Chocolate Cut-Out Cookies

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These Chocolate Cut-Out Cookies feature cocoa powder as a delicious addition to a traditional sugar cookie recipe. The resulting chocolatey taste is truly exquisite, and these cut-out cookies are a breeze to prepare!

Overhead view of witch hat cookies.

Chocolate Cut-Outs

Cut-out cookies can be a little tricky. It takes some time to mix, chill, roll, and bake. But you’ll soon realize that it’s totally worth your time.

We love our regular Cut Out Sugar Cookies and they’re super fun to decorate too. These chocolate cut-outs are also delicious with icing and without.

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Why This Recipe Works:

  • CLASSIC – These chocolate cut-out cookies are classic. I add an egg yolk to enrich the flavor and texture of the dough.
  • CHOCOLATEY – Unsweetened cocoa powder adds excellent chocolate flavor to these delicious cookies. 
  • PERFECT FOR DECORATING – This chocolate cookie recipe holds up great for using cut-outs and for decorating. 
  • SPECIAL OCCASION COOKIES – We love decorating these chocolate cutout cookies for Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Valentine’s Day! 
Overhead view of several decorated bat cut-out cookies with red eyes.

Ingredients Used:

You’ll need pantry staples for this chocolate sugar cookie recipe.

  • Unsalted Butter – Use room temperature butter.
  • Granulated Sugar
  • Large Eggs – You’ll need one large egg plus one large egg yolk.
  • Vanilla Extract
  • All-Purpose Flour
  • Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • Baking Powder
  • Kosher Salt
The ingredients for the chocolate cookies.

How to make Chocolate Cut-out Sugar Cookies:

Step 1
Cream the butter and sugar together. Use a large standing mixer with a paddle attachment. Combine butter and sugar on medium speed until creamy, scraping down the sides of the bowl occasionally. Then add the remaining wet ingredients – eggs and vanilla – and mix again.

Step 2
Add dry ingredients. To the bowl, add the flour, cocoa, salt, and baking powder. Mix again on low speed until well combined. Do not over-mix.

Step 3
Prep dough. Remove the dough from the bowl of the mixer, and form it into a ball. Then take a knife and slice it in half.

Step 4
Roll out the dough. Place one-half of the dough in between two pieces of parchment paper and roll it out to about 1/4 inch thickness. Repeat with the other half.

Step 5
Chill. Refrigerate both halves of rolled-out chocolate sugar cookie dough (covered in plastic wrap) until you’re ready to work with it. Chill time can range from one hour to a day.

Step 6
Form shapes. Remove the rolled-out dough and let it rest for five minutes. Then use cookie cutters to press cookie dough into shapes. Place shapes on a parchment-lined baking sheet.

Step 7
Use the scraps to form additional shapes. Roll scraps into a ball and press it out again. You may want to add some cocoa powder to the parchment paper to make it less sticky, especially after the dough has warmed up some.

Step 8
Bake cookies. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake the chocolate cut out cookies for about 10 minutes, or until they hold their shape. Bake time may vary according to individual ovens and thickness of cookies.

Step 9
Cool. Let the baked cookies sit on the pan for about 5-10 minutes before carefully transferring cookies to a wire rack to fully cool.

Step 10
Decorate cookies. Decorate chocolate sugar cookies however you wish. We normally enjoy a simple buttercream icing but royal icing is super popular too (although it’s not my favorite (flavor-wise).

  • To make the buttercream, add the butter to a mixing bowl. Use a hand mixer (you can use a stand mixer instead) and whip the softened butter until creamy.
  • Then add the remaining ingredients – half and half, vanilla extract, powdered sugar, and cocoa powder – and mix until very well combined.
  • You may need to use an additional splash of half and half if needed. The frosting should be creamy and easy to work with.
  • I used a spoon to frost these cookies, but you could also use a piping tool. Add sprinkles as desired!

There are countless ways to decorate cutout cookies whether regular sugar cookies or chocolate cut out sugar cookies. Make it a family activity and have fun!

Side view of some frosted bat cookies.

Storing and Freezing:

  • Store chocolatey cookies in an airtight container for 4-5 days.
  • Freeze unfrosted cookies, stacked, in a freezer-safe container for up to four months. 

Turn these delicious cutout cookies into Gnome Cookies next! So cute!

Recipe FAQs:

What is the difference between drop cookies or cut-out cookies?

Drop cookies are scooped and dropped on a cookie sheet while cut-out cookies are more complicated to make. Cut outs require a stiffer dough that will be rolled out before forming shapes.

What is the best thickness for cut-out cookies?

We prefer rolling the dough out into 1/4 inch thickness. Any thinner will result in overcooked cookies and much thicker may not yield the best texture.

Should you chill cutout cookie dough?

We generally recommend chilling cookie dough for at least one hour. Cut-Out cookies will need to rest for about 10 minutes after chilling before shapes are formed.

Can you freeze cut-out cookies?

Yes, we recommend freezing cutouts before adding frosting. Stack them in a freezer-safe container for up to four months. If you add frosting, make sure you freeze them in a single layer.

Side view of decorated hat cookies with a sash.

xoxo ~Sue

Some witch hat cut out cookies with buttercream frosting.

Chocolate Cut-Out Cookies

These Chocolate Cut-Out Cookies feature cocoa powder as a delicious addition to a traditional sugar cookie recipe. The resulting chocolatey taste is truly exquisite, and these cut-out cookies are a breeze to prepare!
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Cookies, Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 11 minutes
Total Time: 51 minutes
Servings: 20 cookies
Calories: 252kcal
Author: Sue Ringsdorf

Ingredients

For the cookies:

  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter – softened to room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar (200 grams)
  • 1 large egg – at room temp
  • 1 large egg yolk – at room temp
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (210 grams)
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (61 grams)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

For the icing:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter – softened to room temperature
  • 2 Tablespoons half and half
  • 1 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 ¼ cups powdered sugar (260 grams)
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder (20 grams)
  • food coloring, sprinkles, etc.

Instructions

  • Cream the butter and sugar together. Use a large standing mixer with a paddle attachment. Combine butter and sugar on medium speed until creamy, scraping down the sides of the bowl occasionally. Then add the remaining wet ingredients – eggs and vanilla – and mix again.
  • Add dry ingredients. To the bowl, add the flour, cocoa, salt, and baking powder. Mix again on low speed until well combined. Do not over-mix.
  • Prep dough. Remove the dough from the bowl of the mixer, and form it into a ball. Then take a knife and slice it in half.
  • Roll out the dough. Place one-half of the dough in between two pieces of parchment paper and roll it out to about 1/4 inch thickness. Repeat with the other half.
  • Chill. Refrigerate both halves of rolled-out chocolate sugar cookie dough (covered in plastic wrap) until you're ready to work with it. Chill time can range from one hour to a day.
  • Form shapes. Remove the rolled-out dough and let it rest for five minutes. Then use cookie cutters to press cookie dough into shapes. Place shapes on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  • Use the scraps to form additional shapes. Roll scraps into a ball and press it out again. You may want to add some cocoa powder to the parchment paper to make it less sticky, especially after the dough has warmed up some.
  • Bake cookies. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake the chocolate cut out cookies for about 10 minutes, or until they hold their shape. Bake time may vary according to individual ovens and thickness of cookies.
  • Cool. Let the baked cookies sit on the pan for about 5-10 minutes before carefully transferring cookies to a wire rack to fully cool.
  • Decorate cookies. Decorate chocolate sugar cookies however you wish. We normally enjoy a simple buttercream icing but royal icing is super popular too (although it's not my favorite (flavor-wise).
  • To make the buttercream, add the butter to a mixing bowl. Use a hand mixer (you can use a stand mixer instead) and whip the softened butter until creamy.
    Then add the remaining ingredients – half and half, vanilla extract, powdered sugar, and cocoa powder – and mix until very well combined.
    You may need to use an additional splash of half and half if needed. The frosting should be creamy and easy to work with.
    I used a spoon to frost these cookies, but you could also use a piping tool. Add sprinkles as desired!

Notes

We generally recommend chilling cookie dough for at least one hour. Cut-Out cookies will need to rest for about 10 minutes after chilling before shapes are formed.
STORING AND FREEZING:
  • Store chocolatey cookies in an airtight container for 4-5 days.
  • Freeze unfrosted cookies, stacked, in a freezer-safe container for up to four months.

Nutrition

Calories: 252kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.5g | Cholesterol: 50mg | Sodium: 66mg | Potassium: 118mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 23g | Vitamin A: 386IU | Vitamin C: 0.01mg | Calcium: 28mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @Suebeehomemaker or tag #suebeehomemaker!

3 Comments

  1. Made these cookies with my grand daughters and it was quite an adventure. The four year old (who turns five in January) had chocolate around her mouth, after discovering how tasty the dough was, and the three year old had powdered cocoa from head to toe. We baked one day and frosted the next. Sprinkles, sprinkles everywhere! Although sprinkles aren’t necessary, or even part of the recipe, it was a good way to involve two little goblins and made it worth the mess. These cookies are a nice alternative to regular cutouts and a great, chocolate flavor. We made white buttercream with food dye for ghosts and pumpkins and chocolate buttercream for bats. They were all yummy, but everyone’s favorites were the chocolate frosted bats.

    1. Suebee Homemaker says:

      Thanks for letting me know how your little cookie monsters enjoyed them, Jackie! 🙂

  2. Fun to eat and incredible taste! Love them!

5 from 2 votes

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