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Hot Cocoa Brownie Skillet

Warm right up with this decadent hot cocoa brownie skillet consisting of chocolate lava sandwiched between two layers of fudgy brownies topped with toasted marshmallows.

Skillet of hot cocoa brownies with holiday decorations and cup of cocoa.

Jessica Halverstadt is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

I am so thrilled to share this super fun hot cocoa-inspired dessert with you today. Like seriously so excited!!

It involves two of my favorite things: brownies and a cast-iron skillet.

Baking in cast iron is great because it retains and evenly distributes heat. The best part though is that it creates an aesthetically rustic feel. And this 👩 Kansas girl is all about it!

Frosty winter days here in the Midwest call for quintessential winter activities like sipping hot cocoa while cozied up in front of a crackling fire. Ahhhhhh.

This year, instead of or in addition to hot cocoa, you can enjoy this winterized brownie skillet. Unlike my Valentine’s blondie skillet (for two), there is enough to share with the whole family. But don’t worry, I won’t tell if you decide not to share. I totally get it.

I took my recipe for fudgy double chocolate brownies and made a few little tweaks to end up with this most amazing of desserts.

The brownies are still nice and fudgy, but instead of chocolate chips, I incorporated a layer of chocolate lava. Yes, there’s ooey-gooey chocolate that gushes out as soon as you slice into it.

Topping off this spirited brownie skillet are toasted marshmallows because you can’t have hot cocoa with marshmallows (unless you’re a vegetarian, then please do).

This dessert is fun for kids without sacrificing flavor, so it’s really great for the whole family. There’s just something about watching the chocolate lava flow out. It may even bring out the inner child in you – it did me. And after this crazy year, I say we could all benefit from seeing the world through the wondrous eyes of a child.

Skillet brownies on surface with snow, candy canes, greenery, and cup of coca.

So what do you need to make this brownie skillet?


Top down shot of ingredients for hot cocoa brownie skillet.
  • Dark brown sugar: When baking I prefer to use dark brown sugar when I can. Because of the added molasses, it is more richly flavored than its sister white sugar, which has no added molasses. As you may have guessed, light brown sugar also contains molasses, although the content is lesser than the dark brown variety. If you’re in a pinch, both white sugar and light brown sugar are suitable.
  • Butter: Salted or unsalted.
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder: For homemade brownies, I highly suggest using a good quality cocoa powder like Ghiradelli or Hershey’s brand (not an affiliate).
  • Heavy whipping cream: For the chocolate lava.
  • Mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • Vanilla extract: The perfect finishing touch for the chocolate lava.
  • Large eggs: Pull the eggs out of the refrigerator right before your ready for them. Cold eggs result in a denser brownie, which is exactly what you want in this case.
  • White sugar
  • Neutral oil: You have options as far as the oil goes. A neutral oil such as vegetable and canola works great. You could use olive oil, however, make sure it’s light or extra-virgin to avoid a strong olive oil taste in your brownies. A healthier option would be coconut oil, although it does give the brownies a subtle coconut flavor. Lastly, you could use melted and cooled unsalted butter. You can use salted if that’s all you have, but should leave out the added salt if you do.
  • All-purpose flour
  • Salt: Remember if you use salted butter you do not need to add any additional salt.
  • Marshmallows: Small, large, or if you’re lucky enough to come across them fun winter-themed shaped marshmallows like snowmen or snowflakes.

How do you make this hot cocoa brownie skillet? ( + tips)


In a small saucepan over low heat, melt two tablespoons of butter. Add 1/2 cup of brown sugar and whisk until combined.

Stir in the heavy cream, 1/4 cup cocoa powder, and the chocolate chips, increase the heat to medium, and whisk until smooth and fully combined. Stir in the vanilla extract.

Fudge sauce in saucepan with whisk.

Remove from heat, allow to cool for five minutes, then transfer to a 6 or 8-inch cake pan lined with wax or parchment paper, and place in the freezer for one hour.

Fudge sauce in small cake pan.

After one hour, remove it from the freezer and run a knife along the edge to loosen it, remove it from the pan in one piece leaving the paper intact, and set it aside.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, grease a 10-inch cast-iron skillet, and set aside. *If you don’t have a cast-iron skillet you can cook it in a 9×9 baking pan.

In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, 1/2 cup brown sugar, and the white sugar until smooth. Add the butter or oil and whisk until well combined.

Eggs, sugar, and oil in mixing boil.

Stir in 3/4 cup of cocoa powder, the flour, and salt and mix until just combined.

Brownie batter with whisk in mixing bowl.

Spread half of the batter evenly across the skillet. Place the fudge disc in the center with the parchment/wax paper side facing upward. Peel the paper off and discard. Layer with the remaining brownie batter, spreading it evenly across the skillet.

Three stages of brownie layers.

Bake for 20 minutes on the middle oven rack. Remove from the oven and top with the marshmallows, then bake an additional five minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.


How to store


Cover and refrigerate for up to three days or freeze for up to three months.

Skillet brownies on surface with snow, candy canes, greenery, and cup of coca.
Close-up of hot cocoa brownies with chocolate lava.

If you make this hot cocoa brownie skillet I’d love your feedback. Please leave a comment and/or a rating below as I greatly value your opinion. Or snap a pic and tag me on Instagram @taoofspiceblog. Love, light, and happy cooking ya’ll ♥

Skillet brownies on surface with snow, candy canes, greenery, and cup of coca.

Hot Cocoa Brownie Skillet

Yield: 8 slices
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Additional Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes

Warm right up with this decadent hot cocoa brownie skillet consisting of chocolate lava sandwiched between two layers of fudgy brownies topped with toasted marshmallows.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons butter, salted or unsalted
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar, divided 
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, divided 
  • 1 tablespoon mini semi-sweet chocolate chips 
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs, cold
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 3/4 cup neutral oil or melted and cooled unsalted butter 
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt 
  • Marshmallows

Instructions

  1. In a small saucepan over low heat, melt two tablespoons of butter. Add 1/2 cup brown sugar and whisk until combined.
  2. Stir in the heavy cream, 1/4 cup cocoa powder, and the chocolate chips, increase the heat to medium, and whisk until smooth and fully combined. Stir in the vanilla.
  3. Remove from heat, allow to cool for five minutes, transfer to a 6 or 8-inch round cake pan lined with parchment or wax paper, and place in the freezer for one hour.
  4. After one hour, remove it from the freezer and run a knife along the edge to loosen it, remove it from the pan in one piece, and set it aside.
  5. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, grease a 10-inch cast-iron skillet, and set aside. *If you don't have a cast-iron skillet you can cook it in a 9x9 baking pan.
  6. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, 1/2 cup brown sugar, and the white sugar until smooth.
  7. Add the butter or oil and whisk until well combined.
  8. Stir in 3/4 cup of cocoa powder, flour, and salt and mix until just combined.
  9. Spread half of the batter evenly across the skillet.
  10. Place the fudge disc in the center with the parchment/wax paper side facing upward. Peel the paper off and discard.
  11. Layer with the remaining brownie batter, spreading it evenly across the skillet.
  12. Bake for 20 minutes on the middle oven rack. Remove from oven and top with marshmallows, then bake an additional five minutes.
  13. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

Storage: Cover and refrigerate for up to three days or freeze for up to three months.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 578Total Fat: 34gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 23gCholesterol: 98mgSodium: 105mgCarbohydrates: 65gFiber: 2gSugar: 49gProtein: 6g

The nutritional information provided is computer generated. It is only an estimate and intended for informational purposes only. Nutrition details may vary depending on various factors such as origin, freshness of ingredients, etc

Did you make this recipe?

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

Liz

Tuesday 30th of November 2021

Oh yummy! Two of my favorite things too - brownies and a cast iron skillet! I am excited to give this recipe a try!

Adriana

Monday 29th of November 2021

Best brownie recipe love this!

Swathi

Monday 29th of November 2021

Hot cocoa brownie skillet looks yumm.

Maureen

Saturday 23rd of January 2021

Most yummy. Thank you.

Jessica Halverstadt

Sunday 24th of January 2021

You are very welcome, Maureen! Thank you for all of your feedback!

Maureen

Saturday 23rd of January 2021

Maybe I missed where the vanilla goes.....

Jessica Halverstadt

Saturday 23rd of January 2021

I was apparently a mess when I wrote out this recipe, as that's the second ingredient I left out of the instructions. I am beyond sorry and embarrassed. The vanilla is stirred into the lava following the chocolate chips. I am sincerely very sorry!

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