With just a few simple ingredients and a super easy method, these Chocolate Sugar Cookies are a yummy dessert to share with the kids. They’re a little less sweet than other recipes, but the flavor is so delish. We love them plain, but they’re fun with a simple icing too!

baked chocolate sugar cookies on wire rack

Chocolate Sugar Cookies

Making cut-out cookies is one of my very favorite activities to bake with the kids. And these chocolate cookies are easy to work with and fun to eat! These have a nice cocoa flavor and a sort of animal cracker texture—with lower sugar than traditional sugar cookies.

My girls love to roll them out and cut out shapes!

This is totally my speed of baking with kids because the ingredients are super straight forward, the dough is easy to work with, and the cookies bake quickly.

You can do some of the process together or just have the kids help ice the cookies if you want to do that step. And you can use any shape cookie cutter you want to celebrate any occasion. We’ve made them for Christmas and Valentine’s Day and also a day when we just wanted a reason to use our moose cookie cutter!

ingredients in chocolate sugar cookies

Ingredients You Need

Here’s what you’ll need to make this healthy cookie recipe. See the Notes at the bottom of the recipe for information on how to make these dairy-free and gluten-free. (They’re already egg-free!)

  • All-purpose flour
  • Sugar: I use a small amount of granulated sugar here.
  • Cocoa powder: I like the SOCA brand cocoa powder or Hershey’s Special Dark.
  • Baking powder
  • Butter, softened at room temperature
  • Milk: I use whole milk, but low fat would work too.
  • Vanilla extract

Ingredient Substitutions

  • You can use softened (but not quite melted) coconut oil in place of the butter.
  • Regular or dairy-free milk will work.
  • You can use coconut sugar or regular granulated sugar.
  • A 1:1 style of gluten-free baking mix will work as well.
how to make chocolate sugar cookies step by step

Step-by-Step Instructions

Here’s a look at the process involved in making this recipe. Scroll down to the bottom of this post for the full information.

  1. Add ingredients to a bowl. Blend together with your hands.
  2. Form into a flat disc.
  3. Roll out on parchment paper.
  4. Cut out shapes with cookie cutters and bake.

TIP: If your dough seems sticky, place into the fridge for 5 minutes to firm up a little or roll out between two pieces of parchment paper.

painting icing onto chocolate sugar cookies

Can I add icing?

You sure can! You’ll just want to Stir together powdered sugar and milk to make a smooth icing. You want it to be able to spread easily on the cookies and not be too thick. If you place some on the cookies and it runs right off, add a little more powdered sugar.

If it’s too thick to spread, add a drop or two of milk. You can color the icing with a drop of food coloring if desired.

TIP: Icing is easy for kids to apply to cookies using a clean paintbrush. Put a little icing into a small bowl and let them paint it onto each cookie. This is one of my favorite tips for baking with kids.

Which holidays do these work for?

You can enjoy them as Christmas Cookies, Valentine’s dessert, or just for any day!

How to Store

Store, once cooled, in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. Or freeze in a freezer storage bag for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature.

Best Tips for Success

  • Gluten-Free: Use this gluten-free flour.
  • Dairy-Free: Use plain unsweetened nondairy milk in place of dairy milk. Use coconut oil instead of butter. They are delightfully crisp this way! See the Notes at the bottom of the recipe for more details.
  • You can use maple syrup instead of sugar if you prefer BUT they are best eaten on the day they are baked if you go that route. They get soft and a little dense when stored. Sugar helps them have a better texture for a little longer.
  • If your dough seems sticky, place into the fridge for 5 minutes to firm up a little or roll out between two pieces of parchment paper.
  • Add icing if desired.
  • If making smaller shapes, bake for the lower end of the baking time range.
  • If making larger shapes, they may need an extra minute or two.
  • You may also like Easy Sugar Cookies, Christmas Cookies for Kids, and my favorite Gingerbread Cookies.

I’d love to hear your feedback if you try this recipe, so please comment below to share!

This post was first published October 2020.

chocolate-sugar-cookies-on-wire-rack

Easy Chocolate Sugar Cookies

Like a cross between an animal cracker and a sugar cookie, these less sweet cookies are easy to make with the kids. The amount of cookies you can make from one batch will depend on how large your cookie cutters are.
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Total Time 23 minutes
Cuisine American
Course Dessert
Calories 109kcal
Servings 6 (Makes about 2 dozen small cookies)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 cup butter (softened at room temperature)
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 375°F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Place all ingredients into a bowl and use your hand to mix together to form a dough. (If the dough is a little crumbly, be sure that it’s throughly combined and then if it’s still crumbly, add 1/2-1 tablespoon additional liquid until it comes together.)
  • Make a flattened disc of dough. 
  • Place the dough onto a piece of parchment paper. Place another piece of parchment on top and roll the dough ¼-inch thick. 
  • Cut out the dough with a cookie cutter and transfer to the prepared baking sheets.
  • Bake for 8-10 minutes, until lightly browned around the edges.
  • Remove from the oven and let cool on the baking sheet. Add icing if desired.

Video

Notes

  • Easy Icing: Stir together ¼ cup powdered sugar and 2-3 teaspoons milk to make a smooth icing. You want it to be able to spread easily on the cookies and not be too thick. If you place some on the cookies and it runs right off, add a little more powdered sugar. If it’s too thick to spread, add a drop or two of milk. You can color the icing with a drop of food coloring if desired.
  • Gluten-Free: Use this gluten-free flour.
  • Dairy-Free: Use plain unsweetened nondairy milk in place of dairy milk. Use coconut oil instead of butter. If your coconut oil is super firm, you’ll want to soften it a little by warming it very briefly. It should squish easily between two fingers, but not be melted into a liquid.
  • To Make these with Maple Syrup: Use 2 tablespoons maple syrup in place of the sugar and reduce the milk to 3 tablespoons. Know that they are best eaten on the day they are baked if you go this route. They get soft and a little dense when stored.
  • If making smaller shapes, bake for the lower end of the baking time range.
  • If making larger shapes, they may need an extra minute or two.
  • Store, once cooled, in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. Or freeze in a freezer storage bag for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature.

Nutrition

Calories: 109kcal, Carbohydrates: 22g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 1g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 2mg, Sodium: 99mg, Potassium: 75mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 5g, Vitamin A: 33IU, Calcium: 48mg, Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Rate in the comments and tag @yummytoddlerfood on IG!

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    These are really easy and yummy to make. I love the low sugar taste. It complements an icing if added to it because it’s not a sugar overload. My 3 year old liked them plain but we did decorate some. I love to use your website for my family because of low sugar options. Thank you!

  2. 5 stars
    Just made these chocolate cookies with my 2 year old son. We loved the easy hands on recipe and I loved that there was very little sugar in it for kids. My whole family enjoyed them. I will make them again. Thanks so much for sharing this and all your other recipes – so yummy

  3. 5 stars
    I’ve never left a review on a website but there’s deserve it, they are great! My 3 year old loves them as does my 1.5year old and I don’t feel bad giving them with so little sugar! They have become my go to treat for them and I cut them really small so they can get more of them.

  4. Hi Amy! Love your recipes, just made your breakfast bars earlier this week! Just wondering if I can use whole wheat flour instead, without compromising any texture?

  5. Hi Amy, those cookies look cute and yummy at the same time. I am not great at baking but these appear to be simple. Also, I guess I can involve my kids in it for the designing bit. Will be a fun activity to do together.