Easy Chocolate Crinkle Cookie Recipe

Chocolate crinkle cookies are delicious all year round but often associated with Christmas time. They're just so festive-looking and fun to make. The white sugar contrasts nicely against the chocolate and the cracks (or crinkles) of the cookie, and for chocolate lovers, there really is no better option than a cookie that cuts straight to the good stuff — no nuts, no fruit chunks, no candy bar bits — just chocolate.

We got this chocolate crinkle cookie recipe from Alaskan food blogger, recipe developer, and low-key Super Mom Laura Sampson of Little House Big Alaska. When we asked her what inspired the recipe, she dubbed them a holiday classic. "These chocolate crinkles are just one of those quintessential Christmas cookies," she said. 

This recipe makes 48 cookies, so you'll have plenty to serve at your holiday gathering (or to freeze for your family to heat up and eat every night for dessert for a good long while). The dough is easy to prep, but do allot an extra hour for it to chill in the fridge before you roll and bake these sugar-coated chewy chocolate delights.

Gather the ingredients for your chocolate crinkle cookies

First up, get all your ingredients for your chocolate crinkle cookies measured and ready to go. The baking process will unfold much smoother if you're overly prepared. This recipe calls for a tablespoon of vegetable shortening (vegetable oil is a suitable sub), ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder, 3 beaten eggs, ½ cup cooking oil, 1 ½ cups sugar, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 1 teaspoon salt, 2 cups flour, and 1 cup powdered sugar, which you will be using for rolling the cookies. 

When you measure the dry ingredients, use a knife to make sure you're scraping any excess off the top of the measuring cup and adding the exact amount the recipe calls for. You'll need baking sheets lined with parchment paper ready to go but can prepare those while the dough is chilling in the refrigerator (which you'll get to in a later step). Since this makes a whole lot of cookies, you may have to keep reusing the same sheets as you transfer baked cookies to the cooling racks, which you should also have handy before you get started.

Melt the shortening and stir in cocoa powder for your chocolate crinkle cookies

The first step is to melt the vegetable shortening (if you're using vegetable oil, you can skip this step since it will already be liquified). There is intention behind the use of vegetable shortening in this chocolate crinkle cookie recipe, as it's not necessarily as common as, say, butter and sugar in a cookie recipe. Sampson explains the method to her madness, saying, "I use vegetable shortening to mix with the cocoa powder because it's all fat, and you want that to mix with cocoa powder so it stays soft until mixed in with the rest of the ingredients." As far as we're concerned, fat makes everything better, so this tracks.

Once the vegetable shortening is melted, stir in the ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder. After the cocoa powder and shortening are well combined, scrape the mixture into a mixing bowl (or use the one you've combined them in, if it's big enough), making sure to get every last bit of it. 

Add eggs and cooking oil to the chocolate crinkle cookie mixture

After you've combined the cocoa powder and melted vegetable shortening, you'll next add the 3 beaten eggs and cooking oil. However, before you add these two ingredients, you should combine them first. Thoroughly stir the 3 beaten eggs (which should already be beaten from the ingredient prep step) together with the ½ cup cooking oil. Then, use a hand mixer to combine the oil and egg mixture with the cocoa powder and shortening.

For the cooking oil in this chocolate crinkle cookie recipe, Sampson uses "plain Crisco vegetable oil." If you've got everything else in your kitchen but don't have vegetable oil, you can use another cooking oil such as canola oil. There are technically a lot of different options for using oil in baking, depending on the recipe, but do you research to make sure it will be a good match for the flavors in the chocolate crinkle cookie.

Beat sugar and vanilla into the chocolate crinkle cookie batter

For the next step in this chocolate crinkle cookie recipe, the 1 ½ cups sugar and 2 teaspoons vanilla extract should be on deck. Add the sugar and vanilla in with the shortening, cocoa, egg, and oil mixture, using the electric hand mixer to combine everything thoroughly. Pour the sugar into the mixing bowl gradually if you need to, about a ½ cup at a time, as there should be no clumps in the batter after all of the sugar and vanilla have been mixed into the bowl. Keep the hand mixer at a medium speed setting to mix in the sugar and vanilla.

Use a spatula to scrape down any excess from the sides of the bowl, making sure all the ingredients are incorporated evenly before moving onto the next part of the recipe.

Pour over and stir in the flour, salt, and baking powder to make your chocolate crinkle cookies

This is the part where the chocolate crinkle cookie batter becomes chocolate crinkle cookie dough. There is a difference between the two, namely, batter is much thinner and cannot be shaped by hand (or rolled into cookies) like dough. The mixture will thicken significantly in this part, so you'll need patience and a really strong arm.

Combine all the remaining dry ingredients (except the powdered sugar) in a bowl, then pour that mixture onto the top of the chocolate batter. Then, with the hand mixer, slowly mix in the flour, salt, and baking powder with the shortening, cocoa powder, eggs, oil, vanilla, and sugar. If it gets too thick and the hand mixer beaters start to get stuck, you can switch over to using a wooden spoon to stir. Either way, everything should be well combined before you get to the next part of the recipe. 

Enclose the chocolate crinkle cookie dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate it

Bust out the plastic wrap because now it's time to wrap this dough into a neat ball then stick it in the fridge. Sometimes, plastic wrap can be tricky, so we asked Sampson if she had any pro tips. She told us, "To wrap this very soft dough in plastic wrap, it helps to unroll some of the wrap without cutting it off. Just unroll and lay it flat. Then, scrape the cookie dough out on the plastic wrap and cut it off the roll and finish covering the dough. I plopped it in a bowl in the fridge. You could also use a plastic baggie for storage." If you don't trust yourself to be crafty with the plastic wrap, maybe have those gallon freezer bags locked and loaded, just in case.

Can you refrigerate the dough for longer than hour? Yep. According to Sampson, "You can refrigerate the dough for a day or two before shaping and baking. You want to give it at least an hour before trying to bake so it's had time to firm up." This is great news if you want to do the bulk of the work of this recipe in advance of the actual day you want to serve freshly baked chocolate crinkle cookies.

Roll the chocolate crinkle cookie dough into balls

Remove the chocolate crinkle cookie dough from the refrigerator and ensure that's it's relatively firm. "If you bake a cookie dough before it's firm, it can spread across the cookie sheet," Sampson explains. You've been warned, so chill that dough properly. If you've had it in there for at least an hour, it should be good to go. 

Form 1-inch balls with the dough, carefully rolling each one so that you make evenly shaped balls. This will help garner that perfect classic cookie shape. Dip your fingers in water and shake off the excess before rolling if you want to make sure there isn't too much stickiness. Obviously, you want most of the dough to end up on the baking sheet, not your fingers.

Coat the chocolate crinkle cookie dough balls with powdered sugar

Next, roll the dough balls in the cup of powdered sugar, which you should have ready to go in a bowl. You can either do this step after you form each dough ball, then transfer immediately to the lined baking sheet, or you can roll all the dough into balls, set them aside, then roll each one in powdered sugar before putting them on the baking sheet. Either way, just make sure the ball of dough is completely coated in the powdered sugar before placing it on the baking sheet. 

Oftentimes, baking recipes call for sifting the powdered sugar before utilizing. It's not hard, but it is time-consuming. We checked with Sampson to see if she recommends it for these chocolate crinkle cookies. She says, "It's not necessary because it's getting rolled around so much any lumps get crushed." 

Bake the chocolate crinkle cookies

Now to the easy part when your oven does the rest of the heavy lifting. Bake the chocolate crinkle cookie dough balls for 9-10 minutes, basically until the edges are "set and puffy." You know the look you're going for — it's that crinkle cookie wow factor. Baking times can vary depending on your oven (and you know your oven better than anyone). Also, it's wise to just bake one sheet at a time so the cookies cook evenly.

After they're out of the oven and cooled, store the cookies in an airtight container and keep them at room temperature. The other option is to freeze them and reheat them whenever the craving strikes. You should still keep them in an airtight container and wait until they cool completely before freezing them. Freezing is a better option than refrigeration when preserving desserts, as the fridge tends to zap the moisture out of the baked good.

Easy Chocolate Crinkle Cookie Recipe
4.8 from 4 ratings
Chocolate crinkle cookies are delicious all year round but often associated with Christmas time. They're just so festive-looking and fun to make.
Prep Time
Cook Time
chocolate crinkle cookies
Total time: 25 minutes
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable shortening
  • ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • ½ cup cooking oil
  • 1-½ cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup powdered sugar for rolling cookies
  1. Melt the shortening and stir in the cocoa powder, and scrape into a mixing bowl.
  2. Mix the eggs and oil together, then add the eggs and oil to the mixing bowl.
  3. Use a hand mixer to combine the shortening and cocoa mixture with the oil and egg mixture.
  4. Beat in the sugar and vanilla.
  5. In a separate bowl, combine the baking powder, salt, and flour.
  6. Pour the combined baking soda, salt, and flour over the chocolate mixture, and slowly stir together with a hand mixer. Use a wooden spoon if the dough becomes too thick for the hand mixer.
  7. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate it for at least an hour.
  8. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  9. When the dough is chilled, remove it from the fridge and roll into one-inch balls.
  10. Roll the dough balls in powdered sugar and place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  11. Bake 9 to 10 minutes, until the edges are set and puffy.
  12. Let the cookies cool on the baking tray for 3 to 4 minutes, then carefully transfer them to a cooling rack.
Calories per Serving 83
Total Fat 3.0 g
Saturated Fat 0.4 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 10.0 mg
Total Carbohydrates 13.6 g
Dietary Fiber 0.6 g
Total Sugars 8.8 g
Sodium 48.6 mg
Protein 1.1 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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