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stack of two marshmallow-filled hot cocoa cookies with melted chocolate on top.

Marshmallow-Surprise Hot Cocoa Cookies

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 4.8 from 69 reviews
  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 2 hours, 40 minutes (includes chilling)
  • Cook Time: 12 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours
  • Yield: 20–22 cookies
  • Category: Cookies
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


These marshmallow-surprise hot cocoa cookies start with a soft chocolate cookie made even richer from a helping of hot cocoa mix. Be sure to use dry hot cocoa powder, and not a liquid beverage. Top with a marshmallow and melted chocolate. Don’t forget to refrigerate the cookie dough for at least 2 hours.


  • 1/2 cup (8 Tbsp; 113gunsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (100ggranulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (100g) packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 and 1/2 cups (188g) all-purpose flour (spooned & leveled)
  • 1/3 cup (27g) natural unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup (40g) dry hot cocoa mix
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons (10ml) milk (any kind, dairy or nondairy, is fine)


  • 1011 large marshmallows, cut in half
  • 8 ounces (226g) semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped (see Note)


  1. In a large bowl using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar together on medium high speed until fluffy and light in color, about 2–3 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla extract, and then beat on high speed until combined. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, cocoa powder, hot cocoa mix, baking soda, and salt together until combined. Add the dry ingredients to the bowl with the wet ingredients. Beat on low until combined. The cookie dough will be quite thick. Finally, beat in the milk. The cookie dough will be thick and sticky.
  3. Cover dough tightly and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours and up to 3 days. Chilling is imperative for this sticky cookie dough.
  4. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Set aside.
  5. Remove cookie dough from the refrigerator. Scoop and roll dough, a heaping 1 Tablespoon (about 25-26g) each, into balls. Arrange 2–3 inches apart on the baking sheets.
  6. Bake the cookies for just 10 minutes. Remove the cookies from the oven and lightly press a marshmallow half into the tops of each cookie. Return them to the oven and bake for 2 more minutes. Remove from the oven and, using the back of a spoon, gently press down on the marshmallow to slightly flatten it out.
  7. Cool cookies on the baking sheet for 10 minutes, and then transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.
  8. Melt the chocolate: You can melt the chocolate in a double boiler or the microwave. If using the microwave, place the chopped chocolate in a medium heat-proof bowl. Microwave for 20-second increments, stirring after each increment until completely melted and smooth. Spoon melted chocolate over each cooled marshmallow-topped cookie. (When covering with melted chocolate, I usually put the cookies back on a baking sheet, or you can just keep them on the wire rack.) Chocolate sets at room temperature in 30-60 minutes. Once chocolate has set, you can stack, store, transport, and gift the cookies.
  9. Cover leftover cookies tightly and store at room temperature for up to 1 week.


  1. Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: You can make the cookie dough and chill it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days (step 3). Unbaked cookie dough balls freeze well for up to 3 months. Read my tips and tricks on how to freeze cookie dough. Baked and cooled cookies freeze well for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature. Keep in mind that after thawing, the chocolate may look streaky on top, or have condensation on the surface. Still fine to eat!
  2. Special Tools (affiliate links): Electric Mixer (Handheld or Stand) | Glass Mixing Bowl | Whisk | Baking SheetsSilicone Baking Mats or Parchment Sheets | Kitchen Shears | Cooling Rack | Double Boiler (optional for melting chocolate)
  3. Larger Batch: The recipe is easy to double in 1 mixing bowl without overwhelming your mixer. Simply double all of the cookie dough ingredients. Extend the cookie dough chilling time to at least 3 hours.
  4. Natural Cocoa Powder: Do you know the difference between natural cocoa powder and dutch-process cocoa powder? Use natural cocoa powder in this dough. Unsweetened cocoa powder weighs less than dry hot cocoa mix, so that is why you see the weights so different.
  5. Hot Cocoa Mix: Be sure to use the dry hot cocoa mix, and not liquid hot cocoa. 1/4 cup (about 40g) is usually 1 standard packet. I usually use milk chocolate, but any kind works. Avoid the hot cocoa mix that has the little marshmallows in it. If you do not have hot cocoa mix, skip it entirely and increase the cocoa powder to 1/2 cup (45g).
  6. Chocolate: The best chocolate for melting and drizzling is the “baking chocolate” bars found in the baking aisle of the grocery store. I typically use Baker’s or Ghirardelli brands, either semi-sweet, bittersweet, or milk chocolate if you can find it. They are usually sold as 4-ounce bars, so you’ll need 2 for this recipe. Do not use chocolate chips because they contain stabilizers, which prevent them from melting into the correct consistency.
  7. Be sure to check out my top 5 cookie baking tips AND these are my 10 must-have cookie baking tools.