Soft Chocolate Sugar Cookies

This cookie recipe showed up in my life and I had a sudden realization that all this time (we’re talking 35 years here, people), I thought my life my life was fulfilled and complete and happy but really, without even knowing it, I was missing something essential. There was a hole in my soul, if you will. And it could only be filled by Chocolate Sugar Cookies.

Soft Chocolate Sugar Cookies

I have a deep and abiding love for sugar cookies. They are my favorite cookie of all-time. But when you adapt the beloved sugar cookie to be 100% full of chocolate splendor and eliminate the need to refrigerate, roll and cut; well, I’m undone.

I had to give these away approximately 3 seconds after baking them. Don’t worry, I ate more than would be deemed appropriate before unloading them on friends but keeping the other half of the cookies within the four walls of my small home would not be a healthy choice at this point in my life. However, even after pawning them off on unsuspecting friends, I can truly say that now more than ever, my life really is complete. Thank goodness it only took something as simple as cookies (and not, say, a new Ferrari or set of All-Clad pots and pans). These cookies are rich and really unbelievable.

Soft Chocolate Sugar Cookies

One Year Ago: Crepes, Crepes, Crepes
Two Years Ago: Homemade Maple Syrup
Three Years Ago: Homemade Taco Tortilla Bowls

Soft Chocolate Sugar Cookies

Yield: Makes 20-24 cookies

Soft Chocolate Sugar Cookies

Note: It is really important that the butter isn't too hot when you start adding other ingredients to it. If you don't have a thermometer to test temperature, let the butter sit for the full 10 minutes. It should be at warm room temperature but not hot at all. Also, if you are curious about subbing light brown sugar, do so at your own risk. I have only ever used dark brown sugar - it helps the chewy factor be even more, well, chewy.


  • 1/3 cup (2 1/3 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons (8 1/8 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup (2 1/4 ounces) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 14 tablespoons butter
  • 1 3/4 cups packed (12 1/4 ounces) dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Pour the granulated sugar on a plate or shallow dish like a pie plate and set aside. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, cocoa, baking soda and baking powder.
  3. In a large bowl, melt 10 tablespoons of the butter in the microwave. Take care not to overheat; microwave the butter until just melted. Stir in the remaining 4 tablespoons butter until melted. Allow the butter to cool for 5-10 minutes (it should be about 90-95 degrees on an instant read thermometer).
  4. Whisk the brown sugar, vanilla and salt into the melted butter until the mixture is completely smooth. Whisk in the egg and egg yolk until smooth. Stir in the flour mixture until just combined.
  5. Roll the dough into balls, about 2 tablespoons for each cookie. Roll the balls in the granulated sugar and place on lightly greased or lined (with parchment or silpat liners) baking sheets. Using the bottom of a glass, flatten the cookies to about 1/4-inch thick, more or less. Sprinkle the cookies with a bit more granulated sugar (just a pinch per cookie).
  6. Bake the cookies, one sheet at a time, until they have puffed and have cracks running through the top, about 12-14 minutes. Don't overbake or the cookies will be dry. Transfer the cookies to a baking rack to cool completely.

Recipe Source: barely adapted from Cook’s Country

88 Responses to Soft Chocolate Sugar Cookies

  1. Miriam says:

    How many calories in one cookie? I’m trying to determine how many I can afford to eat! They are fabulous!!!

  2. […] Matcha White Chocolate: Green Tea Cookies by Just One Cookbook Rosemary Shortbread: Rosemary Shortbread Cookies by AllRecipes Cranberry White Chocolate: Soft-Baked White Chocolate Chip Cranberry Cookies by Sally’s Baking Addiction Chewy Chocolate: Soft Chocolate Sugar Cookies by Mel’s Kitchen […]

  3. Dorothy says:

    I just made these exactly by the recipe but my dough was not a,stiff consistency to make the dough balls. I had to a good bit more flour. What could I’ve done wrong? I did let my butter cool just like the recipe said.

  4. Angela says:

    Making these as we wait for Hurricane Matthew. These are delicious and an addition to my tried and true recipes! Thanks!

  5. Vita K says:

    Made these today, didn’t have baking powder, but they turned out SOOO good. They were chewy, crunchy, fudgy, just awesome!

  6. Linda H says:

    Should the butter be unsalted or doesn’t it matter?

  7. Kathy says:

    Has anyone used this recipe for cut out cookies??

  8. Kate says:

    Oh. My. Heavens. These are INCREDIBLE. So moist and chocolately, more than just your average chocolate cookie. At first I was a little nervous to use light brown sugar, but then I went for it and the result was heavenly. Yes, about another 1/4 to 1/2 of flour was needed, but that was no problem. I can’t stop raving about these little desserts straight from heaven.

  9. Kathy says:

    Oh my goodness!!! These are absolutely the best!!! I dared to hope that they would turn out this delicious, but they did, and I can’t wait to make them again for Christmas.
    I did have to add about 3/4c flour to the end batter in order to handle the dough, but, it didn’t affect the flavor at all. Plus, I only baked them for ten minutes. These are definitely going in my ‘favorites’ file!! (but I think I’ll call it a secret recipe).

  10. Maddie says:

    Oh my dear gracious, these are absolutely amazing. Thank you for the pure inspiration that you put into my life!

  11. grace says:

    Although mine did not puff as much, they are still delicious and everyone can’t get enough of them! Thank you for the recipe!

  12. Lorraine Shapiro says:

    Had been wanting to make these cookies for a week or so. Finally made them today. They are delicious. I did use light brown sugar. In addition to the sugar coating I added crushed peppermint sticks. They melted into the cookie and it was a bit chewy and a bit crunchy. It was the perfect touch for mine. I made them without the peppermint for my husband. He loved them as well. Mine did not puff and crack much. As per a note I saw in comments I will add less flour next time and there will be a next time 🙂
    Thanks for a great recipe.

  13. Sindy says:

    Have you tried rolling and using a cookie cutter for this dough? I need shaped cookies, but I don’t have time to frost them. Thanks!

  14. Barb says:

    These are amazing. Thank you for a about great recipe that I will make for years to come.

  15. Jeff says:

    Decent recipe, with the exception of your instruction to smash the cookies to 1/4 inch, which is way too thin. The cookies in your picture are at least 1/2 inch thick or more.

  16. MIchelle says:

    Hi Mel, This is now my go-to cookie for making homemade ice cream sandwiches. Mine turn out a little flatter than yours (I also don’t roll them in sugar for this) and when you freeze them they don’t get too hard. I know this recipe and comment thread is from forever ago, but since it’s summer I thought I’d mention it. 🙂

  17. Vega says:

    I only had 1 1/2 cups of brown sugar, so that’s what I used. I baked them and checked at 14 minutes, and saw they hadn’t puffed up or cracked. I assumed they weren’t done, so I let them bake for another three minutes. They still hadn’t puffed or cracked, but I took them out because they were burning at the edges. I tried one and it was dry! Was is just because I didn’t have enough sugar? Or did I do something else wrong? Was it the overbaking?

    • Mel says:

      Hi Vega, reducing the sugar could make a difference. Also make sure you aren’t over flouring the dough. Did you use a scale? If not make sure the flour isn’t packed into the cup.

  18. Melissa Zupi says:

    Hey Mel 🙂 we are celebrating my parents 50th wedding anniversary in June, I am looking for some desserts that I can make ahead of time. We would like to do some kid friendly cookies. How are these cookies 2 days after? Have you ever frozen the dough?? If not these cookies do you have any of your other cookies that would work?


  19. Melissa says:

    I left the comment above and I believe spell check changed my email… I did not notice until I hit post comment.

  20. Melissa says:

    Love these cookies! Delicious. I made them today for my sister’s birthday on Wednesday…. thinking I may need to make another batch! Thanks for the recipe.

  21. Monica V says:

    Hi Mel. As soon as I seen this recipe I ran yo my kitchen to start baking. I love to cook and bake but unfortunately it doesnt always turn out as anticipated. My batch of cookies didnt crackle at all. They were tasty and chewy but no crackle and I need your advice on what you think i may have done incorrectly. Thanx

    • Mel says:

      Monica – hmmm, the lack of crackle might be due to too much flour. Try adding a couple tablespoons less next time; that may help. Good luck!

  22. Stephanie says:

    My family LOVES these cookies. I never get them to crack quite like yours, but they still taste divine. Since I don’t get the “look” I tried them last week with unrefined coconut oil.

    Oh. my. It was divine!!

    You really ought to give it a try!

  23. Marcie says:

    Hi Mel, I tried this recipe last summer and they were delicious! I made them again tonight but was out of butter so I used margarine instead. When it came time to roll them out, the dough was so sticky I couldn’t touch it (I ended up dropping them by spoon and just sprinkling the sugar over the top and they were still good). Do you think the stickiness might have been because of the margarine? Thanks!

    • Mel says:

      Hi Marcie – yes, there is a good chance it was the margarine. I don’t use margarine so I’m not sure how it acts differently in baking but I know it definitely has different properties than butter. Interesting that it made such a difference!

  24. Elise says:

    Just made these for Christmas and they were delicious — the perfect chocolate sugar cookie. Mine did not puff up and crack, and because I waited for them to do so longer than I knew I should, they were very crunchy. Everyone still loved them, though, including me! In fact, I like them better flat and crunchy (excellent for dipping in milk) and they did soften up a little in the tin. I’ll be making these again next year. Thanks, Mel!

  25. Breanne says:

    I am just now pulling the second batch out of the oven and must say I’M IN LOVE!! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe! 😀

    …I also used light brown sugar and had no issues. (That I know of, of course) But since I haven’t done any with the dark, I have nothing to compare them to.

  26. Jennifer says:


    How many cookies can each recipe make? I need to bake 120 cookies for tomorrow.


  27. Tamara says:

    I tried my best to make these right by the recipe. Well….mine turned out flat. :0( I read about other bakers having the same problem…..the reason I followed the recipe exactly. The taste is great!!!

  28. Melissa says:

    I made these cookies today and they were awesome! Thanks for the recipe and I especially love the name of your page. My

  29. Janette says:

    Just took these out of the oven. They are wonderful! Love these cookies!

  30. EB says:

    I made these earlier this week and brought them to work–they were a total hit! I work mostly with guys, and the cookies were gone in a flash! These cookies are perfectly soft and have amazing flavor!

  31. sp4rkl3z says:

    Arleen, when I’m baking vegan or run low on eggs, I use about 1/3c. Applesauce for each egg!

  32. arleen says:

    Thank you Mel & Daddy the Cook! I’m wondering if there is a substitute I could use. I had read that a tablespoon of oil works well, but not sure…
    I’m moving out of my apartment in a couple of days and I don’t want to buy a fresh batch of eggs! >.<

  33. Daddy the Cook says:

    The Cook’s people are genius!

    Arleen, the cookies will be slightly less rich, slightly less flavorful, and a little drier if you skip an egg yolk.

  34. arleen says:

    These look delicious! I want to make them now, but I only have one egg. How will that affect the recipe? Thank you!

    • Mel says:

      Arleen – I have no idea. I’d definitely recommend making the recipe with the full amount of eggs since that can definitely impact how they turn out.

  35. Amanda says:

    How many calories per cookie? Thanks

  36. We LOVE your idea to include chocolate to the classic sugar cookie recipe. Beautiful!

  37. Bernadette says:

    I used light brown sugar and added 2 extra tbsp of flour for altitude. They came out perfect. I did chill the dough between batches and I think that helped them keep their form. Excellent hit with the family!

  38. Natalie S. says:

    I tried these today and WOW, they are fantastic! I loved the deep chocolate flavor and soft, chewy texture. I used Cacao Barry Extra Brute cocoa powder; this is definitely a recipe to use your best cocoa powder. Also, even though my melted butter temperature was 90F, the dough still seemed really soft to me, so I didn’t flatten the dough with a glass, I just baked the balls; they turned out perfectly. Thank you for such a great recipe, this is going into my regular cookie jar rotation.

  39. Jodee says:

    I just made these for the second time. The first attempt was a flop-flat as a pancake! This time I made sure the butter was not so hot and I added more flour and ….perfect! I did cut the cocoa a bit for my taste (I know, I know, can we still be friends??) Thanks for a new favorite cookie recipe!

  40. Sandee says:

    Mel, I’m finally getting around to commenting on some of your recipes that I’ve tried lately. Made these a couple Sundays ago when we all had a hankering for something sweet but I wasn’t wanting to spend much time in the kitchen. The kids scarfed these up, as did my husband’s grandparents to whom we took a stack. In regards to the altitude comments, I didn’t make any changes and didn’t have any trouble (7500 ft).

  41. Amanda says:

    Just made these and they are delicious! I did use light brown sugar and fresh out of the oven they’re wonderful! We’ll see how they do in the next day or so! Thanks for another amazing recipe! 🙂

  42. Julie says:

    I loved these cookies! Perfect for a chocolate fix. My husband ate them every night with milk until they were gone. I had to add more flour, altitude I am sure, and reduce the cooking time. They were soft and yummy! I like them as is, but they would probably be good with a cream cheese cookie frosting too!

  43. I made these this morning. The Cub and M’Lord approve. I used Hershey’s Special Dark cocoa powder and 1/2 tsp espresso powder, which increases the chocolate flavor, and got 46 cookies using a small cookie disher, baked for about 10 to 11 minutes. They spread out just fine without pressing them with a glass. Half of the batch was put in the freezer pretty quickly or they’d all be eaten in a day or so. This recipe will go in my keeper file. Thank you.

  44. […] was reminded of this “tradition” this week when I baked these chocolate sugar cookies. I craved cookies and remembered seeing the recipe on Mel’s blog, and decided to try them […]

  45. Stacie A. says:

    I was sort of disappointed in these cookies. You really talked them up, so I was hoping for an amazing cookie. I am a cookie lover and bake cookies at least once a week (usually chocolate chip, which is so naughty because I can’t keep my hands off of them). Anyway- I made these today and they were just okay to me. I pressed them to 1/4″ thick, but I think that was too thin. So the next batch I did 1/2″ and they turned out much softer, but the flavor was still sort of blah to me. So sad, because I love most all of your recipes!! Don’t worry, I’ll be coming back lots more… just won’t be making these again.

  46. Linda says:

    Here’s a “oneupmanship” for you! Warm two of these cookies in the microwave for 10 seconds, 15 if they’re frozen. Then make a “sandwich” out of them using Nutella. YUM! These are great cookies. My new BFC (best favorite cookie).

  47. Nancy E says:

    The cookies were delicious! but very flat. I have that problem with a lot of baked goods. Would altitude change things because I usually end up adding at least 1/2 cup extra flour to most cookies and brownies I make. The recipe didn’t make as much as I expected but that’s my fault, the dough is awesome!

    • Mel says:

      Hi Nancy – yes, altitude can make a huge difference in baked goods and usually high altitude means baked goods (especially cookies) need a bit more flour.

  48. Becca says:

    I just made these with my daughter and it reminded me of making chocolate crinkle cookies at Christmas time with my mom. So fun, and so delicious! Mine flattened out a little more than yours, but I’m baking at high altitude. I’ll have to work on the flour.

  49. Shannon H says:

    Hello! I made these today and they are wonderful! Thanks for sharing!!

  50. Carla says:

    Made these tonight. After cooking most of them after being flattened I realized they were just too thin for me so I did the last 6 in the oven as balls and they were perfect. I also made 41 based on my scooper. I measured by weight fwiw too. I’m in the south.

  51. Jessica says:

    All right. Mine were huge and flat. Butter too warm, you think? I’m laid up from knee surgery so I directed my 14 year old through the process (what? Because I’m not burning any calories, I shouldn’t be eating them??), but she seemed to be pretty meticulous.

    Still very yummy, of course.

    • Mel says:

      Hi Jessica – I hope you have a speedy recovery! And yes, I think it was probably the butter being too warm…it really shouldn’t be warm/hot or all.

  52. twisterfish says:

    Oh these look amazing! Can’t wait to try them!!!!!!

  53. Bonnie says:

    You are naughty! I could NOT stop eating these – and neither could my family. I made a double batch and in one day they are almost gone! 🙂

  54. Christy says:

    Oh my gosh! I love the idea of these. I would never think of that!

  55. bluebaker says:

    These look amazing. Are they like the ones in your recipe for the chocolate mint ice cream sandwiches?

  56. Michelle says:

    Can’t wait to get these out of the oven…yum!!

  57. Yum, your cookies look and sound delicious!

  58. Mmmm these sound so lovely! Love all that sugar coating 🙂

  59. Karin says:

    Do you have a cookie scooper you would recommend?

  60. June says:

    If using soft butter for 14 tablespoons,
    would 1/2 cup + 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp be easier to measure?

  61. Shannon says:

    Does this make a pretty big cookie? Seems like 2 T. of dough would make a healthy-sized cookie. My husband’s family has made chocolate crackles (similar chocolate cookie rolled in powdered sugar), but I am looking forward to trying this version. I like the sound of “chewy.”

    • Mel says:

      Shannon – I didn’t think they were really, really huge. They don’t flatten much more in the oven after you press them down – they are a thick cookie. You could definitely make them smaller, too.

  62. Teresa R. says:

    I love sugar cookies too, so I’ll be making this chocolate version tonight. I’ve been feeling chocolate deprived since Easter. I keep dreaming about Cadbury eggs and chocolate bunnies.

  63. kelly p says:

    Oooh, All-Clad pots and pans. . . sigh. Seriously, these cookies look amazing, and I am barely holding myself back from running to the kitchen and baking up a batch by reminding myself I made several dozen cookies just yesterday! But these are next, no doubt about it.

  64. Jen T says:

    My Grandma makes these, but rolls them in powdered sugar. We call them chocolate crackle cookies, and they are wonderful! Glad you found them to complete your life 🙂

  65. Stephanie says:

    My MIL makes these for my kids, but they’re called wagon wheels. I’ll hardly bake them because her recipe calls for Crisco. So excited to see a butter version!

  66. Genius. I love sugar cookies. I love chocolate. I can’t wait to combine them with this recipe!!

  67. Cyndi says:

    These look amazing!! Can’t wait to try them. Thanks Mel!!! 🙂

  68. Auntiepatch says:

    I keep telling my doctor it’s not my fault. I have this friend named Mel who…………

  69. Alycia says:

    Yum!! This looks GREAT! I love finding recipes like this that are also Dairy Free, with a simple non-dairy butter substitution! Thank you!!

  70. June says:

    I usually make the brown sugar by using 2 tbsp. blackstrap molasses to 1 cup white granulated sugar, mix thoroughly. Usually makes baked goods moister like chocolate chip cookies, for instance.

    Thank you for sharing this recipe, love chocolate cookies!

  71. Renee says:

    Oh Mel! These look divine. I might have to make them this weekend. I love sugar cookies too! I love a classic sugar cookie and chocolate would be that much better. Thanks!!

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