These perfect Chocolate Crinkle Cookies are made with cocoa powder, melted chocolate, granulated sugar and confectioners sugar to create the signature crackly exterior and an ultra, brownie-like fudgy center. It’s the perfect fudgy and festive cookie recipe!

You’ll fall in love with these cookies because they basically taste like a brownie crinkle cookie — they are that fudgy! If you are a fan of fudgy cookies that taste like brownies, then you’ll love my brownie mix cookies!

A Chocolate Crinkle Cookie with a bite taken from it, on a white background.

Why This Recipe Works

  • Chocolate crinkle cookies with melted chocolate. The chocolate in these cookies is really rich and delicious thanks to using both cocoa powder and melted chocolate! Using both really ups the chocolate flavor.
  • Less flour, more cocoa powder. The cocoa powder is important for two reasons: first, obviously it is one of two ingredients to provide that decadent chocolate flavor, and second, since there is only 1 cup of flour in this recipe, the starch in the cocoa powder allows the recipe to work with less flour. Essentially, we’re lowering the flour and upping the cocoa so more of the starch in the recipe is helping to achieve that rich chocolate flavor.
  • Perfect crackled exterior and fudgy interior. Coating the cookies with granulated sugar and powdered sugar (confectioners sugar) dries out the surface of the cookie. When placed in the oven, the tops of the cookies are dried out, then hardened and set. Not only does this give us a perfect and pretty crinkled cookie exterior, but it also acts as a protectant layer so the inside stays nice and fudgy!
  • Stand mixer not required. No need to bust our your stand mixer for this recipe — a simple whisk and bowls will do!

Ingredient Notes

Chocolate Crinkle Cookie ingredients in glass bowls, on a gray background.
  • Unsweetened Cocoa Powder: This recipe calls for more cocoa powder than usual to bring more starch into the recipe since there is less flour than in a typical cookie recipe. It’s important to use natural unsweetened cocoa powder and not Dutch-process cocoa powder. Unsweetened cocoa powder is acidic, and Dutch-process cocoa powder is not. The make up of the ingredient is completely different so how they react with the other ingreidents in the recipe will be different.
  • Unsweetened Chocolate: This is one of my favorite Baker’s unsweetened chocolate cookie recipes. I love using this brand of baking chocolate because of its rich and bitter flavor. Don’t worry, the sugar in the cookies counteract the bitterness. I just think bitter chocolate has a stronger flavor, producing a more prominent chocolate flavor.
  • Sugar: We use granulated sugar on the inside and outside of these cookies! Using granulated sugar to coat the outside of the cookies helps create an exterior coating that gives us that iconic crinkle. Coating the chocolate crinkle cookies in granulated sugar also helps keep the powdered sugar adhere to each cookie.
  • Powdered Sugar: Rolling the double chocolate crinkle cookies in the powdered sugar after the granulated sugar and before baking gives us that nice white powdered exterior look.
  • Butter: Melt the butter with the Baker’s unsweetened chocolate (or another brand is fine too). The butter helps add extra fat and helps the chocolate become more liquidy which encourages better incorporation between the chocolate and the other ingredients.

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl and whisk until thoroughly combined.
  1. In a second bowl, add the brown sugar, egg, and vanilla extract. Whisk these ingredients together until nice and smooth.
  1. In a third bowl, add the butter and finely chopped unsweetened chocolate. Melt the chocolate and butter in the microwave at half power, stirring often (about every 30 seconds), until completely melted.
  1. Pour the chocolate mixture into the wet ingredients. Stir this until smooth and evenly combined.
A smooth chocolate mixture being stirred in a glass bowl with a whisk.
  1. Fold the dry ingredients into the chocolate mixture. Stir until just combined and no flour streaks remain. Place the bowl in the fridge for 5 minutes to allow the butter and chocolate to set slightly.
  1. In two separate bowls, add the granulated sugar to one and confections sugar (powdered sugar) to the other.
  2. Roll the chocolate cookie dough into 2 tablespoon-sized balls then roll the dough ball into the granulated sugar first and then in the powdered sugar.
  3. Place the sugar coated balls on a parchment- or silicone-lined baking sheet.
Chocolate Crinkle Cookie dough balls rolled in sugar then powdered sugar, lined up on a baking sheet.
  1. Bake as directed. Remove the cookies from the oven and let cool.
Chocolate Crinkle Cookies on a black wire cooling rack.

Recipe Tips

When portioning the dough, I’ve found it’s hard to roll the dough into balls using my hands (the dough is too soft). So I like to use a cookie scoop and scoop a ball of dough straight into the granulated sugar bowl, slowly forming it into a nice ball as I go. Then I’ll transfer it to the powdered sugar and continue until all of the dough has been used up.

Thanks to a tip from the chocolate crinkle cookies from America’s Test Kitchen, we want to roll the cookie dough balls so they are completely covered in that confectioners sugar coating! And the key preventing the powdered sugar from melting while baking is to have that first coating of granulated sugar. That keeps the powdered sugar from melting into the fudgy crinkle cookies.

We only chill the dough for the 5 minutes I mention. Chilling the dough for any longer will prevent the cookies from spreading sufficiently enough in the oven to get the crinkled look.

Make Ahead, Storing and Freezing

These cookies will also stay fresh for 3 days stored at room temperature in an airtight container.

This is a great make ahead crinkle cookie recipe because they store so well in the freezer!

To freeze chocolate crinkle cookies, let them cool completely before freezing. Simply store them in an airtight container or Ziplock bag with parchment paper in between them and freeze for up to 3 months.

To freeze chocolate crinkle cookie dough, roll the dough balls as instructed in the recipe but don’t roll them in the sugars. Flash freeze them on a cookie sheet in the freezer until solid (about 20 minutes). Remove from the freezer and transfer to a Ziplock bag or airtight container and return to the freezer to store for up to 3 months. Remove from the freezer and let them thaw at room temperature. Then roll in the granulated sugar, powdered sugar and then bake following the recipe instructions.

FAQs

Can I use Dutch-process cocoa powder instead of unsweetened cocoa powder?

No. The food science behind these two ingredients is completely different, meaning the way they react to other ingredients will be different, too. Dutch-process cocoa powder is made from cocoa beans that have been soaked in an alkaline solution to neutralize the acidity. This means Dutch-process cocoa powder is not acidic and unsweetened cocoa powder is acidic.

Why are my crinkle cookies not crinkling?

This could be attributed to a few different things. First, did you coat the crinkle cookie dough balls in granulated first then powdered sugar? This will give the exterior a nice casing when baked that will crackle. Second, check to make sure your baking powder and baking soda aren’t expired. These two ingredients also encourage the crinkle in the cookies since they are the leavening agents that helps the cookies lift and spread while baked, expanding that granulated sugar coating, which results in the iconic crinkle!

Why are my crinkle cookies dry?

First, did you melt the chocolate with the butter? This helps keep the chocolate more liquidy within the cookie dough mixture, which helps the cookies not get as dry. Second, make sure you roll the cookie dough balls in the granulated sugar first before the powdered sugar. This will act as a casing for the cookie so the interior stays nice and fudgy. Third, did you scoop and pack the flour? That can give you more flour in the recipe than you want. A good tip for measuring flour in baking is to spoon the flour into the measuring cups. This keeps it light and avoids packing. And lastly, be sure to not over bake the cookies. No matter what you do to keep the cookies soft, over baking is hard to come back from!

A Chocolate Crinkle Cookie with a bite taken from it, on a metal cooling rack on a white background.

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Chocolate Crinkle Cookies on a wire cooling rack.
Print Review
5 from 6 votes

Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

Satisfy your chocolate cravings with this easy chocolate crinkles recipe. We use granulated sugar and confectioners sugar to create the signature crackly exterior. 
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 12 mins
Total Time: 22 mins
Servings: 22 cookies

Ingredients
 

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups light brown sugar, packed
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 oz unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 325°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. 
  • In a large bowl whisk the brown sugar, eggs, and vanilla until smooth.
  • In a small bowl add the finely chopped chocolate and butter. Microwave at half power stirring often, until melted.
  • Whisk the chocolate mixture into the egg mixture until combined. Fold the flour mixture into the chocolate and egg mixture until just combined and no flour streaks remain. The dough will be fairly soft.
  • Place the granulated sugar and powdered sugar in two separate small bowls. 
  • (See note #1) Portion the chocolate cookie dough into 2 T. size balls. Drop the balls into the granulated sugar and roll to coat, then roll the dough balls in the powdered sugar to coat. Place the sugar and powdered sugar covered balls on the baking sheet. Repeat until all of the cookie dough has been used.
  • Bake cookies 1 tray at a time for 10-12 minutes. Cookies will look raw between the cracks and appear undone, but that’s normal. 
  • Remove the cookies from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. 

Notes

We only chill the dough for the 5 minutes I mention. Chilling the dough for any longer will prevent the cookies from spreading sufficiently enough in the oven to get the crinkled look.
When portioning the dough I’ve found it’s hard to roll the dough into balls using my hands (the dough is too soft). So I like to use a cookie scoop and scoop a ball of dough straight into the granulated sugar bowl, slowly forming it into a nice ball as I go. Then I’ll transfer it to the powdered sugar and continue until all of the dough has been used up.
Store the cookies in an airtight container for up to 3 days. You can also freeze the cookies. Place them in an airtight container or a zip top bag and store in the freezer for 1 month. 
Can I use Dutch-processed cocoa powder instead of unsweetened cocoa powder? Unfortunately, no. Dutch-process cocoa powder is made from cocoa beans that have been soaked in an alkaline solution to neutralize the acidity. This means Dutch-process cocoa powder is not acidic and unsweetened cocoa powder is — resulting in the ingredient reacting differently to the other ingredients.
Recipe adapted from America’s Test Kitchen.

Nutrition

Calories: 155kcal (8%)Carbohydrates: 26g (9%)Protein: 2g (4%)Fat: 5g (8%)Saturated Fat: 3g (15%)Cholesterol: 30mg (10%)Sodium: 81mg (3%)Potassium: 126mg (4%)Fiber: 1g (4%)Sugar: 19g (21%)Vitamin A: 100IU (2%)Calcium: 33mg (3%)Iron: 1.7mg (9%)
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
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This recipe was originally published on Dec. 2, 2018. It was republished on Dec. 9, 2021, to include additional information and photos.