Gluten Free Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

Gluten Free Chocolate Crinkle Cookies
Classic gluten free chocolate crinkle cookies are positively fudgy inside, almost crisp outside. They're one of the very best holiday cookies ever invented.

Classic gluten free chocolate crinkle cookies are positively fudgy inside, almost crisp outside. They’re one of the very best holiday cookies ever invented.

Classic gluten free chocolate crinkle cookies are positively fudgy inside, almost crisp outside. They're one of the very best holiday cookies ever invented.

Like almost everyone else, I really only make chocolate crinkle cookies around the holidays. But why oh why do I save this perfect cookie for just once a year?

You know how M&Ms have a candy shell, and smooth chocolate insides? Well chocolate crinkle cookies are the M&Ms of the cookie world. Powdered sugar forms a kind candy shell on the outside, and the inside is like the most perfect brownie you’ve ever had.

Classic gluten free chocolate crinkle cookies are positively fudgy inside, almost crisp outside. They're one of the very best holiday cookies ever invented.

I first posted a recipe for gluten free chocolate crinkle cookies in 2013. Over the years, I’ve revised the recipe a few times to make it simpler. The dough is easier than ever to handle, and there are fewer ingredients now.

Crinkle cookies are named for the crinkled, crackled appearance they take on as they bake. The soft white sugar on the outside splinters around the cracks that appear on the face of the cookie.

I guess you could call them crackle cookies, but for some reason that sounds positively ridiculous to me. Like “crinkle” is so serious and important.

Classic gluten free chocolate crinkle cookies are positively fudgy inside, almost crisp outside. They're one of the very best holiday cookies ever invented.

Oh, hey, by the way, I’ve learned the secret to making crinkle cookies that always crinkle and crackle on top! You simply must coat the cookies twice in confectioners’ sugar (also called powdered sugar or icing sugar).

Go through all the cookies, coating them in sugar as you go. Then return to the very first cookie, and coat once more, very generously, with sugar. There has to be a thick enough layer of sugar to form a crust in the oven. Some might call it a candy shell.

Let’s resolve to make these cookies all the year long. [Oh, and come February, we’re making my gluten free red velvet crinkle cookies, for sure.]

Like this recipe?

Prep time: Cook time: Yield: 24 cookies


4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped

6 tablespoons (84 g) unsalted butter, chopped

1 1/2 cups (210 g) all-purpose gluten-free flour

3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)

5 tablespoons (25 g) unsweetened cocoa powder (natural or Dutch-processed)

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/8 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar

2 eggs (100 g, weighed out of shell) at room temperature, beaten

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1 cup (115 g) confectioners’ sugar


  • Preheat your oven to 325°F. Line rimmed baking sheets with unbleached parchment paper and set them aside.

  • In a medium-size bowl, place the chopped chocolate and butter. Place the bowl over a pot with about an inch of simmering water, making sure that the water doesn’t boil and the bowl doesn’t touch the water. Stir occasionally until the chocolate and butter are melted and smooth. Remove the bowl from the heat, and set aside to cool briefly.

  • In a large bowl, place the flour, xanthan gum, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt and granulated sugar, and whisk to combine well. Add the melted butter and chocolate mixture, and mix to combine. Add the beaten eggs and vanilla, and mix to combine. The dough will be thick but soft.

  • With a spring-loaded ice cream scoop or two spoons, drop the dough about 2 inches apart in about 24 pieces on the prepared baking sheet (each piece of dough should be about 2 tablespoons’ worth of dough). Roll each piece of dough into a ball between slightly wet palms, coat the dough generously with the confectioner’s sugar, and press the dough into a disk about 1/2-inch thick. Repeat with every piece of dough. Press each piece of cookie dough once more in the confectioners’ sugar, making sure to cover generously in the sugar. Return each piece to its place on the baking sheet.

  • Place the baking sheets in the preheated oven, one at a time, and bake for 12 minutes or until just set in the center. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for at least 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

  • Originally posted on the blog in 2013. Recipe ingredients and method altered for ease and texture. All photos and text new. 


Comments are closed.

  • Minna Nilsson
    December 25, 2016 at 8:30 AM

    Hi! Just tried these and the dough was very runny so I added some more flour and it was still very runny. I think I ended up adding 1,5 dl (~ 75-100g) and I didn’t dare to add anymore. I baked them and well, they are not really small and cute, they have ended up floating out in the oven and are about 10cm in diameter.
    What went wrong?

  • kathy
    December 23, 2016 at 1:02 PM

    Tried again, much better, allowed chocolate to cool more, so yummy! fantastic!

  • Kathy
    December 21, 2016 at 12:34 PM

    First, thank you for great recipes, amazing lemon aide and cut out cookies.
    I made these and had trouble, i wonder if my melted chocolate was too hot and cooked the egg. The dough came out glossy but more in pieces, not smooth.
    I may try again, they look good.
    Thank you

  • Sue Stentz
    December 15, 2016 at 7:46 PM

    Best way to store them, please? They are delicious!

  • Carolyn
    December 4, 2016 at 4:34 PM

    ever use carob in place of chocolate

  • Kathi
    December 4, 2016 at 12:11 PM

    Looks yummy! How long do you chill the dough? That step isn’t mentioned, but you say to scoop the chilled dough…. Thanx for all your great recipes!

    • December 4, 2016 at 12:44 PM

      Good catch, Kathi! That was a vestige of the recipe from before I revised it. I removed that reference. No need to chill this dough!

  • youngbaker2002
    November 30, 2016 at 4:06 PM

    Hi Nicole, just wondering if you’ve ever tried freezing this dough? So you can bake them up days before Christmas so that they’er fresh? Or would mixing up the dough a few days before you need it and just refrigerating it work better?

    • December 1, 2016 at 6:27 PM

      Hi, Mena, I’ve never tried freezing the dough, no, but I’m sure it would be fine. Just let it defrost completely before baking it. You don’t want it cold when it goes in the oven.

  • Meagan
    November 30, 2016 at 1:25 PM

    Wondering how well these freeze? And your other Christmas cookies? Every year I wait to bake all of our GF cookies until right before Christmas so they’re fresh… but it makes for a hectic couple of days! Would love to start now if I can.

    • December 1, 2016 at 6:28 PM

      Definitely you can freeze these. No reason to treat gluten free cookies any differently than you would conventional cookies, provided you use my recipes, Meagan. :)

  • Mare Masterson
    November 30, 2016 at 10:51 AM

    Yummy! On another note, can your quick breads be baked and then frozen? My firm does an annual bake sale to benefit Casa de los Niños which is a place that focuses on child abuse prevention and intervention. I want to do cranberry, lemon poppy seed, and cinnamon swirl quick breads to sell at the bake sale.

    • December 1, 2016 at 6:28 PM

      Definitely, Mare! Great choices. :)

  • […] Chocolate crinkle cookies. […]

  • Elizabeth Owen
    September 10, 2013 at 8:26 PM

    Hi Nicole,
    Just wondering if this recipe is the same as crinkle cookies from a while back? The images look different than the recipe I pinned last year. Either way I can’t wait to make them as gifts again for Christmas!

    Thanks :)


    • September 11, 2013 at 8:32 AM

      Hi, Liz! They are very similar to that recipe. I updated the recipe a bit, simplified the process and changed the baking time and temp a bit. And—posted better photos! :)
      xoxo Nicole

  • Naomi Miller
    September 10, 2013 at 5:10 PM

    Just a tip, by first rolling the cookie balls in granulated sugar and THEN rolling them in the powdered sugar, the confectioners sugar won’t melt off and instead will sit on top of the dough nicely and you won’t be left with naked spots.

    • September 10, 2013 at 5:45 PM

      Thanks, Naomi. I like the naked spots, though! That’s what gives it the “crackled” appearance.

      • Naomi Miller
        September 12, 2013 at 9:48 PM

        No no no, they still crackle, but the raided parts between the cracks maintain their white color that way

        • Mark Salvacion Veloso
          September 16, 2013 at 10:45 PM

          Wow! Thanks for the tip naomi! Ive been looking for other ways to make the crinkles really white. My confectioner melts even before i finish the whole batch of cookies. I thought maybe because i lived in a tropical country. I will surely try this one :D

  • Melanie Reardon
    September 10, 2013 at 3:49 PM

    Nicole, can these be made with regular cocoa powder? I have heard regular and Dutch processed cocoa react differently in recipes. My daughter was diagnosed just after last Christmas & chocolate crinkles was one of the family staples at Christmas. I can’t wait to try this GF version!

    • September 11, 2013 at 8:34 AM

      Hi, Melanie,
      Natural cocoa powder, like the most common Hershey’s cocoa powder, is acidic. Dutch-processed cocoa powder is processed to make it more alkaline, and it is typically darker and richer (with different chemistry). You could probably substitute natural cocoa powder if you also add some baking soda (but you’ll have to experiment). If you don’t want to pick up Dutch-processed cocoa powder, you can try using Hershey’s Special Dark cocoa powder, which is a mix of natural and Dutch-processed to see if that work!
      xoxo Nicole

  • Mare Masterson
    September 10, 2013 at 2:10 PM

    I must confess that I have never had the pleasure to have chocolate crinkle cookies in my life. I must rectify that post haste! I, too, share about this blog and the books with all who will listen!

    • September 11, 2013 at 8:35 AM

      Thank you for your support, Mare! Chocolate crinkle cookies are the stuff that nostalgia is made of, as you can see from the other comments! I think you’ll love them. :)
      xoxo Nicole

  • September 10, 2013 at 1:23 PM

    Nicole, thank you for this recipe! Sticky dough has nothing on nostalgia, and these crinkle cookies are near and dear to my heart since they were my mom’s favorite, and mine too. I used to make these with my daughter pre-celiac diagnosis, and now we can make them again, yay! As always, you come through. Thanks!

    • September 11, 2013 at 8:35 AM

      You know I’m a sucker for bringing back pre-diagnosis tradition, Dana!
      xoxo Nicole

  • Michelle
    September 10, 2013 at 10:41 AM

    These were my favorite cookie growing up! The neighborhood grandma always had a stash in her freezer- good thing her actual granddaughter was my best friend! Mmmmmm….. I evangelize about the books and the blog, too. I try to save people from all of the bad gf food out there by sending them to you for the good stuff!

    • September 10, 2013 at 12:57 PM

      Thank you so much, Michelle! You’re the best! My grandmother always had Sara Lee pound cake in the freezer. And gum. ;)
      xoxo Nicole

  • Jennifer Sasse
    September 10, 2013 at 10:18 AM

    These look super yummy! Thanks again for another great recipe.
    Wanted to let you know that I’ve been evangelizing you, your cookbooks, and your blog in my neighborhood. Went to a b-day party on Saturday across the street – they had GF cupcakes! I told the hostess how awesome they were – she said, “I got the recipe from that blog you mentioned to me.” Yes, people – this is the blog for all of your GF needs!

    • September 10, 2013 at 12:58 PM

      Thank you so much, Jennifer! We are making the world a better place for we gluten free! Seriously, thank you so much for everything you do for the books and this site. Your contribution does not go unappreciated!
      xoxo Nicole

      • Jennifer Sasse
        September 10, 2013 at 1:15 PM

        I’m glad to share your great messages and recipes – they have changed our lives!

  • Donia Robinson
    September 10, 2013 at 9:58 AM

    Am I the only one that sees the powdered sugar as continents and the cookie as water? Especially in the one with the text right below it. Or crazy Rorschach tests? I’m trying to lay off chocolate because of my migraines, so I might be a little hallucinogenic looking at these cookies.

    • September 10, 2013 at 10:10 AM

      Now that you mention it, Donia … ;)

      • Donia Robinson
        September 10, 2013 at 10:22 AM

        I sort of march to the beat of my own drummer. And firmly believe sometimes you have to laugh to keep from crying, so laughter is my medicine!

    • Jennifer Sasse
      September 10, 2013 at 10:11 AM

      You are hilarious – they make me think of Christmas.

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