In today’s post: Homemade chocolate sugar cookies are soft, rich, and delicious. Top them with cream cheese frosting OR chocolate frosting.
One of my personal mottos is this: chocolate makes everything better. Whether it’s a bee sting or a broken heart, I firmly believe a little chocolate can help. My kids were all early adopters of this life philosophy, perhaps helped along by the fact that chocolate chips are a household staple. We might run out of milk, or eggs, or bread, but never chocolate chips. Priorities!
We’ve even discussed (on more than one occasion) how few foods exist that wouldn’t be improved by a little chocolate. Maybe kale? Although I’m not sure kale could actually get worse than it is already… 😂
Anyway, years of thinking chocolate makes everything better have finally culminated in today’s culinary masterpiece: soft chocolate sugar cookies.
I’ll admit, I’ve never been wowed by traditional sugar cookies. Sure, they’re good, but they’re mostly about the frosting, right? But chocolate sugar cookies are AMAZING, with or without frosting.
We tried them both with my favorite Cream Cheese Frosting and with a Perfectly Chocolate Frosting, and my family was split down the middle on which is better.
My husband says the cream cheese frosting is an amazing compliment without overwhelming the taste of the cookie itself, so it might be better if you really want to taste the cookies. But the chocolate frosting vaults you into chocolate nirvana, so if that’s what you’re looking for it might be the way to go!
Chocolate Sugar Cookie Recipe
Here is the printable recipe card, but please see below for tips on how to make the perfect chocolate sugar cookie. Cards for the two frostings I used are at the end of the post!
Chocolate Sugar Cookies
- 1 cup Butter softened, not melted
- 2 cups Sugar
- 3 Eggs
- 1/4 cup Milk
- 4 cups Flour
- 1 cup Baking Cocoa
- 1 tbsp Baking Powder
- 1/4 tsp Salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line cookie sheets with parchment paper or cookie sheet liners.
- Cream together the butter, sugar, eggs and milk until well combined.
- In a separate bowl, stir together flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt. Add to wet ingredients and mix to combine. Dough should be fairly stiff - if it's quite sticky you can mix in another few tablespoons of flour.
- Liberally flour your countertop. Scoop out about 1/3 of the cookie dough. Flour a rolling pin and roll the dough to just under 3/8 inch thick. Try not to use too much flour on top of the dough as it may be visible after baking.
- Use a cookie cutter to cut out cookies and transfer them to a baking sheet.
- Bake for 9-10 minutes until the edges of the cookies just feel set and the tops are barely cracked.
- Remove cookies to a cooling rack and cool completely before frosting. Repeat with remaining cookie dough.
Chocolate Sugar Cookie Tips
This is a pretty big batch of sugar cookies – I can usually get 48 cookies from it. You may halve the recipe if you don’t want so many cookies. Just cut all the ingredients in half, and use 1 egg and 1 yolk. Remember that how many cookies you get will depend on how thick you roll out your dough and what size cutters you use.
I usually roll the dough to 3/8 inches thick, then just a little thinner…but not all the way down to 1/4 inch. Experiment and see what thickness you prefer! By the way, I really like this rolling pin with thickness guides for making sugar cookies (affiliate link).
The baking time can be a smidge finicky – too long and the cookies will be a bit crunchy, too short and they will sink a bit. The baking time will vary depending on your oven and how thick you’ve rolled out your dough. Nine minutes is usually just right for me, but you may need a minute longer or shorter.
Because these cookies are chocolate, you will not be able to depend on color to tell when they are done. Here’s what they look like before baking:
And here’s what they look like after baking:
You’ll want to watch the cookies closely and keep track of how long they take in your oven. When done, the tops will have just started to crack a bit, and the edges will feel set (not hard). It may take a tray or two to get them perfect, but don’t stress.The good news is that the cookies taste great even when they are a little over or under done, and once they are frosted most people won’t notice either way!
You can store these cookies at room temp for a couple of days in an airtight container.
Sugar Cookie Frosting Recipes
Cream Cheese Frosting for Sugar Cookies
- 1/4 cup Butter softened
- 1 tsp Vanilla
- 1/8 tsp Salt
- 4 oz Cream Cheese softened
- 3 cups Powdered Sugar
- 3 tbsp Milk
- Be sure you are starting with softened (not melted) butter and cream cheese.
- Add all remaining ingredients and beat together with a mixer. Continue to beat until texture is light and smooth, adding another tablespoon of milk if needed.
- Tint with food coloring if desired.
Perfectly Chocolate Frosting
- 6 tbsp Butter softened
- 2 tbsp Corn Syrup
- 1 tsp Vanilla
- 2 cups Powdered Sugar
- 6 tbsp Baking Cocoa
- 2-3 tbsp Milk
- Combine all ingredients in a large bowl, starting with 2 tbsp milk. Beat together. Frosting will look crumbly at first, but will smooth out and come together - if it stays crumbly add another tbsp of milk.
- Continue to beat about 2 minutes after frosting has come together. It will get lighter in color and texture and become smooth and creamy.