Chocolate Sugar Cookies are soft cookies full of chocolate flavor and topped with a creamy homemade chocolate frosting. For a more classic sugar cookie recipe, check out my Sugar Cookie recipe.

Chocolate Sugar Cookie

This chocolate sugar cookie is a cookie that looks a lot like a chocolate swig cookie. Swig cookies originated in Utah, and what makes them different than a traditional sugar cookie is that the dough is scooped out, not rolled. Then, after being baked, they are topped with frosting. Because of this, these sugar cookies are not the best to be cut-out sugar cookies. But, they sure are delicious to eat!

Overhead Image of Chocolate Sugar Cookies with Chocolate Frosting on White Surface

Chocolate Sugar Cookie Recipe

This cookie recipe does have a few untraditional ingredients like confectioners’ sugar (in the cookie!), cream of tartar, and oil. However, it all comes together perfectly to create the best chocolate sugar cookie you will try! And, of course, there is also the chocolate frosting that you won’t want to forget about.

Chocolate Sugar Cookies with Chocolate Frosting on White Surface with Small Offset Spatula for Spreading Frosting

How to Make Chocolate Sugar Cookies

I recommend using a stand mixer for this chocolate sugar cookie recipe as you really need the ingredients to be evenly incorporated and to be mixed just long enough. I watch my mixer pretty close after all ingredients are added and wait for it to pull away from the sides of the bowl (much like bread dough does).

  1. First, combine the butter, granulated sugar, and confectioners’ sugar in the bowl and mix until just combined. 
  2. Next, drizzle in the oil and add the eggs, water, and vanilla extract, mixing well. 
  3. Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, salt, baking soda, and cream of tartar.
  4. Slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and use the stand mixer to mix until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
  5. I like to make sure the cookies are consistent in shape and size. Using a scoop makes this possible! Simply scoop the dough and then level it on the side of the bowl. Drop the dough onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Once your sheet is full, roll each ball in your clean hands until they are round and smooth.
  6. Then, with a kitchen glass that has granulated sugar on the bottom, press down into the cookie dough ball. Repeat that on all your cookies and they will all come out the same size!
  7. Finally, bake the cookies for 8-12 minutes, or until the edges are just starting to brown. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet while you prepare the chocolate frosting.

Chocolate Sugar Cookies with Chocolate Frosting on White Counter with Other Cookies Around it

How to Make Chocolate Frosting

To make the frosting, simply add all of the ingredients into a mixing bowl. Or, you could use a clean bowl of your stand mixer. Blend together until smooth. Then, it’s easy to frost the cooled cookies.

Put a dollop of frosting on an offset spatula then smooth it around the center indentation of the cookie. For the final “swoop”, I hold my offset spatula steady, turn the cookie one direction, then turn it back in the other, moving the spatula slightly lower. It sounds complicated, but it’s really quite easy once you get the hang of it. The best part is that practicing is fun and you get to eat any mistakes!

How to Store Chocolate Sugar Cookies

Chocolate Sugar Cookies can be stored at room temperature for a few days, but they are really great chilled in the refrigerator as well! If you want to freeze the cookies, lay them on a parchment-lined baking sheet in the freezer until frozen. Then, store the frozen cookies in an airtight, freezer-safe container or zipped freezer-safe bag. Be sure to label and date the containers. They will last up to a month in the freezer.

One Chocolate Swig Cookie Broken in Half Showing the Inside Texture

Looking for More Chocolate Desserts?

Dirty Chocolate Cookies

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4.67 from 3 votes

Chocolate Sugar Cookie

Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 12 mins
Total Time 32 mins
Chocolate Sugar Cookies are soft cookies full of chocolate flavor and topped with a creamy homemade chocolate frosting.



  • 1 cup (2 sticks or 226g) unsalted butter, softened
  • cups (250g) granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup (94g) confectioners' sugar
  • ¾ cup (163.5g) vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • cups (562.5g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (118g) dutch process cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon cream of tartar


  • 2 cups (250g) confectioners' sugar
  • ¼ cup (29.5g) cocoa powder, sifted
  • ¼ cup (61g) whole milk
  • ¼ cup (1/2 stick or 57g) butter, melted


  • Preheat oven to 350° F.


  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the butter, granulated sugar, and confectioners' sugar, and mix until just combined.
  • Drizzle in oil and pour in eggs, water, and vanilla extract and mix well.
  • In another bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, salt, baking soda, and cream of tartar.
  • Slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and allow the mixer to combine until the dough pulls away from the sides of the mixer bowl.
  • Using an ice cream/cookie scoop, scoop out golf-ball-size portions on a parchment-lined cookie sheet.
  • Roll out each cookie dough ball until it is smooth and round.
  • Using a kitchen glass that has been pressed into granulated sugar, press down on each cookie dough ball until the center of the cookie is pressed flatter than the edges. Repeat this on all cookies.
  • Bake for 8-12 minutes or until edges are just slightly starting to brown and center no longer appears wet. Allow the cookies to cool as you make the frosting.
  • NOTE: It is important to NOT over-bake the cookies. Be sure to check your cookies at 7 minutes. Every oven is different and overbaking can result in a tough, crumbly, tasteless cookie. Let your first batch be a test batch so you can ensure the remaining cookies are perfect and soft!


  • In mixing bowl, place all of the ingredients and blend together using a hand-held mixer or stand mixer.
  • Spread over cooled cookie using an offset spatula or butter knife

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Meet Amanda Rettke

Amanda Rettke is the creator of I Am Baker, and the bestselling author of Surprise Inside Cakes: Amazing Cakes for Every Occasion – With a Little Something Extra Inside.Over the course of her 15+ year blogging adventure, she has been featured in and collaborated with the Food Network, New York Times, LA Times, Country Living Magazine, People Magazine, Epicurious, Brides, Romantic Homes, life:beautiful, Publishers Weekly, The Daily Mail, Star Tribune, The Globe and Mail, DailyCandy, YumSugar, The Knot, The Kitchn, and Parade, to name a few.

Reader Comments

  1. Do you have any directions or substitutes for making these cookies (or any of your other recipes) diabetic friendly. Thank you

    1. Hi, Ella! I work with iambaker and am happy to help with questions. We don’t currently focus on diabetic-friendly recipes on the website.

  2. I see your note about freezing them already baked… would it be possible to free the dough (already flattened!) and then bake from frozen?

  3. Good morning Ella, I always bake a lot over the holidays and have been looking for a new cookie recipe. This one sounds awesome and I am a big chocolate fan. I can not wait to try it and give some to all my friends as I bake them presents. It sounds so simple. I do not have a stand up mixer do you think I can make it work mixing by hand mixer? Thanks

  4. I made these cookies for family thanksgiving and everyone loved them! The flavor in the cookies is amazing, I’ve never had chocolate cookies that had that much flavor. This recipe is definitely a keeper!”

  5. I’m making this right now and the dough is not coming off the walls of the bowl. Is there a special mixer you use

  6. These were absolutely awful. The cookies had no flavor and were very dry. I did not over bake them. The frosting was delicious but it couldn’t save the cookies. Also you would need to double the frosting for the amount of cookies this recipe makes.

  7. My family really enjoyed these cookies! I made the frosting without the cocoa powder so it was vanilla and they turned out great!

  8. Is the calories listed for the whole recipe or per cookie?
    FYI I turned this into a dairy free cookie for my daughter with an allergy by subbing the butter for dairy free becel block “butter” sticks and it is amazing!

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