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These Hot Cocoa Cookies are stuffed with a double dose of chocolate and fluffy marshmallows. They’re the perfect cookies to share with loved ones this holiday season! Vegan, Gluten-Free option.
These easy Hot Cocoa Cookies are tender and gooey in the center, crisp on the edges, and filled with just the right amount of gooey chocolate chips and mini marshmallows! It’s the perfect cookie recipe to bake when you’re hosting for the holidays or needing a cozy dessert to warm you up. Trust me, they won’t last long!
Table of Contents
All About these Delicious Hot Cocoa Cookies
If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to eat a big mug of hot cocoa in soft, puffy, cookie form, these hot cocoa cookies are exactly that! Chocolatey cookie dough loaded with chocolate chips, then topped with big gooey marshmallows…need I say more? In fact, they’re so outrageously delicious they might outdo my Ultimate Vegan Chocolate Cookies as my favorite cookie of all time.
They’re truly the perfect cookie to bake on a cold winter day, when a chocolate craving strikes, entertaining friends and family, hosting cookie exchanges, or when you could simply use a warm chewy cookie to nourish your heart and soul. I already know this recipe is going to be on repeat at our house this holiday season!
Ingredients for Hot Cocoa Cookies
You’ll need just 12 ingredients and 15 minutes of prep work to make these cookies. Here are a few key ingredients you won’t want to substitute:
- Flax “egg”: This egg substitute binds the dough together and adds necessary moisture and fat to the dough to provide structure.
- Butter: I used salted, dairy-free butter. If you are using unsalted butter, increase the salt to a 1/2 teaspoon.
- Cocoa powder: Natural, unsweetened cocoa powder or Dutch-processed cocoa powder (lower acidity) is best for baking.
- Cornstarch: Another thickening and binding agent in the cookie dough that also helps to tenderize the cookies and yields the best, soft and chewy texture.
- Baking soda: Aids in browning and helps the cookies both rise and develop a deep, rich, golden brown color.
- Chocolate chips: Any dairy-free chocolate chips, chocolate chunks, or chopped chocolate bar of choice will do. I like dark chocolate or semi-sweet chocolate chips.
- Mini marshmallows: I like to use Dandies mini marshmallows, but Trader Joe’s also sells some mini marshmallows that are plant-based as well!
How to Make Hot Cocoa Cookies
- Make the flax “egg”. Set aside.
- Using an electric mixer or stand mixer, cream the vegan butter, brown sugar, and white sugar together until smooth. Add the thickened flax “egg” and vanilla extract and mix again.
- Add in the flour, then sift in the cocoa powder. Add the cornstarch, baking soda, and salt and mix again with the electric mixer until a cookie dough forms. Stir in the chocolate chips.
- Divide the dough into 12 equal cookie dough balls, then press extra chocolate chips into the top of each cookie.
- Bake for 7 minutes, remove from the oven, then quickly press 3 to 4 mini marshmallows into the center of each cookie.
- Return the cookies to the oven and bake for an additional 2 minutes, to set the marshmallows.
- Cool the gooey hot chocolate cookies on the baking sheet for 10 to 15 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
Caitlin’s Cooking Tips
- Don’t over bake! These fudgy chocolate cookies really only require 4 minutes of active oven time. As they sit on the baking sheets while you press in the marshmallows, they will continue to cook on the hot surface.
- Soften the butter 1-2 hours in advance. Using softened butter in these hot cocoa cookies is a non-negotiable. Before baking, plan on setting the butter at room temperature for 1-2 hours, depending on the internal temperature of your home, or until you can make an indent in the butter with your finger. If you’re short on time, or forgot this step, check out this Trick to Soften Butter Quickly.
These cozy cookies are delicious enough on their own, but undeniably good once paired with a glass of almond milk or a warm cup of coffee or tea. You can even enjoy with a cup of Hot Cocoa for the ultimate hot chocolate experience! Enjoy them any time of day – breakfast, afternoon snack, dessert. No judgment here!
How to Store Hot Cocoa Cookies
Baked hot cocoa cookies will keep best in an airtight container at room temperature for about 4 days, or in the freezer for up to 1 month.
If frozen, let the cookies thaw on the kitchen counter until room temperature again.
Substitutions and Variations
- Gluten-free option: Replace the all-purpose flour with a cup-for-cup gluten-free flour blend.
- Refined sugar-free: It is not possible to make these cookies 100% refined sugar-free because they contain sweetened chocolate chips and mini marshmallows, but you can lower the refined sugar by swapping the brown sugar with coconut sugar.
- Cornstarch substitute: Use equal parts arrowroot powder.
- Chocolate chips substitution: Replace half of all of the vegan semi-sweet chocolate chips with vegan white chocolate chips for a fun twist!
I have not tested an oil-free version of these cookies. The softened vegan butter is a vital component of the texture and spread of the cookie dough. If you are strictly oil-free, you’ll love these Healthy Chickpea Chocolate Chip Cookies or these Double Chocolate Peppermint Cookies.
Cocoa powder and hot chocolate is NOT the same. Most notably, cocoa powder is a singular ingredient, and free of added sugars. Real hot chocolate mix is a beverage mix, usually made from mixing cocoa powder with milk solids (or non-dairy milks), and sugar. Please do not use these two interchangeably.
Most store-brand marshmallows are made with gelatin, which is not vegan (or vegetarian for that matter!). If making these cookies dairy-free and vegan like I did, read labels for gelatin and other non-vegan ingredients.
Enjoy! If you make this recipe and decide to share it on Facebook or Instagram, don’t forget to tag me @FromMyBowl + #FromMyBowl! I would also love it if you could leave a comment below with a recipe rating! Thank you for the support 😊
Vegan Hot Cocoa Cookies
- 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
- 2 1/2 tablespoons water
- 1/2 cup vegan butter softened to room temperature
- ½ cup cane sugar
- ½ cup packed brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup chopped chocolate bar or chocolate chips divided
- 1/2 cup vegan mini marshmallows (about 3-4 per cookie); see note
- Prep: Preheat the oven to 350F and grease or line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Combine the ground flax with the water in a small bowl and mix well; let sit for 5 minutes, to thicken.
- Cream the Butter: Add the butter, brown sugar, and cane sugar to a large bowl and use a hand mixer (or bowl of a stand mixer) to cream them together until smooth, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the thickened flax seed and vanilla to the butter mixture. Mix again until combined.
- Make the Dough: Add the flour to the mixing bowl and sift the cocoa powder on top to prevent clumps. Add in cornstarch, baking soda, and salt to the bowl and mix well with a spatula. Add 1/2 cup of the chopped chocolate to the bowl and fold into the dough.
- Roll: Divide the dough into 12 equal balls, roughly 3 tablespoons each. Place each cookie dough ball 2” apart on the baking sheet, then top with the remaining 1/4 cup (~40 g) of chocolate, pressing it into the top of the ball slightly so it sticks. Do not flatten the cookies on the baking sheet as they will spread when they cook.
- Bake: Bake for 7 minutes, until the cookies have spread and are puffy. Remove the cookies from the oven and quickly press in 3-4 mini marshmallows per cookie; it’s ok if they flatten slightly as you decorate. Return the cookies to the oven and bake for an additional 2 minutes, to set the marshmallows.
- Cool: Remove the cookies from the oven and let sit on the baking sheet for 10 to 15 minutes, to allow them to set. Use a spatula to transfer the cookies to a wire rack and let them cool completely (or enjoy warm!)
- Serve & Store: Let the chocolate fully cool and solidify before storing. Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days, or in the freezer for up to one month.
- Marshmallows: Most store-brand marshmallows are made with gelatin, which is not vegan. I like to use Dandies mini marshmallows, but Trader Joe’s also sells some mini marshmallows that are plant-based as well!
- Gluten-Free: Replace the flour with a cup-for-cup gf flour blend!