There’s something magical about baking Chocolate Crinkles. In the oven, smooth rounds of sugar-topped cookie dough puff and crack, leaving behind beautifully dappled black-and-white cookies with the tempting aroma of warm chocolate.

To say it’s a disappointment if you end up with lackluster, uncrinkled cookies is an understatement. It can feel like a tragedy if it's an important baking season and your cookies turn out sad and monotone.

Uncrinkled crinkles? No more! Learn how to make quintessential Chocolate Crinkles that turn out perfectly every time.

Soon you'll be able to make Chocolate Crinkles that reliably crack and show off their fudgy interiors. They'll leave everyone who tastes them with a ring of confectioners’ sugar around their smile.

A baking sheet full of freshly baked Chocolate Crinkles fresh from the oven

Let’s start with what you’ll need to bake these classic chocolate cookies.

How to make Chocolate Crinkles

The first step in making Chocolate Crinkles requires melting chocolate. This forms the rich foundation of the cookies to come, so choose high-quality chocolate. (If it’s chocolate you like to eat, it’s suitable for these cookies.)

Place these ingredients in a small saucepan or microwave-safe bowl:

Heat the butter and chocolate over medium heat or microwave it until the butter melts. Remove from the heat and stir gently until all the chocolate melts and the mixture is silky smooth.

A baker mixing together melted chocolate and butter in a bowl with a spatula
Tip: Some chocolate chips have a coating that makes them resistant to melting. This is helpful when baking chocolate chip cookies, but it’s a pain when trying to melt chips. Chopping the chips will help them melt more readily, or you can try using chocolate wafers. (They melt like a charm!)

Next up: eggs, sugar, vanilla, espresso powder

In a medium-sized mixing bowl, stir together the following:

Ingredients to make chocolate crinkles, including King Arthur Flour, eggs, sugar, vanilla, and espresso powder
Even if you’re not a coffee lover, try adding espresso powder to your Chocolate Crinkles. It enhances the chocolate flavor, making the cookies taste richer and more flavorful.

Beat the eggs, sugar, vanilla, and espresso powder together until combined.

Time for chocolate

Add the slightly cooled chocolate and butter mixture to the mixing bowl with the eggs and sugar.

A mixing bowl with melted chocolate and butter that's partially mixed with beaten eggs and sugar

Mix it all together, scraping down the sides of the bowl periodically. Stir until everything is combined.

Add these dry ingredients to the chocolate mixture:

A baker mixing the dry ingredients into melted chocolate and butter to make Chocolate Crinkles

Once the dry ingredients are added, the cookie dough will be the consistency of thick cake batter rather than traditional stiffer cookie dough.

A baker mixing together Chocolate Crinkle dough showing it looks like thick cake batter

Resist the urge to add extra flour — it’s not necessary and will make your cookies dry and dense. Trust the recipe here: it's normal for Chocolate Crinkles and produces their delicate texture.

Chill the cookie dough for at least 2 to 3 hours, or overnight.

Scoop and coat with sugar

Here’s Chocolate Crinkles' first magic act: once the mixture is removed from the refrigerator, it will have been transformed into a beautiful, scoopable cookie dough.

A baker scooping Chocolate Crinkle cookie dough from a mixing bowl using a cookie scoop

When you’re ready to bake, preheat the oven to 325°F. Lightly grease a couple of baking sheets or line them with parchment paper.

Place about 1 cup (113g) of confectioners’ sugar in a small bowl. (Since this sugar will be baked with the cookie dough, it’s best to use traditional confectioners’ sugar rather than Snow White Non-Melting Topping Sugar, which performs best as a garnish.)

Use a teaspoon-sized cookie scoop or a spoon to scoop out a heaping teaspoon of dough. For perfectly round crinkles, roll it into a ball using your palms. Each ball of cookie dough should be about 1 1/4” in diameter.

Gently drop the dough balls into the confectioners’ sugar as you scoop. Once there are about five or six in the bowl, toss them in the confectioners’ sugar to coat evenly.

A baker holding a small bowl of confectioners' sugar with five balls of Chocolate Crinkle dough, ready to be tossed together
If you try to coat too many dough balls at a time, they’ll simply stick together.

Ready to bake

Place the sugar-coated dough balls on the prepared baking sheets, leaving about 1” to 1 1/2” between them. They’ll spread just slightly as they bake, and also puff up a bit.

A batch of Chooclate Crinkles on a baking sheet, ready to be baked

Bake the cookies for 10 to 12 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through if your oven has hot spots. (Not sure how to tell? Read our blog post, Identifying oven hot spots, to find out.)

As the cookies bake, peek through the oven window to watch them puff and take on their uniquely-crinkled appearance.

Remove the cookies from the oven and allow them to cool on a rack. If you remove the cookies from the pan and transfer them to a rack immediately, they’ll end up softer than if you just let them cool on the pan. (Crunchy cookie lovers, let them cool completely on the pan.)

A batch of Chocolate Crinkles on a cooling rack

Chocolate Crinkles can be stored at room temperature for several days, though it’s unlikely they’ll last that long. These cookies tend to disappear — perhaps their final magic trick.

Why didn’t my crinkles crinkle?

Treat this recipe like a treasure map and follow it closely. It’ll lead you to rich Chocolate Crinkles in the end! However, if something goes awry and your crinkles don’t have quite the appearance you’re looking for, here’s what may have gone wrong (and how to fix it):

  1. Too much flour: Try measuring your flour using a scale or the “fluff, sprinkle, sweep method.” An accurate amount of flour ensures your dough has the right amount of structure.
  2. Dough wasn't chilled enough: Good things come with time. If the cookie dough isn’t properly chilled, it’ll spread too quickly in the hot oven and you'll lose your crinkles.
  3. Oven isn’t at the right temperature: Whether too hot or too cold, an oven that varies from the recommended 325°F will change the final result. Use an oven thermometer to double check that your oven is running true to temperature.
  4. Expired leaveners: Some of the cracks are a result of the dough puffing up slightly. If your baking powder is expired, it won’t have the same effect. Check out this blog post: how to test baking powder for freshness.
  5. The dough was handled too much: Once the dough is coated in sugar, move it to the baking sheet without fussing. Touching the dough balls will melt the sugar and make it disappear. If you want to flatten the cookies to encourage spreading, scoop the dough and then flatten the balls into discs using the palms of your hands. Then toss the discs in the confectioners' sugar and move them straight to the baking sheet to avoid handling them further.

A close-up shot of a Chocolate Crinkle on a marble surface showing the cracks in the sugar coating

Play with flavors

Once you’ve mastered the classic crinkle, kick things up a notch and start playing with alternative flavors.

For a mocha crinkle, increase the espresso powder to 1 tablespoon (or more, if you’re a coffee die-hard!).

For a hint of peppermint, substitute 1/4 teaspoon peppermint oil for the vanilla.

The creative combinations don’t need to stop here — use your imagination and what you have on hand to jazz up the flavors. Tuck a piece of salted caramel inside each ball of dough, or add mini chocolate chips to the dough.

A baker breaking open a Chocolate Crinkle to reveal caramel inside

If you have flavor-infused sugar on hand, substitute it in place of the granulated sugar in the recipe. Orange-infused sugar in a chocolate crinkle could be the best thing you’ve ever tasted!

Gluten-free chocolate crinkles

No gluten? No problem. These cookies will be even more tender when made with our Gluten-Free Measure for Measure Flour in place of the all-purpose flour in the recipe.

No other ingredient changes need to be made. Just remember to use certified gluten-free ingredients if necessary.

Bake the cookies for about 11 to 13 minutes; gluten-free baked goods often need a few more minutes in the oven to bake thoroughly.

A few Gluten-Free Chocolate Crinkles on a cooling rack next to a bag of King Arthur Gluten-Free Measure for Measure Flour

Crinkly crinkles every time

No more holding your breath and wondering if you’ll end up with sad, flat cookies or impressive crackled crinkles. With this recipe, you’ll end up with those classic caverns exposing deep-chocolate interiors every time. 

A stack of Chocolate Crinkles with the top cookie broken open to reveal the fudgy interior

Are there other recipes that make you cross your fingers and hope for the best? We can help you make them bulletproof. Let us know what you’re baking in the comments, below. (For time-sensitive baking “emergencies” give our Baker’s Hotline a call at (855) 371-2253 to speak to one of our friendly and experienced bakers.)

Thanks to Anne Mientka for taking the photographs for this post.

A platter of chocolate crinkles next to a cup of milk on a table

Kye Ameden
The Author

About Kye Ameden

Kye Ameden grew up in Fairlee, Vermont and has always had a love of food, farms, and family. After graduating from St. Lawrence University, she became an employee-owner at King Arthur and is a proud member of the Digital Marketing Team.

View all posts by Kye Ameden