Cool Whip And Boxed Cake Mix Are Key For Making 3-Ingredient Crinkle Cookies

There's no reason to restrict crackle-topped cookies to the holiday season. Rich chocolate crinkle cookies are just as welcome at a BBQ or birthday party as they are at a Christmas spread. These fudgy treats are also remarkably easy to prepare, making them an especially helpful addition to a packed gathering.

Instead of following the usual cookie recipe, all bakers need is Cool Whip, boxed cake mix, and powdered sugar. Making them is as simple as mixing together the cake mix and dairy alternative, then rolling balls of dough in powdered sugar before baking. Considering that boxed cake mix is the key to bakery-style cookies, it's no surprise that this three-ingredient combination is a winner.


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The result is a treat with a snappy texture and plenty of indulgent, heavy flavor. Some bakers add an egg to moisten and enrich the mixture, but the choice is entirely up to the cook. This addition could make the end result slightly cakey, so prepare based on your preference.

Extra suggestions for crinkle cookie success

Crinkle cookie dough is notoriously sticky, and this shortcut batter is no exception. To make portioning and powdering the dough easier, take inspiration from traditional recipes and chill the chocolate for even easier scooping. Then, channel Ina Garten and portion cookie dough with an ice cream scoop. This will yield better cookies, as they will all bake evenly and the metal tool will limit over-handling.

Traditionally, this dessert is all about the luxurious chocolate flavor. However, bakers can put their own spin on the dessert by using different types of cake mix, like lemon or strawberry. Pigmented devil's food cake is a great alternative, as the dark mixture will create a visual contrast against the powdered sugar crackled exterior. Although ube cake mix is tougher to track down, adding powdered root or extract would also impart a vibrant hue.

Bakers should also give thought to the toppings. Although the simple powdered sugar crust is a classic, the seasonal treat adapts well to flavorful additions in the batter and sprinkled across the top. Consider folding in bright peppermint extract, bitter espresso powder, or zesty citrus zest for a surprise; or make a visual impact with a dusting of warming cinnamon, cocoa powder, or sesame seeds. If these bites are destined for a tea party, consider infusing lavender or matcha — or both, to evoke the stars of the Starbucks spring lineup.

How to ensure a crinkled, crackled cookie top

A beautiful crinkle cookie must live up to its name. Without the cracks and fissures, the treat is merely a delicious chocolate disk. To ensure the powdered sugar fractures properly, cooks should keep a few factors in mind.

First, ensure you use a relatively fresh box of cake mix. Old ingredients, like baking powder and other leavening agents, can leave the cookies flat and smooth. The oven is another culprit. The cookies need a hot oven to rise and expand, so double-check the temperature before baking. An overly wet dough can also hinder success, so keep this in mind as you fold in extra ingredients.

The dough's surface needs to dry out so that spaces will form on its exterior, and the powdered sugar remains crisp and white. Though it's tempting to bake multiple sheets of these fast cookies at once, opt for the slower approach and allow each tray to bake on its own. This encourages even evaporation and a nice rise. Granulated sugar also helps dry the surface, so if all else fails, roll the balls in both types of sugar before baking.