Flourless Mexican Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

Mexican Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

The title I’ve given this post is a bit of a misnomer. These cookies aren’t made from Mexican chocolate. But they are inspired by some crazy delicious cookies I was obsessed with a couple years ago. It was a short-lived romance, as the baker had a limited supply of Mexican chocolate that she brought back from a trip abroad, and it ran out far too quickly.

I hadn’t thought about those cookies in a while, but they came to mind when I was working with this recipe. The two are nothing alike, texturally, but once I got the thought of chocolate + warm spices into my head, there was no turning back.

Mexican Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

These cookies aren’t your typical crinkle cookies, and it’s not just the spices that make them unusual. I want to really love crinkle cookies, every time I eat them. But almost all of them seem to disappoint me on the second day, when they start to taste stale and less decadent than they had been when they were fresh from the oven. So, in my quest for a super fudgy version, I happened upon this recipe.

I will never not be intrigued by an unusual recipe. And a flourless cookie made with egg whites and a whole lotta melted chocolate? That is not the norm when it comes to crinkle cookies. The result is a fudgy, decadent cookie. Reminiscent of a brownie in texture, with a crispy meringue-like outside. They are different, for sure. They are also delicious.

Mexican Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

Mexican Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

A couple warnings: The dough is a teensy bit tricky to work with, as it’s quite wet and close to being a batter. But once you get the hang of handling it, it isn’t so bad. Also, these didn’t turn out to be the prettiest crinkle cookies for me. The ones in the original post look great, so it could just be my oven. But I don’t really care what these things look like, because they’re so darn tasty. Also, I’d dare say they’re better on the second day, once the bits of chocolate have completely hardened and the outsides have turned perfectly crisp. The cinnamon, cayenne, and ancho chile powder add a very nice flavor to the cookies, balancing out the chocolatey decadence. All in all, a great cookie. (And a gluten free one too!)

Mexican Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

Flourless Mexican Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

(adapted from Bakerita via Yammie’s Glutenfreedom)

1 1/2 cups of high quality semi- or bittersweet chocolate (depending on your preference), chopped and divided into 1 cup + 1/2 cup portions

3 egg whites, room temperature

2 1/2 cups of powdered sugar, divided into 1 cup + 1 cup + 1/2 cup portions

1/2 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder

1 tbsp cornstarch

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp cayenne

1/8 tsp ancho chile powder

1/8 tsp nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350° and line a baking sheet with parchment or a silpat. Melt 1 cup of the chopped chocolate in a heavy saucepan over low heat, or in a heatproof bowl in the microwave.

Sift together 1 cup of powdered sugar, cocoa powder, cornstarch, and spices and set aside.

Beat the egg whites to soft peaks, then slowly beat in the other 1 cup of powdered sugar. Continue beating until the mixture resembles a soft marshmallow creme. Beat in the cocoa powder mixture, and then the melted chocolate. Then stir in the remaining half cup of chopped chocolate. Let the mixture sit for 5–10 minutes. (It may look very runny at first, but it will stiffen up as it rests.)

Put the remaining 1/2 cup of powdered sugar in a shallow bowl. Scoop tablespoons of dough, drop them in the powdered sugar, and roll them around until well coated. Place two inches apart on your baking sheet.

Bake for around 10 minutes, or until the cookies have puffed up and begun to crack. Let cool for 10 minutes on the sheet, then transfer to a rack.

Mexican Chocolate Crinkle Cookies


  1. lynx artemis says

    thank you sooo much! i am very excited to make this and even more excited that it’s flourless and dairy free as those are my current diet limitations (o how i love dairy. a smidge too much, it seems). your food writing is so inpirational- my new favorite. please keep sharing:)

    • says

      Thank you! It makes me so happy when I find a recipe that’s exactly what I was looking for, AND it just so happens to suit special dietary needs. :)

    • says

      Thanks, Willow! :) It’s a strange cookie indeed. The batter for the stuff is so crazy. I had zero confidence in it when I first mixed it up, because it was practically pourable. Then it stiffened right up in a matter of minutes. Magic!

  2. says

    I once made ‘moonshine’ banana bars even though I was a few decades shy of having access to the real deal (for better or worse!). As food bloggers, I think we have the green light to spin our post titles. :D

    This surreal take on crinkle cookies looks brilliant! Love the idea of a fudgy cookie with a dusting of sugar.

  3. says

    Totally agree with Lan! These are wonderful. I love spicy chocolate any kind of way, and in a flourless (!) cookie sounds like one of the best ways so far. Beautiful. Thank you for posting this!

  4. says

    I made Mexican chocolate biscotti once. Oh my gosh, it was awful. Too much chile, not enough chocolate, and the rock hard crunch of the too thick cookies made it one of the worst recipes I have ever tried. So I’ve backed off of both biscotti and Mexican chocolate things. But these. I mean, come on. There’s so much chocolate, just a bit of chile, and a dreamy texture involved. These cookies may be my antidote.

    Also, they are beautiful. The dark cookies poking through that bright white coating?! So striking.

    • says

      Hahaha, oh no! I can definitely imagine how that could go awry. :) These cookies could most definitely be the antidote. So much chocolate, just a little kick of spice!

  5. says

    ANCHO CHILI POWDER? holler, girl. i have a massive bag of it (alongside my new sichuan salt which i got after being inspired by your pb cups). these are gorgeous and i love their snowy look :)

    • says

      Oh man, I have a mondo bag of it too! It’s probably going to take me a year to get through it. But that’s OK, I’ll just make these cookies every week. :)

  6. says

    The first time I ate Mexican chocolate, I was so confused. All that heat! What was going on in my mouth? I like it when food does that to me though—the flavors all meld together into one prolonged experience, and I find myself eating slower and savoring each bite (like salted butter on toast, yum). These cookies sound that way. I have to confess though, I’ve never eaten a crinkle cookie before. (You know about my cookie-less childhood, right?) Up to this point, I’ve only admired them from afar, mostly their cute powdered sugar exteriors. Now that I know they’re fudgy on the inside, they’re on my need-to-try list!

    By the way, where does the remaining 1/2 cup of chocolate chips go? Are your cookies filled with melted chips like Yammie’s?

    • says

      Oooo, I think I do know about that! My goodness. You need to try some crinkle cookies! Especially these. :)

      And THANK YOU, I completely forgot about that extra 1/2 cup of chips! Those get mixed in right at the end. On the second day, they taste like brownies with chocolate chunks in them (which are pretty much my favorite things ever).

  7. says

    Mmmmm these sound SO good! I love spicy chocolate, there was this truffle at an Oregon-based chocolate company Moonstruck that had chile powder in it and blew my mind when I first had it. I’ve never had it in cookie-form though, this must be remedied. And I think they look beautiful! I love the texture of them and the contrast, really goes beautifully with the backdrop. :) I hope you have a Merry Christmas if we don’t chat on the inter webs before then, my dear!!!

    • says

      Thanks, Eva! Isn’t chocolate + spice one of the best things ever? Making these cookies made me realize that I want to turn the same flavor combo into an ice cream this summer. MmmmmMM.

      Merry Christmas to you and Jeremy and Gabel and Sequoia!!! xoxo

  8. says

    Hey Carrie!

    Looks like I found the perfect Christmas gift cookie–I had to read the recipe three times because I couldn’t believe that there was no butter or oil in it. Very impressive!

    A couple questions-how spicy are these? Is there room to kick it up a notch?

    And about how many cookies will one batch yield? I’m planning on buying double the ingredients…mostly just so I can eat several while they are still warm and still have enough to give away :) but am hoping to plan for about 50 cookies.

    Thanks for indulging my chocolate and spicy addictions in one fantastic cookie!

    • says

      I know, right? It’s my instinct to question the deliciousness of a baked good that doesn’t call for butter, but it definitely isn’t missed in these!

      They aren’t super spicy. There’s definitely room to take it up a notch or two. I think you could probably go as far as to double the cayenne if you’d like them to really have a kick. If you do, I’d up the cinnamon and nutmeg too, just to balance things out.

      And OOPS, I completely forgot to put the yield in there! It makes around 2 doz cookies, so I double batch would probably serve you well. :)

  9. says

    Carey — these look absolutely awesome! The photos are beautiful, and the recipe sounds sooo good. The first time I ever had chile powder in chocolate was at a little shop up in Burlington a good ten years ago or so, and it was awesome, though I’ve never played around with the two in my home kitchen. Crinkle cookies are one of my childhood favorites, so I’m looking forward to playing around with these more grown-up versions! Thanks for sharing!

    • says

      Thank you, Angela! :) And oooo, I wonder if that shop was Lake Champlain Chocolates? They make a mean Aztec hot chocolate that I got capital-A Addicted to when I first moved here. I’ve managed to cut down to a normal level, but oh man, is it good. Chocolatey and spicy and perfect.

  10. says

    Flour in cookies is so overrated – I love the meringue-like quality that these have, so super soft and chewy. And that combo of chocolate + spice is just totally swoon-worthy.

  11. says

    Oooh, I’ve been eying that Yammie (/Bakerita) recipe for ages, and I LOVE the warm spices that you’ve added! I’m just discovering the wonders of ancho chile (just pureed a bunch into posole!) and I bet the flavor is heavenly with all that chocolate – yum! What a brilliant way to use up extra egg whites, too. Totally making these! :D

    • says

      I just started getting into ancho chiles too, and they are awesome! Such a great mix of heat and smokiness. Definitely awesome with chocolate! :)

  12. says

    I came across your site via Cynthia’s “favorites” list on Two Red Bowls, and boy am I glad I discovered your blog! Your photography is so beautiful and enigmatic – I’ve been pinning them left and right. Thank you so much for your bountiful inspiration, dear Carey!



    • says

      Thank you so much, Haruka! I also found you through Cynthia, immediately subscribed, and eagerly perused. :) Your photography and styling is absolutely gorgeous, and I’m so excited that you found me too!

  13. Lesley Bailey says

    I made these and almost loved them. The texture is awesome! Do you think using less sugar is ok or will it impact the cookie in some way? I’d love the same cookie a little less sweet. Thank you!

    • carey says

      If you’d like to decrease the sugar, I’d recommend upping the cocoa powder slightly as well. This will also help make them less sweet, and (hopefully) not mess too much with whatever structural integrity the sugar/cocoa bring to the cookie, given that they’re flourless.


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