Fudgy Chewy Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

Soft and Chewy Chocolate Crinkle Cookies are the perfect addition to any cookie platter. Fudgy chocolate cookies rolled in powdered sugar with a beautiful crackle effect that makes them not only pretty to look at but incredibly delicious to eat!

Close up of a chocolate crinkle cookie with a bite taken out of it

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These crinkle cookies look fancy because of the pretty crackled top and look amazing on a cookie tray but are very simple to make. 

They require a little time in the fridge or freezer so make sure you plan ahead and don’t try and make these a half hour before the bake sale starts. 

What I love about these cookies is that they are super fudgy, soft, and chewy but also have a hint of a mocha flavor to them. Only second to my Gingersnap cookie recipe they are the most requested cookie my family asks for every Christmas!

Ingredients You’ll Need

Ingredients for chocolate crinkle cookies
  • Brown sugar – sweetens up the cocoa powder and gives structure to the cookie.
  • Vegetable oil – gives the cookie a chewy texture.
  • Sour cream – breaks down the gluten in the flour producing a soft cake-like cookie.
  • Egg – the glue that binds all the ingredients together and adds richness.
  • Vanilla – Because it is fabulous and in almost every baked good imaginable.
  • Pastry flour – you can use all-purpose flour as well but the protein content in pastry flour is a bit lower giving the cookies a lighter more delicate texture. I use pasty flour almost exclusively for my cookies and of course pastry.
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder – the chocolate behind this fudgy crinkle cookie.
  • Espresso powder – deepens the chocolate flavor and adds a hint of mocha.
  • Baking soda – the leavening agent that gives these cookies some rise.
  • Salt – a flavor enhancer.
  • Black pepper – deepens the chocolate flavor because it adds a different note of a slightly barely noticeable heat that perks up your taste buds.
  • Powdered sugar – for rolling the cookies in to get that beautiful crackle effect.
Tower of 4 chocolate crinkle cookies on a black plate on a grey background

How to Make Chewy Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

  1. Start by adding the sugar oil together in a bowl and mix.
  1. Add in the egg and whisk until combined. You will notice that the wet ingredients will become thicker the longer you mix. I like to mix until becomes almost like a batter-like texture and less runny.
  1. Mix in the sour cream and vanilla just until blended.
  1. Place a large sieve over the bowl and then add in all of the remaining dry ingredients except for the icing sugar. Using a spoon work the dry ingredients through the sieve into the wet ingredients below.
  1. Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients below but only mix until combined to avoid overmixing which will cause tough cookies.
  1. Cover the bowl with a lid or plastic wrap and let it chill in the fridge for 2-3 hours.
  1. Once chilled, roll the dough into rounded tablespoon size balls and then roll in the icing sugar. Place them on a cookie sheet evenly spaced out and bake for 8-10 minutes at 350°F.
  1. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 2 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack.

How Makes Crinkle Cookies Crinkle?

The powdered sugar! As the cookies bake the sugar pulls out the moisture from the surface of the cookie. This dryness makes the cookie less flexible and so the tops crack to make room for the rising cookie.

Why Are Your Cookies Not Crinkling?

There are three things that I find are most common when this happens.

The first one is that the baking soda used may be old and not activating creating a rise in the cookie. It is this rise in the cookie dough that puts pressure on the surface of the cooking causing it to crack.

The dough was not chilled long enough. If the dough is too soft to begin with the cookies will flatten quickly. If they flatten too much before the top gets crisp they won’t crack.

Finally, the dough was handled too much after being rolled in the powdered sugar. If the powdered sugar is handled too much the heat from your hands will melt the sugar into the dough. If the sugar is no longer sitting on top of the cookie dough surface it can no longer dry out and crack. To avoid this roll the cookie in the sugar and quickly transfer to the cookie sheet and leave them alone!

A plate of chocolate crinkles with holiday garland.

Tips and variations

  • Don’t skimp on the cooling time before baking.  The cookie dough for these chocolate crinkle cookies is very sticky when first made.  Chilling the dough makes it much easier to roll into balls and also keeps the cookies from spreading too quickly.
  • Make a double batch… I said it before and I will say it again.  These cookies will get gobbled up so you will want lots!
  • Allows the cookies to cool for 2 minutes on the baking sheet before removing to the cooling rack.  When they first come out of the oven these cookies are quite soft still ad and pretty fragile. If you move them too early you risk them falling apart or getting squished looking.
  • Add cayenne pepper instead of black pepper for a little added depth and spiciness that goes well with chocolate.
  • Need a little more spiciness try cayenne pepper and cinnamon for a Mexican-flavored twist.
  • Mint lover- just add a tsp of peppermint extract at the same time you are adding the vanilla
A plate of Christmas crinkle cookies

Making In Advance and Storage

Sure can! You can either just make the dough or bake them to completion. If you want to just make the dough you can freeze the dough or keep them in the fridge for up to 3 days and let soften a bit before baking (just enough to be able to scoop) or freeze the balls and pull out only what you need to bake.

If just making the dough just roll them into balls and then the powdered sugar like you would if freshly made.

Want to make the whole cookie in advance? That is ok too!

Make the cookie and store them in an air-tight container on the counter for up to 5 days. Separate the cookies if stacking them with a layer of wax or parchment paper to keep the powdered sugar coating intact.

Or you can freeze them for up to 2 months and thaw them as needed.

Why Are my Crinkle Cookies No longer Powdery White?

Sometimes if the cookies are left out and they get warm, are frozen, and then thawed, or simply handled too much they will lose some of their white powdery sugar. All you need to do is dip them back in some loose powdered sugar without pressing down too hard.

This way you can give them a new coat of powdered sugar and if you don’t agitate the sugar or press down too hard the deep chocolate crackle parts will stay brown.

A plate of mocha crinkle cookies

More Holiday Treats To Try!

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Close up of a chocolate crinkle cookie with a bite taken out of it

Fudgy Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

Alisa Infanti | The Delicious Spoon
4.75 from 8 votes
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Course Baking, Dessert
Cuisine American, Baking, Christmas
Servings 3 dozen
Calories 100 kcal


  • Oven
  • Large Bowl
  • Medium bowl
  • Measuring Cups
  • Measuring Spoons
  • Beater
  • Small Bowl
  • Baking Sheet


  • 1 ½ cups packed light brown sugar
  • ½ cup canola or vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 ¾ cups pastry flour
  • ¾ cups unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons instant espresso
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ cup powdered sugar


  • In a large bowl beat brown sugar, oil, sour cream, egg and vanilla – set aside
  • In a medium bowl mix flour, cocoa, espresso, baking soda, salt and pepper
  • Add flour mixture to wet mixture and mix well
  • Refrigerate dough for 2-3 hours or if you are in a pinch you can also place the dough in the freezer for about 1/2 hour to firm up quickly.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Place powdered sugar in small bowl
  • Roll dough into 1" balls then roll generously into powdered sugar
  • Line cookie sheet with parchment paper and bake for about 10 minutes or until tops of cookies feel firm to the touch Don't over bake. They are done when they look a little flatter and crinkled. Remove from oven.
  • Let cookies cool on the baking sheet for about 2 minutes and then gently move to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Cool completely on a wire rack. Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 3 months.



Serving: 1cookieCalories: 100kcalCarbohydrates: 16gProtein: 1.3gFat: 3.9gSaturated Fat: 0.6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.9gMonounsaturated Fat: 2.2gTrans Fat: 0gCholesterol: 18mgSodium: 74mgPotassium: 73mgFiber: 0.7gSugar: 10.4gVitamin A: 22IUVitamin C: 0mgCalcium: 14mgIron: 0.7mg


Spice it up by swapping out the black pepper for cayenne pepper.
If you don’t have instant espresso on hand you can also use regular instant coffee.
Please Note:

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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    1. My kids have baked with me since they were little like that too. My daughter is now 15 so she made these all on her own! I just got to eat them this time.

  1. Those crinkle cookies look amazing – love the mocha flavor in cookies. There sure are some interesting ingredients in the recipe. Pinning to try the recipe some time.

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