Chocolate crinkle cookies are fudgy like brownies and SO very easy. Coated with powdered sugar, these give the perfect crinkle! The best chocolate Christmas cookies!
Chocolate crinkle cookies are one of my favorite Christmas cookies, but I could eat them year 'round. One of the reasons I love them is because they are so much like brownies, and brownies are hands-down my favorite chocolate treat!
About this Recipe
I've been making these crinkle cookies for YEARS, especially during Christmas. They are so pretty and everyone always asks for the recipe. Over time I learned the best tips to ensure the perfect crinkle to each cookie. You won't believe how easy it is to achieve!
This cookie recipe calls for pantry staples, so you probably have everything on hand already! Below is a list of ingredients you need to make these crinkle cookies.
Grocery List for Chocolate Crinkle Cookies:
- Unsweetened cocoa powder - I use the regular Hershey's brand and sometimes Dutch processed if that's what I have on hand.
- Granulated sugar - You'll use some for the dough and a little more to roll the dough balls before rolling in the powdered sugar.
- Powdered sugar - After rolling in granulated sugar, you'll top with a coat of powdered sugar before baking.
- Vegetable oil - This is why the cookies stay fudgy and moist. You can use canola oil.
- Eggs - The eggs bond the cookies together and keep them chewy.
- Vanilla extract - Flavor, friends, flavor!
- All-purpose flour - The structure for the cookies. I have not tested with other types of flours.
- Baking powder - Forces the "up and out" growth of the cookie during baking that makes the cookie crinkle.
- Salt - Just a dash of salt brings out so much of that cocoa flavor.
Click here or scroll to the bottom of this post for the full recipe ingredient measurements and instructions.
Scroll to the recipe card at the bottom of this post for the step-by-step on how to make chocolate crinkle cookies. The general steps are as follows:
- Mix cocoa, sugar and oil in a large bowl. Beat in eggs one at a time.
- In a separate bowl, whisk flour, baking powder and salt. Stir into the bowl of cocoa mixture.
- Cover dough, chill in freezer for 45 minutes or fridge for 3 to 4 hours.
- Adjust oven rack to top center position. Preheat oven to 375°F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Place powdered sugar in one small bowl and granulated sugar in another.
- Use cookie scoop to spoon dough balls into bowl of granulated sugar. Coat each dough ball with granulated sugar and then with powdered sugar before placing on baking sheet.
- Bake 10 to 12 minutes. Let stand on cookie sheet only 1 minute before transferring to cool on wire rack.
Chocolate chips: For even more chocolaty cookies, stir miniature chocolate chips into the dough.
Cocoa powder: For richer cookies, try using Dutch cocoa powder.
Peppermint: You can make these into peppermint chocolate cookies for the holidays by adding 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract.
Hershey Kisses: These crinkle cookies would be great with a Hershey Kiss placed in the center! Try the white chocolate ones or the candy cane flavored!
Top Tips and Tricks
- Make sure you generously coat the cookies with the powdered sugar before baking. The more the better!
- Do not let the cookies stay on the hot cookie sheet more than 2 minutes after removing from oven. They will tend to flatten more and stick to the cookie sheet. Get them onto the wire rack to start cooling.
- Bake only one pan at a time so the oven isn't crowded and for optimal rising and crackling.
- Let your baking sheet cool in between batches. Even 10 minutes is enough. If you're working with two baking sheets this isn't necessary, of course.
- If you do not have parchment paper, grease the pan generously. I prefer Baker's Joy spray.
- Keep the dough chilled in the fridge in between batches.
- When coating the cookies with both sugars, carefully shake the bowl instead of using your hands.
Your Questions Answered
The baking powder causes the cookies to grow up and outward. Because the dough balls are chilled, the top of the cookies dry out first causing the crinkling during this process.
How do you keep the powdered sugar from melting on crinkle cookies?
The layer of granulated sugar helps protect the powdered sugar from melting into the cookies. Also, removing the cookies from the hot sheet pan right after baking keeps the powdered sugar from melting.
Do I need a stand mixer?
For this recipe, you can use a hand mixer or a stand mixer, but I just use a wooden spoon. It's that easy!
Storage and Leftovers
Store: To keep chocolate crinkle cookies fresh, store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.
Freeze: Surprisingly, these crinkle cookies freeze very well! The powdered sugar even stays in tact. To freeze, place in a freezer bag and freeze up to 1 month.
Thaw: Thaw frozen cookies at room temperature. It doesn't take long, maybe 30 minutes!
More Chocolate Cookies
- Hot Chocolate Cookies
- Triple Chocolate Cookies
- No Bake Cookies
- German Chocolate Cookies
- Peppermint Chocolate Cookies
This recipe was originally published January 2009 and updated in November 2021 with new photos and recipe tips.
Photography by Marie Roffey
Chocolate Crinkle Cookies
- 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 cups granulated sugar , plus 1/3 cup for coating
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 4 eggs , at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup powdered sugar
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the cocoa, 2 cups granulated sugar, and oil with a wooden spoon. Beat in eggs one at a time, then the vanilla. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt; stir into the cocoa mixture.
- Cover dough, and place in freezer for 45 minutes or chill in refrigerator for 3 to 4 hours.
- Adjust oven rack to top center position. Preheat to 350°F. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- Place powdered sugar and additional 1/3 cup granulated sugar in two separate small bowls. Using a small cookie scoop, spoon one inch dough balls into bowl of granulated sugar. Coat each ball in the granulated sugar and then generously with the powdered sugar. Place onto prepared cookie sheets. (Keep leftover dough chilled in fridge between batches.)
- Bake one cookie sheet at a time in preheated oven for 10 to 12 minutes. Let stand on the cookie sheet for just 1 minute before transferring to cooling racks.
- Flour: Fluff flour before scooping and measuring.
- Sugar coating: Add 1/4 cup more powdered sugar or granulated sugar to the bowls if you run out when coating the cookies.
- Sugar coating: For easier coating, gently shake bowl to coat dough balls with sugar instead of using hands.
- Sugar coating: Coat generously with powdered sugar.
- Mixing: No need for a stand mixer or hand held mixer. This recipe is easy to mix with a wooden spoon!
- Scooping: We use a small cookie scoop to ensure uniform sized cookies.
- Cooling: Cool cookies on cookie sheet no more than 2 minutes before transferring to wire rack.
- Cookie sheet: If you only have one cookie sheet, let cool between batches.
- Variations: Try stirring in chocolate chips, peppermint extract, topping with Hershey kisses after baking, etc.