Soft chocolate sugar cookies topped with whipped vanilla buttercream to delight your sweet tooth!

>> Jump to the recipe

Chocolate Sugar Cookies |

My husband and I don’t really do much to celebrate Valentine’s Day. This year we’ll probably just enjoy a nice meal at home together as a family and share a bottle of champagne after the kids go to bed. No frills, no fuss.

I’m just not that big of a fan of the holiday with its overpriced flowers, crowded restaurants, etc. That being said, Valentine’s Day is good for one thing:


Chocolate Sugar Cookies |

Chocolate Sugar Cookies |

I do have a soft spot for Valentine’s Day treats. Cookies, candies, chocolates, cake— just give me all the sugary confections.

I discovered these chocolate sugar cookies a few years ago and they’ve been a favorite ever since. They’re soft, chocolatey and fabulous enough all on their own. But I can’t resist the opportunity to pile on my favorite whipped vanilla buttercream, it’s dreamy! The combo of the cookies and the frosting is a match made in heaven, and it sure makes my sweet tooth happy.

Throw in some festive food coloring and fun sprinkles and you’ve got some adorable, and delicious, Valentine’s Day treats.

Chocolate Sugar Cookies |

>> Have you tried this recipe? I’d love to hear about it! Leave a comment below, send me an email, or take a photo and tag it on instagram with #completelydelicious.

Chocolate Sugar Cookies with Vanilla Buttercream
Yield: Approximately 3 dozen cookies
Chocolate cookies:
  • 1 cup (227 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
  • ½ cup (115 grams) light or dark brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups (375 grams) all-purpose flour
  • ⅔ cup (60 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons espresso powder (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
Vanilla buttercream:
  • 4 cups (1 lb, 455 grams) powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 cup (227 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ¼ cup (65 ml) heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon almond extract
  • Food coloring (optional)
  • Sprinkles (optional)
To make the cookies:
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment or in a bowl with a hand mixer, beat the butter and sugars on high until pale and creamy, about 4 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing after each. Add the vanilla extract and mix until combined.
  2. In a separate bowl, sift together the cocoa powder, flour, espresso powder (if using) and salt. Add to the mixer bowl in 2 additions and mix on low until just combined. Divide dough in half and place on a sheet of plastic wrap. Use the plastic wrap to help shape the dough into a disk (dough will be sticky). Cover completely with the plastic wrap. Chill dough for 1 hour and up to a few days.
  3. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 325 degrees F and line 2 sheet pans with parchment paper.
  4. Working with one disk of dough at a time, roll out on a lightly floured surface to about ¼ inch thick. Cut shapes as desired. Place on the prepared sheet pans ½ inch apart. Chill in the freezer for 15 minutes.
  5. Bake cookies just until the edges are firm, 13-16 minutes depending on the size of your cookies. Do not over bake. Since the cookies are dark in color it may be difficult to see when they are done, so you may wish to bake a few test cookies to be sure you get the timing right.
  6. Let the cookies cool completely before frosting.
  7. Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for several days. Unfrosted cookies may be frozen for up to one month, stacked between layers of wax paper.
To make the frosting:
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment or in a bowl with a hand mixer, beat the powdered sugar, butter, whipping cream, vanilla and almond extracts on low speed a few minutes until the mixture comes together in a thick frosting. Increase speed to high and whip for several minutes until light and airy, scraping the bowl down periodically. Add food coloring and mix until smooth, if desired.
  2. Frost cooled cookies as desired. Frosting can be made up to 2 days in advance. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.
Recipe adapted from Sweetapolita.

This recipe was originally published in February 2013. Photos have been updated and slight changes to the wording of the recipe have been made.

You may also like these posts:

Keep in touch! Subscribe to Completely Delicious and follow me on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram.

This page contains affiliate links, which provide me a small percentage of all purchases made through them.


30 Responses to Chocolate Sugar Cookies

  1. These are the prettiest sugar cookies! You know you need to make those for John’s class Valentine’s parties when he’s older, right?

  2. Um, hello chocolate sugar cookies. Where have you been all my life?

  3. Abril says:

    It looks yummy!! How many cookies do you get with this recipe?

    Thanks 🙂

  4. These are beautiful. Food styling and photography is something you have down girl. Seriously. Every picture you take is PERFECT.

  5. Janey says:

    Agreed, perfect pictures. Open a print shop on Etsy right this minute!!

  6. I love your regular sugar cookies so I’m sure these will be amazing as well. And you decorated them so perfectly!! Where was little John while all this was going down?!

    • Annalise says:

      Thank you! And John was napping, playing with his toys, and then crying for attention. Frosting sugar cookies (and photographing them) takes way too long!

  7. Becky M says:

    I agree with Meghan, chocolate sugar cookies are genius! Pinterest is not letting me pin your image though!

  8. Tina says:

    These cookies look delightful Annalise. I’ve never had chocolate flavoured sugar cookies; can’t wait to give these a try. I also found royal icing quite tricky to work with, but there’s nothing quite like that shiny smooth finish!

  9. Naoko says:

    I made these last night and it took me hours… because, I have a small fridge, a small freezer, and a small oven. I could only chill, freeze, and bake a small amount at a time. But it was worth it! They came out looking great and delicious!! Thanks for sharing a great recipe. (I found it on Pinterest)

    • Annalise says:

      It definitely it a little time consuming. I can agree with you there. If you’re not so concerned about the cookies keeping their shape, some of the chilling can be skipped. I’m glad you liked them though. I agree, totally worth the effort!

  10. I love the idea of chocolate sugar cookies. These look simply perfect…I’ll take both frosted and unfrosted!

  11. Jennifer says:

    These sound wonderful! I am going to make them tonight. I might try my typical sugar cookie frosting since the royal icing is hard to work with. I use Confectioner’s Sugar, milk, and vanilla (plus food coloring). Can’t wait till these are done!

  12. Tiffany says:

    Annalise, These are delicious! Thank you for posting. I was looking for something a little different to make for Valentine’s Day. These have been a hit so far. I mixed up my second batch last night and will get them baked and ready for deliver tonight.

  13. Jen says:

    Your cookies are gorgeous, but I ran into more than a few problems making them. The instructions don’t really explain why you refrigerate than freeze the cookies. Also, no flour is used when rolling out the dough? I improvised a bit, but thought I’d let you know.

    • Annalise says:

      I think that the reason you chill them in the fridge is because you want to keep the dough cold, while still being able to work with it. After you’ve shaped the cookies, the freezer just helps get them really cold before baking and ensures they keep their shape while in the oven.

      I will change the instructions to mention flour during rolling and cutting. Thanks!

  14. Now I can make a batch of these for myself and a batch of regular for my hubby (and I’ll probably eat them all…)

    They look truly gorgeous.

  15. Elizabeth says:

    I made these yesterday. They are AWESOME.

    My husband loves sugar cookies so I got this idea to do an elaborate set of them for Valentine’s day and on a whim searched for chocolate sugar cookies. This recipe seemed the best out of the ones I found and I’m so glad I made them because they ROCK. I only bothered chilling the dough in between rolling and cutting the shapes (grab a hunk from the freezer, roll it, repeat) and they still held their shapes very well, much better than the traditional sugar cookies I also made the previous day. I will definitely be making these again. If I just omitted the cocoa powder do you think this recipe would be fine to make regular sugar cookies? I was just so pleased with how they held up.

    Thanks again for putting this up, and your pictures are BEAUTIFUL. My frosting didn’t turn out quite so perfect looking, but hey, good frosting job or bad they still taste the same.

  16. Nan Sang says:

    Would it be possible to freeze the dough for later?

  17. Danika says:

    I’m so glad someone made the sweetapolita recipe smaller! But I’m wondering why if the recipe is halved, you still use the same amount of eggs?

  18. katie says:

    Has anyone had success freezing this recipe? I want to make it now (very pregnant and due any day) and make them in a few weeks for Valentine’s Day?!?!

    • Annalise says:

      You can certainly freeze this recipe! You have two options – 1. Follow instruction through step #2, wrapping dough twice in plastic wrap, and store in the freezer for up to 1 month. Let thaw in the fridge overnight before using. Proceed with recipe. And 2. Follow instructions through step #4. After freezing cut-out cookies for 15 minutes, transfer to a freezer ziplock bag or airtight container and store in the freezer for up to 1 month. You may want to place parchment paper in between stacks of cookies to make sure they don’t freeze solid together. When you’re ready to bake, place frozen cookies on parchment-lined baking sheet and proceed. Hope this helps!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *