Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies

4.71 from 41 votes
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These decadent hot chocolate cookies melt in your mouth! Each enticing bite is bursting with bold flavors of bittersweet chocolate, cinnamon, and spicy chili.

Mexican hot chocolate cookies.

I was sipping on some hot cocoa on a chilly evening when I had a creative culinary idea. I wanted to take my tasty beverage and turn it into a sweet and spicy portable treat that could be enjoyed anytime. Chocolate, chili, and cinnamon are the perfect trio of flavors, especially when delivered in the form of these hot chocolate chili cookies!

You will love the surprise hint of spiciness. It recreates the warmth you experience when drinking a steamy cup of hot chocolate. If you haven’t tried sweet and spicy cookies yet, today is your lucky day. I’ll warn you ahead of time, they are addicting and will bring instant happiness. 

Scooping chocolate cookie dough.

The star of this hot chocolate chili cookie is the melted bittersweet dark chocolate. It balances the sweetness of the dough and mellows the heat of the chili. I recommend a 60% cacao chips, the richness of the chocolate, with a slightly bitter bite, and lingering notes of coffee is heavenly!

I’m pretty sure I ate at least a handful as I was making this batch of cookies. A generous amount of cinnamon adds warm, sweet notes just like a glass of Mexican hot chocolate. A tiny pinch of freshly grated black pepper and chili powder brings all the bold flavors together, making each bite more enticing than the last. I’m entirely serious when I say you can’t just have one!

Sprinkling powdered sugar on cookies cooling on a rack.

One of the perks of this cookie recipe is you don’t have to wait and let the dough rest before portioning. Just combine, measure, roll and bake! The mixture is thick, so I flatten it slightly, so it spreads more evenly.

These hot chocolate chili cookies are ready in about 10 minutes, once the surface becomes cracked and the edges begin to set. If the cookies have not finished baking at 10 minutes, recheck after each additional minute. A sprinkle of powdered sugar and these little guys are ready!

To take this recipe to the next level, add one to two dark chocolate chips in the center. When they are fresh from the oven, you’ve got a molten center, just like a chocolate lava cake! At least eat one right away to experience the warm and gooey center, it’s life-changing. You won’t regret it!

The cinnamon and spicy chili give these cookies a kick.

When fresh-baked, the cookie texture is slightly crispy around the edges and chewy in the center. I’ve found that once they completely cool and after being stored a day or two, they get more crumbly and have denser chocolate truffle texture. It’s divine!

To achieve a chewy cookie texture, the key is the type of sugars you select. It’s good to have a balance of sugar, with a humectant (sugar that attracts moisture and keeps cookie more soft and chewy). A good rule of thumb is to replace 10 to 15% of the sugar with a humectant. Examples of humectants are invert sugar, corn syrup, and honey. For this cookie, a blend of granulated sugar adds the crispiness, and honey provides the chew which is just the right combination of this decadent treat.

These hot chocolate chili cookies are the perfect sweet addition to Valentine’s Day, or anytime you need something to warm your heart. So don’t be shy, share them with people you love! Do you have any chocolate lovers in your life? Besides myself, I know a few individuals who would not mind receiving these decadent chocolate cookies as a gift!

Chocolate center of cookie broken open and oozing.

Recipe Science

What makes a chili pepper so hot?

The chemical responsible for the spiciness is called capsaicin. The Scoville Heat Scale measures the spiciness of pepper. A sweet bell pepper would be a zero on the scale, whereas a jalapeno would be 2,500 to 5,000 Scoville units. When working with chili, the inside membrane is where the heat resides. So if you want to reduce the spice intensity, remove the inside membrane of the chili. If possible, wear disposable gloves when cutting. I have many memories from culinary school, where my hands were still burning a few hours after working with chili, and it was horrible! Luckily burn cream is an excellent remedy for capsaicin irritation! Oh yeah, please don’t even think about rubbing your eyes!

Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies

These decadent hot chocolate chili cookies melt in your mouth! Each bite is bursting with bold flavors of bittersweet chocolate, cinnamon, and spicy chili.
4.71 from 41 votes
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Total Time20 minutes
Servings 18 cookies
Course Dessert
Cuisine Mexican


  • 5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, 60% cacao chips
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 pinch black pepper
  • 1 pinch chili powder
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • ¼ cup powdered sugar


  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  • Place chocolate in a small glass bowl (I recommend a pyrex measuring cup). Microwave on high for 30 seconds and stir gently. Heat for an additional 30 seconds, then stir until completely melted. Allow the chocolate to cool to room temperature.
  • In a medium-sized bowl measure ¾ cup of flour, then sift. Whisk together flour, cinnamon, baking powder, salt, black pepper, and chili powder.
  • Combine sugar and softened butter in a separate medium-sized bowl. Beat with the paddle attachment at medium speed until well blended, about 1 minute. Add the egg and beat well for about 30 seconds. Add cooled chocolate, vanilla, and honey and combine until just blended, scraping sides of the bowl as needed, about 30 seconds.
  • Add flour mixture to the wet ingredients, and mix until just combined, about 30 seconds. The dough will have a stiff texture.
  • Measure out 2 leveled tablespoons of the dough. Add 1 chocolate chip in the center (if they are large chips) or 2 chips (if they are smaller in size), and then roll gently into a ball.
  • Place each cookie 2-inches apart on the baking sheet. Slightly flatten each ball to achieve a flatter cookie after baking.
  • Bake for 10 minutes or until almost set. Check the appearance after each additional minute; the cookies will change very quickly. The cookies are done baking when the surface appears crackled. Remove from the oven.
  • Cool, the cookies on the pan for 2 minutes or until set. Remove from the pan and cool completely on a wire rack.
  • Once cooled to the touch, gently sprinkle each cookie with a small amount of powdered sugar topping. Enjoy cookies warm for a gooey center.


  • Store cookies in an air-tight container at room temperature for up to 5 days. Cookies will be chewier over time, perfect for dipping into your favorite hot beverage!

Nutrition Facts

Serves: 18 cookies
Calories 155kcal (8%)Carbohydrates 25g (8%)Protein 2g (4%)Fat 6g (9%)Saturated Fat 4g (20%)Polyunsaturated Fat 0.1gMonounsaturated Fat 1gCholesterol 13mg (4%)Sodium 29mg (1%)Potassium 12mgFiber 1g (4%)Sugar 18g (20%)Vitamin A 50IU (1%)Vitamin C 0.1mgCalcium 10mg (1%)Iron 1.1mg (6%)

Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000-calorie diet. All nutritional information is based on estimated third-party calculations. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods, and portion sizes per household.

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Jessica Gavin

I'm a culinary school graduate, cookbook author, and a mom who loves croissants! My passion is creating recipes and sharing the science behind cooking to help you gain confidence in the kitchen.

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21 Comments Leave a comment or review

  1. Jordan Larkin says

    I made these cookies tonight. They were delicious, although I think they would be fine without powdered sugar. I would also use a pinch of cayenne instead of chili powder. I didn’t feel the chili imparted enough heat for my tastes. Sure enough when I sprinkled a bit of cayenne on top with the powdered sugar it was a flavor bomb of chocolatey sweetness with a kick of heat. Will definitely be substituting cayenne for the chili. Will also be sharing this recipe. Love it. Thank you.

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Thank you so much for your feedback Jordan! Great substitution ideas 🙂 Love that you aren’t afraid of the heat!

  2. Michelle Aragon says

    I made these for my Valentine and we were both instantly addicted! I didn’t have honey on hand so I used real maple syrup. Love the combination of flavors you created!

  3. Judy Caywood says

    Hi Jessica,

    Wow, I want to make these. They look good and I appreciate all the science on sugar in cookies. We like crisp cookies and I seldom make cookies but if I do I will give these a go for sure.

    I don’t drink hot chocolate much since Hershey’s quit making the Goodnight Hugs & Kisses Hot Chocolate. That was always my favorite.

    I might have to make these cookies for my honey for his birthday in March.

  4. Tara says

    These look delicious! They remind me of my favorite holiday recipe for ginger cookies that contain cayenne pepper. I wonder if it would be possible to take these up a notch by adding a little cayenne? Maybe just for mom’s share I could roll the dough balls in a little cayenne pepper before baking?

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Absolutely Tara! I would recommend just adding a small amount into the batter instead of on the outside so the spices don’t burn. Let me know how it tastes!

    • Jessica Gavin says

      I don’t like to fight my cravings, no matter what time it is! What’s your favorite brand of hot cocoa, or do you make from scratch with melted chocolate chips and steamed milk? Hmmm, now I want some hot cocoa, haha.

  5. Suzanne says

    It’s a snowy day here so I thought I’d make some hot chocolate cookies and stumbled on your recipe. These are so yummy! They have such a nice kick to them. Black pepper in a cookie, who knew? I used what I had on hand (since I cant get out of the house) so used semi-sweet chocolate in the cookie dough and a couple of dark chocolate chips inside each. A definite keeper. Thanks!

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Hi Suzanne! Glad to hear you are keeping warm with some hot chocolate cookies, so glad you enjoyed the recipe!

  6. Dina says

    this sounds like a great recipe. i enjoyed your tips. and thanks for the hint about adding bittersweet chocolate to the balls!

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Thank you for the feedback Dina! This cookie is perfect for chocolate lovers. I hope you get a chance to try the recipe!