These Chocolate Sugar Cookies are a delicious spin on a classic cookie. A regular sugar cookie is great, but these chocolate ones are something special! You’ll love making and eating these delicious chocolate sugar cookie cutouts.
Chocolate Sugar Cookies Recipe
We all know and love the classic sugar cookie recipe: A sweet cookie dough is rolled out then cut into seasonal shapes that are then baked and frosted with sweet royal icing.
But these cookies are missing one thing: Chocolate.
Sure, you could put chocolate icing on them, but why not start with a chocolate cookie dough this time?
These Chocolate Sugar Cookies are a super fun twist on the classic cutout sugar cookie. If you’re looking to mix things up for your next get-together, you will love making these fun and delicious chocolate cookies.
Why I love this recipe:
We love sugar cookies, but we also love chocolate.
This chocolate sugar cookie recipe is the perfect blend of both, and you’re going to love them because…
- Chocolate brings a welcome flavor mix-up to traditional sugar cookies.
- These cookies are so fun to make with kids. They will love cutting out the shapes and decorating them with icing.
- They are great for all kinds of gatherings: Christmas, Valentine’s Day, birthdays and more. Just change out the cookie cutter shapes!
It took me a while to perfect this recipe, but I’m thrilled to share it with you today because I think this is the PERFECT chocolate sugar cookie.
More cookie recipes to try: Peanut Butter Shortbread Cookies with Raspberry-Orange Glaze | Chocolate Covered Ritz Cracker Cookies | No Bake Avalanche Cookies | Pumpkin Drop Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting
Let’s talk about The Sweetest Season and Cookies for Kids Cancer!
The Sweetest Season is my annual holiday cookie week.
In 2011, I decided to share my favorite Christmas cookies… then invited other bloggers to join me. The celebration grew, we changed the name to make it more inclusive, my friend Susannah stepped up to help and the rest is history.
And now, every year, food bloggers get together to share new holiday cookie recipes.
This year, we’re raising money in support of Cookies for Kids’ Cancer, a recognized 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to funding research for new, innovative and less-toxic treatments for childhood cancer.
Since 2008, Cookies for Kids’ Cancer has granted nearly $18 million to pediatric cancer research in the form of 100+ research grants to leading pediatric cancer centers. More than 35 treatments available to kids battling cancer today were stemmed from these grants.
We’d love for you to help us raise money for this cause! You can donate through our fundraising page.
Currently, Cookies for Kids’ Cancer is in a matching window with their friends at OXO. This means OXO will match every dollar up to $100,000 raised through the end of 2023. So whatever money we raise will automatically double!
What you need to make this recipe:
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- Sheet pans
- Parchment paper or nonstick baking mats
- Kitchen scale
- Large bowl
- Hand mixer or stand mixer
- Plastic wrap
- Wax paper
- Rolling pin
- Cookie cutters in your shape of choice (I used fluted round cookie cutters)
- Wire rack
- Cookie tins or other airtight containers for storage
- Icing bags and tips, for frosting
Let’s talk ingredients!
In addition to the tools above, you’re going to need some ingredients to make this recipe, too! Chances are, you might already have some of them in your fridge or pantry. Scroll down to the recipe card for the full measurements and instructions.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- All-purpose flour — we like to use unbleached AP flour in our household, but the regular kind works, too. I have not tried this with a gluten free flour blend.
- Unsweetened cocoa powder — this is not the same as hot cocoa mix, which has added sugar and milk powder. What you are looking for is 100% cocoa powder. Hershey’s brand is a reliable staple in my kitchen. You do not need Dutch-processed cocoa powder, which is processed differently than natural cocoa powder.
- Kosher salt — salt is key in baking. Medium grain kosher salt (like Diamond Crystal) is my favorite. You can use a similarly sized sea salt. Table salt is saltier than kosher salt. If you use salted butter, skip the salt.
- Baking powder — make sure this leavener is fresh!
- Unsalted butter — be sure to get the butter out ahead of time to soften, or follow this tutorial on softening butter. Cold butter will not cream as easily or give us the best results.
- Granulated sugar — this is also referred to as white sugar. Don’t use brown sugar in this recipe as it behaves differently when baked.
- Espresso powder — instant espresso powder adds a deeper mocha flavor to these cookies.
- Large egg — be sure to get the egg out about an hour ahead of time and make sure it is at room temperature before baking.
- Vanilla extract — always use a high quality vanilla extract in your baking recipes for the most flavorful results.
I have lots of tips for choosing the best ingredients for cookies here in my Cookies 101 guide.
Customizations and substitutions
These chocolate sugar cookies are so great by themselves! You don’t have to decorate them at all. But here are a few ways you could mix things up:
- Use different shaped cookie cutters. I used a scalloped edge circle here, which works well for cookies anytime. At the holidays, try them with trees, stars and gingerbread men shapes. For Valentine’s Day, you could do heart shapes. The sky (or your cookie cutter collection) is the limit.
- Decorate them. They are super tasty when frosted. You can use this easy sugar cookie icing in different colors and decorate them with sprinkles for a fun twist on a holiday classic.
- Cover them in sugar. Sprinkle on thick sanding sugar on the cookie shapes before baking.
- Finish them with a sprinkling of powdered sugar for a beautiful black-and-white result.
- Make ice cream sandwiches. These would be so good filled with ice cream. Go with vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, mint chip — whatever goes with chocolate will be good here! I have a full ice cream cookie sandwich tutorial for you.
- Make homemade Oreos. Make homemade chocolate cookie sandwiches with homemade Oreo cream in the middle.
How to make Chocolate Sugar Cookies
Ready to make chocolate sugar cookies? Let’s get started:
Prep! Start by lining two sheet pans with parchment paper or nonstick baking mats. Set them aside.
Combine the dry ingredients. Measure the flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking powder into a medium bowl. Whisk together until combined, then set aside.
Cream together the wet ingredients. In another bowl, cream butter, sugar and espresso powder with a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
Add the egg and vanilla extract to the mixture, beating until fluffy and fragrant, about 1-2 minutes.
Be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl to make sure everything is incorporated.
Pour the flour mixture into the butter mixture. Mix until combined and a dough forms.
The dough will be relatively wet. If it does not come together while using the hand mixer, use a rubber spatula to press it into a round, as shown above. It should clump together.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and chill in the fridge for 30-45 minutes.
Once the dough has chilled, preheat the oven to 350°F while you roll out the dough.
Transfer the chilled cookie dough onto a long sheet of wax paper or parchment paper OR a clean smooth surface that has been lightly floured. Press another sheet of wax paper on top of it.
The thicker you roll them, the fluffier these cookies are. They can crisp up if you’re not careful (or if you roll them too thin), so keep an eye on them.
Roll the cookie dough out until it’s a quarter-inch (¼”) thick. Cut out with a cookie cutter and gently transfer to the prepared baking sheet.
Bake for 7-8 minutes, or until they have crisp edges and no longer look raw in the middle.
Keep an eye on them. Overbaking them will make them crispy, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but if you want a fluffier cookie, the overbaked ones will not be.
Transfer the cookies on a wire rack to cool.
Decorate or enjoy once done!
Check out my all-butter tea cake cookies for decorating tips.
How to store and freeze
Once you have baked cookies, store them in an food-safe, airtight container and enjoy within a week.
You can also roll them out and cut out shapes, then freeze them on a tray and bake them from frozen. The texture will be a little different because of the freeze, but they’ll still be tasty.
You can also freeze baked cookies and thaw them later for a party.
Erin’s Easy Entertaining Tips
- Add these to a holiday cookie tray to share with friends, neighbors and teachers.
- Make these for a cookie swap party or any kind of party! Chocolate is always welcome.
- Add them to dessert trays, party menus or even a hot chocolate board.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, follow the recipe below for exact amounts, but sugar cookies can be flavored with cocoa powder to make a delicious dough that you can roll out, cut into shapes, bake and decorate with icing and sprinkles.
Yes, chocolate sugar cookie dough can often be frozen for later use. Portion the dough and wrap tightly in plastic wrap or airtight containers, and store in the freezer. When ready to bake, allow the dough to thaw in the refrigerator before proceeding with the recipe.
Quick tips and tricks to make easy Chocolate Sugar Cookies
- The thickness of the cookie dough makes a difference. If tyou roll the dough out thicker (1/4″ thick), you’ll have soft chocolate sugar cookies. If you roll them out too thin, they can crisp up. Also, they burn easily if you’re not careful, so keep an eye on them in the oven.
- If you are making different shape cutouts, bake similar size cookies at the same time. For example, don’t put large trees on the tray at the same time as small stars, as the smaller cookies will be done faster. Go for similar sizes to keep the cookies the proper texture.
- Use a kitchen scale for better accuracy. This will help your cookies turn out perfectly every time because too much flour or other ingredients can affect the texture and taste.
More chocolate cookie recipes
- Chocolate Marshmallow Cookies
- Peppermint Dark Chocolate Cookies
- Chocolate Crinkle Cookies
- Chocolate Almond Butter Cookies
- Hot Cocoa Cookies
Chocolate Sugar Cookies
- 2 cups all-purpose flour 240g
- 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder 34g
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt 3g
- ½ teaspoon baking powder 2g
- ½ cup unsalted butter softened (1 stick)
- 1 ½ cups granulated sugar 300g
- 1 teaspoon espresso powder 2g
- 1 large egg at room temperature (~50g)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 6g
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.
- Line two sheet pans with parchment paper or nonstick baking mats. Set aside.
- Measure the flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking powder into a large bowl. Whisk together until combined, then set aside.
- In another bowl, cream together the sugar, butter and espresso powder using a hand mixer or a stand mixer until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
- Add the egg and vanilla to the mixture, beating until fluffy and fragrant, about 1-2 minutes.
- Pour the flour mixture into the butter mixture, mixing until combined.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and chill for 30-45 minutes.
- Once the cookies have cooled, preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Transfer the chilled cookie dough onto a long sheet of wax paper (or parchment paper or a clean smooth surface that has been lightly floured.) Press another sheet of wax paper on top of it.
- Roll the cookie dough out until ¼” thick. Cut out with a cookie cutter and transfer gently onto the prepared baking sheet.
- Bake for 7-8 minutes, or until set and firm. (Keep an eye on them. Overbaking them will make them crispy, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but if you want a fluffier cookie, the overbaked ones will not be.)
- Set the cookies on a wire rack to cool, then enjoy.
Erin Parker is a Southern gal living in Texas with her husband and two daughters. She started The Speckled Palate to share what she was cooking as a newlywed… and over the years, it’s evolved to capture her love for hosting. Specifically, the EASIEST, lowest key entertaining because everyone deserves to see their people and connect over good food. Learn more about her…