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These Chocolate Cut Out Cookies are soft cookies, fun to decorate and hold their shape, making them the perfect addition to any special occasion. These are probably the softest cut out cookie I have ever baked and always end up so pretty! We absolutely love this chocolate sugar cookie recipe all year long – with any shape!

valentines day themed heart shaped chocolate cookies


Chocolate Cut Out Sugar Cookies

Although these chocolate cut out sugar cookies are my go-to holiday recipe, we are making it love themed because nothing beats a good old sugar cookie with chocolate on Valentines day! 

Why you’ll love this recipe

Use this cut out cookie recipe for any occasion by changing the shapes and frosting! They’re perfect for Christmas, Easter, Valentine’s Day – any holiday!

These chocolate sugar cookies hold their shape perfectly. As long as you follow my easy chilling instructions I leave down below. I’ll also share some different icing options to switch up your cut out chocolate sugar cookies from time to time. 

Ingredients in chocolate cut out cookies

Ingredients Needed

  • Granulated Sugar – unlike my regular sugar cookie recipe, this one uses granulated sugar instead of powdered. I find it gives them a nice chew.
  • Cocoa powder – it won’t be a chocolate cutout cookie without this! You can use regular unsweetened cocoa powder or Dutch process.
  • Frosting – I love using vanilla frosting for this, like my regular sugar cookies, but you can also use chocolate royal icing or chocolate buttercream, or even sugar cookie icing.

Be sure to see the recipe card below for full ingredients & instructions!

How to make Chocolate Cutout Cookies

  1. Whisk together dry ingredients.
  2. Cream together butter and sugar until nice and fluffy.
  3. Add egg and vanilla, then mix until smooth.
  4. Add flour mixture and mix until cookie dough forms.
  5. Divide the dough in half. I always roll my sugar cookie dough before I chill it! Roll it between sheets of parchment paper or wax paper so you don’t need to add extra flour, then chill at least an hour.
  6. Once you chilled the cookie dough it should have hardened. Cut out shapes using cookie cutters. Chill again before baking.
  7. Bake in an oven preheated to 350 degrees until they just lose their glossy sheen. Baking time will depend on size and thickness of cookie.
stacked heart shaped chocolate cookies

Buttercream Sugar Cookies

While royal icing seems to be the gold standard for sugar cookies, I really like using buttercream. This is a bit different than my vanilla buttercream recipe: it uses more powdered sugar to butter ratio and it also uses milk instead of heavy cream. You can use regular milk, 2% or nonfat milk, and they’ll dry almost hard so there is minimal transfer if stacked.

Expert Tips

  • Be sure you’ve measured your flour correctly.
  • Rolling out the cookies before chilling makes life so much easier. Be sure to roll them between sheets of wax or parchment paper.
  • Chill the dough again after cutting cookies before baking.
  • Do not bake cookies on a hot cookie sheet. Let the cookie sheets cool in between batches.
  • See how to make cutout Chocolate Sugar Cookies on youtube!
valentines day themed heart shaped chocolate cookies

FAQs

What is the trick to cut-out cookies?

Just place the cookie dough between two sheets of wax paper and press it into a disk, then roll flat. While I’m rolling, I’ll occasionally (carefully) lift up the wax paper on the top, put it back down, flip, and do the same on the bottom. That’s because the force of the rolling can cause the wax paper to crinkle. Using room temperature just-made dough makes rolling out easy. Using two sheets of wax paper makes less mess and eliminates the need for extra flour, which makes a more tender cookie.

Why are my cut out cookies hard?

Your cutout cookies may be over baked or you may have used too much flour.

What is the best thickness for cutout cookies?

About ¼ inch thick but you can make these chocolate sugar cookies however thick you want.

Can you freeze chocolate cutout cookies?

Place the cut-out cookies in a single layer on a cookie sheet and cover the sugar cookies with plastic wrap. Freeze until solid then stack in airtight containers between layers of parchment or wax paper. Separate stacks before thawing.

valentines day themed heart shaped chocolate cookies

Chocolate Cut Out Cookies Recipe

5 from 8 votes
These are cut out chocolate sugar cookies! They're perfect with vanilla cookie frosting – great for any holiday.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Chill Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Yield 30 cookies
Serving Size 1 cookie

Ingredients
 

For the cookies:

  • 1 cup (226g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 ¼ cups (250g) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ cup (20g) unsweetened cocoa powder (or Dutch Process for a deeper flavor)
  • 2 ½ cups (310g) all-purpose flour

For the frosting:

  • ½ cup (113g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 cups (452g) powdered sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3-4 tablespoons milk
  • Food coloring if desired
  • Sprinkles if desired

Instructions

  • Place butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl (or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment). Cream until light and fluffy, 1-2 minutes.
  • Add egg, vanilla, salt, baking powder, and cocoa and mix until combined, then mix in flour until smooth.
  • Lay a sheet of wax or parchment paper on a work surface. Place half the cookie dough in the center and press to form a disk. Cover with another sheet of paper and roll to between ¼-1/2 inch thickness (as desired). Repeat with the second half of the dough.
  • Chill dough until firm, at least 30 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
  • Remove half the dough from the refrigerator and use cookie cutters to cut desired shapes. Place 2 inches apart on cookie sheets. Chill for 15 minutes then bake cookies until no longer glossy, approximately 10-15 minutes (depending on thickness and size).
  • Reroll leftover dough and chill while cutting shapes from the second half. Continue until all your cookie dough is cut into shapes.
  • Once cookies are baked, cool completely before frosting.
  • To make the frosting, beat butter and sugar with a stand mixer until crumbly. Add salt and vanilla, then add 3 tablespoons of milk and mix until smooth, adding more milk 1 teaspoon at a time until you get a piping consistency.
  • Frost cookies as desired. Let sit at room temperature to crust, then you can stack them.

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

  • To decorate as seen in the photos, use a Wilton round tip, #4 or #5.
  • Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days or freeze for up to 2 months.
  • Rolling out the cookies before chilling makes life so much easier. Be sure to roll them between sheets of wax or parchment paper.
  • Chill the dough again after cutting cookies before baking.
  • Do not bake cookies on a hot cookie sheet. Let the cookie sheets cool in between batches.

Recipe Nutrition

Serving: 1cookie | Calories: 221kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.4g | Cholesterol: 30mg | Sodium: 87mg | Potassium: 54mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 24g | Vitamin A: 294IU | Calcium: 15mg | Iron: 1mg
Nutritional information not guaranteed to be accurate
Course Dessert
Cuisine American

Last Updated on April 24, 2023



Dorothy Kern

Welcome to Crazy for Crust, where I share recipes that are sometimes crazy, often with a crust, and always served with a slice of life.

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2 Comments

  1. The notes before the recipe say it uses powdered sugar instead of granulated, yet the recipe itself says granulated. I’d like to make these for my son’s school bake sale, so I’d like to make sure the dough turns out. Please help with this!