Chocolate Crinkles

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

Please welcome guest author Garrett McCord as he shares some of his best-loved holiday chocolate crinkle cookies.

One of the best parts about any holiday—be it Christmas, Thanksgiving, a birthday, Diwali, Columbus Day, whatever—is that you get an excuse to eat some of your favorite foods. For me, that means chocolate.

Now, I’m generally not a big chocolate eater during the year, but when December rolls around it’s totally game on. The chilly weather and holiday spirit just make me crave it for some reason. That craving means I’m whipping up old favorites like chocolate peppermint bark cookies, truffles, and homemade hot chocolate.

It also means it’s time to make those adorable looking cookie fiend favorites, chocolate crinkles.

These chocolate crinkles are a holiday staple in winter, but are great any time of the year. Soft, devil’s food-like cakey cookies are rolled around in confectioner’s sugar. When they bake the dough rises and the chocolate dough peeks out in little crinkled fissures beneath the white sugar.

Crinkles are easy-peasy to throw together and make for a flashy addition to any cookie platter. A warning though: these cookies are so good and chocolaty they may not make the cocoa cravings go away. In fact, they might just make them worse. ;)

Chocolate Crinkles Recipe

  • Prep time: 4 hours, 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: Makes approximately 50 cookies

If you want, you can jazzify these cookies in a number of ways. Add some cinnamon to confectioner's sugar. Roll the cookies around in colored sprinkles or sugars.

For something a little more exotic, pulse the confectioner's sugar in a food processor with 2 teaspoons of Earl Grey, chai tea, or matcha powder.


  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 cups white granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon espresso powder (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar


1 Beat together cocoa powder, white sugar, vegetable oil: In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or beat by hand with a wooden spoon) beat together the cocoa powder, white sugar, and vegetable oil until it comes together into a shiny, gritty, black dough of sorts.

2 Add eggs, one at a time, add vanilla: Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing for 30 seconds each. Add the vanilla and beat in thoroughly.

3 Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, espresso powder: In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and espresso powder if using.

4 Beat dry ingredients into cocoa oil mix: Mix into the chocolate mixture on low speed until just combined. Do not overbeat.

5 Cover and chill: Cover the dough with plastic wrap and chill the dough for four hours or overnight.

6 Roll dough into balls, roll into powdered sugar, place on cookie sheet: Preheat the oven to 350°F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Place the confectioner's sugar in a wide bowl.

Using a rounded teaspoon get clumps of the chilled dough and roll them into 1-inch (2.5 cm) sized balls using your hands.

Roll the balls in the confectioner's sugar and place on the cookie sheets (you should be able to get 12-16 on each sheet).

7 Bake: Bake at 350°F for 10-12 minutes. Allow to cool a minute or two on the sheets before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

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Garrett McCord

Garrett McCord is a food writer, writing instructor, culinary consultant, freelance food photographer, and recipe developer who shares his enthusiasm for food and the written word through his blog Vanilla Garlic. Garrett's cookbook, co-authored with Stephanie Stiavetti, is Melt: The Art of Macaroni and Cheese

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Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

Showing 4 of 116 Comments

  • Lo

    I’ve made purple ube crinkle cookies which are very similar in appearance to these cookies. I need advice about the powdered sugar. The sugar sometimes soaked or melted into the cookies and they looked more brown-ish than white. What is the best way to prevent this? Please help!

  • Paige

    They turned out great! I added a cup of Hershey’s Hugs, which I threw in the food processor, and the cookies turned out soft and delicious. I just sprayed the cookie sheet with oil and I rolled them in the powdered sugar immediately before going into the oven. Oh and thanks for the tip about he baking powder, Garrett. I didn’t know it could actually die.

  • Kathy

    I tried making these by keeping the dough in the fridge overnight, but the resulting cookies from the first small batch spread all over the baking sheet and the icing sugar was completely absorbed into the cookies and refused to crinkle. Not having time for further experimentation that day, the dough got left in the fridge for several days until I decided it was Bake or Break time, at which point I decided to bake the remaining dough as Fudge Brownies by adding a few tablespoons of milk. Turned out just great and a lot less fiddly than making batches of tiny cookies! Next time I’ll try sprinkling the top of the cake with icing sugar and see what happens…

  • Ayesaid


    Followed instructions, dough turned out as expected. Found the cookies to be a bit bland, an alright snack but not going to make again. I didn’t use the espresso powder and assume if you do you’ll get a more distinguished taste. My cookies looked exactly like the photo, it’s recommended that you make a ton of small cookies for bite size fun. I used the instructed parchment paper and EVERY cookie from the first batch was completely stuck to it. Salvaged none. I oiled the cookie sheets after that and placed dough direct to sheet:had no issues. These cookies didn’t spread so you can get a lot of dough on each sheet. I also undercooked mine a bit, but to each their own.

  • Mary

    Do I need to keep them in the fridge for all for hours or can it be a little less because I’m on a time crunch.

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