Easy Frosted Chocolate Drop Cookies

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Just like the ones your grandma used to make! Chocolate Drop Cookies are lightly sweet with a cake-like texture and are topped with powdered sugar frosting. Bake a batch in 30 minutes!

a stack of chocolate drop cookies with frosting and red sprinkles on a table with a glass of milk.

Why You’ll Love This Chocolate Drop Cookies Recipe

Delicious Cookie. These cake-like cookies with white icing are big on chocolate flavor and satisfy any chocolate lover!

Simple Ingredients. Any well-stocked pantry should have everything you need – saving you an extra trip to the store!

Versatile Recipe. Baking a batch of cookies is easy enough to make for an afternoon snack or dessert, and they can also be packaged for cookie swaps and bake sales.

Key Ingredient Notes

  • Vegetable shortening — Cookie doughs made with all butter tend to flatten in the oven. By substituting shortening as part of the fat, you’ll still get that buttery flavor plus plenty of lift!
  • Unsweetened chocolate — Quality really makes a difference here. Look for unsweetened baking cocoa (not hot cocoa mix!) that is natural and not dutch-processed. More expensive doesn’t automatically mean better, but you may notice a difference in taste between store brands and gourmet ones.
  • Baking soda — One of the biggest culprits for flat treats is expired leavening agents! Always keep your baking soda in an airtight bag or container and open a new box if you haven’t used it in a while.
  • Milk — Use whatever you have on hand. While whole milk tends to create the best texture, the difference isn’t noticeable enough to make a difference.

Frosting Ingredients

How to Make Frosted Chocolate Cookies

Once you realize how easy it is to bake a batch of drop cookies, you’ll be keeping the cookie jar full of these treats all the time!

process steps for making chocolate drop cookies: preparing batter; batter in the bowl; cookie dough on baking sheets; cooling on wire racks.

STEP 1 | Mix the dough

Cream butter and shortening together in a large bowl with an electric mixer (or use a stand mixer) until light and fluffy.

Then, pay close attention to the directions and order of ingredients! A large egg is added after the white sugar, and the vanilla is mixed in at the very end.

Also, alternating the flour mixture (dry ingredients) and milk ensures that the dough comes together properly.

Drop by tablespoons onto a large cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Allow to cool on cookie sheet for 1-2 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

STEP 2 | Bake

Watch for the edges to crisp and the tops to set. The cookies should still be a bit soft in the center, as they will continue baking as they cool on the pan.

STEP 3 | Frost cookies

Whip up the icing ingredients until you get a spreadable consistency. Spread the white icing onto the top of the cookie and add some colorful sprinkles if you’d like!

Tips from the Home Chef’s Kitchen

It’s best to start with room-temperature ingredients with any type of baked good. They incorporate more easily into the other ingredients, resulting in a better overall texture. Allow measured milk, eggs, and butter to sit on the counter for about 30 minutes before getting started.

When I bake these, I use a small scoop to place the dough on my baking sheet. The process is quick and easy, the treats are uniform in size, and my hands stay clean!

If your oven has a single rack, place it in the center for best results. Otherwise, you may need to rotate the pans halfway so everything bakes evenly.

using a spatula to spread frosting on a chocolate drop cookie.

Variations and Substitutions

  • Double Chocolate. Toss a handful of chocolate chips into the batter for a more intense chocolate flavor.
  • For a wintertime twist on frosted chocolate cookies, try this peppermint version with rich brownie flavor.

Storage Tips

  • Store cookies at room temperature in an airtight container so they do not dry out. They are fine for a few days, but if not eaten before then, they should be transferred to the refrigerator.
  • To freeze, place cookies on a baking sheet and freeze for an hour or two until firm. Then, transfer to a storage bag or airtight container and enjoy within 2 to 3 weeks. You can thaw them in the refrigerator or on the counter before serving.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are drop cookies?

Drop cookies refer to cookie dough that does not need to be shaped or rolled before baking. Simply “drop” the proper amount of dough for each cookie directly onto a baking sheet and cook.

Do frosted cookies need to be refrigerated?

These are fine at room temperature for a few days but should be transferred to the refrigerator if not eaten before then.

How do I make this recipe dairy free?

Simply replace the butter with non-dairy baking sticks and swap the milk for a plant-based alternative — oat or soy milk tends to work the best.

chocolate drop cookies with vanilla frosting and red and green sprinkles on a wire cooling rack.

Looking for More Old-Fashioned Cookie Recipes?

Ginger molasses and pecan candy cookies are two more family favorites that we make each holiday season. For another fun treat to make with the kids, try these Pokemon Cupcakes!

Serving Suggestions

Decorate the tops with colored sprinkles to match any occasion. If you’re concerned with synthetic food dyes, India Tree is a wonderful company that derives its colors from edible plants.

If you’re craving extra chocolatey flavor, mix a little cocoa powder in with the frosting as well. A drop or two of corn syrup will mellow out any bitterness and give it a lovely shine too.

frosted chocolate drop cookies on a holiday plate with a glass of milk in the background.

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a stack of chocolate drop cookies with frosting and red sprinkles on a table with a glass of milk.

Chocolate Drop Cookies

Chocolate drop cookies are lightly sweet with a cake-like texture and are topped with powdered sugar frosting. Bake a batch in 30 minutes!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Cookies & Bars
Cuisine American
Servings 3 dozen
Calories 118 kcal

Ingredients
  

Cookies

  • ½ cup butter softened
  • ¼ cup vegetable shortening
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 7 tablespoons cocoa level
  • 1 ¾ cup all-purpose flour sifted
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Icing

  • ¼ cup melted butter
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2-3 tablespoons milk

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Cream together butter and vegetable shortening until light and fluffy. Gradually add sugar and mix well. Stir in egg.
  • Sift together flour, baking soda, salt, and cocoa. Add to creamed mixture alternately with the 1/2 cup milk and mix until all incorporated. Stir in vanilla.
  • Drop by tablespoons onto a large ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 8 – 10 minutes. Allow to cool on cookie sheet 1-2 minutes before removing to wire racks and cool completely before icing cookies.

Icing

  • Mix together butter, vanilla, and powdered sugar adding milk 1 tablespoon at a time until desired consistency is reached.
  • Frost cookies and decorate with sprinkles, if desired.

Notes

From Better Homes and Garden NEW Cookbook (1950s).

Nutrition

Serving: 1gCalories: 118kcalCarbohydrates: 16gProtein: 1gFat: 6gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 17mgSodium: 82mgSugar: 10g

Life Love and Good Food does not claim to be a registered dietician or nutritionist. Nutritional information shared on this site is only an estimate. We recommend running the ingredients through an online nutritional calculator if you need to verify any information.

Keyword chocolate, cookies
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was.

Beyond the recipe

My mother-in-law, Sue, told me that making these with her children was just plain fun. She would make four different colors of icing so each kid had a couple of options to decorate with. The memories they created must have had an impact because my husband still mentions “Mom’s Chocolate Drop Cookies” to this day!

The original recipe came from the Better Homes and Gardens NEW Cookbook circa 1950s, which Sue received as a wedding gift over 50 years ago.

Sheila Thigpen, blogger

About Sheila Thigpen

Recipe Developer, Food Photographer, Food Writer

Sheila Thigpen is the publisher of Life, Love, and Good Food — a Southern food blog — and the author of Easy Chicken Cookbook and The 5-Ingredient Fresh and Easy Cookbook. After 20+ years in the publishing industry, she retired in 2018 to focus on her own creative endeavors full time. She and her husband live near the beautiful Smoky Mountains and have a precious little granddaughter who has stolen their hearts. As an influencer, Sheila has collaborated with brands like Creamette, Kroger, HERSHEY’S, Hamilton Beach, Garafalo Pasta, OXO, Smithfield, Valley Fig Growers, and more.

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10 Comments

  1. I love the story behind the cookies. What a great legacy Sue gave to her children! I can’t wait to try these, I love that they can be changed up by just changing the sprinkles or color of the frosting.

  2. These must be heavenly to bite into, Sheila! Sprinkles always add pizzazz, and these bright orange India Tree sprinkles turn your cookies into a party! 🙂

  3. Oh Sheila I love the chocolaty cake cookie. You have made yours so pretty with all those orange sprinkles. I appreciate the sprinkles are made with all natural dyes too. I am becoming more and more a stickler on such things. Thanks for sharing your lovely recipe.
    Blessings,
    Shari

    1. Thank you, Shari! Besides being tasty, these cookies are really easy to make…definitely an added bonus to this recipe!

  4. This recipe looks so tasty! Love how you can change the theme by justing adding different colored sprinkles. By the way, how do you get involved with something like this sponsored Cookie Month? We love to bake and would love to share our recipes.

    1. Thank you, Linda! Feel free to use our hashtag #cookiemonth14 if you share any cookies during National Cookie Month.

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