Waffle Iron Turtle Cookies are fudgy, satisfying deliciousness. They’re so simple to make and since you bake them in a waffle iron, you never heat up your kitchen to create them.
The name comes from the unique shape the waffle iron gives the cookies. But stay tuned. I’ll show you a caramel pecan variation to give them true “turtle” flavor. Look for that under the picture tutorial at the bottom of the page.
My mom taught me to make these simple cookies as a kid. I’ve tweaked the frosting a bit since then, but they’re still the same amazing cookie I remember from childhood.
Every time I pull the recipe out again, I wonder why it’s taken me so long to bake another batch. I love them. My family loves them. I’ve actually never met anyone who doesn’t. If you love fudgy chocolate and easy cookies, this will be your new favorite recipe!
Another great benefit of using this recipe is that it calls for everyday pantry ingredients. I don’t need to make a grocery run before I can make Waffle Iron Turtle Cookies.
If you often bake gluten free, then you’ll recognize the Better Batter Gluten Free Flour Blend I used to make this particular batch of Turtle Cookies. To make the recipe gluten free, substitute the same amount of Better Batter in place of the all purpose flour. It’s that easy! *
To make both the cookies and some fudgy frosting, here’s what you’ll need:
- cocoa powder — This is the unsweetened baking cocoa powder, not hot chocolate mix.
- flour (All purpose flour for a regular batch. If making gluten free, I recommend Better Batter Gluten-Free Flour Blend. It’s what I used to make this batch and gives good consistent results with cookies.)
- powdered sugar (confectioner’s sugar)
The Waffle Iron Turtle Cookie Recipe
As always, you can just run with this recipe and bake yourself into a satisfying chocolate fudge happy place. However, if you’re a visual learner and want to see how this recipe comes together, scroll down below the recipe card for the picture tutorial. Happy chocolate baking, my friend!Print
Baking these fudgy cookies in the waffle iron gives them their unique “turtle-like” shape. The fudge frosting becomes the mounded “turtle shell”. I’ve never met anyone who didn’t love Waffle Iron Turtle Cookies and it’s nice to have a cookie recipe that doesn’t require heating up the kitchen with the oven.
For the Cookies:
- 3/4 cup cocoa
- 3/4 cup butter
- 4 eggs
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 2 cups all-purpose flour (For gluten free use Better Batter Gluten-Free Flour.)
For the Frosting:
- 3/4 cup butter
- 1 1/2 cups cocoa
- 2/3 — 1 cup milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 2 lbs. powdered sugar (confectioner’s sugar)
For the Cookies:
- Spray and heat up your waffle iron to medium while you are making the cookie batter. (The temperature settings run from 1–5 on my waffle maker. I set it at 3.)
- Melt the butter in a 3 quart sauce pan. Only heat long enough to just melt it. You don’t want it to become super hot.
- Once the butter is melted, remove the pan from the heat and mix in the cocoa.
- Add the sugar and vanilla. Stir thoroughly to bring everything together. This will also help cool the mixture in the pan.
- Test the mixture in the pan by touching it. It’s okay if it’s warm. You just don’t want it to be so hot it cooks the eggs.
- Beat the eggs into the chocolate mixture. Continue stirring until everything is combined.
- Finally, stir in the flour. Continue stirring until all the ingredients come together evenly. Your batter will be thick and similar to the consistency of fudge brownies.
- Use a spoon ( I just use a spoon from the silverware drawer.) to drop the cookie batter onto your hot waffle iron. I can do 4 at a time in mine. Adjust according to your own waffle maker.
- Bake the cookies in the waffle iron for 1 minute. Remove to a cooling rack.
- Repeat the process until all the cookie batter has been baked.
For the Fudge Frosting:
- Melt the butter in a 3 quart saucepan.
- Remove from heat.
- Add the cocoa powder to melted butter and stir to form a thick paste.
- You can transfer the cocoa/butter mixture to the bowl of your stand mixer if you don’t own a hand mixer. I actually use my hand mixer and do it all in the same 3 quart sauce pan.
- Add milk, vanilla and powdered sugar. (Start with only 2/3 cup milk. Mix it all together and then decide if you need more . If you think you do, add a Tablespoon at a time until you reach the desired consistency.)
- Beat with your mixer until all ingredients are thoroughly combined.
- The frosting will be thick. But you do want it spreadable. You can add more powdered sugar or extra milk to get your desired consistency, keeping in mind that this frosting will get firmer as it sits in the fridge. Resist the urge to add more than you need. Start with a teaspoon at a time of extra milk to thin it or a Tablespoon at a time of powdered sugar. A little will go a long way. The pictures above are a good gauge of the consistency we like.
- Use the frosting to frost your Waffle Iron Turtle Cookies.
- Prep Time: 15 min
- Cook Time: 1 min
- Category: Dessert, Cookies
- Method: Bake
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: cookies, turtle cookies, waffle iron turtle cookies, dessert
How to Make Turtle Cookies
Start by heating up your waffle iron. The cookie batter comes together in about 5 minutes, so having the waffle iron hot and ready gets you baking, quickly.
Put the cocoa powder and butter into a 3 quart saucepan and melt them together over medium heat. Stir as you heat the mixture. Only keep the butter/cocoa mixture on the heat long enough to just melt the butter. Remove the pan from the heat as soon as the butter’s melted.
Mix the sugar and vanilla into the butter/cocoa mixture. Mixing it will help to cool it even further. The goal is for it to just be warm to the touch.
Add the eggs and mix them in thoroughly. Mix in the flour until you have a thick batter the consistency of brownie batter.
Drop 4 spoonfuls of batter at a time into the hot waffle iron. Bake the cookies for 1 minute and then remove them to a cooling rack. Repeat until all the batter is used.
Make the frosting by melting the sugar and butter together in a 3 quart saucepan.
Remove from the heat and add milk vanilla and powdered sugar. Use a hand mixer to blend the ingredients and create the fudge frosting.
Frost the cookies. The frosting will firm up as the cookies sit.
A Tasty Caramel Pecan “Turtle” Variation
I was making these cookies for a gathering of 30 people, this week. I decided to dress them up and make them truly “turtle” by adding pecans and caramel before the frosting. I have to say, it was a smashing success. I f you want to give this turtle cookie update a try, before frosting the cookies, add these steps.
- Sprinkle the center of your baked cookies with chopped pecans.
- In a microwave-safe bowl, melt two 11 oz. bags of Kraft Caramel bits with 2 Tablespoons of milk. It took just 2 minutes on high-power in my microwave, so keep a close eye on them.
- Once melted, spoon the caramel over the center of each cookie, covering the pecans. (I didn’t get a picture of that step for some reason, but it’s pretty self-explanatory. You’ve got this!
- When the caramel has cooled and set up, frost the cookies as directed in the recipe.