Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies Recipe (2024)

By Vaughn Vreeland

Updated Dec. 22, 2023

Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies Recipe (1)

Total Time
1½ hours, plus 2 hours chilling
Prep Time
30 minutes
Cook Time
1 hour, plus 2 hours chilling
Read community notes

These spiced and spicy cookies, chocolaty and brimming with molten marshmallow, are a terrific treat to keep you warm in the colder months. The dough itself is imbued with cinnamon and a bit of ground cayenne, a combination commonly found in Mexican hot chocolate that also gives these cookies a flavor reminiscent of the holidays — and a slight kick when you least expect it. The marshmallowy interior provides a wonderful chew and maintains a pillowy soft texture, even after a few days in an airtight container. Make sure to freeze the marshmallows fully to give the cookies their hallmark ripple of white peeking through their sparkly chocolate exterior. (Otherwise, the marshmallows will dissolve into the cookies as they bake.)

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Yield:20 to 24 cookies

  • cups/192 grams all-purpose flour
  • ½cup/51 grams cocoa powder, preferably Dutch-processed
  • 1teaspoon baking soda
  • 1teaspoon kosher salt (such as Diamond Crystal)
  • ½teaspoon ground cayenne
  • 3teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ½cup/113 grams unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • cups/305 grams light brown sugar
  • 1large egg, at room temperature
  • 2teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Mini marshmallows, frozen solid
  • ¼cup/50 grams granulated sugar

Ingredient Substitution Guide


Make the recipe with us

  1. Step


    In a medium bowl, whisk flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt, cayenne and 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon.

  2. Step


    In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, or a large bowl with a hand mixer, beat butter and brown sugar on medium-high until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add egg and vanilla. Beat until creamy, 2 more minutes. Add flour mixture. Beat on low until no dry spots remain, about 1 minute.

  3. Step


    With a 2-tablespoon (1-ounce) cookie scoop or tablespoon measure, scoop dough into mounds on a baking sheet. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or up to overnight. Freeze marshmallows, if you haven’t already.

  4. Step


    When ready to bake, heat oven to 350 degrees and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Add granulated sugar and remaining teaspoon cinnamon to a small bowl.

  5. Step


    Remove half of the dough from the refrigerator and let sit at room temperature for 5 minutes if the dough is very stiff. Take a mound of dough and flatten slightly in the palm of your hand. Pile 5 frozen mini marshmallows on top of the flattened dough, then bring the outer edges over the marshmallows to envelop them. Roll into a ball and then roll in the cinnamon sugar to coat. Place on the baking sheet, 3 inches apart.

  6. Step


    Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, rotating halfway through, until cookies puff slightly and bits of molten marshmallow peek through the surface. Cool on the sheet for about 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with the remaining dough and marshmallows. Cookies will keep for about 3 days in an airtight container at room temperature.


  • Balls of dough (not coated in cinnamon sugar) can be frozen for up to 3 months in an airtight container. To bake, thaw for 5 minutes at room temperature, roll in cinnamon sugar and bake for 13 to 15 minutes.



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Cooking Notes

Jess Bee

Holiday cookie baking pals, please note the 3 teaspoons of cinnamon in the recipe are *divided* - 2 teaspoons for the cookie dough, and 1 teaspoon for the cinnamon sugar rolling mixture. I’m not sure why the NYT Cooking house style doesn’t always indicate dividing within their lists of ingredients, but I wouldn’t want anyone feeling Scrooge-y over cinnamon confusion!


Better assembly approach: portion out the just-mixed dough and form it around the frozen marshmallows. Bake directly from the freezer, adding 1-2 minutes to the baking time. Easier, simpler, & better shaped cookie. As others said, the cold dough is frustrating to work. It cracks, and if you don't seal the cracks over the marshmallows, the cookie unravels and becomes a blob shape (instead of roughly circular) and the marshmallows end up on top as they bake.


I've made this recipe twice now and the dough always gets too hard when I put it in the fridge. Then it just gets crumbly and breaks apart when I try to put the marshmellows in. Tried a third time, skipped the fridge step and voila.


I divided the room-temperature dough into 35-gram round portions, flattened them to fill with the room temperature marshmallows, then chilled them in the fridge, before rolling them in the cinnamon sugar and putting them into the oven. They came out looking identical to the recipe photo. I just didn’t want to frustrate myself with attempting to wrap cold dough around quick thawing mini marshmallows. I’m loving all of these unique cookie recipes that add some variety to the usual cookie lineup.


I prepped the whole cookie - with room temp dough, and room temp marshmallows, and then froze overnight. They were easy to assemble. Pulled them out first thing in AM, left them out for about 15 rolled in sugar and baked. They turned out beautifully.I decided to go for 1/4 tsp cayenne since I was giving them to a family with small children. The first bite - I was “not too much heat”, second bite I realized it was there. I was happy with the 1/4 tsp, it was just enough.

Elise Mugabo

Super delicious, but way to spicy for my weak children! Next time, I'd do it with half (or less) of the pepper. Otherwise, a huge hit.


Cookies will keep about 10 minutes unguarded.


These are fairly fiddly to make. Frozen marshmallows thaw way before tray of cookies are filled. I'd try standard-sized marshmallows cut in half next time instead of minis; would be easier to insert. Flatten dough balls before refrigerating and only take out 2-3 at a time. The heat of your hand will allow them to form a cup to deposit marshmallows (5 was 1 too many to envelop). I'd also mix in a little sea salt into cinnamon sugar before rolling and stick in fridge for 20 mins before baking.


Made as directed minus cayenne. Cinnamon adds nice enough kick. Used Vegan frozen mini marshmallows from Whole Foods. Cookies look like picture and taste great. I portioned dough into scoops night before, refrigerated and took out 6 at a time. Smushed flat with palm of hand. Pressed 4 marshmallows in middle and then rounded into ball with the MMLows inside.


Mexican hot chocolate, like Abuelita, has its own sugar content not to mention cinnamon. You'd be altering the balance of ingredients. If you're just experimenting have at. When I bake I try to follow what's written the first go at a recipe (though there is no way I'm putting a half teaspoon of cayenne into a cookie dough!).


Would it be possible to freeze globs of marshmallow fluff instead of using marshmallows in this recipe? I'm vegetarian and veg marshmallows are hard to come by/expensive. Fluffernutter is vegetarian!

Wendy P

I accidentally added all the cinnamon into the recipe. They still tasted delicious! I appreciate a recipe where it still is fabulous even if you read the recipe wrong. Haha!


When does the other half of the dough come out of the fridge? Not mentioned in the recipe!


These are outstanding. I agree with an earlier poster. Assemble the cookies at room temp and then freeze. When I made a couple using the method in the recipe everything warmed up to quickly, so had to pop into the freezer for an hour or so. The other thing discovered is to not roll the entire ball in the cinnamon sugar. The cinnamon sugar on the bottom caramelized, which made it difficult to off the baking sheet even with using a silicone.

re: veggie cookie swap

Does this recipe work with vegan marshmallows instead? thanks.


These were a hit at holiday gatherings and with friends and family. (I dropped some off for friends who were recovering from COVID, and they loved them so much that they were eating a quarter of a cookie at a time to make them last.) I read the comments and formed the cookies with room temperature dough wrapped around frozen marshmallows. I used the vegan marshmallows from Whole Foods but could find only the regular size, so cut them in half with kitchen shears.


I had a yield of 18 cookies. I froze the marshmallows but did not freeze the dough before scooping and shaping the balls with marshmallows inside.Froze cookies for about 1 hour before baking for 10 minutes.I would reduce the cayenne pepper by half next time and add a bit of sea salt or flake salt to the top of each cookie before it goes in the oven. We're a Morton Kosher Salt household so I cut the kosher salt by half which was fine.


I thought this was a fussy recipe for the taste it yields. I had leftover regular marshmallows so I cut them in 8ths and froze them. I used 4 pieces per cookie in the first half of the batch. Some came out pretty messy. So in the 2nd half I only used 3 pieces per cookie and after each ball was made I put it in the fridge until all were ready. The 2nd batch came out better. I won't make them again.


These were delicious--however, the stated baking time was far too long. I made 24 cookies (the high end of the suggestion) and froze the unbaked cookies. The low end of the suggested time for baking from frozen of 13 minutes resulted in absolutely hammered cookies, with the marshmallows completely melted and unseen. Even baking directly from frozen, 10 minutes (or even less) was the correct baking time to get those bits of marshmallow peeking through and visible.


I have now made these quite a few times with several variations. 1/4 tsp of cayenne seems perfect. King Arthur Measure For Measure gluten free flour subs in perfectly. I've found vegan marshmallows don't melt even without freezing but are a little less gooey. I do refrigerate the dough balls to "hydrate" per the video instructions, but use half vegan and half frozen regular marshmallows, four mini mallows total. I put the former dough balls in the fridge for ten minutes before baking.

Coffee grinder

Best cookies I've ever made. I followed the advice of most comments & rolled the cookies into balls w/unfrozen marshmallows then refrigerated for 2 hours & baked.


I cut the cayenne in half because I am sensitive to it. I still get the heat. Cooked perfectly in 10 min. Turned the tray at 5 min.


Chilled dough is difficult to work with. Stuff them, shape them, then freeze. If I’m baking a casserole, I pop 6 cookies on a qtr sheet pan at the end. Delicious. For the cayenne, 1/8 tsp was perfect for our taste.


Really delicious cookies, absolutely recommend making these! I followed user comments and didn't chill the dough or freeze the marshmallows which worked really well. If the dough gets too sticky, just pop it in the fridge for a couple of minutes


I had so much fun making these cookies. Took me back to my first experience with an easy bake oven watching with excitement as the cookies bloomed with creamy, gooey marshmallow lava. The flavor combination is perfection. This recipe is a KEEPER! 5*****

jk note

It’s delicious but the marshmallows melted in my cookies

J Lin

These cookies were a hit at holiday parties! I skipped the marshmallows; they made the cookies spread unevenly and look misshapen. Without em, they make excellent chocolate crinkle cookie and are super pretty. Chill the dough, covered, to allow everything to hydrate. Scoop and freeze—bake from frozen and add 2-3 min baking time. And measure the cayenne with your heart.


I would agree with a lot of the others that the cold dough did become very crumbly and difficult to wrap around the marshmallows. Next time I make them the plan is to make the dough and freeze the marshmallows. Add the frozen marshmallows to the warm dough and bake immediately. I also found they needed about 2 minutes longer than it said. I made these for a party and they were incredibly popular!! I will say a handful of people thought they were too spicy so maybe keep that in mind.

Cookie Baker

These turned out a bit dry and hard to work with, so when reattempting, I would consider having a bit of milk on hand if the dough proves difficult.

Corin B.

Use brown sugar!

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Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies Recipe (2024)


What makes Mexican hot chocolate different? ›

Mexican hot chocolate contains spices like cinnamon and chili and chopped bittersweet chocolate to create a very rich but less sweet flavor. Whereas traditional American hot chocolate is usually made with a combination of cocoa powder and/or chocolate and tends to be more on the sweet side.

What is the most popular Mexican chocolate? ›

Ibarra – One of the most traditional Mexican chocolate brands, Ibarra is famous for so-called “table chocolate”, which is used to make the iconic hot chocolate that is very popular in Mexico. Abuelita– Another popular brand of chocolate bars in Mexico.

What is a substitute for Mexican chocolate tablets? ›

Popular in mole sauces and some spiced desserts, if you don't have a block of Mexican chocolate, it's easy to mix up an alternative from other baking staples. Chocolate replacement for 1 ounce Mexican chocolate: 1 ounce semisweet chocolate or cocoa powder + ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon + 1 drop almond extract.

What is the secret to chewy cookies? ›

Cornstarch helps product soft and thick cookies. Using more brown sugar than white sugar results in a moister, softer cookie. An extra egg yolk increases chewiness. Rolling the cookie dough balls to be tall and lumpy instead of wide and smooth gives the cookies a bakery-style textured thickness.

What are the ingredients in Abuelita hot chocolate? ›


Why is my abuelita hot chocolate grainy? ›

It has a noticeably grainy texture because it's processed only to the “liquor” stage, before it's poured into the disk-shaped molds to cool and harden. Classically, it's flavored with cinnamon and vanilla. To make the drink, this solid chocolate is broken into pieces, then just melted into a pot of hot milk.

What is the most sold candy in Mexico? ›

What is The Most Popular Candy in Mexico?
  • #1 De La Rosa Mazapan. These crumbly delights are sweet and will melt in your mouth right away. ...
  • #2 Paleta Payaso. ...
  • #3 Vero Mango. ...
  • #4 Pelon Mini Tamarindo. ...
  • #5 Limon 7 Paleta. ...
  • #6 Diablo Chamoy Chili Seasoned Gummy Bears. ...
  • #7 Indy Dedos. ...
  • #8 Aldama Obleas.
Jun 9, 2022

What Mexican city is known for chocolate? ›

Though many people travel to Playa Mujeres, very few actually know that this area in the Yucatan peninsula is the cradle of chocolate and is where the first users of the cocoa bean spread this delicious flavor to the rest of the world.

Why does Mexican chocolate have cinnamon? ›

When the Spanish invaders took cocoa back to Europe, they added sugar and, because they could not find vanilla in Europe, replaced it with cinnamon. “We are a mix of traditions from Spain and from here​,” Alarcon said. According to Alarcon, Mexican cocoa has floral notes, which appeals to high-end chocolatiers.

What flavors are in Mexican chocolate? ›

Mexican style chocolate bars are made with toasted cacao beans ground with white sugar, almonds, cinnamon, and sometimes vanilla. There are other variations, but I think this is the basic one. In Mexico, there are molinos, or mills, that are dedicated to doing only this and they smell like chocolaty heaven.

What is Nestle Mexican hot chocolate? ›

Description. For generations, Nestlé Abuelita Authentic Mexican Style Hot Chocolate Mix has been an essential part of the Hispanic kitchen. Its perfect balance of cocoa, sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon gives it a distinctively delicious “calor de hogar” taste.

What flour is best for chewy cookies? ›

Bread Flour: For Chewy Texture

Bread flour contains a higher protein content (around 12-14%), leading to more gluten development. This makes it ideal for bakers seeking a chewier texture in their cookies. The extra gluten can help retain gas and moisture, producing a denser and chewier result.

Does adding more butter make cookies softer? ›

Also, underbaking them by a minute or 2 will help them retain a dense, chewy bite, explains Jenny McCoy, pastry baking arts chef-instructor at the Institute for Culinary Education in New York. Adding more moisture to your dough in the form of extra butter, egg yolks, or brown sugar will make your cookies even softer.

Why does Mexican chocolate taste different? ›

Mexican chocolate should taste intense and have a rustic texture. Its flavor is due to the fact that the cacao beans are simply roasted and ground into a liquor, whereas a lot of European-style chocolate takes things a step further, using a conching machine to aerate the chocolate liquor and mellow out its flavor.

Why does Mexican hot chocolate contain spicy pepper? ›

Unlike “American hot chocolate”, Mexican hot chocolate contains less sugar and has a stronger, more intense chocolate taste. It also contains warm spices like cinnamon and cayenne pepper to add an extra dimension to the drink. What is this? Basically, it's divine.

What is the flavor profile of Mexican chocolate? ›

Mexican chocolate presents a rich flavor with a pronounced cocoa foundation, enhanced by sweet cinnamon and a hint of floral vanilla. The occasional addition of chili peppers adds a subtle warmth, creating a complex taste profile.


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