This cherry chocolate crinkle cookies recipe is the perfect cookie recipe for anyone who loves the combination of cherry and chocolate! These adorable red and white cookies are super chewy. A great addition to your Valentine’s Day, 4th of July, or Christmas treat rotation!
I love trying new cookies recipes with my mom, especially around the holidays! These cherry chocolate cookies quickly became one of our new favorite cookies for Christmas. We’ve been making these every year since our first trial-run on these, with the recipe adapted from that cookie trial we did a handful of years ago.
The vivid red makes these the perfect cherry Christmas cookies to add to holiday cookie trays, an adorable option for Valentine’s Day, and a fun option for 4th of July! But cherry chocolate is a combination that is a winner anytime of year.
These stunning red cherry chocolate crinkle cookies are beautiful paired with White Chocolate Cranberry Oat Cookies, Death by Chocolate Cookies, and Chocolate Peppermint Kiss Cookies on a holiday cookie tray!
This cherry chocolate cookie recipe is also a bit of a homage to many of the men in my life. Both of my grandpas loved cherry chocolate. One had a cherry chocolate cake for his birthday every year, the other loved chocolate dipped cherries. And my husband loves everything cherry chocolate too, which began with a love for Bordeaux cherry ice cream growing up!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
They’re unique! Chocolate crinkle cookies are a popular holiday cookie. But these cherry chocolate crinkle cookies kick things up a notch! Their vibrant red coloring is gorgeous. The cherry adds an unexpected twist to a classic cookie. They definitely have that “wow” factor.
A festive option for several holidays. While cherry chocolate is a great flavor combination anytime of year, the bright red coloring of these cookies make them extra fun for Valentines Day, 4th of July, and Christmas!
Dried Cherries: I like to use tart dried cherries (vs. sweet dried cherries) in this recipe. I find that they balance perfectly with the sweetness of the cookie. However, either type of dried cherry will work.
Chocolate: Roughly chopping semi-sweet chocolate chips or chocolate chunks helps distribute the chocolate throughout your dough so you get pops of chocolate in every bite.
Granulated sugar AND powdered sugar for rolling. Rolling your cookie dough in granulated sugar before rolling it in powdered sugar creates THE BEST crinkle cookies. The double layer helps your cookie get that characteristic crackled top. And the layer of granulated sugar helps to create a deliciously crispy exterior while helping to hold in moisture during the baking process to maintain a chewy interior.
TIP: Using room temperature eggs is often suggested for baking because the eggs will incorporate into the softened butter easier. This results in a smooth, uniform batter. If you’re setting your eggs out on the counter to bring them up to room temperature, the standard rule of thumb is to set them out for at least 30 minutes prior to using them.
See recipe card below for a full list of ingredients and measurements.
Recipe Variations and Substitutions
- Try a different type of chocolate. While the recipe calls for semi-sweet chocolate, dark chocolate or even white chocolate could be a fun swap in this recipe! Using a high-quality chip, chunk, or even a baking bar will result in the best cookies.
- Skip the food coloring. Don’t have food coloring in your pantry (or prefer not to use this ingredient)? No worries! You can skip it. However, doing so will result in a less vibrant, pink crinkle cookie.
Step 1: In a large bowl (or the bowl of a stand mixer), cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
Step 2: Beat in the remaining wet ingredients (the egg, jam, vanilla extract, almond extract, and red food coloring).
Step 3: Gradually add the the dry ingredients (the flour, baking powder, and salt) to the large mixing bowl with the wet ingredients and mix until well combined and a dough is formed.
Step 4: Stir in the chocolate and chopped cherries until evenly distributed throughout the dough.
Step 5: Cover bowl with plastic-wrap and place into the refrigerator to chill. Chill the dough for these cherry chocolate chip cookies for at least 30 minutes. This will make rolling and dipping the dough balls easier. The dough can also be chilled overnight if that is best for your schedule.
Step 6: Preheat the oven to 375°F, and line cookie sheets with parchment paper for best results and set aside.
Step 7: Scoop dough into 1 tablespoon-sized portions (I use a small cookie scoop to do this) and roll into a ball. Dip each ball first into granulated sugar to coat, and then into powdered sugar to coat. Shake off any excess powdered sugar.
Step 8: Place dough balls 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet.
Step 9: Bake for 13-15 minutes, until cracked and just dry on top.
Step 10: Allow the cookies to cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Possible Dietary Restrictions?
This crinkle cookie recipe is vegetarian as written. One small modification is needed to turn this into a gluten-free cookie recipe:
- To make this into a gluten free crinkle cookie recipe, replace the all-purpose flour called for in the recipe with a one-to-one gluten free flour alternative. Note: I have not done this myself, but have used this one-to-one gluten free flour alternative successfully in other bakes.
Do not over bake your cherry chocolate crinkle cookies. These cookies are at their best when they are JUST baked and chewy. If your cookies have “cracked” and the top looks dry (not super shiny), give them a little poke. If the cookies don’t sink in a lot, they are ready to come out.
Use a cookie scoop to get all of your cookies to be the same size. While not a necessity, a cookie scoop is a super helpful tool that I use a lot in my kitchen. This small cookie scoop is the perfect size for these chocolate cherry cookies.
Midwest chilling tip: embrace and use the cold winter weather! If you live in a place that is cold when you make this soft chocolate cookie recipe, you can chill your dough outside! Find a flat surface, ensure your dough is covered well, and let mother nature chill your dough for you.
Store cooled cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3-4 days.
Freezing Crinkle Cookies
Crinkle cookies can be frozen before or after baking.
How to Freeze Before Baking
Chill the cookie dough as directed in the recipe card. After the dough has been chilled, scoop and roll the dough into balls and chill them again in the refrigerator for 1 hour. Once the cookie dough balls are cold and solid, place them into a large freezer bag.
Freeze the cookie dough balls for up to 3 months. When it’s time to bake the cookies, remove the dough balls from the freezer and thaw on the counter for at least 30 minutes. Then roll in granulated sugar and powdered sugar as instructed in the recipe. Bake as directed.
How to Freeze After Baking
Ensure cookies are completely cool prior to freezing. Store baked cookies in large freezer bags or an air-tight container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Separate layers of cookies with parchment paper (this helps prevent them from sticking together). When ready to enjoy, thaw cookies in the refrigerator or on the counter at room temperature.
It can be called either! What you call it may depend on where you grew up. Whether you call it a crinkle cookie or a crackle cookie, the characteristic cracked top with powdered sugar is what is being referenced.
Coating your cookie dough in granulated sugar prior to coating it with powdered sugar helps ensure your crinkle cookies get that characteristic cracking on top. The double coat of sugars helps keep the interior of the cookie moist longer than the outside of the cookie, prompting the top to crack while the cookie rises during the baking process.
This can occur for a few reasons. Your oven may not be hot enough, or the leavening agent used (in this case, baking powder) has expired.
No, but your cookies will be a less vibrant pink instead of a brighter red. Still cute and delicious.
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📖 Chocolate Cherry Crinkle Cookies
- ½ C unsalted butter
- ¾ C granulated sugar (for the dough)
- 1 large egg
- ⅓ C cherry jam or preserves
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon almond extract
- 1 teaspoon red food coloring
- ¾ C semi-sweet chocolate chips or chunks, roughly chopped
- ½ C dried cherries, roughly chopped
- 1 + ¾ C all-purpose flour
- ¾ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ C granulated sugar (for rolling)
- ½ C powdered Sugar aka confectioners’ sugar (for rolling)
- In a large bowl (or the bowl of a stand mixer), cream together the butter and granulated sugar (*portion in the recipe card denoted "for the dough") until light and fluffy
- Beat in the egg, jam, vanilla extract, almond extract, and red food coloring
- Gradually add in the the dry ingredients, flour, baking powder, and salt until well combined and a dough is formed
- Stir in the chocolate and dried cherries until evenly distributed throughout the dough
- Cover bowl with plastic-wrap and place into the refrigerator to chill
- Chill the dough for these cherry chocolate chip cookies for at least 30 minutes. The dough can also be chilled overnight if that is best for your schedule
- When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 375°F, and line cookie sheets with parchment paper
- Scoop dough into 1 tablespoon-sized portions and roll into a ball. Dip each ball first into granulated sugar to coat, and then into powdered sugar to coat (*portion of sugars in the recipe card denoted "for rolling"). Shake off any excess powdered sugar
- Place dough balls 2 inches apart on the lined baking sheets
- Bake for 13-15 minutes, until cracked and just dry on top*
- Allow the cookies to cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Store cooled cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3-4 days.
- Baked and cooled cookies can be stored in an air-tight container at room temperature for 3-5 days.
- Cherry chocolate crinkle cookies can be frozen before or after baking. See “How to Freeze Crinkle Cookies” section of the blog post for detailed instructions.
Recipe adapted from Food Network’s Christmas Baking Magazine, published December 2020