With a delicious combination of chocolate and vanilla flavors, these chocolate marble cookies have crisp edges with soft, chewy centers. You can whip up a batch in under an hour and will never have to choose between a sugar cookie and a chocolate cookie again. They're the best of both worlds and a total crowd-pleaser!
Do you ever have trouble choosing between vanilla and chocolate desserts? I definitely do! I'm a Ben & Jerry's Half Baked girl if you will- I always want the best of both worlds. That's why I created these chocolate marble cookies. They're part sugar cookie, part chocolate cookie so you never have to choose between the two again!
These cookies are guaranteed to satisfy all your dessert cravings. They have the best flavor and texture. With crisp edges and soft, chewy centers, what's not to love? And while they do require 30 minutes of chill time (it's worth it, I promise), they couldn't be easier to make in under an hour with 10 pantry staple ingredients and basic baking equipment (no mixer)!
You can make these little crowd-pleasers for holiday celebrations, bake sales, or any occasion you like! If you have an event coming up, you can easily make the dough ahead of time since it freezes and bakes up beautifully with just a couple minutes added on to the bake time.
Here are some notes about the ingredients used. For quantities and full instructions, see the recipe card below.
- Melted butter- Unsalted melted butter helps create tender cookies with a buttery flavor and crisp edges. Salted butter works if you omit the extra salt in the recipe. I prefer unsalted so I can have full control over the amount of salt in the dough.
- Sugars- These cookies use a combination of white and brown sugar for sweetness and moisture. You can use light or dark brown sugar.
- Egg- A large egg binds the ingredients together and adds a little lift to the cookies.
- Egg yolk- Adding an extra egg yolk to cookies is one of my favorite tricks! It makes them extra rich and chewy. Make sure it and the whole egg are at room temperature so they mix in easily. Pull them out of the refrigerator about an hour before baking.
- Vanilla extract- Vanilla enhances the other flavors and adds a delicious aroma.
- All purpose flour- This basic ingredient gives the cookies the best chewy, hearty texture.
- Baking soda- This ingredient reacts with the acid in brown sugar, causing the cookies to spread and rise slightly. Make sure it's fresh for the best results!
- Salt- A little bit of salt balances the sweetness.
- Cocoa powder- I recommend Dutch process cocoa powder. It's made with cocoa beans that have been washed with alkaline solution. This process neutralizes the acidity and creates a deeper, more balanced chocolate flavor. Natural (or unsweetened) cocoa powder works in a pinch too.
- Chocolate chips- I used semi-sweet chocolate chips while testing this recipe, but you can use dark or milk chocolate chips too. Mini chocolate chips also work!
- All purpose flour: Make these gluten free by using Bob's Red Mill 1-to-1 Gluten Free Baking Flour. I've tested this recipe with this flour and the cookies bake up beautifully!
- Chocolate chips: Chopped chocolate bars can be substituted. They'll get more melty in the oven. You can also try using white chocolate for a twist.
Helpful Equipment and Tools
- Kitchen scale- Use a scale to make sure each cookie dough ball is the same size. This ensures that they bake up evenly.
- Small cookie scoop- Use a 1 tablespoon cookie scoop to pre-portion the dough before placing it on your scale.
Step by Step Instructions
Before you start, melt your butter and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Set them aside.
STEP 1: First, whisk the melted butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar together in a large mixing bowl until well combined.
STEP 2: Next, add the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla extract and vigorously whisk. The texture should be like a thin paste.
STEP 3: With a rubber spatula, fold the flour (reserving 15 grams), baking soda, and salt in until a few dry pockets of flour are left.
STEP 4: Divide the dough in half, placing one half into a separate medium mixing bowl. I recommend using a kitchen scale to make sure both halves are equal. Then, mix the reserved flour into 1 half of the dough and set aside.
STEP 5: Next, mix the cocoa powder into the other half of cookie dough. Fold in the chocolate chips.
STEP 6: Using a cookie scoop, scoop about 15 grams (½ ounce) of plain dough onto a kitchen scale. Roll the dough into a ball with your hands. and set it on a lined baking sheet. Do this with all the plain dough and repeat with the chocolate dough until all of it is rolled into balls.
STEP 7: Pick up one ball of chocolate cookie dough and one ball of sugar cookie dough. Squish the two together and roll in your hands until the colors are swirled and marbled. Place on a baking sheet and repeat until all the cookie dough is used.
Chill the dough balls for at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator. While they chill, preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C.
STEP 8: Place 6-8 cookie dough balls on a parchment lined baking tray, leaving 1-2 inches between each. Bake for 9-11 minutes or until the edges are set and golden brown.
Remove the cookies from the oven and let them cool on the hot tray for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire cooling rack. Let them cool completely, sprinkle with coarse sugar, and enjoy!
Expert Baking Tips
- Measure the flour correctly! Use a digital kitchen scale to weigh the flour in grams for the best results. If you don't have one, fluff the flour up in the bag before gently spooning it into your measuring cup without packing it in. Swipe the excess back into the bag. This is called the spoon and level method.
- Don't overmix. When you mix cookie dough too much, you aerate it. This causes the cookies to rise and fall quickly in the oven, making them flat and dense. The key to a thick, soft cookie is to just combine the ingredients.
- Don't skip the chill time. I know it's annoying, but trust me, the chill time is worth it. The flour hydrates as the cookies chill, gaining more flavor. Chilling also keeps the cookies from spreading too much in the oven.
Additions and Variations
There are lots of fun ingredients you can add to these cookies to mix up the flavors and textures! I haven't tested these ideas, so if you try one, let me know how it goes in the comments below!
- Nuts- Chopped nuts like walnuts or pecans add a delightful crunch and nutty flavor that complements the chocolate and sugar cookie swirls.
- Espresso powder- A teaspoon or two of espresso powder can intensify the chocolate flavor and add a subtle coffee flavor, making your cookies even more decadent.
- Caramel swirls- Drizzling caramel sauce or adding caramel chips to the dough adds a rich, buttery flavor that contrasts the chocolate.
- Spices- Incorporate spices like cinnamon or nutmeg to add warmth and depth to the cookies.
- Dried fruit- Chopped dried cherries, apricots, or cranberries add a chewy and fruity element.
- Peanut butter- Chocolate peanut butter lovers, try swirling some peanut butter into the dough for a delicious twist. You could also stuff the dough with peanut butter like I did for my peanut butter brownie cookies.
Storage and Freezing
Baked chocolate marble cookies can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Make sure they're completely cool before storing.
Freeze baked cookies in an airtight container for up to 1 month. Make sure they're fully cool before freezing. When you're ready to eat, thaw on the counter for 1 hour.
You can make the dough ahead of time and freeze it until you're ready to bake! Simply place the marbled cookie dough balls on a baking sheet and freeze for 2 hours or until frozen solid. Once completely frozen, transfer the balls to an airtight container or freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 months. Bake them from frozen at 350°F/180°C, adding a couple extra minutes onto the bake time.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you find the shaping and marbling process too messy, dampen your hands before rolling each cookie. This makes the dough less likely to stick to your hands. I revamped this recipe to be less messy, so you probably under-measured the flour if the consistency of your dough is more like brownie batter.
There are several potential reasons why your cookies didn't spread. Overmixing the dough can make it too stiff, so mix until just combined. Ensure you've used the right amount of butter, as cookies need it to spread properly. Next, check the expiration date on baking soda, as it loses potency over time. Proper spacing between the cookie dough balls and making sure they're the right size is also crucial!
While the cookies are still hot, gently scoot a round cookie cutter or biscuit cutter around the edges in a circular motion. You can also use a mug or glass. This pushes in the edges and makes the cookies perfectly round!
More Cookie Recipes to Try
Chocolate Marble Cookies
- 226 grams unsalted butter melted
- 100 grams granulated sugar
- 100 grams brown sugar light or dark
- 1 large egg room temperature
- 1 egg yolk room temperature
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 330 grams all purpose flour reserve 15 grams
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 15 grams cocoa powder dutch process
- 100 grams chocolate chips
- Whisk melted butter, sugar, and brown sugar together in a large mixing bowl.226 grams unsalted butter, 100 grams granulated sugar, 100 grams brown sugar
- Vigorously whisk in the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla extract.1 large egg, 1 egg yolk, 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Dump the flour (reserving 15g or 2 tbsp), baking soda, and salt into the wet ingredients. Gently fold with a rubber spatula until just combined with a few dry pockets of flour remaining.330 grams all purpose flour, 1 teaspoon baking soda, ½ teaspoon salt
- Divide the dough in half. Transfer half of the dough to a separate mixing bowl.
- Mix the reserved flour into half of the dough and set aside.
- Mix the cocoa powder into the other half of cookie dough. Then fold in the chocolate chips.15 grams cocoa powder, 100 grams chocolate chips
- Scoop ½ ounce (15 grams) of plain sugar cookie dough on to a kitchen scale. Roll into a ball and set aside. Repeat until all the plain dough has been rolled into balls. Repeat the process with the chocolate cookie dough.
- Pick up one ball of chocolate dough and one ball of sugar cookie dough. Smoosh the two together and roll in your hands until the colors are swirled. Place on a lined baking sheet and repeat until all the cookie dough has been used.
- Chill the dough balls in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C.
- Place 6-8 balls of cookie dough on a lined baking sheet with 1 inch between each. Bake for 9-11 minutes. The cookies are done when the edges are slightly golden brown.
- Remove the cookies from the oven. Let them cool on the hot tray for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire cooling rack. Let cool to room temperature and enjoy.