Melt-in-your-mouth Chocolate Crinkle Cookies are like little bites of heaven! Rolled in a thick layer of powdered sugar, each snowy-white cookie crackles to reveal a dark, fudgy interior. Perfect for the holidays!
I’m always so happy when cookie season rolls around, aren’t you? I mean, cookies are crucial any time of year, but they’re a special part of the holidays, too! Nothing says Christmas and Thanksgiving like little bite-sized confections, from gingerbread and spritz cookies to thumbprint cookies and shortbread.
But one of the stars of the cookie show has got to be the classic chocolate crinkle cookie. Crinkle cookies look like they would be crisp and crumbly—but in fact, they have a very soft, fudgy texture similar to a brownie, or even a piece of chocolate cake. The distinctive “crinkled” appearance of crinkle cookies is due to the contrast between that dark fudge cookie dough, and their coating of powdered sugar. As the cookies bake, they soften and split here and there, causing cracks and crinkles in the powdered sugar. So pretty!
What You’ll Need
To make the cookie dough, you’ll need a few standard baking ingredients. Nothing fancy! That’s one thing I love about making these. Even though they look and taste so festive, they are really easy to make.
Sugar: Regular granulated sugar is fine. You can get away with raw sugar here, and it would add a nice flavor, but it’s really not necessary.
Cocoa Powder: I use half a cup of unsweetened cocoa powder, but you could play with that amount to make the cookies more “milk chocolate” or “dark chocolate.”
Vegetable Oil: Using oil instead of butter helps the cookies crackle!
Eggs: I use a large egg plus one additional yolk. Discard the additional egg white, or save it for another use.
Vanilla: Pure vanilla extract will give the best flavor.
Baking Powder: Be sure to use baking powder, and not baking soda.
Flour: All-purpose flour is my go-to. You can substitute 1:1 gluten-free all-purpose flour, if preferred.
Chocolate Chips: Regular size chocolate chips are fine, but I have found that mini chocolate chips are even better! You can get them evenly dispersed in each cookie, and the result is absolutely perfect.
Powdered Sugar: For rolling the cookies in to make the crinkled exterior.
How to Make Chocolate Crinkle Cookies
So just exactly how do you make these? It’s really simple! Even kids can pull this recipe together (with supervision, of course). Rolling them into balls and coating them in sugar is the best part. Well, besides eating them.
Mix Together Everything Except the Flour, Chocolate Chips, and Powdered Sugar. Get a large mixing bowl and a whisk, and combine the granulated sugar, cocoa powder, oil, eggs, and vanilla until smooth. Add the baking powder and salt, and whisk gently to combine.
Fold in the Flour and Chocolate Chips, and Chill. Carefully, to avoid overworking the cookie dough, fold in the flour until the batter is well-combined, and then stir in the chocolate chips as well. Cover the mixing bowl with plastic wrap, and chill the cookie dough for at least 4 hours, or preferably overnight. You want it to be completely chilled.
Make the Cookie Dough Balls. After the dough has chilled thoroughly, preheat your oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and set it aside. Place the powdered sugar in a small bowl. Using a medium (two tablespoon size) cookie scoop, scoop portions of the cookie dough and roll them in your hands to make 1 1/2 inch balls. Roll the cookie dough balls in the powdered sugar, coating generously in a thick layer. Place each dough ball on the cookie sheet as you go.
Bake. Bake the cookies for 9 – 11 minutes, or until just set and the cookies have crackled tops. The cookies will seem slightly soft, and this is ok! Let them cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, and then move them to a wire rack to cool completely.
Tips for Success
Following the recipe as written will result in chewy, soft cookies with pretty crackled tops. But I do have a few helpful tips for you as well! Use these helpful hints to make sure your cookies turn out perfectly.
Chill Out: Make the cookie dough the night before so it can chill for a good long time. Four hours will do, but overnight is better. Firm, hard cookie dough will melt and crackle correctly in the oven.
Double Sugar: For the deepest, boldest crinkles, try rolling each cookie ball lightly in granulated sugar before rolling in powdered sugar. The granulated sugar is great at absorbing moisture from the cookies as they bake, leaving the powdered sugar pure white, and the cracks bold and dark.
Doneness Tips: The cookies should bake until just set. You’ll know they’re done when the tops are crinkled all over and the visible lines of dough are beginning to lose their sheen. Don’t worry if they seem soft and underdone on the baking sheet. They’ll keep “baking” gently as they cool, and firm up at the same time.
You can do a lot with this basic crinkle cookie dough! From adding nuts to spiking them with liqueur, feel free to play with the flavors and textures to make them your own. Here are some easy ways to change them up!
Peppermint Mocha: Use peppermint flavoring instead of vanilla
Orange Chocolate: Use orange flavoring instead of vanilla
Mexican Hot Chocolate: Add a half teaspoon of cinnamon to the dough.
How to Store Chocolate Crinkle Cookies
Like many cookies, these are best stored at room temperature. Since they’re soft, I recommend storing them in a single layer, to prevent them from mushing or sticking together. Cover them well with plastic wrap, and keep them on the counter or pantry shelf for 3 – 7 days.
Can I Freeze These?
Yes! You can freeze either the baked cookies or the dough balls (not rolled in sugar yet).
To freeze the dough, roll the dough into balls, and then place them on a plate or tray and freeze until solid. Transfer to a zip-top bag, and store in the freezer for up to 2 months. Thaw overnight before coating in sugar and baking.
To freeze the cookies, place cooled cookies on a plate or tray and freeze until frozen solid. Transfer to a shallow, airtight food storage container, stacking the cookies in layers with parchment between each layer to prevent sticking. Freeze for up to 1 month. Thaw in the refrigerator before serving.
Melt-in-your-mouth Chocolate Crinkle Cookies are like little bites of heaven! Rolled in a thick layer of powdered sugar, each snowy-white cookie crackles to reveal a dark, fudgy interior.
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 large egg, plus 1 egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
3/4 cup powdered sugar
In a large mixing bowl whisk together the granulated sugar, cocoa powder, oil, egg, egg yolk, and vanilla until smooth. Stir in the baking powder and salt and mix until incorporated.
Fold in the flour until combined and stir in the chocolate chips. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill for 4 hours, or overnight until completely chilled.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
Place the powdered sugar in a small bowl. Set aside.
Using a medium (2- tablespoon) cookie scoop portion out the dough and roll it into a ball. Place the dough ball into the powdered sugar and coat generously. Place the coated ball onto the prepared baking sheet 2- inches apart. Repeat with remaining dough.
Bake for 9 – 11 minutes until just set and the cookies have crackled tops. The cookies will seem slightly soft, this is ok . Allow them to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
Store airtight at room temperature for 3 days
Keywords: chocolate crackle cookie, christmas cookies, chocolate cookies