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Let’s make chocolate crinkle cookies. These traditional Christmas cookies are a cut above the rest because they’re as rich and fudgy as homemade brownies. They’re thick and soft-baked in the centers with a little extra chocolate for good measure!

chocolate crinkle cookies

Today I’m showing off sparkly new photos and success tips for my classic double chocolate crinkle cookies! Originally published a few years ago, these classic Christmas cookies have become a staple in many of your kitchens. Readers have said they’re the “best cookies I’ve ever tasted” and “make a double batch right away.” These cookies disappear.

Why You’ll Love These Chocolate Crinkle Cookies:

  • Double the chocolate—chocolate chips included!
  • Taste like brownies
  • Soft centers, crisp crackly edges
  • Extra thick
  • Warm from the oven, they melt in your mouth

As classic as Christmas sugar cookies, as sugar-dusted as snowball cookies, and as irresistible as peanut butter blossoms, these chocolate crinkles will outshine every other cookie on your Christmas cookie platter. And that’s a guarantee.

chocolate crinkle cookies

Behind the Recipe

These chocolate cookies aren’t anything new or groundbreaking, but that’s why they’re perfect. You might actually recognize the base dough because it’s my go-to chocolate cookie! It’s the chocolate cookie recipe I’ve been using for years in recipes like double chocolate chip cookies, inside out chocolate chip cookies, peppermint mocha cookies, and let’s not forget about the epicness that is salted caramel dark chocolate cookies.

Some of you were having trouble with these cookies over-spreading as a result of the sugar coating on top, so I leave out the milk in this dough.

How are these different from Chocolate Crinkle Cookies in Sally’s Cookie Addiction? Glad you asked! The recipes are a little different. The cookbook version uses melted butter in the dough, so the cookies are a little chewier. Both super moist cookies with excellent chocolate flavor. The cookies in the book are a little thicker in the centers and crumblier on the edges. Today’s cookies—again—taste like moist brownies!

chocolate cookie dough

How to Make Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

  1. Mix dry ingredients together. You need all-purpose flour, natural unsweetened cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.
  2. Beat wet ingredients together. You need butter, white sugar, brown sugar, egg, and vanilla extract. Room temperature butter and egg will mix more evenly into each other, creating a uniform texture among all the cookies. Additionally, both whip into a greater volume when at room temperature, producing a softer-crumbed cookie.
  3. Combine all ingredients. And don’t forget to add the chocolate chips! I like to use mini size so there’s more in every bite.
  4. Chill the cookie dough in the refrigerator. The cookie dough is sticky and unmanageable, so chilling is necessary. Sometimes I chill it overnight, but 3 hours is perfect. Chilled cookie dough is not only easy to handle and roll into balls, it also bakes thicker cookies.
  5. Roll cookie dough into balls. After chilling, roll the cookie dough into balls, about 1.5 Tablespoons of dough per cookie.
  6. Coat in confectioners’ sugar. Roll the cookie dough balls into granulated sugar, then a hefty dunk in confectioners’ sugar. Why granulated sugar first? That’s a new trick I discovered! See below. 🙂
  7. Bake. Bake the cookies for 11-12 minutes. If the cookies aren’t really spreading by minute 9, remove them from the oven and lightly bang the baking sheet on the counter 2-3x. This helps initiate that spread. Return to the oven for a couple more minutes.

They’ll be extra thick, extra crackly, and extra fudgy inside.

chocolate cookie dough rolled in sugar
chocolate cookie dough balls rolled in powdered sugar
chocolate crinkle cookies on baking sheet

Recommendation from a reader: substitute the chocolate chips for peanut butter chips. I honestly can’t preheat my oven fast enough to try these that way!

How to Prevent the Powdered Sugar from Melting

Before today, I only rolled these chocolate crinkle cookies in confectioners’ sugar. However, these particular crinkle cookies are extra moist so the confectioners’ sugar always ends up melting a bit and/or turns yellow-ish as a result from melting. Not a problem, but if you want stark white confectioners’ sugar on top, coat the cookie dough balls in a little granulated sugar first. Just a light layer, then go heavy on that confectioners’ sugar topping. I learned this tip from the wonderful chefs at America’s Test Kitchen.

It’s also helpful to bake these cookies on dry days. Any humidity in the air will soak into the confectioners’ sugar, slightly melting it. Sometimes you can’t avoid humidity, but if you’re wondering why the sugar melts, it could be the weather. Again, go heavy on that confectioners’ sugar layer.

As the cookies bake, the confectioners’ sugar coating crinkles and cracks as the cookies take their shape. Hence, the cute crinkle name. I love these.

double chocolate crinkle cookies

How to Freeze Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

You can freeze chocolate crinkle cookies before or after baking. To freeze the baked cookies, let them cool completely first. Freeze in single layers between sheets of parchment paper for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator or on the counter.

How to freeze chocolate crinkle cookie dough: Chill the cookie dough as directed in the recipe below. After that, roll into balls, and chill the cookie dough balls in the refrigerator for 1 hour. Then place the solid and cold cookie dough balls into a large zipped-top bag. Freeze cookie dough for up to 3 months. When it’s time to bake the cookies, remove them from the freezer and thaw on the counter for at least 30 minutes. Roll into granulated sugar and confectioners’ sugar as instructed in the recipe. Bake as directed.

See more in my How to Freeze Cookie Dough post.

chocolate crinkle cookies on white plate

Try these right out of the oven—they’re pure fudge. They will melt in your mouth! Have you tried these before? Let me know!

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double chocolate crinkle cookies

Double Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 3 hours, 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 12 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours, 35 minutes
  • Yield: 2022 cookies 1x
  • Category: Cookies
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

These traditional Christmas cookies are a cut above the rest because they’re as rich and fudgy as brownies. Chilling the cookie dough is important because it helps the flavors to develop, prevents spreading, and makes the otherwise sticky cookie dough easy to handle.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick; 115g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (100g) packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (125g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 1/2 cup + 2 Tablespoons (51g) unsweetened natural cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (180g) mini or regular size semi-sweet chocolate chips

Rolling

  • 3 Tablespoons (35g) granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (120g) confectioners’ sugar, for rolling

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl using a hand-held or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar together on medium high speed until fluffy and light in color, about 2-3 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla extract, and then beat on high speed until combined. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt together until combined. With the mixer running on low speed, slowly pour into the wet ingredients. Beat on low until combined and then beat in the chocolate chips. The cookie dough will be thick and very sticky. Cover dough tightly and chill in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours and up to 3 days. Chilling is mandatory for this sticky cookie dough.
  3. Remove cookie dough from the refrigerator and allow to sit at room temperature for 10 minutes. If the cookie dough chilled longer than 3 hours, let it sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes. This makes the chilled cookie dough easier to scoop and roll.
  4. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. (Always recommended for cookies.) Set aside.
  5. Scoop and roll balls of dough, about 1.5 Tablespoons of dough each, into balls. Roll each ball very lightly in granulated sugar, then generously in the confectioners’ sugar. Place 3 inches apart on the baking sheets.
  6. Bake the cookies for 11-12 minutes or until the edges appear set and the centers still look soft. Tip: If they aren’t really spreading by minute 9, remove them from the oven and lightly bang the baking sheet on the counter 2-3x. This helps initiate that spread. Return to the oven to continue baking.
  7. Cool cookies for 5 minutes on the baking sheet, and then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely. The cookies will slightly deflate as they cool. 
  8. Cookies stay fresh covered at room temperature for up to 1 week.

Notes

  1. Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: Baked cookies freeze well up to 3 months. Unbaked cookie dough balls (that are not coated in confectioners’ sugar) freeze well up to 3 months. See post above about how to freeze cookie dough balls.
  2. Larger Batch: The recipe is easy to double in 1 mixing bowl without overwhelming your mixer. Simply double all of the ingredients. Dough chill time remains the same.
  3. Be sure to check out my top 5 cookie baking tips AND these are my 10 must-have cookie baking tools.

Keywords: chocolate crinkle cookies, Christmas cookies

Reader Questions and Reviews

  1. Would love to try this recipe but can I substitute vegetable oil instead of butter?

    1. Hi Sherl, unfortunately that substitute will not work here. You need the solid, room temperature butter in order to properly cream with the sugar. You could try solid coconut oil instead, but the outcome will be a bit different. Hope this helps!

  2. Can I leave the chocolate chips out of the recipe? If so is there anything I should do so I don’t mess it up?

    1. Hi Ava, you can leave the chocolate chips out without any other changes. Enjoy!

    2. Hi,

      I have made this, very yummy but mine turn out hard at the bottom. What do you think happen?. Can you tell me your opinion.
      Thank you so much

      1. Hi Joi, the cookies may have been simply over-baked, an easy fix for next time!

      2. These cookies were delicious and so easy! Just like the ones I loved from the local bakery as a kid. The hardest part was keeping my boys out of them before they ate their dinner!

  3. This recipe came out the perfect mix of chewy, chocolaty, and fudgy. It is by far the best crinkle recipe I’ve made.
    I personally can’t have gluten, so when I substituted the regular flour with Bob’s Red Mill gluten free flour for a little less flour than it suggested, it came out so good, you couldn’t even tell it was gluten free. Thank you for this recipe!

  4. I made this a few times already and brought a tray at events and its always been a big hit!!! Thank you!!!

  5. Can you make this recipe into a lemon crinkle with a few tweaks?

    1. Hi Kimberly, I actually recommend using this coconut lime cookies recipe instead. Leave out the coconut and coconut extract and substitute the lime for lemon. Skip the glaze and roll in confectioners’ sugar prior to baking just as you do with these chocolate crinkle cookies.

  6. Hi Sally, My name is Anwesha (your 11 year old fan!) I tried these cookies and loved how they turned out! The texture is perfect!

  7. This recipe always nails it! Can you freeze the dough for 15-20 min instead of chilling in the fridge?

    1. Hi Shira, for best results we recommend chilling the dough in the refrigerator. The freezer will cause the dough to chill unevenly so the cookies will spread at different rates. Glad this one is a favorite for you!

    1. We haven’t tested that substitution, but for best results we recommend sticking with all purpose flour.

    1. Hi Princess, we don’t recommend it. Cocoa powder is a very light ingredient and using a lighter cake flour would make the cookies very soft and potentially even crumbly. Best to stick with all-purpose flour here!

      1. Just made these cookies. Tried them for breakfast to test as I have a family event to take them to later. Delicious

  8. Cannot wait to try this recipe for a work cookie exchange!

    Do you think using colored confectioners sugar would work? I want to add a little flair!

    1. Hi Danielle, you could try that, or instead of confectioners’ sugar, roll the cookie dough balls in sprinkles.

      1. I am going to make them for a christmas cookie swap and would love to have some red and green in them. You would suggest, rolling in the regular sugar and then rolling in sprinkles, omitting the confectioner’s sugar? Thanks! Pamela

  9. Would you have to change anything to make it a red velvet crinkle cookie besides the food coloring? Haven’t tried these yet, but I was just wondering. Seems like a great recipe!

    1. Hi Addisonz, you can tint these cookies red if desired but we recommend you use our Red Velvet Kiss Cookies and roll them in powdered sugar instead of granulated (you can leave off the kiss). Would love to hear how they go!

  10. This recipes has become a staple over the past 3 years. Every time I bake them my partner can’t help himself to 2 even 3 cookies. He becomes protective of the container and doesn’t like when other people take some, so I usually bake a batch for him and another for guests. The recipe is perfect as is!

  11. I made these cookies and upon removing from the oven, I put a mini York peppermint patty on the top….so awesome!

  12. They turned out perfect! I was inpatient so I only chilled the dough for 20 minutes in the fridge and 10 minutes in the freezer and it worked out fine.

    1. Hi MM, you can mix them by hand, but you’ll want to use a wooden spoon or spatula rather than a whisk. It will take a bit of arm muscle!

  13. Hi there. I was wondering if it had to be unsweetened cocoa. Asking because My husband couldn’t find any unsweetened at the grocery store so He bought regular cocoa powder. It doesn’t say unsweetened. Can’t wait to try this recipe.
    Thanks .

  14. I made these little beauties for Thanksgiving . They were such a hit!!! Had to make a second batch next day. They are so delicious..exactly the way they are described…soft and chewy and a little crunch on the outside. I always trust your recipes and love the way you”teach” the process with notes and video. I plan to make and freeze the dough balls for spur of the moment cookies!

  15. I love this recipe! Huge hit with my family! When I take them out, the sugar turns wet and yellow… did I add too much powdered sugar? Over bake?

    1. Hi Dana, These particular crinkle cookies are extra moist so the confectioners’ sugar always ends up melting a bit and/or turns yellow-ish as a result from melting. If you want stark white confectioners’ sugar on top, after you coat the cookie dough balls in a little granulated (just a light layer), be sure to then go heavy on that confectioners’ sugar topping!

  16. My local bakery makes a version of these called “mocha crinkle cookies.” I have been searching the internet high and low and can’t find a copy cat version. This recipe looks great, but do you think I could omit the chocolate chips anbd add an amount of espresso powder to make them coffee flavored?

  17. I just took them out of the oven. They look fabulous. I must have made them too big because I only got 14 cookies.

  18. The first set of directions says that 2 hours chilling time is perfect. The instructions then say it should be at least 3 hours. Does it matter?

    1. Hi Roberta, that was a mistake in the post, thank you for catching that. Go with what the recipe card says: 3 hours.

  19. This will be my third year making these cookies, as the recipe is written, to unanimously rave reviews. The kids eat so many before I can gift that I may have to make a triple batch this year! First time commenting on a recipe just to say this is amazing and thank you!

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