These soft and fudgy chocolate crinkle cookies are made with butter instead of oil, like many recipes call for. This gives these cookies more flavor and helps keep the cookies nice and thick.
Chocolate Crinkle Cookie Overview
- Skill Level:Beginner
- Techniques Used: Measuring Flour Properly
Chocolate crinkle cookies are a rich chocolate cookies that are rolled in powdered sugar before baking. As the cookies start to spread out in the oven, the powdered sugar starts cracking creating the classic crinkled look of the cookies.
Chocolate crinkle cookies are typically made with either cocoa powder or melted unsweetened baking chocolate. I tested both methods and found the chocolate crinkles made with cocoa powder to have a better flavor and texture. I also found in my extensive testing, that chilling the dough is absolutely necessary for these cookies to achieve the classic crinkled look.
How to Make Chocolate Crinkle Cookies
The cookie dough for chocolate crinkle cookies is more similar to a brownie batter than a traditional cookie dough. A mixer isn’t needed for this dough because you do not need to cream butter and sugar together.
Step 1: Mix Cocoa Powder, Sugar, and Butter
Because chocolate crinkle cookies typically use oil, we are going to melt the butter for this recipe rather than creaming it together with the sugar. This will also help prevent spread when the dough chills and the butter re-solidifies. The mixture will be very thick and grainy at this point.
Step 2: Mix in the Eggs and Vanilla
Next, whisk in the eggs and vanilla into the mixture. This will loosen it up and create more of a smooth batter.
Step 3: Mix in the Dry Ingredients
I like to start by mixing in the salt, baking powder, and espresso powder (if you use it). This way these ingredients can get evenly distributed before the flour is added.
The espresso powder is an optional addition, but I find it really elevates the flavor of the chocolate crinkles. It doesn’t make them taste like coffee, rather it makes the chocolate taste more chocolaty!
Next you can add in the flour. Switch to a spoon or a silicone spatula for this part. A whisk will be difficult to use to stir in the flour and can lead to over-mixing.
As soon as the flour is absorbed, stop mixing. It should only take about 15 seconds of stirring.
Step 4: Chill the Dough
It is extremely important to chill the dough in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours to achieve the classic crinkle look. I tested rushing this process by putting it in the freezer, and the crinkle effect did not work. You can also chill it overnight if you want to prep the dough the day before baking.
Step 5: Roll in Powdered Sugar
After the dough has chilled, scoop dough balls and roll them in powdered sugar to coat. I made mine about 1 1/2 TBSP in size. I suggest going with about 1-2 tablespoons per cookie.
Place the prepared dough balls on parchment lined baking sheets. They will spread out as they bake so make sure you give them enough room. I put about 8-10 cookies per baking sheet.
Step 6: Bake
Bake until the edges are set and the middles still look slightly underdone. They will solidify as they cool.
- How can I make my crinkle cookies more fudgy?: The key to having fudgy crinkle cookies is measuring your flour and cocoa powder properly and not over-baking them. Make sure lightly spoon the flour and cocoa powder into your measuring cup without packing down and level it off. Also, pull the cookies out of the oven when the centers still look slightly underdone.
- Why are my chocolate crinkle cookies flat?: If your cookies are starting to spread too much when baking and are flat, you can place the sheet pan in the freezer for about 10 minutes before baking. This will help re-solidify the butter so they will stay nice and tall.
- Can I freeze chocolate crinkle cookies?: You can freeze your crinkle cookies. Place them in a freezer ziplock bag and store in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- 1/2 cup (60 g) unsweetened cocoa powder
- 3/4 cup (150 g) granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick, 55 gr) unsalted butter, melted
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp instant espresso powder (*optional)
- 1 cup (120 gr) all purpose flour (measured properly by lightly spooning it into the measuring cup without packing down and leveling it off)
- 1/4 cup (30 gr) powdered sugar for coating
- In a large bowl, whisk together the cocoa powder with the sugar and melted butter. The mixture will be thick and grainy.
- Add the eggs and vanilla extract to the bowl and whisk to combine.
- Whisk in the baking powder, salt, and espresso powder if using. Switch to a spoon or silicone spatula and stir in the flour until just incorporated. As soon as the flour is absorbed, stop stirring.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or as long as 24 hrs. The length of refrigeration is absolutely necessary to get the nice crinkly look.
- Preheat the oven to 350 F (180 C) and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Scoop dough balls of about 1 or 1 1/2 TBSP and roll into a smooth ball. Roll in the powdered sugar to completely cover and place on the baking sheets. You do not need to press down on the dough balls. Keeping them round will allow them to crackle as they bake.
- Bake at 350 F (180 C) for 8-12 minutes, until set on the edges and still slightly gooey looking in the middle. Allow to cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet them move to a cooling rack to cool completely.
- Store cooled cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.
*Recipe adapted from Betty Crocker
- It is important to make sure you measure the flour properly, by lightly spooning it into the measuring cup without packing it in. Then level it off.
- Chilling the dough is key to getting thick and fudgy crinkle cookies.
- The espresso powder is optional but will give the cookies a more intense chocolate flavor. It will not make the cookies taste like coffee.