Holiday Crinkle Cookies

October 31, 2015
26 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • makes about 40 cookies
Author Notes

This holiday cookie recipe is easy, delicious, cute, and crinkly. —Regan Baroni

Test Kitchen Notes

This recipe is everything you want in a classic crinkle: Slightly crunchy on the outside, tender and chewy in the middle, and intensely chocolatey. But how do they get this way? Let's dive in.

Cocoa powder gives these cookies a deep chocolate flavor without adding too much moisture, which would result in a too-cakey consistency. All-purpose flour, vegetable oil, plus a whopping four eggs give the dough a tender structure while also ensuring they aren't too sticky or dense; they also give these cookies some serious staying power (just try them on day two or three—if they last that long—and you'll see how tasty and moist they continue to be!).

And a just-the-right amount of baking powder allows the cookies to puff up to glory, while also letting them spread out—which is just what you want in a crinkle cookie, to create all of those beautiful cracks and crevices that give the sweet treat its distinctive shape.

Speaking of spreading: While chilled dough is usually a great thing in a cookie, cold temps discourage spreading, which is the opposite of what we want here. So if you decide to make these in advance and refrigerate or freeze them, bring them out a bit in advance to thaw and come to room temperature before you bake them off.

If you like mix-ins, try them out here in a modest quantity (no more than 1/2 cup): Finely chopped nuts, candied ginger or orange peel, mini chocolate chips would all be welcome here. Or try sprinkling the tops with flaky sea salt or finely crushed peppermint candies. —Brinda Ayer

"These holiday crinkle cookies are old-school (in a good way). As my kitchen filled with the scent of baking chocolate, I remembered the cookies my grandmother used to make. Regan Baroni's recipe makes cookies with a slighty crisp edge and a fudgy middle. I refrigerated the dough overnight, resulting in perfect crinkles in the cookies. Beware the powdered sugar shower you get from each bite, a sign of a cookie well enjoyed!" —FrozenFoodie

What You'll Need
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
  1. In a medium bowl, mix the cocoa, granulated sugar, and vegetable oil.
  2. Beat in eggs one at a time and stir in vanilla.
  3. In a separate large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt; then stir into the cocoa mixture.
  4. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  5. Line baking sheet with parchment paper and roll dough into 1-inch balls.
  6. Coat each ball with confectioners sugar before placing on the baking sheet.
  7. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes.
  8. Transfer cookies to wire rack to cool and enjoy!

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Bevi
  • Sarah E.
    Sarah E.
  • Taylor Stanton
    Taylor Stanton
  • boulangere
  • Valérie Tralala
    Valérie Tralala

94 Reviews

Toozie December 19, 2023
I wish I would have read the reviews first. Very sticky dough. Hopefully, will be a bit better after it's been in the fridge. Otherwise, very easy to make.
Jose December 12, 2023
I gave it five stars just for the looks. I wanted to make it so badly because it reminded me of something I used to have back home for this time of the year. But when I looked at the ingredients, sadly I could not have them here. It looks impossible to make it vegan. Is it? Thanks,
SmithersWOW January 21, 2023
I followed this recipe 100% it was perfect. It's supposed to be sticky with 2 cups of sugar thats obvious. Wet hands and using a spoon this was easy to roll. I was able to get 4 dozen Cookies.
ALLISON December 23, 2022
I wanted so badly to love this recipe...the dough was incredibly sticky. A chill in the refrigerator helped, and I used two spoons to make the ball and drop right into the powdered sugar. The flavor is good, but I think I prefer a recipe with melted chocolate bar and butter a la Joy Of Cooking. Maybe its just the nostalgia of knowing that was the recipe used when I was a kid, but this one was hard to reproduce the flavor and fun of rolling the cohesive balls around the powdered sugar.
Eric December 20, 2022
It was really easy to make. Unlike other reviewers, my dough came out just fine. It was easy to make a ball without putting it in a refrigerator. I cut the sugar in half, but I should have kept it as the recipe says or cut it back to 3/4 cup. Thank you for this fun recipe to try during the holidays.
Bevi December 3, 2022
I make the batter and stick it in the fridge for at least an hour. I use a teaspoon to dig out a portion and I immediately throw it in the confectioner's sugar. I have no problem making the ball while rolling in the powdered sugar. I shake off the extra powdered sugar while jiggling the ball in my hand and place on the baking sheet. They spread quite a bit. There is no need to add extra flour, which has a negative impact on the texture and the taste.
boulangere December 8, 2022
Note to self.
gwk989 January 14, 2022
I followed the recipe closely using room temp eggs, my mix was insanely sticky. I added nearly x2 the flour to get it workable. Lost the flavor because I had to add so much flour. This recipe definitely needs some work.
Bevi January 15, 2022
Chilling the dough helps with handling. The dough is inherently sticky. No need to add flour, which would dull the flavor.
typeforbreakfast December 17, 2022
We chilled the dough overnight, then I rolled and baked in the AM, leaving them sit on the baking sheet for a few minutes before popping in the oven, and they w came out perfectly! Absolutely NO need to add extra flour — the texture is so light as-written. And don’t skimp on the sugar while rolling — when it cakes up a bit and you think you’ve gone too far, that’s when you get the most dramatic crinkle effect!
Edie M. December 14, 2021
I love this recipe and have been making them the few years for the holiday season. The only thing that should be added is to chill the dough so it can be handled easily when rolling into balls. I let the dough come to room temp after they have been rolled and dipped in the powdered sugar while the oven preheats.
njmurphy December 12, 2021
Made these cookies for the first time yesterday (found recipe in local newspaper) which are easy to make and absolutely delish! I did not refrigerate dough before rolling and the dough was too sticky so I added an additional 1/2 cup of flour (or so) and it worked perfectly. Will definitely be making these from now on! Next time I'll try chilling dough first.
dskjslkfjs November 29, 2021
just made these and they were so sticky to the point where my hands were covered in a disgusting chocolate mess. couldnt roll them into balls like several other people in the reviews lmfao should have read them first
Athomechef November 29, 2021
I think ive made 4 batches of these in the last week for Christmas boxes for friends. Great nostalgic cookie recipe with great instructions. I weighed out each dough all to 1.5 grams and baked for 13 minutes. After cooking for a few minutes I pushed peppermint Hershey kisses in them. I wish they let you upload pictures with reviews. Ten out of ten, will make again. Tonight.
rachel November 22, 2021
Yeah just tried to make these and the dough is way too sticky to roll into balls... am going to stick it in the fridge and hope that helps.
Sarah E. January 8, 2020
These turned out very well — I used 1.5 cups coconut sugar, and subbed the flour for Bob’s Red Mill 1-1 gluten free flour. Definitely sweet enough despite using less sugar. Otherwise I followed the recipe. I had the same experience as others with them not flattening on their own during baking - I had to squish them down a bit with a spatula. I tried mixing in walnuts in part of the batch but actually preferred them simple! Will make again :)
Taylor S. January 7, 2020
Love these! Chocolate crinkles were always a must during the holiday season growing up and I still make them every year! This is by far my favorite recipe; I probably will keep using this year after year.
Milan101 December 21, 2019
I loved these so much, we had a cookie sale thing at work that is why we made it. And then I was getting ready to leave, at work, we had a place where we put our cookies at, so at the end of the day, I left all of the cookies were gone! so I stool some of the other people at work cookies. They all had a few of there cookies left except mine, I was the only one if you sell them out, they will be a hit! Have a good time baking them!
akrain December 11, 2019
These are my fave holiday cookies and this recipe is perfect! Tried mixing ground up candy cane into the sugar and they were amazing!!! And so easy! Thank you!!
megan.oldenburger December 21, 2018
Hi- initially before refrigeration should the dough seem more like brownie batter? I followed directions exactly and that’s how it seems right now before refrigeration...any help would be appreciated!
Valérie T. December 26, 2018
Hi, merry Christmass!
Its should be firm, not sticky.
Just made some. Mmmm
Renee L. December 19, 2018
I'd like some thoughts on how to best store cookies for Christmas. Thank you!!
Regan B. December 20, 2018
Hi Renee! You can store them well wrapped at room temperature for several days, or you could even freeze them! Hope this helps! :) Enjoy!
Tobi H. December 19, 2018
I make these cookies every year around the holidays. My family loves them! I usually add mini chocolate chips, powdered espresso & double the recipe. Once baked, I store most of them in the freezer to take out as needed - ensures perfect texture retention every time!
Melinda January 21, 2018
These cookies looked great but, taste terrible. I probably won't try a cookie recipe again that uses oil rather than butter.
Regan B. December 20, 2018
Oh no! So sorry these didn't workout for you. I haven't had any problems with the taste. Some other readers suggested other things like adding walnuts or crushed peppermint candies. Maybe that might help? Happy Holidays!