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Chocolate Crinkle cookies

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Chocolate crinkle cookies (AKA crackle cookies) are ridiculously delicious. Rolled in powdered sugar, this fudgy dessert features mini chocolate chips. These traditional Christmas cookies are super yummy and easy to make!

Like Linzer cookies and snowball cookies, crinkles are ideal for holiday cookie exchanges, cookies for Santa, or holiday gifts for neighbors. Double this recipe. Make a batch for yourself, and another for someone you love.

PIN CHOCOLATE CRINKLE COOKIES

8 chocolate crinkle cookies (AKA crackle cookies) on a wire rack next to reindeer napkins.

RECIPE INGREDIENTS

There’s something extra special about chocolate crinkle cookies. Their taste and texture are beautiful, they’re super fun to make, and when made with family, they bring people together. This simple recipe is so exciting!

The ingredients are common refrigerator and pantry items.

  • Dutch-process cocoa (like Hershey’s Cocoa Special Dark)
  • Granulated sugar
  • Light-brown sugar
  • Vegetable oil or canola oil
  • Large eggs
  • Vanilla extract
  • All-purpose flour
  • Baking powder
  • Sea salt
  • Mini chocolate chips

FOR COATING

  • Granulated sugar
  • Powdered sugar
Overhead image of ingredients for chocolate crinkle cookies recipe laid out on a white rustic tabletop.

INGREDIENT SUBSTITUTIONS

During stay-at-home times it’s important to use ingredients you have on hand, minimizing trips to the market. Below are answers to your ingredient swap questions for this chocolate crinkle cookies recipe.

  • SWAP FOR VEGETABLE OIL: Replace 1/4 cup oil with 1 stick (1/2 cup) softened butter.
  • CAN WHITE WHOLE WHEAT FLOUR BE USED IN THIS RECIPE? Yes. Use 50% white whole wheat flour and 50% all-purpose flour. For every 1/2 cup, add 1 teaspoon of liquid: use water or more vanilla extract.
  • CAN I REPLACE BROWN SUGAR WITH GRANULATED SUGAR? Yes, you can make this swap. But there will be a difference in texture. White sugar produces crispier cookies. Brown sugar has more moisture, which makes these crinkle cookies chewy.
  • CAN I SWAP UNSWEETENED NATURAL COCOA POWDER FOR DUTCH PROCESS COCOA POWDER? Yes, but you must also swap the 1 teaspoon baking powder for 1 teaspoon baking soda.
  • PAIR THE CORRECT LEAVENING AGENT WITH COCOA POWDER: Dutch Process cocoa powder (alkalized cocoa) has neutralized acidity. It pairs well with baking powder, but does not react with baking soda. On the other hand, natural cocoa powder (ACID) needs baking soda (BASE) in order for crinkle cookies to rise. Learn more about baking soda vs. baking powder in this MasterClass article.
  • BEST SWAP FOR MINI CHOCOLATE CHIPS: Regular-size chocolate chips. You can also try other flavored baking chips: peanut butter, butterscotch, caramel, mint, mini Reese’s pieces, or Heath toffee bits.
Overhead view of 8 chocolate crinkle cookies on a wire rack set on a white tabletop.


RECIPE PREP: Take out a sturdy wooden spoon. Pull out two bowls, one medium and one small.

  • STEP 1: In the medium bowl, mix together cocoa powder, light-brown sugar, granulated sugar and oil. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in vanilla extract. Set bowl aside.
  • STEP 2: In the small bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt.
  • STEP 3: Gradually, adding 1/3 of the mixture at a time, incorporate dry ingredients into wet ingredients. Mix until combined with no streaks of flour. But don’t over-mix! Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl as needed.
  • STEP 4: Fold mini chocolate chips into the dough.

IMPORTANT: Cover bowl and refrigerate at least 4 hours, or overnight. For recipe success, the dough must be chilled all the way through.

4-images showing how to make crackle cookies, step by step.

HOW TO BAKE CHOCOLATE CRINKLE COOKIES

It’s so magical to watch these cookies bake through the oven window. As the dough rises and cracks it develops a unique look and texture.

RECIPE PREP: Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Add granulated sugar to a small bowl. Add powdered sugar to a second bowl.

  • STEP 1: The cold dough will be thick and sticky. If the dough gets too hard to handle, put it in the freezer for 10 minutes. With a small metal scoop, quickly portion the dough into roughly-shaped 1-inch pucks. Work with 5 to 6 pucks at a time. In quick succession, drop them onto a piece of waxed paper or directly into the bowl of granulated sugar!
  • STEP 2: Roll pucks in granulated sugar until fully coated. The dough will now be easier to handle and shape. With your fingertips, pat the pucks into balls. One after the other, roll balls in powdered sugar. Coat generously.
  • STEP 3: Place cookie dough balls on prepared baking tray. Leave 2 1/2 inches of space between each cookie. Wipe hands clean with a damp cloth, and continue. (Between batches, return the bowl of dough to the refrigerator to keep it chilled.)
  • STEP 4: Bake 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from oven. Allow the treats to cool on the baking tray for 1 minute. Transfer crackle cookies to a wire rack to finish cooling.
4 overhead images showing how to make crinkle cookies, step by step.

HOW TO STORE CRINKLE COOKIES: Store completely cooled cookies in a tightly-sealed container. In cool room temp, they’ll stay fresh on the counter for up to 5 days. Or freeze for up to 1 month.

HOW TO FREEZE CRACKLE COOKIES: After the baked cookies have cooled, arrange them in layers between pieces of parchment paper. They’ll freeze well for up to 1 month.

Stack of 7 crackle cookies on a small white Christmas plate with red scalloped edges.

expert tips and faq

There are several reasons chocolate crinkle cookies made with the same recipe can have a different look and texture. These baking tips can help you achieve crackle cookies that look like they were made in a bakery.

  • MIXING TECHNIQUE FOR COOKIE DOUGH: Mix until just blended. How do you know when to stop? When there are no more streaks of flour in the mixing bowl and the dough looks uniform. Over-mixing is damaging. It adds air to the dough which can make crackle cookies rise and then fall. They’ll be crispy and flat instead of round and slightly puffy.
  • USE FRESH BAKING POWDER: Stale or expired baking powder can make cookies dense and fall flat in the oven. An open can of baking powder should be replaced every 5 to 6 months.
  • WHY DOES DOUGH FOR CRINKLE COOKIES NEED TO BE CHILLED? When making cookies, the temperature of the dough is important. For crackle cookies that are slightly puffy and hold their shape, the dough must be well chilled. Cold dough is also easier to work with.
  • WHY COAT IN BOTH GRANULATED SUGAR AND POWDERED SUGAR? It makes the balls easier to shape and handle, and provides a moisture barrier between the dough and the powdered sugar. This is the method for keeping the powdered sugar on the cookies bright white!
  • WHAT TO DO IF CRINKLES SPREAD TOO MUCH DURING BAKING: Put the next tray of uncooked balls in the freezer for 10 minutes before baking. When the dough is chilled it helps cookies spread less in the oven.
  • WHY PARCHMENT PAPER INSTEAD OF GREASING THE COOKIE SHEET? A greased cookie sheet will prevent sticking, but it can cause the cookies to spread. Parchment paper or a silicone baking mat will prevent cookies from sticking. In a pinch, use cooking spray. Butter can cause cookies to burn.
  • TYPE OF COOKIE SHEET MAKES A DIFFERENCE: It can make or break a cookie recipe. Do not bake cookies on dark cookies sheets. They absorb more heat and become hotter than light-colored aluminum trays. They cause cookies to over-brown and burn. If these are the only type you have to work with, reduce oven temp by 25°F and reduce baking time.
  • MAKE AHEAD INSTRUCTIONS: Place uncoated, unbaked cookie balls on a parchment-lined baking tray leaving space between the pieces. Freeze 45 minutes or until solid. Transfer the hard balls to a zip-top freezer bag. Freeze up to 3 months. When ready to bake, thaw on the counter for 30 minutes. Roll in granulated sugar and powdered sugar. Bake for 12 minutes at 350°F.

For best results when baking chocolate crinkle cookies, I highly recommend this baking tray by USA Pan.

COOKIES FOR SANTA

Every year, Santa looks forward to crinkle cookies. He also loves the yummy recipes below!

Chocolate Christmas Cookies (AKA Crinkles) on a wire rack next to small Santa plates and milk.

CHOCOLATE christmas cookies > RATE THIS RECIPE ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Friends and family say these are the best crackle cookies! If you agree, give this crinkle cookies recipe a 5-star rating in the comments.

Gold Line: Sprinkles of Inspiration | confettiandbliss.com
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8 chocolate crinkle cookies (AKA crackle cookies) on a wire rack next to reindeer napkins with antlers.

Chocolate Crinkle cookies


  • Author: Denay DeGuzman
  • Prep Time: 10 Minutes + 4 Hours Chill Time
  • Cook Time: 10 Minutes
  • Total Time: 20 Active Minutes
  • Yield: 36 Cookies 1x

Description

Chocolate crinkle cookies are like fudgy moist brownies, crunchy around the edges and soft in the center. Rolled in powdered sugar, these Christmas cookies are super delicious and fun to make!


Scale

Ingredients

FOR COOKIE DOUGH

  • 1/2 cup Dutch-process cocoa (Hershey’s Cocoa Special Dark) 
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup mini chocolate chips

FOR COATING

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup powdered sugar

Instructions

PREPARE THE COOKIE DOUGH

RECIPE PREP: Take out a sturdy wooden spoon. Pull out two bowls, one medium and one small.

  1. In the medium bowl, mix together cocoa powder, light-brown sugar, granulated sugar and oil. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in vanilla extract. Set bowl aside.
  2. In the small bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. Gradually, adding 1/3 of the mixture at a time, incorporate dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Mix until combined with no streaks of flour. But don’t over-mix! Scrape bottom and sides of the bowl as needed.
  3. Fold in the mini chocolate chips.
  4. IMPORTANT: Cover bowl and refrigerate at least 4 hours, or overnight. For recipe success, the dough must be chilled all the way through. 

BAKE CHOCOLATE CRINKLE COOKIES

RECIPE PREP: Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Add granulated sugar to a small bowl. Add powdered sugar to a second bowl. 

  1. The cold dough will be thick and a little sticky. If the dough gets too hard to handle, put it in the freezer for 10 minutes. With a small metal scoop, portion dough into roughly-shaped 1-inch pucks.
  2. Drop each puck directly from the metal scoop into the granulated sugar. Roll to coat. This step makes the dough easier to handle and shape. With your fingertips, pat the puck into a ball. Work with 5 to 6 pucks at a time in the granulated sugar. Then roll the balls in the powdered sugar, coating generously. 
  3. Place the coated balls on a prepared baking tray.  Leave 2 1/2 inches of space between each cookie. Wipe your hands clean with a damp cloth, and continue. (Between batches, return the bowl of dough to the refrigerator to keep it chilled.)
  4. Bake 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from oven. Allow the treats to cool on the baking tray for 1 minute. Transfer crackle cookies to a wire rack to finish cooling.

HOW TO STORE CRACKLE COOKIES: Store completely cooled cookies in a tightly-sealed container. In cool room temp, they’ll stay fresh on the counter for up to 5 days. Or freeze for up to 1 month.

 

Notes

EXPERT TIPS AND FAQ: There are several reasons crinkle cookies made with the same recipe can have a similar taste but a different look and texture. These baking tips can help you achieve crackle cookies that look like they were made in a bakery.

  • MIXING TECHNIQUE FOR COOKIE DOUGH: Mix until just blended. How do you know when to stop? When there are no more streaks of flour in the mixing bowl and the dough looks uniform. Over-mixing is damaging. It adds air to the dough which can make crackle cookies rise and then fall. They’ll be crispy and flat instead of round and slightly puffy.
  • USE FRESH BAKING POWDER: Stale or expired baking powder can make cookies dense and fall flat in the oven. An open can of baking powder should be replaced every 5 to 6 months.
  • WHY DOES DOUGH FOR CRINKLE COOKIES NEED TO BE CHILLED? When making cookies, the temperature of the dough is important. For crackle cookies that are slightly puffy and hold their shape, the dough must be well chilled. Cold dough is also easier to work with.
  • WHAT TO DO IF CRINKLES SPREAD TOO MUCH DURING BAKING: Put the next tray of uncooked balls in the freezer for 10 minutes before baking. When the dough is chilled it helps cookies spread less in the oven. 
  • WHY PARCHMENT PAPER INSTEAD OF GREASING THE COOKIE SHEET? A greased cookie sheet will prevent sticking, but it can cause the cookies to spread. Parchment paper or a silicone baking mat will  prevent cookies from sticking. In a pinch, use cooking spray. Butter can cause cookies to burn.
  • TYPE OF COOKIE SHEET MAKES A DIFFERENCE: It can make or break a cookie recipe. Do not bake cookies on dark cookies sheets. They absorb more heat and become hotter than light-colored aluminum trays. They cause cookies to over-brown and burn. If these are the only type you have to work with, reduce oven temp by 25°F and reduce baking time. 
  • MAKE AHEAD INSTRUCTIONS: Place uncoated, unbaked cookie balls on a parchment-lined baking tray leaving space between the pieces. Freeze 45 minutes or until solid. Transfer the hard balls to a zip-top freezer bag. Freeze up to 3 months. When ready to bake, thaw on the counter for 30 minutes. Roll in granulated sugar and powdered sugar. Bake for 12 minutes at 350°F.
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: chocolate crinkle cookies, crackle cookies, crinkles

Gold Line: Sprinkles of Inspiration | confettiandbliss.com

chocolate crinkle cookies > join the conversation

Did you enjoy these yummy crackle cookies? Do you vote for making these traditional Christmas cookies year round? Share your thoughts below!

7 thoughts on “Chocolate Crinkle cookies”

  1. Love your hint to use fresh baking powder! It makes all the difference. And what a delicious cookie. Thanks for this holiday favorite!

    Reply
  2. These chocolate crinkle cookies are delicious. The instructions were super easy to follow. The family loves the cookies and we will be making them often.

    Reply

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