Italian Chocolate Spice Cookies Recipe

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Italian Chocolate Spice Cookies Recipe is an easy one-bowl chocolate cookie that is soft and cake-like with plenty of chocolaty flavor and a hint of warm spice. This is an old family recipe you will love.

If you love classic Italian cookies try these recipes: Soft AMARETTI Cookies and Basic Italian BiscottiItalian Ladyfinger (Savoiardi), Lemon Ricotta Cookies (Italian Recipe), or Italian Butter Cookies Recipe (bakery style). Happy baking!

chocolate spice cookies on a plate with pieces of chocolate, orange and spices, in the background.
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Italian Chocolate Spice Cookies

Italian chocolate spice cookies are one of our favorite cookies to make for a Christmas cookie tray or any time during the holiday season. These aren’t just Christmas cookies- we make them for any special occasion.

One of our family’s favorite cookies for a reason. These little cookies are simply irresistible. These cookies have a chewy chocolate cake center and a soft, yet crisp outside. 

If you visit a European Christmas market around Christmas time you will see variations of these chocolate spice cookies in many shapes, flavors, and forms.

Simple Ingredients

There aren’t many ingredients in this recipe, so it’s important to use high-quality products. I prefer to use European butter for extra flavor in all our pie and cookie recipes. You likely have all of these other basic ingredients on hand.

ingredient shot for recipe
  • All-purpose flour
  • Cocoa powder
  • Baking powder
  • Salt
  • Nutmeg
  • Cinnamon
  • Vanilla extract
  • Eggs
  • Granulated sugar
  • Milk
  • Butter
  • Bittersweet chocolate 
  • Orange Zest
  • Powdered sugar for rolling cookies

See the recipe card for quantities.

How to Make Italian Chocolate Spice Cookies (Step-by-Step Photos)

Making Italian chocolate spice cookies is fun and easy. The dough comes together in one bowl and then you simply roll them into balls and cover them in powdered sugar before baking. They look so pretty with the crinkle top look from the icing sugar.

process for making Italian chocolate spice cookies: beating eggs and sugar until light and fluffy.

In a large bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk the eggs on medium-high speed until nice and frothy (about 3-4 minutes). Slowly add sugar. Continue to whisk until well combined and slightly thickened. The mixture will be pale yellow and light.

process for making Italian chocolate spice cookies: adding chocolate and butter to eggs and sugar (wet ingredients)

Add the milk, butter, melted chocolate, vanilla extract, and zest (if using). Mix until well combined. Remove the bowl from the stand mixer.

process for making Italian chocolate spice cookies: sifting all dry ingredient with a mesh strainer over the bowl of wet ingredients.
process for making Italian chocolate spice cookies: sifting in dry ingredients to the wet cookie dough ingredients.

Sift in the dry ingredients (flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt, and spices) over the mixture of wet ingredients and mix with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula until well combined.

process for making Italian chocolate spice cookies: mixing wet and dry ingredients to a smooth and sticky dough.

At this point, the dough will be soft. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

process for making Italian chocolate spice cookies: unbaked on cookie sheet ready to bake.

Take the dough out of the fridge and scoop the dough with a medium-sized cookie scoop. Roll the dough into a ball with floured hands.
Roll each dough ball into a smooth ball and then roll in a small bowl of powdered sugar (icing sugar). 

process for making Italian chocolate spice cookies: unbaked cookies on cookie tray .
big and soft Italian chocolate spice cookies freshly baked on a baking tray.

Place the dough balls onto the lined cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. Continue to roll until all of the dough is used.

Bake for about 8-10 minutes or until firm to the touch. Transfer to a wire rack and cool. Enjoy slightly warm, or room temperature. 

chocolate spice cookies on a plate with pieces of chocolate, orange and spices, in the background.

Variations

These Italian chocolate cookies recipe is rolled in powdered sugar and resemble chocolate crinkle cookies. They are simple drop cookies that are perfect for adding, or mixing in your favorite flavors.

  • Simple glaze. I like these cookies with powdered sugar on top, but you can certainly add a simple glaze to the tops of the cookies like the ones in this Italian Wedding Cookies Recipe.
  • Nuts. Mix in nuts of choice such as walnuts or chopped almonds.
  • Melted chocolate. Makes these into EXTRA chocolatey cookies by dipping them in a chocolate glaze as I use in this recipe Italian Classic Almond Biscotti Recipe (Cantucci).
  • Sprinkles. If you want to go a step further and make these cookies festive add some candy sprinkles! You can do this after adding a simple white or chocolate glaze.
  • Chocolate Chips.

Baking and Making tools

You don’t need any special equipment to make these cookies. A stand mixer or hand mixer will do. If you have a cookie scoop that works well to make the cookies the same size. If not, just use a spoon!

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big and soft Italian chocolate spice cookies on a serving plater.

Make Ahead and Storage for Italian Chocolate Spice Cookies

Make Ahead

You can make the cookie dough up to 24 hours in advance and store it in an airtight container until you are ready to scoop and bake. You will need to let it sit for at least 10 minutes before working with the refrigerated dough.

Storage

These cookies will freeze for about 3 months in a freezer bag or airtight container. You can also store the chocolate spice cookies in a sealed container on the countertop for 1-3 days.

big and soft Italian chocolate spice cookies on a plate with a bite taken out of one cookie.

Top tip for Italian Chocolate Spice Cookies Recipe

Use room ingredients

Using room temperature ingredients (especially butter and eggs) for the Italian chocolate spice cookies ensures a soft and uniform cookie dough. They will also bake more evenly this way.

Chill cookie dough before baking

Make sure to chill the cookie dough before baking to make sure the cookies hold their shape.

Do not over-bake

You’ll need to keep an eye on them to ensure they don’t get too dark. This is sometimes tricky for chocolate cookies since they are already dark in color.

I baked them for about 8-10 minutes to achieve a very soft, light golden brown on the edge. That way, they stay nice and soft. This is key to achieving the beautiful bakery-style cookie look ad taste.

FAQ

Can I freeze chocolate spice cookies?

Yes! I recommend freezing the raw dough balls and baking them when ready to serve. Freeze raw balls of cookie dough in an airtight container in a single layer.
Separate each layer with a wax or parchment paper sheet; cover, label, and freeze. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator when ready to use, then roll in powdered sugar and bake. 

More Classic Italian Desserts

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Italian Chocolate Spice Cookies Recipe

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5 from 6 reviews

Italian Chocolate Spice Cookies Recipe is an easy one-bowl chocolate cookie that is soft and cake-like with plenty of chocolaty flavor and a hint of warm spice. This is an old family recipe you will love.

  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 24 servings 1x

Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • pinch salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled
  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled
  • zest of 1 orange (optional)
  • powdered sugar for rolling cookies

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk the eggs on medium-high speed until nice and frothy (about 3-4 minutes). Slowly add sugar. Continue to whisk until well combined and slightly thickened. The mixture will be pale yellow and light.
  2. Add the milk, butter, melted chocolate, vanilla extract, and zest (if using). Mix until well combined. Remove the bowl from the stand mixer.
  3. Sift in the dry ingredients (flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt, and spices) over the mixture of wet ingredients and mix with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula until well combined. At this point, the dough will be soft.
    Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  5. Take the dough out of the fridge and scoop the dough with medium-sized cookie scoop. Roll the dough into a ball with floured hands.
  6. Roll each dough ball into a smooth ball and then roll in a small bowl of powdered sugar (icing sugar). 
    Place on baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Continue to roll until all of the dough is used.
  7. Bake for about 10 minutes or until firm to the touch. Transfer to wire racks to cool completely. Enjoy slightly warm, or room temperature. 

Notes

Tips

Use room ingredients

Using room temperature ingredients (especially butter and eggs) for the Italian chocolate spice cookies ensures a soft and uniform cookie dough. They will also bake more evenly this way.

Chill cookie dough before baking

Make sure to chill the cookie dough before baking to make sure the cookies hold their shape.

Do not over-bake

You’ll need to keep an eye on them to ensure they don’t get too dark. This is sometimes tricky for chocolate cookies since they are already dark in color.

I baked them for about 10 minutes.

Storage 

  • The dough batter can be refrigerated for up to 24 hours before baking. These cookies will freeze for about 3 months in a freezer bag or airtight container. You can also store the chocolate spice cookies in a sealed container on the countertop for 1-3 days.

 

  • Author: Elena
  • Prep Time: 30 min
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Category: Sweet
  • Method: Italian
  • Cuisine: Italian

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About Elena

My dream is to share delicious wholesome recipes that you will share around the table with all your loved ones. The memories surrounded by food are the heart and soul of CucinaByElena.

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15 Comments

  1. Wonderful cookies with my favorite chocolate-orange combination. Our TGIF coffee group inhaled them. I used a hand mixer, and a teaspoonful of dough to roll; made 46 cookies. A few were baked without powdered sugar – I’m not a really sweet fan – and they were great, too. Thank you.






  2. Love this recipe, it’s our family’s favorite in the holidays. I make a batch with orange and one without it. Can’t wait to do it again






    1. Hi! I use salted butter in most baked goods (Kerrygold butter). This goes against popular opinion you should bake with unsalted butter when baking to control the salt amount. You can use either. I prefer salted and still a tad of salt. That is my preference :). Enjoy!

  3. These cookies are so delicious. A perfect amount of warm spices, chocolate, and citrus. Great mix for the season.






    1. Elena, these cookies are easy and sooo chocolaty delicious!!!! 5 stelle ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Reminds me of my mom’s cookies she used to make!!
      Next time I will make these with walnuts 😁
      Next on my list is the ricotta lemon cookies!!!






      1. Thrilled you love the cookies! I love the idea of adding walnuts. My mamma does that. The lemon ricotta cookies are one of my absolute favorites! Enjoy. Let me now what you think.