Gluten-free chocolate crinkle cookies are festive and nostalgic. With a crisp crackly outside and fudgy brownie-like inside, these cookies are a must-have for your holiday cookie platter!
This post is sponsored by Andronico's Community Markets, a year-long partner of Snixy Kitchen, but the opinions are all my own.
My love language is freshly baked cookies. Specifically, gifting other people homemade cookies. I will accept any excuse to bake cookies. And then I will also pressure you into eating one in front of me so I can judge your reaction. It's not intense at all (it is). When my friend Stephanie stole one before I even put the platter out, then whispered to me, "chocolate crinkles are my favorite," she didn't even realize she was tugging at my heartstrings. We are now best friends, Stephanie.
I then took her admission as an invitation to grill her for her honest review as a chocolate crinkle cookie connoisseur and I'm happy to report she went back for seconds and thirds.
I want you to also have the very best holiday cookie platter to share with your friends and family, so I've baked these gluten-free chocolate crinkle cookies no fewer than 10 times in the last two weeks. In the name of research and chocolate. Worth it.
What are chocolate crinkle cookies?
A classic holiday cookie, chocolate crinkle cookies are characterized by a soft fudgy chocolate cookie with a generous powdered sugar coating that crackles as the cookies bake.
This gluten-free version is extra chewy and brownie-like, making them my ideal holiday cookie!
Why make these gluten-free chocolate crinkle cookies?
Here's why these gluten-free chocolate crinkle cookies deserve a spot on your holiday dessert table:
- They're super easy to make and the dough can be made in advance
- The texture is unmatched with a chewy and gooey brownie-like filling and a crisp shell
- They keep for a long time without tasting stale (read: perfect for gifting!)
- The crackly powdered sugar topping makes them look so festive
- You can even take them up a holiday notch with a bit of peppermint extract
- They've got the nostalgia factor that will bring a smile to everyone's face
Andronico's: Ingredients for gluten-free chocolate crinkle cookies
For these gluten-free chocolate crinkle cookies, I started with an adaptation on my chewy gluten-free chocolate cookies, simplifying the flours to use a blend of gluten-free oat flour and tapioca flour. The result is a chewy and gooey brownie-like center with a crisp powdered sugar shell.
I grabbed all of the ingredients for these cookies at my local Bay Area Andronico's Community Market. In addition to high-quality kitchen staples like organic eggs, butter, and sugar, they carry a range of Bob's Red Mill gluten-free flours and specialty cocoa powder. Here's a list of all the recipes I've made in partnership with Andronico's this year.
To make these gluten-free chocolate crinkle cookies, you need:
- Bob's Red Mill gluten-free oat flour: Oat flour gives cookies a slight soft lift. The subtle wholesome flavor allows the cocoa powder to shine. If you don't have gluten-free oat flour, you can make your own by grinding gluten-free rolled oats in a blender and sifting. Or substitute Bob's Red Mill 1-to-1 gluten-free flour by weight.
- Bob's Red Mill tapioca flour: Tapioca flour rises in the oven, creating fluffiness to the cookies, lends to the chewiness, and helps create the crisp edges.
- Dutch-processed cocoa powder
- Baking powder & salt: We want these cookies to rise a lot so the powdered sugar cracks. For that, I use baking powder.
- Unsalted butter: For dairy-free, you can substitute vegetable oil.
- Granulated sugar
- Dark brown sugar: I recommend organic dark brown sugar, as it has a higher molasses content and leads to a chewier cookie
- 2 large eggs
- Vanilla extract
- Powdered sugar, for rolling
Dairy-Free Chocolate Crinkle Cookies: Butter v. Oil
You can use either unsalted butter or oil in chocolate crinkle cookies. Classic chocolate crinkle cookies call for vegetable oil rather than butter. That's the first iteration of this recipe I tested, and while they're delicious, I felt like there was something missing. If you can't have dairy, substituting the butter for vegetable oil, plant butter, or melted coconut oil all work great as a perfectly suitable substitute in this recipe!
The butter version is richer, with a more pronounced chocolate flavor and a more gooey brownie-like center, and is my preferred cookie.
What kind of cocoa powder to use?
For these chocolate crinkle cookies, I like to use high-quality dutch-process baking cocoa. This means looking for cocoa that's processed with alkali. Dutch-processed baking cocoa is darker in color, with a more neutral flavor that's less bitter, and creates a fudgier more brownie-like cookie.
Andronico's carries Lake Champlain Chocolates Unsweetened Organic Cocoa, a high-quality rich cocoa powder, which they describe as imparting "serious, full-chocolate flavor."
In a pinch, you can sub in natural or unsweetened cocoa powder, but your results will vary slightly.
How to make gluten-free chocolate crinkle cookies
These cookies come together like most drop cookies, but the dough will be very soft, so there's an added chilling step. You can reduce the amount of time it needs to chill by pre-scooping the dough with a cookie scoop before chilling.
- Sift together the dry ingredients and set aside.
- Mix together the melted butter and sugars.
- Mix in the eggs and vanilla until thoroughly combined.
- Slowly mix in the dry ingredients.
- Use a cookie scoop to scoop the soft dough onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and chill for 1-1.5 hours.
- Roll chilled cookie dough into round balls in the palms of your hands. Roll first in granulated sugar, then generously in powdered sugar.
- Bake at 350°F for 9-10 minutes, until the cookies crack open and the edges feel just set when gently tapped, but the centers still look underbaked.
- Let cool and enjoy!
Do you have to chill the dough?
Yes. This cookie dough is way too sticky to roll into cookie dough balls without chilling. The dough should be chilled for at least two hours.
To shorten the chill time, use a medium cookie scoop to scoop the dough into balls on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Then chill the dough on the baking sheet for just an hour.
Once chilled, you can use your palm to roll the dough into balls then roll it in the sugar and powdered sugar before baking.
How to keep the powdered sugar from melting
Part of the appeal of chocolate crinkle cookies is that classic nostalgic crackly white powdered sugar topping.
The best way to keep the powdered sugar from melting into the gooey cookie as it cools is to first roll the dough balls in granulated sugar before generously rolling in powdered sugar. Use your hands to press the powdered sugar in a thick layer all over the cookie dough ball. I learned this genius method from Sally's Baking Addiction.
Can you make chocolate crinkle cookies ahead of time?
Yes! You can either store the unbaked cookie dough in balls in the fridge or the freezer to bake on demand or store the baked cookies on the counter or in the freezer to serve later. See below for how to store these gluten-free chocolate crinkle cookies.
How to store gluten-free chocolate crinkle cookies?
With a chewy brownie-like texture, these crinkle cookies store for a long time without compromising their texture. Keep them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week. I brought them two a holiday party two days after baking and they were still just as delicious as the day I baked them.
Alternatively, store the baked cookies in single layers separated by parchment paper in an airtight container in the freezer for a few months. Bring to room temperature before serving.
You can store unbaked cookie dough balls, before you roll them in sugar, in an airtight bag in the fridge for up to a week or in the freezer for a few months. From the fridge, you can roll them in the sugars and bake them immediately. From the freezer, let them sit at room temperature for 10-15 minutes to soften slightly before you roll them in sugar. Roll in sugar while you preheat the oven and bake, adding 1-2 minutes to the bake time.
More Gluten-Free Holiday Cookies
Some of my all-time favorite gluten-free cookies to make during the holidays:
- Flourless Chocolate Peppermint Marshmallow Cookies
- Gluten-Free Sugar Cookies with Easy Icing
- Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Blossoms
- Salted Bacon Fat Ginger Molasses Cookies
- Gluten-Free Cherry Pie Cookies
- Gluten-Free Chocolate Pecan Shortbread Cookies
- Chewy Gluten-Free Chocolate Cookies
- Gluten-Free Iced Oatmeal Cookies
- Gluten-Free Oreos
- Gluten-Free Thumbprint Cookies
- Chocolate Hazelnut Gluten-Free Slice-and-Bake Cookies
- White Chocolate Matcha Shortbread Christmas Tree Cookies
- ½ cup unsalted butter, melted
- ½ cup (100g) granulated sugar
- ½ cup (100g) organic dark brown sugar
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ¾ cup+ 2 tablespoons (95g) gluten-free oat flour
- ½ cup (56g) tapioca flour
- ½ cup (54g) dutch-processed cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- Sift together the oat flour, tapioca flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, mix together the melted butter, granulated sugar, and dark brown sugar. Mix in the eggs and vanilla until thoroughly mixed, scraping down the sides as needed.
- With the mixer on low, slowly mix in the dry ingredients until thoroughly mixed, scraping down the sides as needed.
- Either chill the dough now for 2 hours, or use a medium cookie scoop to scoop the dough onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and chill on the baking sheet for 1-1.5 hours, until firm, or up to a week.
- Prepare a small bowl with granulated sugar and a medium bowl with powdered sugar for rolling.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Once chilled, roll the cookie dough into round balls in the palms of your hands. Roll the dough in the granulated sugar, then generously roll in the powdered sugar, using your hands to pat the powdered sugar so it sticks well all over the cookie. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet, 2 inches apart.
- Bake for 9-10 minutes, until the cookies crack open and the edges feel just set when gently tapped, but the centers still look underbaked. Let cool on the baking rack for 3-5 minutes before transferring with a thin spatula to a wire rack to cool completely.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 24 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 112Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 26mgSodium: 55mgCarbohydrates: 15gFiber: 1gSugar: 7gProtein: 2g
This nutritional information has been automatically calculated, and as such, may be incomplete or inaccurate. Please reference the specific ingredients you use for the most accurate nutritional information.