Hot chocolate cupcakes are inspired by one of this season’s most popular cozy drinks made from a decadent chocolate cupcake topped with marshmallow frosting and mini marshmallows!
Cupcakes lend the way to coming up with very creative flavor ideas! Take these apple pie cupcakes, for example, they taste just like apple pie! And then there are the drinks we make that mimic our favorite treats like this s’mores whipped hot cocoa! Recreate another kid-friendly classic recipe by turning hot chocolate into hot chocolate cupcakes!
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Easy Hot Cocoa Cupcakes
Hot chocolate cupcakes are as moist and chocolatey as you would imagine and when topped with marshmallow frosting they taste like the classic winter treat! The perfect cup of hot chocolate! This is an easy cupcake recipe which is great for a weekend kitchen activity with the kids.
They come together quickly and easily with your basic cupcake ingredients. It’s the stuff on top that really makes it pop. The marshmallow frosting adds another layer of delicious flavor. Sprinkle on some chopped candy canes and you’ve got all the things we love about hot cocoa in the form of a festive dessert!
Why we love this recipe
- They taste just like hot chocolate and even more so with marshmallow creme frosting on top of the cupcake!
- You can dress it up just as you would your favorite cup of cocoa.
- It’s a flexible recipe that will allow for substitutions and add-ins if you’d like!
- With just a few simple ingredients, one bowl, and 20 minutes of bake time, you’ve got easy access to a dessert for last-minute company, holiday parties, or enjoying a cozy snack in front of a fire with an actual cup of hot chocolate.
- Oil – The fat needed to create a rich consistency in the batter and a soft, moist baked cupcake.
- Milk – The liquid needed to combine the dry ingredients into a batter. Milk also adds to the richness. Any milk will do, whether low fat or non-dairy.
- Large Eggs – Eggs add moisture (can you tell these will be super moist?!) and are used as a binding agent so that the cupcakes don’t fall apart.
- Vanilla extract – A traditional flavor enhancer in many baking recipes. Love the flavor of vanilla paired with chocolate!
- Sugar – White granulated sugar is needed for sweetness. You can also use brown sugar if you’d like.
- All-purpose flour – A light and airy flour that gives the cupcake its structure.
- Cocoa powder – I use unsweetened cocoa powder that way I can control the amount of added sugar I put in.
- Baking powder – A leavening agent that gives rise to the cupcakes and a light and airy result.
How to Make this Recipe
These hot chocolate cupcakes couldn’t be easier to make. The hardest part is deciding who gets to lick the bowl!
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line a standard muffin tin with 12 paper liners or silicone cups.
Step 2: In a large bowl, Mix oil, milk, eggs, and vanilla with a whisk or electric mixer on medium speed. Then whisk in the sugar until completely blended. (you can also place it in the bowl of a stand mixer.
Step 3: To the wet ingredients, add flour, cocoa powder, and baking powder. Mix well to combine.
Step 4: Bake for 16-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Step 5: Transfer the cupcakes to a wire rack to cool. Once they have cooled completely, I like to frost them with this easy homemade marshmallow frosting.
However, you normally dress up your cup of hot chocolate, think about ways to incorporate that into your hot chocolate cupcakes.
- If you love peppermint with your hot chocolate, sprinkle with crushed candy canes, if desired.
- Top with mini chocolate chips or festive sprinkles for added holiday flair!
- Swap the milk for buttermilk for an extra rich, slightly tangy note. The acid in the buttermilk reacts with the leavening agent making them extra fluffy!
- Add cinnamon to your cupcake batter for a little chocolate and cinnamon action.
- Feel free to drizzle with chocolate syrup if you like!
- For convenience, you can make them using chocolate cupcake mix and a store bought marshmallow icing.
- When making these homemade cupcakes, measure the flower correctly. Use the spoon and level method for accurate measurements.
- Cool cupcakes completely before adding any frosting. If not, the frosting will melt and become runny.
- The best way to tell if your cupcakes are done is to stick a wooden skewer or toothpick into the center of the cupcake. Gently pull it out. If it comes out clean, they’re done.
- For lower calories, substitute applesauce in place of the oil.
Keep cupcakes stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days in the fridge.
Baking is so precise. If you measure something incorrectly it’s quite noticeable. Most of the time you can’t adjust and make up for your mistakes like you would when you’re cooking.
So, to be sure we’re not adding too much flour by scooping it directly into our measuring cups, we’re using the spoon and level method. This means, scooping out the flour with a spoon first, and then adding it to the measuring cup.
That way, it’s not packed down, there’s room for air, it remains nice and light, and there’s not too much!
Hot Chocolate Cupcakes
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- ½ cup milk
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 ¼ cups all purpose flour
- ¼ cup unsweetened baking cocoa
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- Preheat oven to 350° F and line 12 standard muffin cups with paper liners.
- In a large bowl, add oil, milk, eggs and vanilla and mix together well with a whisk or electric mixer.
- Add the sugar and beat or whisk until blended well.
- Then add in the flour, cocoa powder, and baking powder and mix well to combine.
- Spoon the batter evenly in each muffin cup, filling each one about ⅔ full.
- Bake for 16-18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Transfer immediately to a wire rack after baking and cool completely before applying the icing.
- Frost with this Marshmallow Frosting.