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Waffle Iron Turtle Cookies (with Gluten Free Option)

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. 

waffle iron turtle cookies arranged on a white plate
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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!

The Ingredients

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:

  • But­ter
  • Cocoa Pow­der — This is the unsweet­ened bak­ing cocoa pow­der, not hot choco­late mix.
  • Eggs
  • Sug­ar
  • Vanil­la
  • 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.)
  • Milk
  • Pow­dered sug­ar (con­fec­tion­er’s sugar)

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 for the pic­ture tuto­r­i­al. You’re gonna love Waf­fle Iron Tur­tle Cookies!

waffle iron turtle cookies arranged on a white plate
Frost cook­ies.

How to Make Original Turtle Cookies

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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. 
  4. Add the eggs and mix them in thor­ough­ly. Mix in the flour until you have a thick bat­ter the con­sis­ten­cy of brown­ie batter.
  5. 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.
  6. Make the frost­ing by melt­ing the sug­ar and but­ter togeth­er in a 3 quart saucepan. 
  7. Remove from the heat and add milk vanil­la and pow­dered sug­ar. Use a hand mix­er to blend the ingre­di­ents and cre­ate the fudge frosting.
  8. 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.

  1. Sprin­kle the cen­ter of your baked cook­ies with chopped pecans. 
  2. 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.
  3. 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!
  4. When the caramel has cooled and set up, frost the cook­ies as direct­ed in the recipe.

Tools I Used to Make Waffle Iron Turtle Cookies

  • Waf­fle Iron [affil­i­ate link] I use a stan­dard waf­fle iron, not a Bel­gian waf­fle mak­er. The spaces would be too large in a Bel­gian waf­fle maker.
  • Hand Mix­er [affil­i­ate link] You could mix up the frost­ing by hand, but you’ll get a smoother creami­er con­sis­ten­cy using a mixer
  • Cool­ing Racks [affil­i­ate link]

These are sure to become a fast fam­i­ly favorite! I hope you get a chance to make Waf­fle Iron Tur­tle Cook­ies to share with your favorite peo­ple, soon. If you do make them and find you love them as much as I and my fam­i­ly, please con­sid­er stop­ping by here to leave a com­ment with a 5 star rat­ing. Those 5 star rat­ings help oth­ers find our recipes when doing a Google search. Thanks for being so sup­port­ive and awe­some! Hap­py Baking!

The Recipe

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waffle iron turtle cookies arranged on a white plate

Waffle Iron Turtle Cookies

  • Author: Glen­da Embree
  • Total Time: 16 min­utes
  • Yield: 40-45 cook­ies 1x


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.


Units Scale

For the Cookies:

For the Frosting:

  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 cups cocoa
  • 2/31 cup milk
  • 2 tea­spoons vanilla
  • 2 lbs. pow­dered sug­ar (con­fec­tion­er’s sugar)


For the Cookies:

  1. 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.)
  2. 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.
  3. Once the but­ter is melt­ed, remove the pan from the heat and mix in the cocoa.
  4. Add the sug­ar and vanil­la.  Stir thor­ough­ly to bring every­thing togeth­er.  This will also help cool the mix­ture in the pan.
  5. 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.
  6. Beat the eggs into the choco­late mix­ture.   Con­tin­ue stir­ring until every­thing is combined.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Bake the cook­ies in the waf­fle iron for 1 minute.  Remove to a cool­ing rack.
  10. Repeat the process until all the cook­ie bat­ter has been baked.

For the Fudge Frosting:

  1. Melt the but­ter in a 3 quart saucepan.
  2. Remove from heat.
  3. Add the cocoa pow­der to melt­ed but­ter and stir to form a thick paste.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.)
  6. Beat with your mix­er until all ingre­di­ents are thor­ough­ly combined.
  7. 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.
  8. 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

More Chocolate Recipes to Try

Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

Homemade Chocolate Pudding

Easy No-Bake Cookies

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