These Chocolate Crinkle Cookies are fudgy and soft in the middle, with a brownie-like texture, and a crackled exterior. They’re one of my favorite Christmas cookies, and they stay wonderfully moist for several days after baking. They’re great for gifting!

Chocolate Crinkle Cookies - In Rows On Parchment Paper

Calling any Christmas cookie your “favorite” is always kind of silly, because clearly there is no one favorite. But this is one of the cookies I make every year, along with Snowball CookiesShortbread Cookies, and Snickerdoodles, to name a few. They always satisfy for the chocolate lovers, and are very much a fudgy cookie.

Crinkle cookies are gorgeous to look at, but they truly deliver in taste and texture. I love the chewy in the middle, crisp on the edges texture that it has, and you can even have the same type of experience in other flavors, like Lemon Crinkle Cookies! However, chocolate is definitely the most classic and popular flavor.

Some people call these Chocolate Crinkle Cookies “snowcaps,” because of how they look with the confectioner’s sugar coating outside cracking. I think it’s really pretty! I will share how to really exaggerate this look for best results.

Crinkle Cookies - In Rows On Parchment Paper with Cracked Design

Tips for Best Results

Use good cocoa powder – If you can, try to get something better than Hershey’s here. Guittard is my favorite, but Scharffen Berger, Valrhona, and Ghirardelli are also good choices to ensure rich chocolate flavor.

Coat very thoroughly in confectioner’s sugar – In order to get that snow capped, cracked look at the end, you need to roll the cookie dough balls very generously in the confectioner’s sugar. It will look like an obscene amount, but a lot of it gets absorbed into the cookie.

Don’t overmix – One of the biggest secrets for great baked goods is to make sure you don’t overmix the dry and wet ingredients together. You want to stir until you no longer see bits of dry flour, but it’s okay if there are a few lumps here and there.

Step by Step Overview:

For the dry ingredients, combine all-purpose flour, unsweetened cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl:

Cocoa Powder, Flour, Leavener, and Salt in Mixing Bowl

Whisk to combine:

Mixed Cocoa Powder Flour Mixture in Bowl with Whisk

For the wet ingredients, combine eggs, granulated sugar, oil, and vanilla extract:

Pouring Oil Into Bowl with Eggs, Sugar, and Vanilla

If you wish to use unsalted butter instead, you can swap that in and increase the amount slightly (instructions are in the recipe box). But pretty much any oil you’d like can be used here! I usually do olive oil, avocado oil, or coconut oil, though vegetable oil also works.

Whisk vigorously for one minute until the mixture is light yellow and quite frothy:

Whisked Egg and Oil Mixture in Stainless Steel Bowl with Whisk

Add the wet ingredients to the dry:

Cocoa Flour Mixture In Bowl with Egg Oil Mixture On Top with Whisk

Stir it all together until you get a thick and shiny dough, making sure that you don’t overmix:

Chocolate Crinkles Cookie Dough in Stainless Steel Bowl

Now, refrigerate the dough for at least 3-4 hours, covering the bowl tightly with plastic wrap. I know, waiting for cookies to chill is no fun. But, the chilling is important!

First, it develops the flavor of the cookie (I’ve tested this, and it doesn’t taste as good or chocolate-y without the chill period), and it also firms the dough so it’s more scoopable.

Once the dough is chilled, use a cookie scoop to portion out scoops onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat:

Scooped Crinkles Cookie Dough on a Silicone Mat

Roll the scoops into 1-inch balls with the palms of your hands, then coat the cookie balls generously in confectioner’s sugar:

Balls of Chocolate Crinkles Dough Covered in Powdered Sugar on Silicone Mat

You can see that it looks like a lot of confectioner’s sugar, but this thick powdered sugar coating is essential for that crackly surface look, as some of the sugar will be absorbed into the cookie during baking.

Bake for 9-10 minutes on the middle oven rack, until they have cracked and puffed up.

Chocolate Crinkles Recipe - Presented on a Wire Rack Lined with Parchment Paper

It’s fine if the cookies glisten a bit in the cracks, because you don’t want to overbake these cookies, and they continue to cook after you take them out of the oven.

I always pull them when it looks like they could use an extra minute in the oven, because that means it’ll be perfect by the time the carryover cooking is done.

How to Serve

Chocolate Crinkle Cookies are best enjoyed warm, but they will stay deliciously moist for a couple days. I like to serve them on a platter with other kinds of cookies, like Candy Cane Cookies, Thumbprint Cookies, and Espresso Swirl Cookies. They are great to bring to a holiday party or holiday cookie exchange!

Other times, I’ll pair them with non-cookie sweets, like Pecan Praline CandyPeanut Butter Bon Bons, and Millionaire’s Shortbread

Get the full recipe below, and watch the full video below that if you’d like more guidance.

Recipe Tips and FAQ

How do you store leftover Chocolate Crinkle Cookies?

Keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Can you freeze Chocolate Crinkle Cookies?

Yes, in an airtight container for up to 3 months. I tend to freeze them after they’ve already been baked and cooled, but you could also freeze the raw dough balls, then roll into confectioner’s sugar right before baking. Add a few extra minutes to baking time if you bake straight from frozen. To thaw fully baked cookies, let sit at room temperature for 2 hours.

Can you make the dough ahead of time?

Yes, you can make the dough up to 1 day ahead of time.

Did you enjoy the recipe? Please leave a 5-star rating in the recipe card below and/or a review in the comments section further down the page.

Chocolate Crinkle Cookies In Rows On Parchment Paper

Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

These Chocolate Crinkle Cookies are one of my favorite Christmas cookie recipes! Also called snowcaps, they are fudgy and soft in the middle, like a brownie.
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Ingredients

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour (5 ounces by weight)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup oil*
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup confectioner’s sugar for rolling

Instructions 

  • In a bowl, whisk to combine the flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt.
  • In another bowl, whisk to combine the sugar, oil, eggs, and vanilla.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the wet, and mix until no flour streaks remain. Chill the dough for at least 4 hours and up to overnight.
  • Use a medium (1.5 tbsp) cookie scoop to portion out the dough, then roll into balls. They should be about 1” in diameter.
  • Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper.
  • Roll the balls in confectioner’s sugar until generously and completely coated, then place 12 on a sheet pan.
  • Bake for 9-10 minutes, until the cookies are crinkled and puffed up into a mound shape. You want to underbake this type of cookie, so it’s fine if it looks a little raw in the cracks, as it will continue cooking slightly out of the oven.
  • Let cool slightly to set, then enjoy!

Notes

*Any neutral oil works, and I actually even like olive oil. I’ve also tried coconut oil and avocado oil with good results.
Butter: If you’d like to use butter instead, increase the amount to 1/2 cup and melt it first.
Storing leftovers: Keep in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
Freezing: Store in an airtight container for up to 3 months. I tend to freeze them after they’ve already been baked and cooled, but you could also freeze the raw dough balls, then roll into confectioner’s sugar right before baking. Add a few extra minutes to baking time if you bake straight from frozen. To thaw fully baked cookies, let sit at room temperature for 2 hours.

Nutrition

Calories: 190kcal, Carbohydrates: 30g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 7g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 31mg, Sodium: 92mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 20g

Nutrition is estimated using a food database and is only intended to be used as a guideline for informational purposes.

Post updated in October 2018. Originally published December 2016. This post contains an affiliate link.