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Chocolate crack biscuits

Updated: Wed, 17 February, 2021

Soft and fluffy, more cakey than ordinary biscuits, the best thing about cracked cookies is their crinkled appearance.

cracked chocolate cookies

Cakey objects

A friend of mine has a wonderful turn of phrase which is super applicable to this recipe: cakey objects. He uses it to refer to cakes, tortes, gateaux, biscuits, cookies, tarts, tartelettes, pastries, buns, brioches, muffins, scones, bars, rolls and turnovers. I might have missed a few confections but you get my drift.

There are so many different bakes and no-bakes, sweet and sweetish, eaten for dessert, breakfast or tea (no, I'm not including fishcakes) there should surely be a collective generic noun to describe them.

Also, some 'objects' escape definition and hover in between a cake and a cupcake, a tart and a cookie. And that's before we get to the madly fashionable a few years ago portmanteau creations, with cronuts and cruffins in the fore.

crinkled cookies

Cookies - or mini cakes?

These cookies are precisely the kind that escape defining. I call them cookies because they were called cookies in the original recipe I based mine on. But they are more like miniature, tiny cakes: covered in icing sugar, you might almost be tempted to slice each dainty one across and fill with buttercream.

The method is also more redolent of a cake making process then a cookie bish-bash. Starting with beating the eggs to a voluminous body, sugar is then added little by little, slowly so as not to deflate the mix. Melted butter and chocolate need to be gently stirred in and the dry ingredients folded.

You should think it was an elaborate chocolate sponge in the making!

chocolate crack

Chill, baby (cake)

And the emerging batter is in no state to be shaped into cookies: it's runny to the point of liquid. It virtually begs to be poured into a tin and baked until a skewer comes out dry.

But no - we're making cookies so the batter goes into the fridge to solidify and render itself more favourably to rolling balls. It takes a long while so it's best to prepare the batter on the evening before intended baking.

Shaping is important as the smoother the balls, the nicer the crackedy-patterns, that come from rolling the dough balls in icing sugar, will appear. I'm sure you'll manage it much neater than I ever can.

The shaped and iced balls will return to the fridge for half an hour before being baked, just so they don't spread and dissolve into one enormous cake. Which is obviously the batter's purpose and desire.

crack cookies

The outcome, all joking aside, is glorious: soft, tender, almost pillowy and very chocolatey. They are truly gorgeous, miniscule baby chocolate cakes. Or cakey objects.

Chocolate crack biscuits

Servings: makes 12 large cookiesTime: 1 hour plus chilling dough
Rating: (1 reviews)


  • 110g butter
  • 225g dark chocolate, at least 70% cocoa content
  • 3 large eggs
  • ½ tsp cream of tartar
  • 150g light brown soft sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 210g plain flour
  • ½ tsp fine salt
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 3-4 tbsp. icing sugar to coat the cookies


1. These cookies need to chill considerably in the fridge before shaping, best overnight - the mix would be impossible to shape when only just made as it’s completely runny. Make the dough a day in advance or at least a good few hours.

2. Melt the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl over bain-marie. Alternatively melt the butter in a little pan and add chopped up chocolate when it’s foaming; take off the heat and mix until melted. Leave the mix to cool down to room temperature.

3. Beat the eggs at high speed with a hand mixer or in a standing mixer with a balloon whisk. Add the cream of tartar when foamy, and continue beating until pale and doubled in volume. Start adding the sugar by a couple of spoonfuls, beating continuously. Add the vanilla extract. Pour in the melted chocolate mix and continue to beat on lower speed.  

cracked cookie batter

4. Mix the flour with the baking powder and salt and add to the mix, beat in on low speed until the flour is incorporated. Chill in the fridge, best overnight.

chilled cookie dough

5. When you’re ready to shape the cookies, scoop a small amount of dough (a teaspoonful size) and roll it in your palm to a ball. Dip it in a bowl of icing sugar to coat generously and place on a parchment-lined baking tray, spaced about 2in apart. When you have a trayful of cookies, chill them in the fridge for about 30 minutes. Meanwhile preheat the oven to 170C/325F/gas 3.

shaping and rolling cookies

6. Bake the cookies for 12 minutes, remove immediately and cool on a wire rack. They should spread a little and crack handsomely all over the surface.

Originally published: Sat, 21 January, 2017

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Your comments

Anna @ CuisineFiend
Hi Pearson - so happy to hear that, thank you!
7 months ago
Pearson and Gabriela
I made these for my wife as I the husband am more the baker. Followed all the steps came out perfect tastes even better a day later. Very rich delicious chocolate cake flavour just one is so satisfying. Yummy!
7 months ago

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Hello! I'm Anna Gaze, the Cuisine Fiend. Welcome to my recipe collection.

I have lots of recipes for you to choose from: healthy or indulgent, easy or more challenging, quick or involved - but always tasty.


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