These super soft chocolate cut-out sugar cookies are a perfect alternative to my OG cut-out sugar cookies recipe that I shared with you last December during the holidays! They're easy to make, hold their shape well, and they're...just as the title says...super soft! They're also chocolatey and well, that's my favorite part because it's no secret how much I love chocolate!
helpful tips for perfect chocolate cut-out sugar cookies
Here are some helpful baking tips to help your chocolate cut-out sugar cookies come out perfect every time. You can also see these tips on my super soft cut-out sugar cookies recipe page!
- Roll Out then Chill. To help make things easier for you later on when you go to cut out your cookies, roll out the sugar cookie dough on some lightly floured wax paper before placing it in the refrigerator. Take whatever size jelly roll pan or cookie sheet that will fit in your refrigerator, and roll the dough out so it fits nicely within that size pan or sheet. Layer each roll out of chocolate sugar cookie dough with the wax paper so they don’t stick to each other.
- Chill the Chocolate Cut-Out Sugar Cookie Dough. In order to prevent your cookie dough from spreading as it bakes, it’s good to chill the dough for at least 30 minutes to 1 hour. I have actually chilled mine even longer than 1 hour and have been happy with how the cookies have come out. If you choose not to roll your cookie dough out first before chilling, chill the dough for a minimum of 2 hours.
When it comes time to cutting out the shapes, I like to work with only one roll out of the cookie dough first while keeping the others in the fridge to stay cool. The longer the dough sits out the more likely it is to spread when baking.
- Use Flour As Needed. You’ll more than likely have scraps of chocolate sugar cookie dough after you cut out your cookies. When you roll out the dough, make sure to do so on a lightly floured, clean surface. If you find the dough is sticking, go ahead and add more flour. Don't worry about the flour that you'll see on the cookie dough as you roll it out. This will go away when you bake them.
One more tip — even with using chilled dough, I like to dip my cookie cutters into a little flour before cutting out the shapes. If they still don't want to budge coming out of the cookie cutter, very gently press down on the cookie dough to release it on to the cookie sheet.
- Don’t Over Bake the Cut-Out Sugar Cookies. The recommended baking time for this super soft chocolate cut-out sugar cookie recipe is 7-8 minutes. Over baking sugar cookies can leave them darker, brittle, and hard so make sure to keep an eye on them, especially if you roll them out thinner than the recommended 1/4" thickness.
how to make an easy vanilla buttercream frosting
When I made my super soft cut-out sugar cookies over the holidays, I used royal icing and a vanilla glaze which I tinted different colors. For this chocolate cut-out sugar cookie version, I decided to go with a very easy vanilla buttercream frosting that comes together easily and isn't too sickening sweet next when eaten with the chocolate cut-out sugar cookies.
This easy vanilla buttercream frosting recipe is made up of only the following ingredients: unsalted butter, confectioners sugar, vanilla extract (I used clear), and a pinch of salt. And if you choose to color your buttercream frosting, I recommend using Wilton's Color Right Performance Coloring System or the Americolor brand.
If you're not going to color the vanilla buttercream frosting, check out some tips I suggest trying to get your frosting whiter.
give these other popular cookie recipes a try!
- hot chocolate mini marshmallow cookies
- oatmeal chocolate chip salted caramel cookies
- super soft cut-out sugar cookies
- classic peanut butter blossoms
- double chocolate salted caramel cookies
With Valentine's Day approaching, break out the heart shaped cookie cutters and have some fun making these Super Soft Chocolate Cut-Out Sugar Cookies! Share them with your special shmoo, friends, family, or coworkers! And no matter the holiday, these cookies will be a really nice chocolatey treat!
chocolate cut-out sugar cookies
- 1 1/2 cups All-Purpose Flour
- 3/4 cup Unsweetened Cocoa
- 1 tsp. Baking Soda
- 1 tsp. Cream of Tartar
- Pinch of Salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks) Unsalted Butter, room temperature
- 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
- 1 Large Egg
- 1 1/2 cups Confectioners Sugar (a.k.a. Powdered Sugar)
vanilla buttercream frosting
- 1 cup Unsalted Butter, room temperature
- 4 1/2 cups Confectioners Sugar, sifted
- 1/4 cup Heavy Cream (or Heavy Whipping Cream)
- 2 tsp. Vanilla Extract (I like using clear for my frostings)
- Pinch of Salt
- food coloring of choice - I used Wilton's Color Right Performance Food Coloring in purple
- sprinkles and other cookie decorations of your choice - I used Fancy Sprinkles and Wilton brands
- cookie sheets
- parchment paper
- offset spatula for applying the buttercream
- piping bags and piping tips - if you want to get a little fancy with decorating your cookies (I used Wilton's #18 and #30 from their Master Decorating Tip Set)
chocolate cut-out sugar cookies
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt. Set aside.
- Using your hand mixer or stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the butter for about 1-2 minutes on medium- to medium-high speed. Then add in the vanilla extract and egg until blended. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Switch the mixer speed to slow and add in the Confectioners Sugar. If you need to thicken the buttercream, add 1 tbsp. of confectioners sugar at a time until the desired consistency is achieved.
- Keeping the mixer speed on low, add in the dry mixture until completely blended.
- Roll the chocolate cookie dough to a thickness of approximately 1/4″ onto a lightly floured surface. I would suggest rolling it out onto some parchment paper which will make it easier to place onto the jelly roll pan or cookie sheet for chilling. If you need to add more flour so it doesn’t stick, that’s okay! Just make sure whatever jelly roll pan or cookie sheet you use will fit into your refrigerator. Layer each roll out of chocolate cookie dough with the parchment paper so they don’t stick together. Chill the dough for 30 minutes to an hour. Alternatively, you can shape the dough into discs (like you would for refrigerating pie crust), wrap tightly with plastic wrap, and chill for at least 2 hours.
- After chilling is complete, adjust your oven rack to the 2nd level position and pre-heat your oven to 375ºF. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
- Flour your cookie cutters and cut out your shapes. Place about 1″- 1 1/2″ apart. If you prefer to decorate your cookies using only sanding sugars, now is the time to decorate them.
- Bake cookies for 7-8 minutes. Allow to cool on the cookie sheets for about 5 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack using a spatula. Let them cool completely before decorating them with the buttercream and sprinkles. If cookies are thinner, they may bake quicker.
vanilla buttercream frosting
- Using your hand mixer or stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the butter for about 1-2 minutes on medium- to medium-high speed.
- Then, switching the speed to low, alternate between adding in the confectioners sugar one cup at a time with a little of the heavy cream. Repeat until you've added all of the confectioners sugar and heavy cream, and the buttercream is to the consistency of your liking. If you prefer to have a thicker frosting, add in more confectioners sugar 1 tbsp. at a time.
- Add in the vanilla and pinch of salt.
- If coloring the frosting add the necessary drops to achieve your desired color. For multiple colors, divide frosting into smaller bowls, then add the food coloring.
- Fancy Optional Step - fill piping bags (fitted with different piping tips) with the different color frostings.
- Visit my super soft cut-out sugar cookies page to see the recipes for the vanilla glaze and royal icing options for decorating your cookies.
- Recipe adapted from my super soft cut-out sugar cookies recipe.
- Vanilla Buttercream recipe from home recipe card.
- Heart-shaped Cookie Cutters all came from Michael's.
- Just like my super soft cut-out sugar cookies recipe, I prefer to roll my chocolate sugar cookies out to a 1/4" thickness. If you prefer to roll them out thinner, make sure to pay attention to the time you bake them for because they will bake a little faster than thicker rolled chocolate sugar cookies.
- I used Wilton's Color Right Performance Food Coloring in Purple for the color of the buttercream.
- For the sprinkles I used a mix of Fancy Sprinkles called Violent Violet and Wilton's Purple Sanding Sugar.
- For piping tips, I used Wilton's #18 and #30 from their Master Decorating Tip Set.
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