Addictive Recipes from a Self-Taught Baker

Chocolate Sugar Cookies

My go-to recipe for chocolate sugar cookies!

These are the best soft chocolate sugar cookies you will ever make! It's an easy recipe and they are so fun to decorate! Recipe on

I don’t even know what to say about this.

I mean, it’s been exactly 4 years 2 months and 24 days since I started this baking blog and there’s no chocolate sugar cookie recipe to be found. We’re talking 1547 days– thank you, calculator– without a classic chocolate sugar cookie recipe. I’m fully aware that its absence this far into my baking career is appalling and most definitely obscure. 

But, my baking buds, it’s taken me awhile to perfect such a classic treasure. And I will only bring you the best when it comes to sugar cookies. I swear on sprinkles:

These chocolate sugar cookies are fantastic! I’m completely addicted to making them because not only are the cookies the perfect balance of chocolate and buttery goodness, they’re incredibly simple. They’re crisp on the edges, soft in the center, and the royal icing sets within a couple hours so you can stack them, gift them, wrap them, eat them all immediately because they will call out your name as you walk by.

Chocolate temptresses, they are.

These are the best soft chocolate sugar cookies you will ever make! It's an easy recipe and they are so fun to decorate! Recipe on

Nerd Alert

You’ll be happy to know that this is a completely basic recipe. There’s nothing strange or complicated and I can guarantee you have most of the ingredients in your kitchen this very second. The recipe is adapted from my vanilla version, only I added a lot of cocoa powder for chocolate flavor. We’ll be using baking powder to give the cookies lift and if you remember my huge spiel about cocoa powders, you’ll know that dutch-process cocoa powder is typically paired with baking powder. But you can actually use either dutch-process or natural cocoa powder in this cookie recipe because things are only tricky when baking soda is involved– that’s when you most likely need to use the acidic natural cocoa powder.

Anyway, so yes– easy ingredients in this chocolate sugar cookie recipe and you can use whatever cocoa powder you like best! I suggest a high quality, incredibly tasty cocoa powder. Two I love are Hershey’s special dark and Ghirardelli 100% unsweetened cocoa.

How to make chocolate sugar cookies! Recipe on

Tip: sifting the flour and cocoa powder together is imperative. This ensures the two are perfectly blended and aerated. Rids any lumps, too.

Here’s the sifter I own and love.

Another tip! Instead of flour, sprinkle cocoa powder on your work surface for rolling out the cookie dough. I roll the dough out on parchment paper, but if you’re using your counter– dust with cocoa powder. Flour is completely tasteless, so might as well use cocoa powder for extra chocolate flavor, right?

How to make chocolate sugar cookies! Recipe on

Like my regular soft cut-out sugar cookies, we’re going to roll the dough out before chilling it in the refrigerator. With all of my recipe testing, I learned that this method is a lot easier than chilling the cookie dough as a whole and then trying to roll out a cold chunk of dough. You got me? Remember, chilling the cookie dough is KEY. Your cookies will spread all over the place if the dough is not cold and firm.

After 1 hour in the refrigerator, the chocolate dough is ready to shape.

How to make chocolate sugar cookies! Recipe on

The chocolate sugar cookies bake up to be soft in the centers and wonderfully crisp on the edges. They’ll take only about 10 minutes in the oven. Super quick!

For the icing, there are so many options! For the pictured cookies, I used this royal icing with meringue powder. (I like Wilton brand meringue powder.) I love this royal icing. It sets after only a couple hours, is super smooth, and is perfectly sweet. It’s easy to work with, too. If meringue powder isn’t your thing– you can use my super easy icing instead. With either, you can decorate using an empty squeeze bottle or a piping tip/bag situation. I use Ateco icing tip #3. For lots of helpful cookie decorating tips, check out this helpful read from King Arthur Flour. I use it as a resource all the time.

These are the best soft chocolate sugar cookies you will ever make! It's an easy recipe and they are so fun to decorate! Recipe on

Invite some friends over, round up the kids, and have fun decorating these classic chocolate sugar cookies. And jazz them up with sprinkles!

Chocolate Sugar Cookies

These are the best soft chocolate sugar cookies you will ever make! It's an easy recipe and they are so fun to decorate. Chilling is the most important step, so don't skip it.


  • 3/4 cup (172g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 and 1/2 cups (188g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 3/4 cup (63g) unsweetened natural cocoa powder (or dutch process)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

For Decorating


  1. In a large bowl using a hand-held mixer or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter for 1 minute on medium speed until completely smooth and creamy. Add the granulated sugar and beat on medium high speed until fluffy and light in color. Beat in the egg and vanilla extract on high speed. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.
  2. Sift the flour and cocoa powder together in a medium bowl. Whisk in the baking powder and salt until combined. On low speed, slowly mix into the wet ingredients until combined.
  3. Divide the dough into 2 equal parts. Roll each portion out onto a piece of parchment to about 1/4″ thickness. Stack the pieces (with parchment paper between) onto a baking sheet and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Chilling is mandatory. If chilling for more than a couple hours, cover the top dough piece with a single piece of parchment paper. You can chill up to 2 days.
  4. Once chilled, preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line 2-3 large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. The amount of batches will depend on how large/small you cut your cookies. Remove one of the dough pieces from the refrigerator and using a cookie cutter, cut in shapes. Transfer the cut cookie dough to the prepared baking sheet. Re-roll the remaining dough and continue cutting until all is used.
  5. Bake for 10 minutes-- the cookies will still appear soft. Make sure you rotate the baking sheet halfway through bake time. Allow to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before icing.
  6. Make the icing and decorate the cooled cookies however you'd like. I did not color the icing, as you can see. Add sprinkles on top of the icing if desired. Once the icing has set, these cookies are perfect for gifts, sending, or munching on right away. I find they stay soft for about 5 days at room temperature.
  7. Make ahead tip: Unfrosted cookies freeze well up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Frosted cookies do not freeze well at all. You can chill the cookie dough for up to 2 days (step 3). You can also freeze the cookie dough before rolling for up to 3 months. Then allow to thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Then allow to come to room temperature for about 1 hour. Then roll and continue with the recipe as directed.

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© Sally’s Baking Addiction. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.

Here’s my vanilla version. You can’t go wrong with them!

Soft Cut-Out Sugar Cookies by

This post contains affiliate links to products I use and enjoy in my own kitchen.

These are the best soft chocolate sugar cookies you will ever make! It's an easy recipe and they are so fun to decorate! Recipe on


  1. Made these today with my three year-old and they are AMAZING!! Thank you for the recipe!

  2. I am excited to try this recipe, and love the roll the dough first and then chill method. Would it be OK to chill the dough overnight, so I could prep ahead of time? Or would that effect the cookies. Thanks!

  3. Hi Sally! Let me just say, that not one of your recipes has ever let me down!! You are some sort of baking genius. I am baking these cookies as we speak (the dough is delicious). I am going to decorate them tomorrow with my daughter and niece, but I’m having a hard time deciding between your easy icing, or the Royal icing. I used your easy icing over Christmas to decorate my holiday cookies, and it worked out wonderfully. But I also like decorating with royal icing, too. Does this particular royal icing end up rock hard on the cookie? Thank in advance! 

  4. Hi Sally, just got you Cookie Addiction Book. I can’t help but notice some of the grams are a bit off in the book compared to here on the site

  5. Hi Sally…do you think these cookies could be stamped, either before or right after baking? Thanks!

  6. Great job Sally, Do you know how many people this feeds?

    ~ From @cookielover

    • It depends on what size cookie cutters you use! The medium size shapes I used here got 18 cookies. You can easily double the recipe if you need more!

  7. I’ve been looking for a recipe like this too. Thank you. Would you by some chance have a recipe for chocolate gingerbread cookies. I had a great one a long time ago and I can’t find it anywhere:( I don’t like gingerbread and this recipe cut out the strong flavor of gingerbread and added chocolate. Great cookie.

    Thank you

  8. These were fantastic! I made them for an early Valentines treat for my kids. I really liked the method of rolling out the dough before chilling it. The cookies were the perfect texture- soft but not too cake-y. Definitely a keeper! 

  9. I am learning how to make cookies and you are my first go to for that! I was wondering if I should use the recipe that you added cream cheese to —- or this one (without the cream cheese)?

  10. I forgot, another questions….. did you use some kind of grid for rolling out the dough on the video? and where can I purchase one?

  11. Hi Sally, thank you for creating this heavenly blog! I want to try this recipe but I was wondering if (1) this dough could work with a cookie press (just got one as a gift and i’ve been waiting to try it), and (2) if using a cookie cutter or the cookie press, can I shape the cookies and chill after? Thank you!

    • Hi Flávia! I actually haven’t tried this cookie dough with a cookie press, but let me know if you do! For cookie cutters, I recommend chilling the rolled out dough and then cutting into shapes.

  12. Hi!

    I am about to use this recipe to make some Batman logo shaped cookies for my son’s birthday! Im wondering if I need to shorten the baking time if the cookies are smaller? Or do I keep it at 10minutes? Thanks so much!

    • Hi Karen! I would reduce by 1 minute, but definitely check the cookies. If they appear way too soft at 9 minutes, bake for 1 more minute.

  13. Just made these cookies with the kids I take care of as a nanny. 
    This recipe is very kid friendly and the cookies turned out great! Will keep this recipe for my personal baking 

  14. Hi Sally.

    Firstly, I’ve made your original sugar cookie recipe several times and each time I’ve had great success.
    I absolutely love the recipe!

    I would like to know if it is possible with your chocolate sugar cookie recipe to replace some of the cocoa powder with tiny chopped up / grated or melted chocolate; but still keeping to the idea of a sugar cookie that a person can ice and decorate?

    • Hi Tanya! That sounds like a great idea, but I fear the cookies would spread too much if you left out some of the cocoa powder. So I suggest keeping the cocoa powder the same and just adding some chocolate. The cookies may spread a little more than pictured here because of the chocolate melting inside though.

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