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Cinnamon and Piloncillo Cookies

Cinnamon and Piloncillo Cookies | Magnolia Days

The dough transformed at every point in the process. It’s not unusual for this to happen with bread. On the other hand, cookie dough has expected qualities. Making cinnamon and piloncillo cookies brought forth surprise, doubt, and amazement. The journey started with a challenge of baking cookies to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. It turned out to be quite an adventure.

Ingredients were a big part of recipe selection. I wanted to be as authentic as possible. The search began with two; ceylon cinnamon and piloncillo. I used both of them when making candied pumpkin (click on the link to that post to see a photo of them). The search turned up ones for traditional Mexican cookies and soon I was on my way to the Latin market to get the ingredients.

Cinnamon and Piloncillo Cookies | Magnolia Days

The surprise came with the method of these cookies. Normally cookies start with beating or creaming fat and sugar together. That is not the case with these. You boil sugar and water to make syrup. Then butter and honey are stirred in the hot syrup and melted. Pour the liquid into flour and stir it all together. Eggs are added at the end. This is where the transformation begins. It starts as wet, sticky, and rather gooey dough. It gets more difficult to stir with each passing moment.

Cinnamon and Piloncillo Cookies | Magnolia Days

Refrigeration brings the next transformation. The dough firms up to the firmest cookie dough I’ve ever made. Rolling it out took some serious elbow grease. It seemed to take on an almost rubbery quality. I really doubted these cookies at this point. The dough was so dense and tough to roll. There was even a little extra pressure needed to cut them.

Cinnamon and Piloncillo Cookies | Magnolia Days

Heat brought the last transformation. The cookies puffed up while baking. I was completely amazed. That incredibly tough dough produced these lovely soft cookies. How do they taste? There is a distinct molasses flavor and only a hint of cinnamon. They are not as sweet as typical American cookies; about a 3 or 4 on a sweetness scale of 1-10.

Do you celebrate Cinco de Mayo? Or simply enjoy baking cookies? Scroll down to find recipes by the Creative Cookie Exchange bakers. Also take a look at Shrimp and Avocado Ceviche, a recipe I shared in celebration last year.

Cinnamon and Piloncillo Cookies | Magnolia Days
5 from 3 votes

Cinnamon and Piloncillo Cookies

A recipe for Cinnamon and Piloncillo Cookies. They are homemade soft cookies made with ceylon cinnamon and piloncillo that have a molasses flavor.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 50 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Author Renee


  • 12 ounces piloncillo chopped or grated*
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 ceylon cinnamon stick about 4-inches long
  • 1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour plus more for dusting
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs at room temperature
  • 1 large egg cold
  • 1 teaspoon water
  • Confectioners sugar


  1. Combine piloncillo, water, and cinnamon in a sauce pan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and stir occasionally.
  2. Once the piloncillo dissolves, lower the heat to keep it at a medium-low simmer for 15 minutes (it will thicken to a light syrup consistency).
  3. Remove pan from the heat. Remove and discard cinnamon stick. Add butter and honey into the hot liquid and stir until melted and combined.
  4. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the center and pour in the liquid mixture.
  5. Stir until it is well incorporated. Beat 2 eggs and stir into the dough. The dough will be sticky and gooey.
  6. Place plastic wrap in the bottom of a mixing bowl with extra hanging on the sides.
  7. With a spoon or your hand, push the dough onto the plastic wrap and up the side of the bowl.
  8. Wrap the dough with the plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
  9. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment or non-stick liner.
  10. Make an egg wash by beating remaining egg with about 1 teaspoon of water.
  11. Lightly dust work surface and rolling pin with flour. Divide dough in half.
  12. Roll out half the dough to 1/4-inch thickness. Cutout cookies with cutters pressing down on the dough and moving it slightly to make it easier to lift the cut dough.
  13. Place cookies 1-inch apart on baking sheets. Gently brush tops of cookies with egg wash.
  14. Bake cookies for 7 to 9 minutes, until cookies are just beginning to turn light brown around the edges.
  15. Cool cookies on the baking sheet for 1 minute then transfer cookies to a wire rack and cool completely.
  16. Repeat steps with remaining dough. You can gather up excess dough after cutting the cookies, shape into another disk, and roll out for more cookies.
  17. Cool baking sheets completely between batches.
  18. Dust top of cookies with confectioners sugar.

Recipe Notes

*If you cannot find piloncillo you can substitute 1 3/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar. Amount of cookies vary depending on size and shape of cookie cutters. Time stated does not include chilling dough overnight.

Recipe adapted from NBC Latino – Piggies: Cinnamon and Piloncillo Cookies

The Creative Cooke Exchange theme this month is Cinco de Mayo and what better way to celebrate than baking cookies! If you are a blogger and want to join in the fun, contact Laura via email (thespicedlife AT gmail DOT com) and she will get you added to our Facebook group where we coordinate events.

You can also use us as a great resource for cookie recipes. Be sure to check out our Facebook page, our Pinterest Board, and our monthly posts. You will be able to find them the first Tuesday after the 15th of each month! Also, if you are looking for inspiration to get in the kitchen and start baking, check out what all of the hosting bloggers have made:

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Recipe Rating


Thursday 6th of July 2023

These cookies are just so amazingly delicious!! Thank you for this recipe!


Thursday 1st of December 2022

I'm definitely going to make this today. By the way do you have a Facebook page I could follow?

Katie Moseman

Saturday 17th of December 2022



Tuesday 13th of May 2014

LOVE these cookies! I have to say every time I think about using piloncillo I chicken out of using those hard chunks of sugar lol! Great job!


Saturday 17th of May 2014

Those hard chunks of sugar melt really fast in liquids. Hope you go for it soon.

Kelli's Kitchen

Sunday 27th of April 2014

Yes! We celebrate Cinco de Mayo but not in the way you might expect. May 5th is our son's birthday! It's also my hair stylists and since we've been together for 14 years, I always buy her a big present too. And we celebrate the son's birthday with Tex-Mex and these cookies should be an addition to that meal!


Wednesday 30th of April 2014

Oh what a big fun day with lots of celebrations. It must be something you really look forward to each year.

Felice/All That's Left Are The Crumbs

Saturday 26th of April 2014

Wow, I love how different these cookies sound. I am glad I will have the benefit of your experience when I try them.


Wednesday 30th of April 2014

Thanks Felice and I really enjoyed the cookies. It was a nice change from the usual ones I've made.