Chocolate Cayenne Crinkles

It’s Christmas cookie time! Every year I make at least one type of Christmas cookie. It’s a fun tradition and they make an easy, super inexpensive gift (who doesn’t like cookies?!). This year I made these awesome Chocolate Cayenne Crinkles that have all the spicy cocoa flavor of my favorite Aztec Cocoa in a light, chewy cookie.

I saw these Flourless Chocolate Cookies on Cooking Classy and immediately wanted to make them. There are only a few simple ingredients and they looked a lot like the delicate and delicious shell of a macaron. I love how the exterior of a macaron is shiny and thin, but the inside is kind of dense and chewy. That’s exactly how this entire cookie is. YUM!

I wanted to put my own spin on the Flourless Chocolate Cookie, so I decided to add some cayenne pepper. Cayenne and cocoa is an age old duo and one that I can’t get enough of. You can leave the cayenne out and do a plain chocolate cookie, if you desire, or try replacing some of the vanilla extract with peppermint extract for a sort of mint hot cocoa effect. You could even top them with crushed candy canes. Fun, right?

YAY, Christmas cookies!

Chocolate Cayenne Crinkles

Baked Chocolate Cayenne Crinkles on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper

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4.63 from 37 votes

Chocolate Cayenne Crinkles

These flourless Chocolate Cayenne Crinkles have a delicate, crispy exterior, rich chewy interior, and a spicy kick of cayenne. 
Author: Adapted from Cooking Classy
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
Total Time: 45 mins
Servings: 20 cookies


  • 3 cups powdered sugar ($0.54)
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder ($0.48)
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch ($0.04)
  • 1/4 tsp salt ($0.02)
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper ($0.05)
  • 2 large egg whites ($0.42)
  • 1 large whole egg ($0.21)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract ($0.28)
  • 1 cup chocolate chips ($0.91)


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, stir together the powdered sugar, cocoa powder, cornstarch, salt, and cayenne pepper until evenly combined.
  • Add the egg whites, whole egg, and vanilla extract to the powdered sugar mixture. Carefully stir the mixture until all of the powdered sugar has dissolved into the eggs and a very thick batter forms. It may seem like there is not enough moisture to stir in all the powdered sugar, but keep stirring and it will eventually melt in. The mixture will be very thick and stiff, so use a strong spoon. Add the chocolate chips and stir until incorporated.
  • Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Spoon the batter, one heaping tablespoon at a time, onto the baking sheets. Be sure to leave a couple inches between each cookie because they will spread. (I suggest ten cookies per sheet.)
  • Bake one cookie sheet at a time for 14 minutes or until the cookies are puffed and cracked over the surface. Allow the cookies to cool before removing from the parchment.


To make chocolate peppermint cookies, add one teaspoon peppermint extract to the batter and top with crushed candy canes.
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Serving: 1 ServingCalories: 141.26 kcalCarbohydrates: 28.4 gProtein: 2.12 gFat: 3.91 gSodium: 33.85 mgFiber: 2.01 g
Nutritional values are estimates only. See our full nutrition disclaimer here.

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Close up of Chocolate Cayenne Crinkles on baking sheet lined with parchment paper

Close up of a stack of Chocolate Cayenne Crinkles on counter top


 Step by Step Photos

Dry Ingredients in mixing bowl

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a LARGE bowl, combine 3 cups powdered sugar, 3/4 cups unsweetened cocoa powder, 1 Tbsp cornstarch, 1/4 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper. If you’re scared of the spiciness, start with 1/4 tsp cayenne. Make sure the dry ingredients are very well mixed. Hint: use a bowl with steep sides, or you’ll get powdered sugar everywhere.

Wet Ingredients added to dry ingredients in mixing bowl, whisk on the side

Add two large egg whites, one whole egg, and 1 tsp vanilla extract. Begin to carefully stir these into the powdered sugar mixture. You can use a whisk at first, but it will soon get too thick and you’ll need to switch to a spoon.

Stirred Cookie Batter in mixing bowl with fork

As you stir the eggs and vanilla into the powdered sugar it will seem like there’s not enough moisture to make it work (I went back and checked the recipe THREE times to make sure…), but just keep stirring and eventually all of the powdered sugar will melt into it. The batter becomes very thick and stiff.

Chocolate Chips added to cookie dough in mixing bowl with fork

Stir in one cup of chocolate chips. I happened to have some leftover mini-chocolate chips, so I used those.

Cookie sheet lined with parchment paper with unbaked cookie dollops placed on top

Cover two baking sheets with parchment paper. Drop the batter onto the sheets in heaping tablespoons, about ten per sheet. Leave a couple inches between each cookie for them to spread while baking.

Baked Chocolate Crinkles on baking sheet lined with parchment paper

Bake one sheet at a time for 14 minutes, or until the cookies are puffed up and cracked along the top (they deflate upon cooling). Let the cookies cool completely before removing them from the parchment.

Close up of Chocolate Cayenne Crinkles broken in half, with whole cookies in the background

Enjoy the warm chocolatey goodness and the sassy kick of cayenne!