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Fudgy Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

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Rich and fudgy these crinkle cookies have an irresistible moist center and crispy crackly exterior. 

I have been on a roll with the Christmas cookies here lately! We have been baking up a storm, and it has been fun.  My youngest daughter who is 12 has quite a talent for baking and really enjoys it, and I love having her in the kitchen with me. 

We’ve been trying a few new recipes, but we’ve also been baking up classic christmas cookies. These Fudgy Chocolate Crinkle Cookies are a total standard Christmas cookie, and it is easy to see why, they are rich and fudgy, and look striking on a cookie platter. 

Chocolate Crinkle Cookies on a wire cooling rack.

Tips for the Best Fudgy Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

  • Bake at 325°. Most cookies do well baked at 350°, but If crinkle cookies are baked at 350°F, the outside bakes and hardens faster than the interior of the cookie bakes, which doesn’t give the dough enough time to spread.
  • Roll in Granulated sugar BEFORE rolling in confectioners sugar. According to Cook’s Illustrated Coating cookies in granulated sugar before coating them in powdered sugar promotes proper cracking by causing the top of the cookie to dry out before the interior of the cookie is finished baking.
  • Turn the sheet pan around halfway through the baking time to ensure even baking
  • Add espresso powder. If espresso powder is unavailable, you can use the same amount of instant coffee crystals (like Taster’s Choice). Coffee is chocolate’s BFF, and I think is the secret between so-so chocolate crinkles and amazing chocolate crinkles.  You will not taste coffee in the finished cookies, the espresso acts as a chocolate flavor enhancer, without adding much discernible coffee flavor.

Super Chocolate-ly Chocolate Crinkles

During the holidays I always seek out Crinkle cookies and Over the years I’ve eaten quite a few, and I’ve definetly noticed not all chocolate crinkle cookies are created equally.  Some Crinkle cookies are just EXTRA chocolate-ly. For the longest time I assumed it had something to do with the cocoa powder, and to a certain extent I am sure the quality and freshness of the cocoa powder effects the flavor of your cookies, but I’m going to let you in on a secret ingredient that will take your Crinkle cookies from so-so to amazing. 

Espresso Powder. 

Coffee is chocolate’s BFF. It really enhances the flavor of chocolate, and you will likely not even taste coffee in the finished cookies.  The espresso just kicks up the flavor of the chocolate without adding much discernible coffee flavor.  But you can always play around with the amount of espresso powder you put in and turn these into a Mocha Crinkle Cookies 😉 

I found my espresso powder right at Wegmans in the baking aisle, but if your local grocery store doesn’t sell it you can grab a jar from Amazon for less then $10. 

Jar of Delallo Espresso powder with Chocolate Crinkle Cookies in the background.
Fudgy Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

Fudgy Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

Yield: 20 Cookies
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 22 minutes

Rich and fudgy these crinkle cookies have an irrisistable moist center and crispy crackly exterior.


  • 1/2 cup (60g) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cups white granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Espresso Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar (for coating)
  • 1/4 cup confectioner's sugar or icing sugar (for coating)


  1.  Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 325° degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, mix together the cocoa powder, white sugar and vegetable oil. Beat in eggs one at a time, until fully incorporated. Mix in the vanilla.
  3. In another bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  4. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet mixture just until a dough forms (do not over beat). 
  5. Cover the the bowl with plastic wrap and chill the dough in the refrigerator for 2 hours.
  6.  Measure the granulated and confectioners’ sugar into separate shallow dishes. Working with 2 tablespoons dough (or use #30 scoop) at a time, drop dough balls directly into granulated sugar and roll to coat. Then transfer dough balls to confectioners’ sugar and roll to coat evenly.
  7. Evenly space dough balls on prepared sheets, 11 per sheet.
  8. Bake cookies, 1 sheet at a time, until puffed and cracked and edges have begun to set but centers are still soft. The cookies will still look a little moist or raw between cracks. Bake for about 12 minutes, rotating the cookie sheet halfway through baking.
  9. Let the cookies cool for 8 minutes on the cookie sheet before transferring to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.


If you are in a hurry, instead of chilling the dough in the refrigerator, you can chill it in the freezer for about 30 minutes.

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