If you’re looking for a fun and festive winter dessert, look no further than these Hot Chocolate Cupcakes! These delicious treats are made with instant hot cocoa mix and a delicious chocolate cupcake batter. Top them with a homemade marshmallow buttercream frosting for a sweet and chocolatey treat!
These hot cocoa cupcakes are made with a chocolate cupcake batter that is mixed with hot cocoa powder (the mix packets!). The result is a rich and chocolatey cupcake that will definitely satisfy your sweet tooth!
The base of the cupcake is similar to my chocolate filled cupcakes, my chocolate cupcakes with vanilla frosting, as well as my small batch chocolate cupcakes, but the difference here is that there is less sugar because the cocoa packet contains some.
As a trained pastry chef I am always looking out to make sure that my sweets are balanced and not too sweet!
The best part is the topping! These cupcakes are topped with a rich marshmallow buttercream frosting that’s light, fluffy, and the perfect finishing touch to these chocolate treats.
WHY YOU SHOULD MAKE THIS RECIPE
- They are a fun twist on a classic chocolate cupcake and so festive!
- You can make them for a holiday party, or a sweet after school snack.
- The marshmallow buttercream is easy to make and a perfect way to add a little something extra to these cupcakes.
- Sugar – Sweetens up the base of the chocolate cupcakes.
- Instant Hot Cocoa Mix – Adds a classic hot chocolate flavor to the cupcakes that make them taste like a warm mug of hot cocoa.
- All-Purpose Flour – The main dry ingredient, flour adds structure and helps hold all of the ingredients together.
- Unsweetened Cocoa Powder – Enhances the chocolate flavor in the cupcakes and colors them a chocolatey brown.
- Baking Soda & Baking Powder – These leavening agents help make the cupcakes rise while baking in the oven.
- Kosher Salt – Used to help activate the baking soda and baking powder while also balancing the sweetness.
- Eggs – Binds all of the ingredients so they stay together while baking.
- Yogurt or Sour Cream – Yogurt or sour cream is used to achieve a moist texture in the cupcake that makes it rich and decadent.
- Buttermilk – Helps to moisten the batter and also activates the baking soda so the cupcakes will rise.
- Vegetable Oil – Used to add richness and moisture to the cupcakes.
- Vanilla Extract – Enhances the flavor of the chocolate in the cupcakes and adds a lovely vanilla aroma.
HOW TO MAKE HOT Chocolate CUPCAKES
- Prepare for baking: Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line a 12 cup muffin tin with paper liners. Set aside.
- Mix the dry ingredients: In a large mixing bowl combine the sugar, instant hot cocoa mix, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and kosher salt. Whisk until all ingredients are fully combined.
- Mix in wet ingredients: To the mixed dry ingredients, add in the eggs, yogurt, and buttermilk. Whisk until a smooth chocolate batter is formed, then add in the vegetable oil and vanilla extract and mix until fully combined without overworking.
- Bake and cool: Fill each ⅔ of the way full with batter. Bake for 18 mins or until set then cool completely on a wire rack.
- Frost: Frost with my marshmallow frosting recipe!
How to decorate the cupcakes
TIPS FOR RECIPE SUCCESS
- All ingredients should be at room temperature before mixing the batter. This will help ensure that the batter mixes evenly without any clumps.
- When mixing, be sure to concentrate on the bottom of the bowl as some dry ingredients may get trapped underneath the wet batter.
- Don’t over mix the batter as this could cause the cupcakes to be tough and dry. Mix until all ingredients are just combined without overworking the batter.
- To get a nice, even cupcake, use an 3 tbsp ice cream scoop to evenly portion out the batter.
- Only fill each muffin liner until 2/3 full as filling further will result in overflow while baking.
- If you love other fun hot chocolate recipes check out Jessica’s Hot Chocolate Bombs, they are so fun!
How to bake these without hot cocoa mix
If you don’t have any mix on hand but want to make these, just add 1/4 cup sugar and 1/4 cup cocoa powder to the recipe.
STORAGE AND FREEZING
Storage: To store these cupcakes, place them in an airtight container at room temperature and they will be fresh for up to three days. If you’d like to keep them fresh for even longer, store them in the refrigerator for up to one week.
Freezing: These cupcakes can also be frozen! Allow the cupcakes to cool completely, then place them in a freezer-safe bag or container. Freeze for up to three months. When you’re ready to enjoy, allow the cupcakes to thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then bring them to room temperature before serving. For best results, freeze the cupcakes UNFROSTED.
Can I use any brand of hot cocoa mix?
Yes! Any brand will do!
What can I substitute for cocoa powder?
If you don’t have cocoa powder on hand, you can use an equal amount of dark chocolate chips or melted chocolate.
What can I substitute for buttermilk?
If you don’t have buttermilk, simply add one tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice to a measuring cup and fill the rest of the way with milk. Allow the mixture to sit for five minutes, then use as directed.
Can I make these into mini cupcakes?
Yes! This recipe can easily be halved or doubled. For mini cupcakes, bake for 12 minutes or until set in a mini cupcake pan.
WAYS TO ENJOY
We love a thick marshmallow buttercream frosting on top of these cupcakes, but feel free to try these other buttercream frosting recipes!
- Mascarpone Frosting
- Fluffy Espresso Buttercream
- Caramel Buttercream Frosting
- Strawberry Buttercream Frosting
- Coffee Buttercream Frosting
The Best Hot Chocolate Cupcakes
- ¾ cup sugar (150g)
- 1 ounce packet hot cocoa mix (28g)
- 1 cup all purpose flour (240g)
- ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder (42g)
- ½ tsp baking soda (3g)
- ½ tsp baking powder (2g)
- ½ tsp kosher salt (3.5g)
- 2 eggs (100g)
- ½ cup plain yogurt or sour cream (114g)
- ⅓ buttermilk (80g)
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil (24g)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract (5g)
- 1 batch Marshmallow Buttercream
- Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line a 12 cup muffin tin with paper liners. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl combine the 3/4 cup sugar, 1 packet hot cocoa mix, 1 cup flour, ¼ cup cocoa powder, ½ tsp baking soda, ½ tsp baking powder, and ½ tsp kosher salt. Whisk to combine.
- Add in the 2 eggs, ½ cup yogurt, and ⅓ cup buttermilk and whisk until a smooth batter forms.
- Add in the 2 tbsp vegetable oil and 1 tsp vanilla extract and mix again. Make sure you whisk well, some dry ingredients can get trapped on the bottom of the bowl.
- Fill each ⅔ of the way full with batter, bake for 18 minutes then cool completely.
- Frost with marshmallow frosting.