Chocolate Marshmallow Surprise Cookies

Surprise your friends and family this holiday season with homemade Chocolate Marshmallow Surprise Cookies! -soft and fluffy chocolate cookies with gooey marshmallows baked on top and then hidden under a layer of rich chocolate glaze.

surprise cookies

For the annual “12 Weeks of Christmas Treats,” I love looking through cookbooks and the Internet for holiday cookies inspo. I stumbled upon Martha Stewart’s Surprise Cookies and decided to give the recipe a shot. They were amazing. My family thinks these may be the best Christmas cookie I have ever made, and I’ve made A LOT of Christmas cookies.

These quick and easy surprise cookies are a great addition to any holiday cookie tin. The chocolate cookie base is rich, tender and chewy on the inside and lightly crisped on the outside, which is fantastic on its own. However, when you bite into a chocolate surprise cookie, you’ll find an ooey-gooey marshmallow center hidden by a delicious chocolate frosting. I’m confident this is going to be your new favorite cookie recipe. Enjoy!

ingredients for surprise cookies

Ingredients //


  • Flour: acts as the structure of the cookie and helps make a soft and chewy texture.
  • Cocoa: gives these cookies all of their indulgent chocolate flavors. For an even deeper, chocolatey taste, you can use dark chocolate cocoa powder.
  • Baking Soda: acts as a leavening agent and helps create a light, fluffy cookie.
  • Salt: helps make sturdy and stable cookie dough and enhances the pleasantly sweet flavors.
  • Butter (room temperature): adds flavor, density and structure. Softened butter will give you a soft, chewy cookie, while melted butter will give you a more cakey texture.
  • Sugar: makes the cookies sweet and encourages the cookie batter to spread as it melts during baking.
  • Egg: adds moisture, richness and flavor. Egg also adds structure, creating a cohesive cookie with a lightly crisped surface.
  • Milk: adds moisture and flavor.
  • Vanilla: enhances all of the flavors from the rest of the ingredients. Use a high-quality vanilla extract for the best flavor.
  • Marshmallows (cut in half): aka the SURPRISE! Halved marshmallows are tucked into each cookie and hidden by a layer of frosting. Instead of regular marshmallows, you can use 3 to 4 mini marshmallows for each cookie


  • Confectioners’ Sugar: is finer ground than granulated sugar, so it dissolves quickly and makes a smooth, creamy frosting. I don’t recommend using a different kind of sugar here, as you may end up with glaze with a gritty texture.
  • Melted Butter: helps create a rich, velvety frosting that spreads easily over the cookies.
  • Cocoa: gives the frosting its decadent chocolate flavor.
  • Milk: dampens the dry ingredients to create a creamy frosting.
  • Vanilla: adds flavor.


  • Baking Sheets
  • Parchment Paper
  • Mixing Bowls
  • Standing Mixer
  • Ice Cream Scoop
  • Whisk

How to Make // The Steps

ingredients for surprise cookies in a mixing bowl

Step 1: Preheat oven and prepare baking sheet.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and line baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.

Step 2: Mix dry ingredients.

In a medium-size bowl, add cocoa, baking soda and salt. Mix well to combine.

Step 3 Cream butter and sugar.

In the bowl of a standing mixer, add butter and sugar. Cream together until light and creamy.

Step 4: Combine dry and wet ingredients.

To the same bowl, add egg, milk and vanilla as well as the dry ingredient mixture. Mix well to combine, but do not overmix the batter!

Step 5: Drop batter.

Using an ice cream scoop, drop batter about 2″ apart on the parchment-lined baking sheets.

Step 6: Bake.

Transfer baking sheets to the oven and bake for 10 to 12 minutes (or until they spread and begin to rise but are still soft).

Step 7: Press in marshmallow.

Remove the cookies from the oven and press a marshmallow half into the top of each.

Step 8: Return to oven.

Place the cookies back in the oven for 2 more minutes to gently set the marshmallow into the cookie.

Step 9: Let cool.

Transfer baking sheets to a cooling rack while you make the frosting.

Step 10: Make the chocolate frosting.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together the confectioner’s sugar, butter, cocoa, milk and vanilla until smooth.

Step 11: Frost cookies.

Once the cookies have cooled, spread about 1 tablespoon of frosting over each cookie to hide the marshmallow surprise, enjoy!

ingredients for surprise cookies in a mixing bowl

Tips & Tricks //

  • Using room-temperature butter is essential to achieving a soft and chewy cookie.
  • Do your best not to overmix the batter. As soon as it’s combined and cohesive, it’s mixed.
  • Keep an eye on your cookies, especially during the last 2 minutes while the marshmallow is melting. The cookies and the marshmallow can overcook very quickly.
  • Make sure the cookies cool down before adding the frosting. If the cookies are too warm, the frosting may not stick as well to the top of the cookie.
surprise cookies on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet

Why are Surprise Cookies So Good?

  • Quick and easy. These step-by-step instructions will show you how to bake perfect cookies.
  • These cookies are melt-in-your delicious.
  • Get the kids involved. They can press the marshmallow into the top of the cookie, but be careful -as they will be hot!
  • Customizable. You can hide so much more than just marshmallows in surprise cookies.
surprise cookies with marshmallows on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet

More Surprises & Variations //

Switch up the surprise! Instead of marshmallows, you can hide nuts, candies, fruit, etc. in your cookies. The options are endless! Check out some options below:

  • Hershey’s Kisses: Any flavor kiss would be excellent here -milk chocolate, candy cane, hugs & kisses, etc.).
  • Fun Sized Chocolate Bars (sliced in half vertically): Hershey’s, Snickers, Milky Way, Twix, etc.
  • Mini Candies: Andes Mints, Reese’s Miniatures, York Minis, Caramel Bits, etc.
  • Nuts: Use walnuts, hazelnuts or almonds for a crunchy surprise.

Store-Bought Icing: To save yourself a couple of steps, you can use a store-bought cookie icing (however, making it from scratch is well worth it).

surprise cookies cooling on a cookie sheet

How to Store //

Storing: You can store these cookies in an airtight container on the counter for 4 to 5 days.

Make-Ahead and Freezer Options //

Freezing: The best way to store them is in the freezer. If you’re planning on freezing them, hold off on the frosting. Let the cookies cool completely and then store them in an airtight container or freezer-safe bag in the freezer for up to 3 months. Let them thaw at room temperature before frosting.


Do marshmallows burn in the oven?

Yes, the marshmallows can burn and will burn quickly, so keep an eye on them.

How do I know when surprise cookies are done?

Before adding the marshmallow, pull the cookies from the oven when they’re slightly under-baked. They’ll continue to firm up when they go back into the oven with the marshmallows and as they cool.

What should the texture of surprise cookies be?

Your cookies should be soft and chewy in the centers with a lightly crisped and crackly surface.

surprise cookies on a counter with a glass of milk

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surprise cookies on a counter with a glass of milk

Surprise Cookies

Yield: makes 2 dozen

Surprise Cookies - these are a favorite. A chocolate cookie base with a marshmallow baked into the top. Coated with a chocolate glaze to hide the surprise.


  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup cocoa
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 12 marshmallows, cut in half


  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 4 Tablespoons melted butter
  • 1/4 cup cocoa
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla


  1. Mix together flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. Cream together butter and sugar until light and creamy. Add egg, milk, and vanilla. Add the dry ingredients. Mix until combined. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Using an ice cream scoop, drop batter about 2 inches apart.
  2. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 10 to 12 minutes. Take the cookies out and press the marshmallow half into the cookie. Put the cookies back into the oven for another 2 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack.
  3. Make the frosting by whisking together sugar, butter, cocoa, milk, and vanilla. Top with frosting and cover the marshmallow.
Nutrition Information:

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 0Total Fat: 0g

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

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Oh hey there!

BakedBree was originally created by Boston-based blogger Bree Hester but is now run by a team of food bloggers with a passion for all things food. Here you can get lots of weeknight meal inspiration, eat more plant-based meals, and still indulge in a decadent sweet treat. Baked Bree is a place where you will find great recipes and inspiration for your next adventure.

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This Post Has 56 Comments

  1. Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar

    These are beautiful Bree!

    1. bakedbree

      thanks Katrina! These are pretty popular around here. 🙂

  2. Julie

    These look delicious. I’m sure the kids would love the marshmallow-y goodness in the middle. I’m pretty excited about the 12 weeks of Christmas cookies!

    1. bakedbree

      Me too. I love doing it every year. I hope that you will follow along.

  3. Ashley @ C & A Event Planning

    I cannot wait to make these for the next family function! Delicious!

    1. bakedbree

      They are! Your family will love them.

  4. Lilly

    I love these cookies! Thank you for posting this, I will have to make them again soon! Your cookies look so nice, especially the frosting. Did you thin the frosting or warm it up first? I don’t remember mine looking so smooth.

    1. bakedbree

      I didn’t thin it or warm it. I think that next time I would add a smidge more sugar to tighten it up.

  5. Katie @ Blonde Ambition

    These are so pretty! I bet they’re soo good right out of the oven. And 12 weeks till Christmas already?! It’s still 95 degrees here! Agh

    1. bakedbree

      Crazy! Isn’t it?

  6. melissa

    these look so yummy! i have been looking for more cookie recipes so i am excited about your series!

    1. bakedbree

      I have two years to look through also! Glad that you are following along.

  7. Rachael {SimplyFreshCooking}

    Oh yeah! They look soooo flippin good!

    1. bakedbree

      these really are! Very dangerous to have around.

  8. bakedbree

    they really are easy to make, but they look like they took little effort.

  9. Becca - Cookie Jar Treats

    Oh my god I can’t believe there are only 12 weeks until Christmas! This is so exciting. I love celebrating all the holidays, especially christmas 🙂 The weeks are going to just fly by, I know it!

    1. bakedbree

      I know! I have barely wrapped my head around school starting and now we are talking about Christmas.

  10. marina prins

    Your cookies look great, pinned it!

    Marina # 6

    1. bakedbree

      thanks for pinning!

  11. Brenda @ Meal Planning Magic

    I bet these would be pretty popular around my house too! I love that they are simple but look so fancy–perfect for a holiday spread. Thanks for shariing and glad you’re part of the hop again this year! Cant’ wait to see what goodies you come up with along the way.

    1. bakedbree

      Thanks Brenda! And thanks for hosting.

  12. Mandy

    These look amazing!!

    It’s so hard to believe it’s only 12 weeks away.

    1. bakedbree

      Tell me about it! I have no idea how that happened.

  13. Stephanie

    Oh wow these look amazing! I love cookies that are both cute and tasty.

    only 12 weeks till Christmas!

    1. bakedbree

      Isn’t that crazy?

  14. Paula @ Vintage Kitchen

    This cookies have all the ingredients to become a favorite. Great recipe!

    1. bakedbree

      I have made them 3 times already!

  15. Valentina

    Bree, what fun cookies! I love that you’re planning Christmas cookies already. It’s never too soon! 🙂

    1. bakedbree

      Nope! Never too soon. This is my 3rd year doing this and I love it even more every year.


    such true delight, Bree, very creative and utterly divine! Bravo! I’m already imagining these with white chocolate 🙂

    1. bakedbree

      Yum! White chocolate would be great too.

  17. Tracy

    These cookies look so yummy!! Does the frosting harden nice or is it best to eat them warm?

    1. bakedbree

      It hardens. I prefer them chilled, but it hardens on its own.

  18. Kayla

    These look amazing. Your photos are gorgeous. I found your blog through the hop and am so excited to explore all your posts 🙂

    1. bakedbree

      thank you Kayla! I look forward to seeing what else you make for the hop.

  19. Elizabeth @Food Ramblings

    My mom makes these, and we put cherries in the marshmellows!

    1. bakedbree

      Even more fun! Will have to try that next time that I make these.

  20. Renee

    I made these little pieces of heaven yesterday to bring to work. OMG they are so yummy! They are a hit! So easy too! I am looking forward to week 2!

    1. bakedbree

      I bet that you were pretty popular at work!

  21. kelley {mountain mama cooks}

    How can it only be 12 weeks until Christmas? I gets me every year!! These look amazing. I can see why your kids love them. My kids love anything with marshmallows!

    1. bakedbree

      Seriously! It snuck up on me!

  22. Kat

    How many cookies does this make?? They look great just subscribed to your feed.

    1. bakedbree

      2 dozen.

  23. valen


    I’m wondering if you use sweetened or unsweetened cocoa in the chocolate surpise cookies! Thank you

    1. bakedbree


  24. kari

    I made these with my 8 yr old son to give to his teacher for Christmas. He enjoyed pushing in the marshmallows and he was very excited about his teacher finding the surprise. They turned out great and were so delicious. I will definitely make them again.

    1. bakedbree

      How cute is that? I love making these cookies too. And my husband loves eating them!

  25. ShazinNV

    Bree, my mom made these when we were kids and they were definitely the family favorite. When I bring them to family gatherings, some 50 years later, they still get a big SQUEE.

    1. bakedbree

      Because they are so delicious! I would SQUEE too!

  26. Sabrina

    These cookies are delicious! Found your page coinsidencly, I´m a big fan of your recipe´s! Greetings from Sweden!

    1. bakedbree

      I am so glad! And welcome!

  27. leeann

    Can these be frozen and/or kept in the fridge until Christmas time? They look very yummy! Thank you.

    1. bakedbree

      I assume so. I have never frozen them before, they never lasted that long.

  28. laurasmess

    Just found the link via Eat Your Heart Out (thanks Stephie!) and had to follow it. These look incredible Bree! Yum! Love the little chocolate ‘fried egg’ look that they have. Even more adorable x

    1. bakedbree

      Thank you! I love these cookies. So much fun.

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