These festive fudge crinkle cookies with cake mix are a holiday must-have. There’s no reason not to bake them any day, though!
They’re thick and fudgy, moist and ooey-gooey, and with crisp and crackly exteriors.
They’re like brownies, but better because they melt in your mouth. How incredible is that?
The best part? You won’t need to make the cookie dough from scratch. All it takes is a cake mix.
So, if you’re looking for a dessert that’s mind-blowingly delicious but a cinch to make at the same time, you’ve just found it. Let the baking begin.
Fudge Crinkle Cookies with Cake Mix
With a simple coating of powdered sugar, you’ll transform a simple cookie dough into the most festive, holiday-worthy dessert.
Where I come from, Christmas isn’t complete without these fudge crinkle cookies.
Oh, how I adore these treats. First of all, how iconic is their look? That white crackly exterior resting on the dark brown backdrop is such a show-stopper.
The appearance alone makes them perfect for the holidays.
This recipe is also embarrassingly easy. You’ll use a cake mix to make the dough, so it couldn’t be simpler. Just dump all the ingredients in a bowl and mix!
How to Make Crinkle Cookies
First, pick the cake mix. I love using Betty Crocker’s Devil’s Food Cake Mix for this recipe, but other variations work well, too. Feel free to make it your own.
In a large bowl, beat together the cake mix, oil, eggs, and vanilla.
I like to use an electric mixer for this recipe because it yields a smoother batter.
Stop mixing as soon as you no longer see streaks of cake mix to avoid over-mixing.
Expect a soft and sticky dough. This is the only thing I don’t like about this recipe – you have to let the dough chill in the freezer first.
Thirty minutes will do, but if you want a deeper flavor, I say give it about 3 hours.
Once chilled, preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Form the dough into 1-inch balls. I like to use a cookie or ice cream scoop for uniformity.
Then, pour granulated sugar in a bowl, and powdered sugar in another. Roll the balls first in granulated sugar, then in powdered sugar.
Most recipes don’t require this step, but if you want that beautiful, white, crackly finish, trust me on this one.
Without this technique, most of the powdered sugar will melt into the cookies. This is why some cookies end up being more yellow-ish than white.
With the granulated sugar serving as a barrier between the cookies and the powdered sugar, you’ll get those gorgeous crinkly tops every crinkle cookie should have.
Once coated, place the cookie dough balls on a cookie sheet, allowing for 2 inches of space in between.
Bake for 9 to 11 minutes and let them cool on the sheet for 1 minute. Transfer them onto a wire rack to cool completely, about 30 minutes.
That’s it. Easy-peasy. Serve and enjoy!
Why Are My Crinkle Cookies Flat?
You probably didn’t chill the dough for at least 30 minutes. Warm or room temperature dough will overspread while baking, making the cookies flat.
Tips for Making The Best Cookies
- I love devil’s food cake mix for these crinkle cookies, but feel free to experiment with other cake mixes, too. The recipe works great with lemon, chocolate, and strawberry cake mixes, to name a few.
- Vegetable oil makes these cookies ultra-moist and fudgy. If you want more richness and butteriness, though, you can swap half of the oil with melted butter.
- Use room temperature oil and eggs for easy mixing. Take the eggs out of the fridge 1 hour before baking or immerse them in hot water for several seconds to warm them.
- If you want bigger cookies, bake them for 2 minutes longer.
- Use an electric mixer when to make a smoother dough and extra-chewy crinkle cookies.
- Expect a soft and sticky dough. To make it easier to shape and roll, freeze it for 30 minutes.
- Use a cookie or ice cream scoop to form the balls to make even cookie sizes. The uniformity will make for even sizes.
- Roll the cookie dough balls in granulated sugar before the powdered sugar. This technique prevents the powdered sugar from melting into the cookies while baking. It results in extra pretty, extra crinkly cookies.
- Be very generous when coating the balls in powdered sugar. Some of the sugar will melt during baking, so you’ll need a lot to make that pretty crackled design.
- Don’t bake the cookies on dry days. Humidity melts powdered sugar like no other.
- You don’t need to flatten the cookies – they’ll do so on their own while baking. But if you notice them not flattening enough by the 9-minute mark, take the sheet out of the oven and bang it on the counter twice or thrice to help it spread. Continue to bake for the remaining minutes.
- Bake one cookie sheet at a time. Two or more trays will result in underbaked or unevenly baked cookies.
- Don’t be tempted to bake the cookies over 11 minutes. They’ll seem too soft and gooey especially in the middle, but they’ll firm up as they set.
- As chocolatey as these cookies are, you can’t go wrong with more chocolate. Throw in your favorite chocolate chips to the mix for an extra chocolatey kick. You can try other candies, like mint chips and M&M’s, as well.
- Other mix-in suggestions:
- Shredded coconut for a tropical twist
- A Hershey’s Kiss in the middle for an extra chocolatey goodness
- Stuff the middle with a caramel square for an ooey-gooey surprise center
- Ground cinnamon and cayenne pepper for a Mexican flair
Can You Freeze Crinkle Cookies?
Absolutely. Just place them in an air-tight container with a piece of parchment paper in between to prevent them from sticking.
Fudge crinkle cookies will keep well for up to 3 months in the freezer. Thaw them at room temperature for several minutes before serving.
The cookies will absorb the powdered sugar over time, so just re-roll them in powdered sugar after you thaw them.
If you don’t plan on keeping them around long, place them in an airtight container and store them at room temperature for up to 7 days or in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
You can also freeze the cookie dough for up to 3 months. Shape it into balls beforehand so you can simply pop them in the oven whenever.
Once they’re shaped, freeze the balls for 1 hour or until they’re frozen solid.
Then, transfer them into freezer-safe bags, squeezing as much excess air as you can before sealing to prevent freezer burn.
Frozen crinkle cookie dough will also last for up to 3 months.
When you’re ready to bake, thaw the cookies on the counter for 30 minutes. Roll the balls in granulated sugar and powdered sugar, and bake as instructed.
More Cookie Recipes You’ll Love
- Lemon Cake Mix Cookies
- Old-Fashioned Whoopie Pies
- Soft and Chewy Snickerdoodle Cookies
- 5-Ingredient Chewy Coconut Macaroons
- No-Bake Cookies
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