Chocolate Crinkles

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Chocolate crinkle cookies! Chocolate dough rolled in powdered sugar and baked into a festive black and white cookie. They're the perfect Christmas cookies!

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

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.

Video! How to Make Chocolate Crinkles

Chocolate Crinkles are a Holiday Favorite

It also means it’s time to make these adorable 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 cake-y cookies are rolled around in powdered sugar. When they bake the dough rises and the chocolate dough peeks out in little crinkled fissures beneath the white sugar.

Easy to Make, Easy to Eat!

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 hot cocoa cravings go away. In fact, they might just make them worse.

How to Work with the Sticky Dough

This is a sticky dough, no doubt about it. Chilling it at least four hours before shaping the cookies really helps.

If you’re still having trouble, here are a few more things that will help:

  • Work fast and wash your hands between each tray that goes in the oven.
  • Roll several cookie dough balls at once and then dredge them in sugar together so there’s less time for the dough to thaw.
  • A small cookie scoop helps speed things up.

How to Freeze Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

These cookies freeze well, either unbaked or baked. Freeze the unbaked balls of dough without powdered sugar on a sheet pan until solid, then transfer to a freezer bag or container. Let the dough balls thaw for a few minutes on the counter while the oven pre-heats, then roll in powdered sugar and bake. You may need to add an extra minute or two onto the baking time.

Ways to Adapt these Cookies

Try these fun variations!

  • Double Chocolate: Add a cup of mini chocolate chips.
  • Black Forest: Add a cup of chopped dried cherries or cranberries
  • Mint Chocolate: Swap 1/2 teaspoon of the vanilla for mint extract, and add some crushed candy canes to the powdered sugar
  • Orange Chocolate: Swap 1/2 teaspoon of the vanilla for orange extract

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Chocolate Crinkles Recipe

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

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

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


  • 1 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 cups white granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 large 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 powdered 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 over-beat.

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

6 Get ready for baking: Preheat the oven to 350°F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Place the powdered sugar in a wide bowl.

7 Roll the cookies: Using a rounded teaspoon, scoop out clumps of the chilled dough and roll them into 1-inch (2.5 cm) sized balls using your hands. Do several at a time and drop them into the powdered sugar as you go. The dough will be quite sticky, so it's useful to roll the dough in batches.

Roll the balls in the powdered sugar and place on the cookie sheets spaced a few inches apart. (You should be able to get 12 to 16 on each sheet).

7 Bake: Bake at 350°F for 10 to 13 minutes. Allow to cool a minute or two on the sheets before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with any remaining batter.

8 Store: Store these cookies in an airtight container on the counter. They will keep for at least a week before starting to become crumbly and dry.

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Garrett McCord

Garrett McCord is a professional writer and recipe developer whose work has appeared in many print and online publications such as Gourmet Live, Saveur, Huffington Post, Smithsonian, and NPR. Past clients also include numerous food companies, wineries, and distilleries. Garrett writes about cocktails on his website, Coupe de Grace.

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272 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Jackie

    Today, I used medical “latex exam gloves” while I shaped the dough that chilled for 2 hours and there las barely any wasted dough stuck to the gloves! A big improvement.


  2. Terry

    Just like my Moms
    Great recipe


  3. Mary

    Second time baking these and they are delicious! Did not change anything. This is a keeper.


  4. Lesley Rostron

    These cookies are absolutely fabulous! I have tried many chocolate crinkle style cookies and only just tried these for the first time this year as part of my yearly Christmas cookie baking extravaganza. These cookies are without a doubt, the best of their kind! They are decadent, fluffy, overflowing with rich chocolate flavor, and melt-in-your mouth comfort food texture! I have just finished baking my second batch in one week! I shared them with neighbors and family and everyone agrees they are incredible!


  5. Katie Walters

    Prepared the dough at 3pm today and it’s now going to be chilling overnight. What is some tips to not having it stick to your hands? I tested the dough 4 hrs after chilling and it’s a sticky mess and very hard to work with which i know it’s a”cake like cookie”. Suggestions would be appreciated!

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