Holiday Crinkle Cookies

October 31, 2015
18 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

  • 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
In This Recipe
  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.

  • Sarah E.
    Sarah E.
  • Taylor Stanton
    Taylor Stanton
  • Shelley  Tucker
    Shelley Tucker
  • Bevi
  • Valérie Tralala
    Valérie Tralala

86 Reviews

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.
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!
Shelley T. January 13, 2018
I made these for Christmas and they were really good. I rolled half of them in crushed peppermint candies and half in confectioners sugar.
Eunice December 26, 2017
I just made these during my holiday baking extravaganza & I must say that these are definitely a new favorite! I bake for joy and to give away, but rarely eat the finish product other than 1 or 2. These cookies I wanted to keep the whole batch for myself!

I followed the recipe exactly, with 2 changes: I added candied ginger bc I had some (& it went amazing with the chocolate!) & I refrigerated the dough overnight, bc I didn't have time to bake that day. I let my dough sit at room temperature out the fridge for about 30ish minutes before using a 1inch cookie scoop and portioning out the dough and then rolling them into perfect balls. My dough was not sticky whatsoever and kept their from perfectly. I baked for 10 minutes and slight flattened the cookies with my spatula after baking before transferring them to the cooling rack.

The cookies fresh out of the oven have the most wonderful outside crunch with a warm cake/brownie like inside texture. Safe to say, its amazing & the 1 inch portions make it easy to just have one sweet snack, if you have the self control!
Shelley T. January 13, 2018
I also refrigerated the dough overnight and I had no problem. I’m going to have to try candied ginger. Brilliant idea!
mraerb December 20, 2017
Pretty fool proof recipe. Would add finely chopped walnuts next time.
Maddie December 18, 2017
Wonderful recipe. Followed recipe perfectly, except the chilling time. I was on a time crunch so I refrigerated the dough for 3 hours, not 4. They came out delicious & with perfect crinkles!
Pamela December 17, 2017
So trying to make cookies today and it seems like dough is powdery and doesn’t form one ball. Is that the way it’s supposed to be? Also going to bake in high altitude tomorrow
Brenna December 21, 2019
I make these cookies every holiday season to give to family and friends. Always a hit. This year I really had to muscle the DO a bit, needing with my hands to come together. But the final result was the same and delicious!
Bentley December 17, 2017
Such a good, classic and easy recipe! The only thing I would keep in mind for next time since I haven't made these before is to not shake off the powdered sugar before putting on the cookie sheet. It's super tempting to do so, but definitely let it happen :)