These hot cocoa cookies with whipped cream frosting are the epitome of Christmas in a cookie. Hot cocoa mix is added to the dough, the cookies are baked with a marshmallow in the center, and finally topped with whipped cream frosting and crushed peppermint candy canes!
There’s nothing better than drinking some hot cocoa after a day of sledding, or ice skating, or…caroling…? (wait, I think that only happens in Hallmark movies, but I’m totally down for making it a thing again).
Anyway, where was I? Yes, enjoying a mug of hot chocolate after a cold day outside.
These bad boys are the cookie version of the classic winter beverage and they are SO. GOOD. They are incredible with or without the whipped cream frosting, but I highly recommend making it!
If you’re looking for more chocolate desserts, check out this turtle cheesecake with Biscoff cookie crust, Oreo cookies and cream cookies, and this chocolate sour cream pound cake with chocolate ganache.
Why You’ll Love These Hot Cocoa Cookies
- Great Holiday Cookie – Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan of the classic Christmas cookies, but this cookie would add a fun spin to your next cookie exchange!
- Packed with Sweet Flavor – Cocoa powder, hot chocolate mix, marshmallow, whipped cream frosting, and crushed peppermint candy canes are all reminiscent of a mug of hot chocolate.
- Gooey Marshmallow Center – Need I say more? You’ll put the marshmallow right in the middle of the dough and cover it as you roll the dough around it.
For the Cookies
- Brown Sugar
- Granulated Sugar
- Butter – You’ll want to make sure the butter is room temperature. I use salted butter, but you could also use unsalted butter and add 1/2 a teaspoon extra salt to the dough.
- Vanilla Extract
- Baking Soda
- Cocoa Powder – I use unsweetened cocoa powder.
- Hot Chocolate Mix – I used Swiss Miss milk chocolate mix, but any brand works! You could also play with the flavor like a mint hot chocolate mix.
- Flour – All-purpose flour is what I use for these cookies.
- Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips – White chocolate chips or peppermint chocolate chips would work also!
- Candy Canes (optional to crush and sprinkle on top) – I crushed two candy canes and topped them on the frosting for added flavor.
For the Whipped Cream Frosting
- Heavy Cream – Make sure the heavy cream is nice and cold. I also like to throw the mixing bowl in the fridge or freezer while the cookies are baking. This helps the cream whip beautifully.
- Powdered Sugar – Makes this frosting nice and sweet.
- Vanilla Extract
See recipe card for quantities.
Step 1: With a hand mixer, cream the brown sugar, granulated sugar, and butter together.
Step 2: Add the eggs one at a time while mixing continuously. Add the vanilla extract, baking soda, salt, cocoa powder, and gradually add the flour.
Step 3: Make sure to use a spatula to scrape the sides of the bowl. Fold in the chocolate chips.
Step 4: Use your hands or a cookie scoop to measure 3 tablespoon dough balls. Flatten the balls with your hand and place a marshmallow in the center.
Step 5: Roll the dough, making sure to cover the marshmallow completely. Place the dough balls on a baking sheet and chill in the fridge for 20-30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Step 6: Bake the cookies on a parchment lined baking sheet for about 11 minutes. Make sure to separate the cookies by 2-3 inches. Allow them to cool completely before frosting them.
Step 7: Add cold heavy cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract to a cold mixing bowl. Mix with a hand mixer (or stand mixer) on high until the cream thickens to stiff peaks. This will take about 5 minutes.
Step 8: Frost the cooled cookies and top with a sprinkle of hot cocoa mix and crushed peppermint candy canes!
- Mixing Bowl
- Parchment Paper
- Baking Sheet
- Cookie Scoop or Spoon
- Hand Mixer or Stand Mixer
- Measuring Cups
- Measuring Spoons
Unfrosted cookies can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
Frosted cookies should be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
Freeze the cookies/cookie dough:
You can also freeze these cookies for up to 2 months in an airtight container.
To freeze the cookie dough, first chill the cookie dough balls. Then transfer the cookie dough to a Ziploc bag. To bake from frozen, simply bake them as directed, but add an additional couple minutes to bake time. Freeze for up to 2 months.
- Don’t skip chilling the cookie dough before baking these cookies. It prevents the cookies from spreading out and being thin and crunchy.
- For perfectly round cookies, use a round glass or bowl large enough to fit over the cookies, cover the cookie, and give the glass a little spin in a circular rotation. It softens the ragged edges and returns the cookies to its original round shape.
- The frosting adds delicious flavor and enhances the hot cocoa flavor, but it’s not necessary. These cookies are so yummy without it!
- If you don’t have regular sized marshmallows, you can stuff the cookie dough with about 4 or 5 mini marshmallows instead.
- To crush the candy canes, you could simply break them into small pieces with your hands, throw them in the food processor for a quick pulse, or put them in a Ziploc bag and crush them with a rolling pin.
Yes! Add a teaspoon of peppermint extract to the dough in place of the vanilla extract for a peppermint hot cocoa flavor. You could also add peppermint chocolate chips to up the flavor.
You certainly don’t have to. These cookies would be delicious without it. You could also add some mini marshmallows or a large marshmallow on top of the cookies right after they come out of the oven. The marshmallow will slowly melt on top giving it that same flavor.
I used milk chocolate flavored hot cocoa mix. You could also use chocolate peppermint, dark chocolate, white chocolate–lots of flavor options.
Yes, you can! Store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days.
Looking for other recipes? Try these:
Hot Cocoa Cookies with Whipped Cream Frosting
For the hot cocoa cookies
- 1 cup butter softened, salted
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup brown sugar dark or light brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon if using unsalted butter
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder unsweetened
- 1/2 cup hot cocoa mix milk chocolate
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 16 marshmallows regular sized
For the whipped cream frosting
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream cold
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2 crushed peppermint candy canes (optional) to sprinkle on top of the cookies
- 2 tablespoons hot cocoa mix (optional) to sprinkle on top of the cookies
Make the cookie dough
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. With a hand mixer, cream the butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar in a large mixing bowl.
- Add the vanilla extract and then add one egg at a time while continuously mixing. Add the baking soda, salt, cocoa powder, and hot cocoa mix into the bowl. Then, gradually add the flour, making sure to scrape the sides of the bowl to incorporate all the ingredients.
- Finally, fold in the chocolate chips. Using a cookie scoop or your hands, measure the dough into 3 tablespoon balls. Then flatten the dough balls with your hands and top each one with a marshmallow. Cover the entire marshmallow with cookie dough and roll it back into a ball. Once all the dough balls have been rolled, place them on the baking sheet and in the fridge for 20-30 minutes to chill.
- Preheat the oven to 350℉ while the dough is chilling. Once the cookie dough is chilled, place the cookies on the parchment paper-lined baking sheet, 6 at a time, making sure to space them about 2 to 3 inches apart.
- Bake for 10-13 minutes. They're ready when the outside of the cookies are set but the inside is still soft. It's normal for marshmallows to be showing through the cookies. While the cookies are baking, put the mixing bowl you'll use for the frosting in the freezer or fridge so it's nice and cold when you're ready to make the frosting.
- Allow the cookies to cool for about 5-10 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to let them cool longer. While the cookies are cooling, make the whipped cream frosting.
Make the whipped cream frosting
- Grab the chilled mixing bowl and add the heavy cream, vanilla extract, and powdered sugar to it. Use a hand or stand mixer on high and whip the ingredients until the frosting resembles stiff peaks (about 5 minutes).
- Frost the cookies and sprinkle crushed candy canes and hot cocoa mix on top. Serve immediately or refrigerate cookies.