Holiday Crinkle Cookies Recipe on Food52 (2024)


by: Regan Baroni



26 Ratings

  • makes about 40 cookies

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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

  • Test Kitchen-Approved

What You'll Need

  • 1 cupunsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 cupsgranulated sugar
  • 1/2 cupvegetable oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 teaspoonsvanilla extract
  • 2 cupsall-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoonsbaking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoonsalt
  • 1/2 cupconfectioner'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!


  • Cookie
  • American
  • Holiday
  • Halloween
  • Christmas
  • Hanukkah
  • Valentine's Day
  • Easter
  • Thanksgiving
  • Dessert
Contest Entries
  • Your Best Holiday Cookie from Anywhere in the World

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Bevi

  • Sarah E.

  • Taylor Stanton

  • boulangere

  • Valérie Tralala

Popular on Food52

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!

Holiday Crinkle Cookies Recipe on Food52 (2024)


Why are my crinkle cookies not crinkling? ›

Why are my crinkle cookies not crinkling? If the dough is too wet, then it will dissolve the sugar and the crinkle will get lost. In order for a defined crinkle to form, the surface of the dough needs to be dry. If your cookies are not crinkling then there is too much free water in the dough.

Why didn't my crinkle cookies crack? ›

Why didn't my chocolate crinkle cookies crack? The most common reason for cookies that don't crack is either that the oven was not hot enough or the baking powder was expired.

Why are my crinkle cookies hard? ›

Most cookies are soft and flexible, so the dough evenly expands as the cookies bake. In crinkle cookies, however, the powdered sugar dries out in the oven, creating a hard outer shell that is not flexible.

How do I make my cookies chewy instead of crunchy? ›

How To Make Cookies Chewy Without Cornstarch
  1. Go heavy on brown sugar. It has more moisture than its granulated counterpart, which means the cookie comes out less crispy. ...
  2. Choose margarine or shortening instead of butter. ...
  3. Use baking powder instead of baking soda. ...
  4. Rest your dough. ...
  5. Shorten baking time.
May 14, 2023

How do you make cookies soft instead of crunchy? ›

Baking cookies quickly in a hot oven – at 375 degrees F as opposed to a lower temperature – will make for soft results. They'll bake fast instead of sitting and drying out in the oven's hot air. Ever so slightly underbaking your cookies will give you softer results than cooking them the full amount the recipe says.

How do you know when crinkle cookies are done? ›

How do you know when chocolate crinkle cookies are done? Look for the crackly top! You want to bake the cookies until they've cracked on top and the edges look set, but the center is still soft.

How do you get cookies to crack on top? ›

The means that as the cookie expands, it starts to crack the dry surface. For this to happen, you need to dry the surface of the cookie by coating them in sugar, use sufficient leavening for the cookie to rise, and bake in a hot oven.

How do you keep powdered sugar from melting on crinkle cookies? ›

How to Prevent the Powdered Sugar from Melting. The trick is to coat the dough with granulated sugar first, and then with powdered sugar. This way, the granulated sugar draws out moisture from the surface to create that crinkled exterior while the powdered sugar remains on top.

Why are my crinkles not spreading? ›

Why are crinkle cookies not flat? This is down to the ratio of ingredients in the dough, mainly. There is a high proportion of dry ingredients (i.e. flour, cocoa powder, ground almonds) to liquid ingredients (eggs, butter). This results in a drier dough which stops the cookies from spreading when baked.

What are crunchy cookies called? ›

Most English-speaking countries call crunchy cookies "biscuits", except for the United States and Canada, where "biscuit" refers to a type of quick bread. Chewier biscuits are sometimes called "cookies" even in the United Kingdom.

Why are my Christmas cookies hard? ›

Cookies become hard when the moisture in them evaporates. This can be caused by leaving them out in the air for too long, baking them for too long, or storing them improperly. The lack of moisture makes the cookies hard and dry, which makes them difficult to enjoy.

Do you flatten sugar cookies before baking? ›

Certain cookies — Sugar Cookies, Snickerdoodles, Classic Peanut Butter Cookies — need to be flattened a bit before they bake, lest they end up emerging from the oven looking like ping-pong balls rather than typical flat, round cookies.

Why do my cookies not stay crispy? ›

Summer, though welcomed for the sun and fun, also brings humidity that makes your cookies limp -- not so fun. Keep those cookies crisp by storing them in an airtight container. Some people toss a piece of bread in with the cookies to help absorb any excess moisture.

Why didn't my snickerdoodles crack? ›

Cracking occurs from several chemical reactions during the baking process. If some of your cookies aren't cracking, it could be because those dough balls were less round than others, the dough became too warm, your oven isn't heating evenly, or (most likely) the cinnamon sugar coating wasn't applied as thoroughly.

Why are my ginger cookies not cracking? ›

When the sugar and butter are whipped well, the butter is aerated, which encourages the cookies to crack as they bake. The baking soda that was used may have been a bit stale. Baking soda helps the ginger molasses cookies rise. If you worked with stale baking soda, your cookies may not crack like you expected them to.

Why didn t my molasses cookies crackle? ›

Why don't my molasses cookies crack? Molasses cookie dough won't have those signature cracks on top if the dough is too wet. The cracks happen when the surface of the dough dries up. Rolling in sugar really helps this because the sugar binds the moisture and dries out the dough.

Can you fix crunchy cookies? ›

Another way to soften cookies is by placing the cookies in an airtight container with a damp paper towel. The paper towel will release moisture and help to soften the cookies without making them too soft or mushy. Another way is to place the cookies in a plastic bag with a slice of apple or a damp tea towel.


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