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Rocky Road Cookies (Gluten-Free & Vegan)

Rich and fudgy, these amazing rocky road cookies are packed full of mini marshmallows, chocolate chips, and crunchy chopped nuts. Simple to prep, only ten minutes and no chilling necessary; this easy classic one-bowl recipe will be a new rocky road family favorite. Bonus: the recipe can be made gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, or “regular.”

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Rich brown rocky road cookies full of white mini marshmallows, dark chocolate chips, and light brown nuts.

The Best Rocky Road Cookies

These super fudgy and super fun rocky road cookies are pure decadent delight. A rich chocolate cookie packed full of mini marshmallows, chocolate chips, and crunchy nuts, they are ready to be devoured in just 20 minutes.

I am confident you’re going to love these gluten-free and vegan rocky road cookies as much as I do and here’s why:

The Best Texture – So soft and fudgy without being cakey. Think brownie-type texture.

So Much Chocolate – A chocolate cookie base and chocolate chips. Yum!

Easy To Make – One bowl and no chilling required.

Dietary/Lifestyle Friendly – Vegan, gluten-free, nut-free, egg-free, dairy-free, or “regular” this recipe can be easily adjusted to suit your specific lifestyle and dietary needs.

Rich brown rocky road cookies full of white mini marshmallows, dark chocolate chips, and light brown nuts.

Rocky Road Cookies Ingredients & Substitutions

As always this recipe is vegan and gluten-free. That said, I test each recipe with “regular” ingredients and make notes of alternatives or swaps so that everyone can enjoy it.

Here are a few key ingredients for these rocky road cookies but make sure you scroll to the bottom recipe card for the complete ingredient list.

Flour: I made these cookies with XO Baking gluten-free all-purpose flour blend. If you are not gluten-free, use regular all-purpose flour. Note that gluten-free flour blends can vary in weight so I recommend measuring by the cup.

Cocoa Powder: Unsweetened natural cocoa powder is what you’ll want for these cookies.

Sugar: This recipe calls for both brown and granulated white sugar. The combination of both sugars gives depth and moisture to the cookie. You can substitute this with organic cane sugar if desired.

Butter: Becel plant-based bricks are my personal favorite for baking but any brick-style dairy-free, vegan, lactose-free, or regular butter will work. 

Applesauce: I prefer to bake with unsweetened applesauce but if you can only find sweetened, I recommend reducing the sugar by 2 tablespoons. Sour cream or Greek yogurt (whatever fits your dietary needs) could also be used.

Coffee/Milk: If possible, I highly recommend using coffee as it deepens the chocolate flavor. Milk will work great as well. use whatever variety suits your dietary needs.

Mini Marshmallows: Seeing as this is written as vegan, I used Dandies mini marshmallows. Use whatever brand suits your personal needs. Do not use large marshmallows.

Chocolate Chips: Both Pascha and EnjoyLife have plant-based chocolate chips. Use whatever kind/brand fits your dietary needs.

Almonds/Walnuts: Traditionally made with walnuts and most currently enjoyed with almonds. Use whatever nut you prefer or have on hand.

Rich brown rocky road cookies full of white mini marshmallows, dark chocolate chips, and light brown nuts.

Easy Rocky Road Cookies Step-By-Step Instructions

You’ll need a stand mixer or large mixing bowl with a handheld mixer, a spatula, parchment paper, and a large cookie sheet.

1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF and prepare a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

2. Combine the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar and mix until smooth..

3. Add in the applesauce, coffee or milk, and vanilla extract and mix until combined. The mixture might look a bit separated but it’s okay. It will come together when the dry ingredients are added. Scrape down the sides of the bowl when necessary.

4. Measure in the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt and mix on low until combined and a soft dough forms.

5. Gently fold in the mini marshmallows, chocolate chips, and chopped nuts.

7. With a large 2 tablespoon cookie scoop, scoop the cookie dough, 2 inches apart from each other, onto the prepared cookie sheet. Top with a few extra marshmallows and chocolate chips if desired.

8. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until the edges are set and the center is slightly underbaked. Be careful not to overbake. Let fully cool on the cookie sheet. Enjoy!

Pro Tip: Want a perfectly round cookie? Gently press errant cookie edges or melted marshmallows in with a butter knife as soon as they as out of the oven and still hot.

Rich brown rocky road cookies full of white mini marshmallows, dark chocolate chips, and light brown nuts.

Rocky Road Cookie Recipe Tips & Tricks

Flour Measurement: Dry crumbly cookies are often due to improper flour measurement. If you are not measuring by weight, which I always recommend, be sure to spoon, not scoop, the flour out of the container and into the measuring cup. 

Scrape The Bowl: Make sure to scrape the sides of the bowl several times through the mixing process. This ensures all the butter is properly aerated.

Baking Time: To keep these cookies fudgy and chewy, do not over-bake. You want the edges just set. If they are hard or golden, you have baked the cookies too long.

Baking Location: I always recommend baking cookies one sheet at a time in the middle rack; this allows the heat to circulate evenly around the cookies.

Rich brown rocky road cookies full of white mini marshmallows, dark chocolate chips, and light brown nuts.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Make These “Regular” (ie. not gluten-free?)

Yes! Swap the vegan & gluten-free ingredients with their regular counterparts. See the above section titled Ingredients & Substitutions for more detail.

Am I Able to Double the Recipe?

It doubles, triples, heck even quadruples like a dream! Bonus: you can half it too.

What Type of Nuts Do Rocky Road Cookies Have?

This question is a hot topic for debate. Some people swear by almonds and some people swear by walnuts. Use whatever you prefer. Peanuts, cashews, or pecans would all be as equally delicious.

Why Are the Marshmallows Baking Out?

The nature of marshmallows when heated, it’s inevitable for them to melt during the baking process. I recommend making sure they are tucked into the dough when scooped onto the baking sheet. If an errant marshmallow melts out around the edge of the cookie, with a butter knife, gently press it back into shape when fresh out of the oven. 

How To Store Gluten-Free Rocky Road Cookies

A dream to freeze, these vegan and gluten-free rocky road cookies are good frozen for up to 6 months. Alternatively, place them in an airtight container and store them at room temperature for up to 5 days.

Pro Tip: Want the softest cookies even on day 5? Put a slice of gluten-free bread (or regular bread if not making them gluten-free) in the airtight container. The cookies will absorb the moisture from the bread and remain incredibly soft.

Rich brown rocky road cookies full of white mini marshmallows, dark chocolate chips, and light brown nuts.

The Easiest Vegan Rocky Road Cookie Recipe

Full of classic rocky road texture and wonderfully fudgy, this melt-in-your-mouth dairy-free and gluten-free rocky road cookie recipe is almost too good to be true. A mouthful of chocolate, marshmallows, almonds, and walnuts in every single scrumptious bite!

With an adaptable ingredient list, you can tailor this recipe to suit vegan, gluten-free, egg-free, dairy-free, or just plain regular cookie needs to create an amazing rocky road cookie that everyone can enjoy.

I would love to know if you make this easy classic chocolate cookie recipe. If you do, tag me on social media @cakedbykatie and leave this recipe a 5-star rating and review below. I can’t wait to see it!

Chocolate-Lovers Recipes

No such thing as too much chocolate! Here are a few of my favorite drool-worthy chocolate sweet treats.

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Rich brown rocky road cookies full of white mini marshmallows, dark chocolate chips, and light brown nuts.

Rocky Road Cookies (Gluten-Free & Vegan)


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  • Author: Katie Stymiest
  • Total Time: 20 Minutes
  • Yield: 20 Cookies 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

Rich and fudgy, these amazing rocky road cookies are packed full of mini marshmallows, chocolate chips, and crunchy chopped nuts. Simple to prep, only ten minutes and no chilling necessary; this easy classic one-bowl recipe will be a new rocky road family favorite. Bonus: the recipe can be made gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, or “regular.”


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 1/2 cup (114g) vegan butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup (100g) brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) coffee or vegan milk, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) unsweetened applesauce, room temperature
  • 1 tbsp (15ml) vanilla extract
  • 2 cups (240g) gluten-free flour 1:1 baking blend
  • 1/2 cup (44g) cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons coarse sea salt (or 1 1/2 tsp fine sea salt)
  • 1 cup (45g) vegan mini marshmallows
  • 3/4 cup (126g) vegan chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup (88g) chopped almonds or walnuts (or nut of choice)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF and prepare a large cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large mixing bowl combine the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar and mix until smooth. 
  3. Add in the coffee or milk, applesauce, and vanilla extract and mix until combined. Note that the mixture may look a bit separated here, it’s okay.
  4. Measure in the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt and mix on low until a soft dough forms.
  5. Gently fold in the mini marshmallows, chocolate chips, and chopped nuts.
  6. With a large cookie scoop, scoop the cookie dough onto the prepared cookie sheet approximately 2 inches apart. Place a few additional mini marshmallows and chocolate chips on top if desired. Bake for 8-10 minutes. The edges should be set and the center will appear slightly underbaked.
  7. Allow the cookies to cool for 10 minutes on the cookie sheet before removing them to a wire rack to fully cool. Enjoy!
  8. Store leftover cookies in an airtight container for up to 5 days or frozen for up to 6 months.
  • Prep Time: 10 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 Minutes
  • Category: Cookies
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

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