These Chocolate Crinkle Cookies are the epitome of holiday cheer with their thick, chewy texture and decadently fudgy flavor! Rolled in powdered sugar for that iconic crinkle effect, these cookies are not only festive but also incredibly easy to make. Whether you’re baking them for a cookie swap, holiday party, or simply to enjoy with a cozy mug of hot cocoa, these Chocolate Crinkle Cookies are sure to be a show-stopper.

a chocolate crinkle cookie on a wire rack

Why You’ll Love This Chocolate Crinkle Cookies Recipe

This chocolate crinkle cookies recipe has been a holiday staple in our home since we were kids! Every year, we still look forward to sinking our teeth into a fresh batch of warm cookies. Here are just a few reasons why: 

  • They’re thick and chewy in the center with satisfyingly crisp edges
  • They have all the rich, fudgy flavor of the best brownies. 
  • Baked in minutes, they’re super quick to make. 
  • Served warm from the oven, they practically melt in your mouth, and leftovers keep well for days! 

What Are Chocolate Crinkle Cookies? 

A popular holiday recipe, chocolate crinkle cookies are thick, cake-like cookies made with unsweetened cocoa powder, vegetable oil, and a few pantry staples. Rolled in powdered sugar just before baking, they crack around the edges and have a dense, chewy center. Rich in flavor, they’re a chocolate lover’s dream! 

Where Did They Originate? 

Chocolate crinkle cookies were invented in St. Paul, Minnesota in the early half of the 20th century by Helen Fredell. They became popular in American culture when they were included in Betty Crocker’s famous cookie cookbook, “Cooky Carnival.” In the book, Betty attributes their creation to Helen, claiming she served the cookies in her Minnesota home, and Betty begged for the recipe. 

Ingredients You’ll Need

Apart from their incredible taste, one of the reasons why chocolate crinkle cookies quickly became so popular is due to their simple ingredient list. Here’s everything you’ll need: 

  • Sugar – A combination of granulated sugar and light brown sugar combine to create sweet, moist cookies, and confectioner’s sugar is used for coating. 
  • Unsweetened Cocoa Powder – This creates the rich, fudgy taste these treats are known for. 
  • Vegetable Oil – Used to combine the ingredients and keep them moist. 
  • Eggs – Crucial to give the cookies structure. For the best results, make sure they’re at room temperature!
  • Instant Espresso Powder – Our secret weapon. This helps enhance the chocolate flavor. Decaf granules can be used. Just make sure it’s espresso and NOT coffee! 
  • Flour – We use regular all-purpose flour. However, if needed, a 1:1 gluten-free flour would work as well. 
  • Baking Essentials: Vanilla extract, baking powder, and salt are also needed to enhance the cookies’ flavor and help them rise and become fluffy. 

Flavor Variations

Although typically kept simple and plain, there are several ways you can add extra flavor to this chocolate crinkle cookies recipe! For example, some of our favorite variations include: 

  • Folding in chocolate chips
  • Adding dried cranberries, cherries, or even blueberries
  • Adding a small drop of mint extract or combining candy cane pieces with the powdered sugar
  • Replacing ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract with orange extract instead
two fingers rolling a ball of chocolate crinkle cookie dough in powdered sugar

How to Make Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

These chocolate crinkle cookies come together in no time and bake in minutes, making them super quick — you’ll be in and out of the kitchen in no time! 

  1. Beat. Add the sugar, cocoa powder, and oil to a large bowl, and beat until smooth. Then, add the eggs one at a time. Stir in the vanilla, scraping down the edges of the bowl 
  2. Combine the Dry Ingredients. Whisk the flour, baking powder, espresso powder, and salt together in a separate bowl. 
  3. Create the Batter. Working slowly, gradually stir the dry ingredients into the bowl with the wet ingredients. 
  4. Chill. Cover the dough, and place it in the fridge for at least 4 hours or up to overnight. 
  5. Portion the Dough. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Using a small ice cream or cookie dough scoop, portion the dough into 1-inch balls. Roll each ball in the powdered sugar, and place them on the baking sheet. Bake 
  6. Bake. Bake the cookies in the center rack of the oven until the edges are set and beginning to crack. 
  7. Cool. Let the cooking cool on the baking sheet before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely, and enjoy! 

Storage Options

Go ahead and make a double batch of these chocolate crinkle cookies. You’re gonna need it! Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week. Or, keep them in the freezer for up to 3 months

If you want to freeze the unbaked dough, create the cookies as the recipe states. Just don’t roll them in the powdered sugar! Then, arrange them on a baking sheet, and place them in the freezer. Once hard, transfer them to a sealable bag or airtight container, and freeze them for up to 3 months. When ready to eat, bake them straight from the oven, adding an extra minute or two as needed. 

two chocolate crinkle cookies stacked on top of each other on a wire rack

Chocolate Crinkle Cookies Common Questions

Why didn’t my chocolate crinkle cookies crack? 

The most common reason for cookies that don’t crack is either that the oven was not hot enough or the baking powder was expired. Be sure to allow plenty of time for your oven to heat, and use a fresh container of baking powder! 

Why are my chocolate crinkle cookies flat?

If your cookies turn out flat, the dough was either not chilled, or there was too much flour. Place your cookie dough no shorter than 4 hours, and be sure to measure carefully using a food scale or the spoon and level method

How do you know when this chocolate crinkle cookies recipe is done baking? 

You’ll know your chocolate crinkle cookies are done baking when you start to see tiny cracks on top! This takes anywhere from 10-12 minutes. So, be sure to keep an eye on your oven! 

More Great Holiday Treats

On the hunt for more festive recipes to celebrate the season? We’ve got you covered with these recipes that make gifting and hosting holiday parties a breeze!

a chocolate crinkle cookie on a wire rack

Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

5 from 2 votes
Author: Food Dolls
Servings: 24 cookies
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 1 hour
A classic Christmas tradition, this Chocolate Crinkle Cookies recipe is thick, chewy, and decadently fudgy. Coated in powdered sugar, it’s quick to make and absolutely irresistible!


  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1/2 packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon instant espresso powder do not use coffee granules
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ cup confectioner’s sugar


  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the sugar, cocoa, and oil, and beat to combine. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until smooth. Stir in the vanilla extract.
  • In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, instant espresso powder, and salt.
  • Gradually stir the dry ingredients into the bowl with the wet ingredients until just combined. Cover the dough, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to overnight.
  • When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or aluminum foil.Using a small ice cream school, portion the chilled dough into 1-inch balls.
  • Roll each ball in powdered sugar, and place them on the cookie sheets 1 inch apart on the prepared cookie sheets.
  • Bake on the center rack for 10-11 minutes or until the edges begin to crinkle. Ours took exactly 10 minutes! Be careful not to overbake. Note: the cookies will continue to bake on the cookie sheet once removed from the oven. Let them stanad for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Store at room temperature for up to 1 week.


Serving: 1cookie | Calories: 146kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.03g | Cholesterol: 27mg | Sodium: 95mg | Potassium: 79mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 40IU | Calcium: 30mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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Meet Alia & Radwa

Welcome to Food Dolls! We’re so glad you found us. We are Alia and Radwa, sisters who want to share simple and easy recipes with you. We hope you find recipes here that you enjoy making as much as we do! Learn more about us!

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