by mixing white sugar with molasses to create soft brown sugar.

Recipes Using Molasses

Molasses Barbecue Sauce

Create a sweet and tangy barbecue sauce using molasses. Simmer molasses, tomato sauce, apple cider vinegar, and spices in a saucepan until the sauce thickens. Serve as a dipping sauce or use as a glaze for meats.

Gingerbread Cookies

Bake delicious gingerbread cookies for everyone to enjoy. Combine molasses, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and other ingredients in a bowl until a dough ball forms. Use a rolling pin to roll out the dough to an even thickness, cut into shapes, and place on a baking sheet. Bake until cooked through and glaze if desired.

Molasses-Ginger Glazed Carrots

Make a sticky, candy glaze for your carrots. Begin with carrots that have been boiled in salt water for about 15 minutes. Drain the carrots then transfer them to a saucepan with molasses, ginger, butter, and sugar. Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, coating the carrots evenly.

Molasses Cookies

Bake molasses cookies for a chewy and warming dessert. Create the dough with molasses, dry ingredients, wet ingredients, and a generous amount of cinnamon. Form the dough into balls and place on a baking sheet. Bake until cooked.

Sweet and Spicy Marinade

Marinades are easy to make in advance for your next flavorful meal. Add molasses, lemon juice, sriracha, garlic, salt, pepper, and paprika to a large bowl. Once combined, add chicken breasts and marinate for 8 hours or overnight. Cook the chicken by baking or sauteing it until cooked.


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