Valentine's Day Cookies

Chocolate Cayenne Sugar Cookie Recipe

A chocolate sugar cookie with a bit of cayenne pepper added creates a beautiful chocolate cookie with a bit of heat at the end. Just the perfect amount of spice accentuates the chocolate flavor for the perfect cookie!

This Chocolate Cayenne Sugar Cookie is soft and tender and perfectly chocolatey with just a hint of spice at the end to remind you of the cayenne. It is not overly spicy so everyone will love it. And the chocolate really shines!

This dough can be made several days before baking and kept in the refrigerator until needed. I like to roll it in sheets between parchment so that it is chilled and ready for cutting.

Rolling it between parchment sheets also allows it to chill quickly if you are in a hurry.

Cut and decorate according to your event or holiday or just in someone’s favorite shapes to surprise them! Cookies make the perfect gift!

The video above is for three simple designs for Valentine’s Day. Royal icing does take some getting used to if you want to make it super smooth but with a little practice and a simple design, your cookies will be stunning!

Chocolate Cayenne Sugar Cookies decorated as Holiday Mantles
Cookie puzzle made with chocolate cayenne sugar cookies and vanilla sugar cookies.
A Cookie Puzzle that I made for a friend in a cookie exchange. The trees, snowman and ‘joy’ stamp are all Chocolate Cayenne Sugar Cookies.

Tag me on Instagram @globalbakesbytanya so I can see your designs!

Chocolate Cayenne Sugar Cookies

Recipe by Tanya Ott


Prep time


Cooking time




  • 260 grams (2 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature

  • 300 grams (1 1/2 cups) granulated sugar

  • 1 large egg plus 1 large egg yolk, at room temperature

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  • 280 grams (2 1/4 cups) grams all-purpose flour

  • 90 grams (3/4 cup) dutch processed cocoa powder

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1 teaspoon ground cayenne

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • For the Royal Icing
  • 2 pound bag powdered sugar

  • 155 grams pastuerised egg whites (from a carton is fine)

  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

  • Gel food colors, as desired


  • Make the Cookies
  • In a large bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder, and spices.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter until well combined and smooth. Do not whip!
  • Add the sugar and mix on medium low speed for 30 seconds.
  • Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix again for 15 seconds. Add the vanilla, egg and egg yolk and mix until combined.
  • With the mixer on low speed, add the flour in three additions just until combined.
  • Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl again, gather the dough together in your hands and divide into 3 pieces.
  • Roll each piece of dough between two sheets of parchement paper to 1/4 inch thick. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 350F/176C.
  • Cut desired shapes from dough and place on paperment lined or silpat lined baking sheet. Chill for 15 minutes until firm then bake for 10 to 12 minutes (baking time depends on the size and shape of the cookies.)
  • Remove baking sheet from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Remove to a cooling rack to cool completely.
  • Make the Royal Icing
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the powdered sugar and cream of tartar and whisk together to combine. Add the egg whites and stir gently with a rubber spatula until the powdered sugar is moistened.
  • Put the bowl on the stand mixer and, using the whisk attachment, whisk for 1 to 2 minutes until smooth and bright white in color.
  • At this point, you can use the icing to assemble a a structure. To use for decorating, you will need to thin the icing as directed below.


  • **To outline shapes or cookies for flooding, put about 1 cup of the royal icing in a small bowl and add about 1 teaspoon water and stir without whipping in any air. Add another ½ teaspoon if needed to allowing piping consistency. Stir until smooth and combined. Put in a piping bag with desired tip.
  • **To flood cookies inside the dried outline, put about 1 cup of the royal icing in a small bowl and add about 1 1/2 teaspoons of water. Add another ½ teaspoon water as needed to allow smooth flooding. Stir until smooth and combined. Put in a piping bag with desired tip.
  • **Color as desired.


  1. Cindy Flack

    Your decorating skills are incredible! You should give classes!

    • Thanks so much! I’m actually going to be teaching some classes very soon! If you follow the blog, you’ll see updates!

  2. Steve Bergstein

    These look great! Impressive decorating skills!

  3. Outstanding!!!! what a cool video, Tanya!

    and of course I can testify your cookies are not only beautiful, they taste AMAZING!

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