Hot Chocolate Cupcakes

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These Hot Chocolate Cupcakes are everyone’s favorite winter drink in cupcake form! They’re perfect for a holiday party or snowy day inside!

Hot Chocolate Cupcakes topped with mini marshmallows

My dad makes the greatest cup of hot chocolate in the world. I don’t know how he does it but I do know it’s so delicious that it inspired these Hot Chocolate Cupcakes! These cupcakes are so fluffy, moist and rich in chocolate flavor but the best part is the Hot Chocolate Buttercream made with actual hot chocolate mix. I topped them off with mini marshmallows and a dusting of cocoa powder but you can decorate them however you like!

More Winter Recipes

Ingredient Breakdown

All-purpose flour – this gives the cupcakes structure.

Cocoa powder – gives the cupcakes their chocolate flavor! I always use natural unsweetened cocoa powder.

Granulated & brown sugar – sweetens and tenderizes cupcakes. Either light or dark brown sugar will work.

Baking powder and baking soda – both are necessary to help the cupcakes rise.

Buttermilk – adds flavor and moisture.

Vegetable oil – adds moisture and tenderizes cupcakes. Also allows more chocolate flavor to shine through versus butter!

Eggs – binds the ingredients and provides structure.

Vanilla extract and salt – enhances flavor.

Hot water – enhances chocolate flavor.

Hot Chocolate Cupcakes topped with mini marshmallows

How To Make Hot Chocolate Cupcakes

1. Make the Chocolate Cupcakes: in a large bowl combine granulated sugar, all-purpose flour, brown sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt and baking powder. Set aside.

2. In a medium bowl whisk eggs, buttermilk, vegetable oil and vanilla extract.

3. Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Once combined, slowly mix in the hot water. Scoop batter into prepared pans 3/4 full. Bake at 350°F for 18 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

4. Make the Hot Chocolate Buttercream: cream butter until light and fluffy on a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or with a hand mixer.

5. Add the confectioners’ sugar and hot chocolate mix then mix on low until combined.

6. Add vanilla extract and heavy cream or milk then beat until fluffy. Add salt to taste. Decorate as desired. I used Ateco 808 to pipe the Hot Chocolate Buttercream onto the cupcakes then I topped them with mini marshmallows and a dusting of cocoa powder. Store Hot Chocolate Cupcakes in an airtight container for up to 3 days at room temperature or up to 5 days in the fridge.

Pro Tips For Hot Chocolate Cupcakes

  • Weigh your ingredients using a kitchen scale! Measuring ingredients by volume is not accurate.
  • Don’t over mix the cupcake batter otherwise it will develop too much gluten and be dense/gummy!
  • Make sure your water is hot NOT boiling and slowly add it to the batter while stirring so you don’t accidentally cook the eggs.
  • Do not over fill your cupcake liners. Only fill them 3/4 full. I love this cookie scoop because it fills them with the perfect amount of batter!
  • Wait until the cupcakes are COMPLETELY COOLED before frosting otherwise the buttercream will melt and slide off.

My Favorite Cupcake Tools

Hot Chocolate Cupcakes topped with mini marshmallows

If you try this recipe then please leave a rating/comment below to let me know how you liked it and feel free to ask any recipe questions you may have! 🙂

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5 from 2 votes

Hot Chocolate Cupcakes

These Hot Chocolate Cupcakes are everyone's favorite winter drink in cupcake form! They're perfect for a holiday party or snowy day inside!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 18 minutes
Total Time 43 minutes
Servings 24 cupcakes
Calories 311kcal
Author Maria Azzarelli

Equipment

  • Two 12-count cupcake pans
  • Stand mixer or hand mixer

Ingredients

Chocolate Cupcakes

  • 250 g (1 1/4 cups) granulated sugar
  • 210 g (1 3/4 cups) all-purpose flour
  • 150 g (3/4 cup) brown sugar
  • 60 g (3/4 cup) cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 240 g (1 cup) buttermilk
  • 120 g (1/2 cup) vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 60 g (1/4 cup) hot water

Hot Chocolate Buttercream

  • 226 g (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
  • 480 g (4 cups) confectioners' sugar
  • 40 g (1/4 cup) hot chocolate mix (2 Swiss Miss packets)
  • 45 g (3 tbsps) heavy cream or milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • salt, to taste
  • Mini marshmallows for decorating

Instructions

Chocolate Cupcakes

  • Preheat oven to 350°F and line two 12-count cupcake pans with paper liners.
  • In a large bowl combine granulated sugar, all-purpose flour, brown sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt and baking powder. Set aside.
  • In a medium bowl whisk eggs, buttermilk, vegetable oil and vanilla extract.
  • Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Once combined, slowly mix in the hot water.
  • Scoop batter into prepared pans 3/4 full. Bake the cupcakes for 18 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Hot Chocolate Buttercream

  • Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter until light and fluffy.
  • Add the confectioners' sugar and hot chocolate mix then mix on low until combined.
  • Add vanilla extract and heavy cream or milk then beat until fluffy. Add salt to taste. Decorate as desired. I used Ateco 808 to pipe the Hot Chocolate Buttercream onto the cupcakes then I topped them with mini marshmallows and a dusting of cocoa powder.

Notes

  • Weigh your ingredients using a kitchen scale! Measuring ingredients by volume is not accurate.
 
  • Store Hot Chocolate Cupcakes in an airtight container for up to 3 days at room temperature or up to 5 days in the fridge.
 
  • Butter: I recommend using unsalted butter in the Hot Chocolate Buttercream. You can use salted butter, just be sure to omit the extra salt.
 
  • Nutrition: the provided nutritional information is an estimate per serving. Please read my Nutrition Disclaimer for more information.

Nutrition

Calories: 311kcal | Carbohydrates: 47g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 35mg | Sodium: 186mg | Potassium: 80mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 38g | Vitamin A: 275IU | Calcium: 35mg | Iron: 1mg

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