These chocolate cut out cookies are a delicious variation of traditional sugar cookies made with cocoa powder! These soft and chocolatey cookies hold their shape while baking so you can enjoy decorating them for holidays and special occasions!
Perfect for chocolate lovers, these chocolate cut out sugar cookies are the best combination of these cut out powdered sugar cookies and fudgy brownie cookies. They are soft and light while still being sturdy enough to cut out and decorate!
They are the perfect blend of sweet, buttery cookie meets chocolate sugar cookie and just as good as a holiday cookie as they are with a cup of coffee or tea anytime of the year.
Ice them with buttercream at Christmas or dip them in chocolate for Valentine’s Day, they are great either way and are the perfect way to satisfy chocolate cravings just like these double chocolate peppermint cookies or chocolate chip chunky cookies!
Table of Contents
Ingredients to Make Chocolate Cut Out Cookies
- All-purpose flour: Adds structure to the sugar cookie dough.
- Powdered sugar: Also known as confectioners sugar, this sweetens the cookies and adds to their soft texture.
- Cocoa powder: I used unsweetened dutch processed cocoa for the best fudgy cookie texture. Use a high quality brand like Hershey’s or Ghirardelli.
- Butter: Unsalted butter is best but you can adjust salt accordingly if all you have is salted butter. Remember to bring your butter to room temperature!
- Egg: One large egg that is also at room temperature will incorporate with the other ingredients best while mixing.
- Vanilla: A quality pure vanilla extract adds rich flavor to this chocolate sugar cookie recipe.
- Salt: To enhance taste.
Why These are the Best Chocolate Sugar Cookies
- Perfect texture: This is a soft and chewy chocolate cookie recipe that has slightly crisp edges, similar to a vanilla sugar cookie but instead a rich chocolate version!
- Flavorful: These chocolate cut out sugar cookies are the best combination of chocolate and buttery flavors, one of my favorite chocolate desserts!
- Easy cookie recipe: Even if you are a beginner baker making cut out cookies, this easy chocolate sugar cookie dough recipe is easy to work with as it has 7 simple ingredients!
- Versatile: At the holidays place on a Christmas cookie platter, share with loved ones on Valentine’s Day or use any shape of cookie cutter you would like to fit the holiday or occasion, you could even make Halloween cookies!
Decorating the Chocolate Cookies
- Royal icing: If you like a sturdier icing for piping details onto your cookies, use this royal icing recipe from my gingerbread cookies.
- Buttercream icing: If you love rich chocolate flavor, then you may want to frost your cookies with chocolate buttercream frosting.
- Glaze: I often just use a simple icing glaze as a simple and quick option like I do in these strawberry scones.
- Dip in melted chocolate: You could also just dip your cooled chocolate cut-out cookies in melted dark chocolate or white chocolate!
- Festive sprinkles: Whether you ice them or dip them in chocolate adding sprinkles to fit the occasion is always a good idea!
How to Make Chocolate Cut Out Cookies
Sift dry ingredients: In a medium sized bowl sift the flour, cocoa powder and salt.
Cream butter and sugar: Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and powdered sugar in a large mixing bowl until creamy. Add vanilla, combine then add the egg and combine again.
Form dough: Add the sifted flour to the butter mixture and on low speed combine to form a compact chocolate sugar cookie dough. Scrape sides of bowl as needed. Move dough to a flat surface and form into a ball, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 2 hours.
Roll out dough: Remove dough from plastic wrap and place on a lightly floured flat surface. Roll to ¼-inch thick then cut out with cookie cutters and place the cookies on prepared baking sheets lined with parchment paper.
Chill cut-out cookies: While the oven preheats, refrigerate chocolate cut-out cookies so they hold their shape while baking.
Bake: Bake cookies at 350°F for 10-12 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet then move to wire racks to cool completely before decorating. Enjoy!
Expert Tips to Make Chocolate Cut Out Cookies
- Dip cookie cutter in cocoa powder so the dough does not stick to the cutter.
- Adjust baking time accordingly if you roll your cookies thicker or thinner than ¼ inch.
- Measure flour correctly as too much flour will lead to dense dry cookies. I like to use scale for accuracy but you can use the spoon and level method which will add some fluff to the flour.
- If using multiple cookie cutters, aim to bake similar sized cookies on the same cookie sheet so the cookies bake evenly. Smaller cookies will take less time!
Store cookies covered in an airtight container for up to 5 days. You can also freeze baked cookies in a freezer safe bag for up to 3 months.
Why did my cookies spread and not hold their shape?
Do not skip the chilling time! The dough needs to be chilled and then after you cut out the cookies, chill the dough while waiting for the oven to preheat. This will help control the spread. If you find that your cookies are still spreading, add a few Tablespoons of cornstarch to the cookie dough.
What cocoa powder is best to use for these chocolate sugar cookies?
Any good quality unsweetened cocoa powder works in these cookies and the good news is that you can use natural cocoa powder or dutch process cocoa powder.
Why are my cookies dry instead of soft?
If your cookies have turned out dry and crispy rather than soft and chewy you probably baked them too long! It can be hard to tell when chocolate cookies are ready to be removed from the oven so if your oven runs hot, I would err on the side of caution and bake them for 9-10 minutes.
Can I freeze chocolate cut out cookies?
Yes! These cookies freeze beautifully. You can freeze chocolate cut out sugar cookies baked or you can freeze the dough. After baking, cool completely then store in an airtight container or freezer safe bag for up to three months. You can also wrap unbaked dough tightly in plastic wrap and store for up to three months.
More Cookie Recipes to Try
- Chocolate Stuffed Cookies
- Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Sweet Cinnamon Cookies
- Pecan Chocolate Chunky Cookies
- Orange Butter Cookies
Chocolate Cut Out Cookies
- 2 cups All purpose flour
- ¾ cups Powdered sugar
- 6 tablespoons Unsweetened dutch processed cocoa
- ¾ cups +2 tablespoons Butter – softened
- 1 large Egg – room temperature
- 1 ½ teaspoons Vanilla
- 1 pinch Salt
- In a medium bowl sift the flour, cocoa and salt.
- In a large bowl beat the butter and powdered sugar until creamy for about 3-5 minutes, add vanilla and beat for 1 minute. Add the egg and beat well to combine.
- Add the sifted flour to the butter mix and combine to form a compact dough (if needed add more flour 1 tablespoon at a time). Move to a flat surface and form into a ball, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 2 hours.
- Place the dough on a lightly floured flat surface and roll ¼ inch thick. Cut out with cookie cutters and place the cookies on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet.
- Pre-heat the oven to 350F (180C). Refrigerate the cookies while the oven is pre-heating for 15-20 minutes. When ready, bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes. Let them cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet then move them to a wire rack to cool completely. Enjoy!