Canadian Army Molasses Cookies

This recipe was designed for a large batch of hungry soldiers. You can easily halve or even quarter it.

Canadian Army Molasses Cookies

Origin: Fort Rodd National Historic Site
Region: West (British Columbia)
Period: 20th Century - present
Course: Desserts and Baked Goods

Group photo of cooks, Fort Rodd Hill National Historic Site Photo of cooks at Fort Rodd Hill
© Parks Canada

This molasses cookie recipe is from the official 1946 Canadian Army Cook’s Manual, which would have been used in the many cookhouses and messes of the Victoria-Esquimalt Fortress, including Fort Rodd Hill. Soldiers are always hungry and generally have a sweet tooth. These cookies would have appeared in Army mess halls all over Canada, and at Canadian bases overseas as a taste of home.

Canadian Army Molasses Cookies


  • 2¼ cups | 800 g molasses
  • 2 ¼ cups | 500 g shortening
  • 1¼ cups | 280 g sugar
  • 2¼ cups | 560 ml sour milk
  • 3½ tsp | 15 g baking soda
  • 2 ½ tsp | 13 g salt
  • 4 tsp | 20 ml finely grated ginger
  • 2 tsp | 10 ml cinnamon
  • 9 cups | 1.2 kg flour


  • Heat molasses and shortening together and cool. Add remaining ingredients and mix together thoroughly. Form into rolls about 2” in diameter, wrap in waxed paper and chill 2-3 hours. Slice and bake on a greased baking sheet in medium oven (350°F | 180°C) for 15-20 minutes.


Recipe tested by Chef Mario Ramsay, Algonquin College School of Hospitality and Tourism

This recipe is from the official 1946 Canadian Army Cook’s Manual