Chewy Chocolate Sugar Cookies that are quick and easy to make. There’s no chilling the dough, so they’re ready to roll and bake in minutes. And they won’t spread when baked – making them perfect for decorating. A holiday favourite in my house!
Easy cut-out Chocolate Sugar Cookies ❤️
These gorgeous soft and chewy cocoa cookies are surprisingly easy to make. There’s no chilling the dough, so they’re ready to roll in just minutes.
The best part? These cut-out Chocolate Sugar Cookies hold their shape and don’t spread when baked in the oven.
You can cut them into any size and shape you like, making them perfect for Christmas or special occasions like birthdays or baby showers.
why you will love this recipe
- They’re quick and easy to make
- No weird or hard-to-find ingredients
- There’s no need to chill the dough
- The cookies won’t spread when baked – perfect for decorating!
I love cut-out cookies, especially at this time of year 🎄 It doesn’t matter whether it’s Gingerbread or Sugar Cookies, there’s something so creative and therapeutic about rolling, cutting and decorating your own cookies.
Last year, I created my recipe for Classic Sugar Cookies and discovered a little secret. Using cold butter means you can roll and bake cut-out cookies straight away – with no spreading.
What a game-changer to not have to faff around with chill times!
So I couldn’t wait to make a chocolate version this year. Swapping a little flour for cocoa powder, and adding a touch more sugar to balance the flavours resulted in a perfectly soft and chewy Chocolate Sugar Cookie. You’ll love these!
what you will need
You only need a handful of easy-to-find ingredients to make these Chocolate Sugar Cookies. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Butter: Make sure your butter is cold – straight from the fridge.
- Caster sugar: Or granulated sugar.
- Vanilla extract
- Plain flour: Or all purpose flour.
- Cocoa powder: Use a natural 100% unsweetened cocoa powder.
- Baking powder
- Spices: Totally optional, but feel free to add some festive spices like cinnamon and ginger. I’ve given some suggestions in the recipe notes below.
how to make them
This Chocolate Sugar Cookie dough comes together in minutes. Since we are using cold butter, I find it easier to use a stand mixer. Here’s how to make it.
- Mix together butter, sugar and vanilla on medium speed until combined. Add egg and mix briefly.
- Add flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt and spices (if using). Mix on low speed just until a soft chocolate cookie dough forms.
- Roll out dough to 1/4 inch thick. Cut out shapes and bake cookies for 11-12 minutes.
why don’t I need to chill the dough?
Using cold butter is the secret to making cut-out cookies that don’t spread and don’t need chilling. It means this cookie dough is ready to roll and bake straight away.
Just make sure you don’t over-mix your butter and sugar. The more you mix, the warmer your butter becomes, which can cause your cookies to spread. If this happens, don’t worry, chilling the dough in the fridge before baking will work wonders.
If you don’t have a stand mixer or you simply prefer to work with room temperature butter, the same applies. The cookies will still work but you will need to chill the dough for at least an hour before baking. In my opinion, cold butter is the way to go.
chewy or crispy?
This Chocolate Sugar Cookie recipe is designed to make soft and chewy cookies. However, if you prefer a crispier cookie, roll your dough out thinner (1/8 inch thick instead of 1/4 inch) and bake your cookies for a few minutes longer. You’ll still get a perfect Chocolate Sugar Cookie to decorate, but it’ll have more of a crunch.
icing ideas for cut-out cookies
To keep it easy, I use melted white chocolate and M&M’s to decorate my Christmas cookies, just like I did for my Gingerbread Men.
But you can absolutely decorate these cookies using royal icing or my simple glaze icing.
frequently asked questions
Yes! These Chocolate Sugar Cookies will keep well in an airtight container for up to 5 days or you can freeze them for up to 3 months.
Absolutely. You can make the cookie dough ahead of time and freeze it. Simply wrap it in plastic wrap and store it in an airtight container in the freezer. When you are ready to roll, bring it back to room temperature and away you go.
This recipe is designed to make Chocolate Sugar Cookies that don’t spread. However, if you over-mix your butter and/or over-work your dough, the butter will become too warm. This simply means you may need to chill your dough before baking. If you’re worried, simply bake one tester cookie first. If it spreads, chill the remaining cut-out shapes in the fridge for 1 hour and then try again.
more Christmas cookies
Soft and chewy cut-out Chocolate Sugar Cookies that don’t require any chilling.
Chocolate sugar cookies
- 170 grams (3/4 cup or 1.5 sticks) unsalted butter, cold, roughly chopped
- 165 grams (3/4 cup + 1 tablespoon) caster sugar or granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 large egg, cold
- 280 grams (2 cups) plain flour or all purpose flour
- 40 grams (1/2 cup) cocoa powder, sifted
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- White chocolate, melted
- Mini red and green M&M’s
- Chocolate sugar cookies
Preheat the oven to 170 C (340 F) standard / 150 C (300 F) fan-forced. Line two large baking trays or cookie sheets with baking paper.
- Add butter, sugar and vanilla to a large mixing bowl. Turn mixer onto low speed and start to beat butter and sugar.
- Turn mixer up to medium speed and beat just until your butter and sugar is combined and smooth. There shouldn’t be any lumps of butter.
- Add cold egg. Mix briefly on low speed just to break up the egg yolk. Then add flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt.
- Continue to mix on low speed until a soft, but thick cookie dough forms. It may seem dry and crumbly at first, but just keep mixing and it’ll slowly come together. Shape cookie dough into a large round disc using your hands.
- Place a large sheet of baking or parchment paper on your bench. Place your cookie dough on top. Then, place another sheet of baking or parchment paper on top of the cookie dough. Roll out the dough until it’s 1/4 inch thick (or your desired thickness).
- Use cookie cutters to cut out cookies and carefully transfer them to your prepared trays. You can re-roll the excess dough once and cut out more cookies* (see notes below on re-rolling).
- Bake cookies for 11-12 minutes. Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.
- To decorate
Transfer melted white chocolate to a piping bag fitted with a very small round tip. Drizzle over cooled cookies and stick on M&M candy. Leave cookies at room temperature for 1 hour to set.
Cold butter: Using cold butter is the secret to making cut-out cookies that don’t spread and don’t need chilling. Just make sure you don’t overmix your butter and sugar. If you over-mix, your butter become will become warm, causing your cookies to spread. If this happens, don’t worry, simply chill the cookie dough for 1 hour before baking.
Cocoa powder: Use a natural 100% cocoa powder (unsweetened).
Spices: You can make this recipe as is for a regular Chocolate Sugar Cookie, or switch it up and add some festive spices. I love adding 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon of ginger. Add spices at the same time as the flour.
Weigh your flour using a baking scale: This recipe relies on the careful ratio of butter and flour. Using cup measurements can result in adding too much flour, which will make your dough dry and crumbly and hard to roll. Using a baking scale will give you just the right amount of flour every time.
Rolling your cookie dough: Your hands are warm so the more you touch your dough, the warmer the butter will become. You can re-roll the leftover dough once but any more than that, I recommend chilling the cookies for 30 minutes before baking just to prevent any spreading.
Worried about spreading? Bake one tester cookie and see how it goes. If you follow the steps above it should hold its shape, but if it does spread, don’t worry. Once you cut out your cookies, you can pop them in the fridge for 30 minutes before baking and try again.