These Gluten-Free Hot Chocolate Cookies taste like a warm cup of cocoa in cookie form! Made with fudgy chocolate cookies and a marshmallow center, they’re perfect for the holidays!
The holiday season is cozy season, which means I’m ALL about a cozy cup of hot chocolate, or some herbal tea on a cold winter day. So, what happens when you turn that delicious cozy chocolate flavor into cookies? Gluten-Free Hot Chocolate Cookies!
These fudgy gluten-free chocolate cookies with marshmallow centers channel all the delicious flavor of a mug of hot chocolate, just in cookie form! Not only are they delicious, but they look adorable on a holiday cookie plate or for setting out at a holiday party.
The best part is, just like making hot chocolate, these hot chocolate cookies are made from simple ingredients & pantry staples, so it’s easy to whip up a batch of chocolaty cookies any time.
Here’s all you need to make these gluten-free hot cocoa cookies…
Our Gluten-Free Hot Chocolate Cookies Recipe, At A Glance:
Simple Ingredients For Gluten-Free Hot Chocolate Cookies
- Melted Butter. That’s right! No waiting around for butter to soften. Melted butter makes for fudgy, chewy chocolate cookies that taste incredible. (Unsalted butter or salted butter works here. Use what you have–even vegan butter should work!)
- Brown Sugar & White Sugar. A mix of light brown sugar and granulated sugar give these cookies amazing soft, chewy texture and just the right sweetness.
- An Egg. Any brand will do!
- Vanilla Extract. I love the way vanilla and chocolate complement each other, and that’s definitely true in these chocolate marshmallow cookies!
- Gluten-Free Flour. As always, I love to keep things simple with a 1:1 gluten-free flour blend. My favorite is this one from King Arthur, but if you use another brand, be sure it contains xanthan gum, or the cookies will not turn out properly.
- Dutch-Processed Cocoa Powder. Some hot chocolate cookie recipes use hot chocolate mix, but we are NOT using sweetened cocoa mix. You’ll use unsweetened, Dutch-process cocoa powder (dark cocoa powder), for a rich, chocolatey taste.
- Baking Soda. For just the right puff and spread.
- Salt. To balance the flavor. Don’t skip it!
- Large Marshmallows. Rather than placing a marshmallow on top of the cookies, we’re wrapping marshmallows in cookie dough! This way, they create a fun melty marshmallow “crinkle” that looks gorgeous. I tested with both small and large mallows, and the bigger (regular) size marshmallows work best, cut in half.
Wait–Are Marshmallows Gluten-Free?
Yep! Most brands of marshmallows are gluten-free! We rounded up a big list of gluten-free marshmallow brands to choose from for these cookies.
How To Make These Hot Cocoa Cookies, Step By Step
First, Mix Up The Cookie Dough
- Melt & Cool Butter. In a microwave-safe bowl, gently melt the butter in 15-20 second increments until smooth and fully melted. (You can also do this in a saucepan on low heat on the stove.) Cool the butter slightly so it’s not hot to the touch. You want it just barely warm or close to room temperature.
- Combine Wet Ingredients. When the butter has cooled, add it to the bowl of your stand mixer (or a large bowl), along with brown sugar and sugar. Mix with a paddle attachment or hand mixer to combine. Mix in egg and vanilla until the mixture is smooth and well blended.
- Add Dry Ingredients. Next, scrape down the sides of the bowl and add gluten-free flour, cocoa powder, and salt. Stir until the flour mixture is just fully incorporated and there are no floury or dry patches left in the dough. (The dough will look like thick, sticky brownie batter.)
- Chill 30 Minutes. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator 3o minutes. (I recommend just 30 minutes–see notes below for more info!)
Next, Stuff & Bake The Cookies
- Preheat Oven & Prep Pan. While the cookie dough chills, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Cut Marshmallows In Half. When you’re ready to bake the cookies, cut 3 marshmallows in half width-wise. (The short way, not the long way)
- Scoop Dough & Stuff With Marshmallows. Use a medium cookie scoop to measure six (2-Tablespoon) cookie dough balls. Use your fingers to pat out a cookie dough ball into a flattened disc, about 3-inches wide. Add a marshmallow half to the center, then fold up the sides of the dough disc to cover the marshmallow & roll the cookie dough ball so it’s smooth and the marshmallow is well covered. (If desired, you can leave one very small opening at the top for the marshmallow to escape from–see notes.) Repeat until you have 6 stuffed cookie dough balls. Return the rest of the cookie dough to the fridge while you bake these 6 cookies.
- Bake & Shape Cookies. Place stuffed balls of dough on a prepared baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 9-10 minutes. The edges of the cookie should look set and the marshmallow should have created a crackle in the center to bubble through. Use a large round cookie cutter to gently shape the cookies into perfect circles while they’re hot from the oven.
- Cool & Repeat. Let the cookies cool 3-5 minutes on the cookie sheet before using a spatula to transfer them to a wire cooling rack to cool completely. Repeat baking process, stuffing and rolling cookies, baking, and cooling, until all the cookies are baked. (The last batch will likely only have 4-5 cookies)
- Serve & Store. Enjoy the cookies right away, or store in an airtight container at room temperature 2-3 days. Or, store cooled gluten-free chocolate marshmallow cookies in a freezer bag and transfer to the freezer up to 2 months.
Cookie Tips To Help You:
- Are Marshmallows Gluten-Free?
- How To Measure Flour Correctly (Scoop & Level Method)
- How To Check If Your Baking Soda & Baking Powder Are Fresh
- 8 Cookie Tools We Use All The Time
- How To Measure Butter (Sticks, Tablespoons & More!)
FAQ + Tips And Tricks For The Best Hot Chocolate Cookies
Let The Dough Chill For Best Results. I know it’s tempting to skip the chill time, but if you want a beautiful marshmallow crackle in your hot chocolate cookies, don’t skip this step! The dough needs to firm up a little bit before baking, or it’ll spread faster and further than we want it to.
Use The Right Cocoa Powder. One last reminder that we’re NOT using hot cocoa mix, hot chocolate powder, or sweetened cocoa in these gluten-free chocolate marshmallow cookies. You want to use Dutch processed cocoa powder (aka dark cocoa powder) for the correct color, texture, and flavor.
Can I Use Mini Marshmallows Instead? Technically yes, though we had better, more consistent results with regular marshmallows cut in half. To use mini marshmallows instead, add 5-6 mini marshmallows to the center of each cookie before sealing.
Why Did My Marshmallows Disappear? Marshmallows tend to melt when baked. In this gluten-free chocolate marshmallow cookie recipe, our goal is to have the marshmallows bubble through the TOP of the cookie. If you’re running into trouble, try some of these tips…
A Few Tricks For Working With Marshmallows
Despite their cute and cuddly appearance, marshmallows can actually be a bit finicky to work with when it comes to baking. Since they’re basically sugar and gelatin, they melt when heated. This gives you a gorgeous gooey texture for things like s’mores, but it can also give them a tendency to disappear into baked goods. Here are a few tricks for success:
- Chill The Dough As Directed. In our test batches, we found that chilling the dough for 30 minutes was the sweet spot! Longer than that and the dough gets too stiff to easily work with. Shorter than that, and it was too sticky and spread too much.
- Use Large Marshmallows. Large marshmallows cut in half worked better and more reliably for us than mini marshmallows, which could spread more randomly and led to more melting and irregularly shaped cookies.
- Leave A Tiny Opening. If you’re having trouble with the marshmallow spreading out the bottom of the cookies rather than the top, you can leave a tiny opening at the top of the cookie dough ball. It’ll give the marshmallow a clear path for where to spread!
- Use The Cookie Cutter Trick. Since marshmallows will cause some irregular spreading, you can use a large round cookie cutter to gently shape warm cookies into a more circular, round shape.