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Hot Chocolate Cupcakes

If you love the creamy, light chocolate flavor of hot cocoa, then you are going to love these Hot Chocolate Cupcakes! Made with real hot cocoa powder and topped with a toasted marshmallow. These moist and sweet cupcakes are sure to be a hit at your next holiday get-together.

These cupcakes are made by mixing some instant hot chocolate powder into a basic white cake batter. They are an easy treat to bake!

Hot Chocolate Cupcakes served on wooden stand.
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You can have a batch of these chocolatey cakes whipped up in less than an hour. The best part is that you don’t have to make a frosting. I’ll teach you how to top your finished cupcakes with a toasted marshmallow!

There is nothing cozier than curling up with a mug of hot cocoa! Embrace that cozy feeling with these hot chocolate cupcakes. Kids and adults alike are sure to love this delicious holiday treat!

Ingredients

See printable recipe card below for all ingredients, specific measurements, and complete instructions.

Ingredients to make Hot Chocolate Cupcakes set out on counter.
  • Instant Hot Chocolate Mix - A sweet and smooth mixture of powdered milk, sugar, and cocoa powder that will add a light chocolate flavor to these cupcakes.
  • All-Purpose Flour - Or your favorite 1:1 gluten-free flour blend.
  • Sugar - Granulated white sugar will perfectly sweeten this dessert.
  • Butter - Salted butter.
  • Eggs - Give these hot cocoa cupcakes a light, spongey texture.
  • Milk - I prefer the richness that whole cow’s milk adds to these cupcakes, however you can use any kind of milk you prefer.
  • Baking Powder - Keeps these hot chocolate cupcakes fluffy.
  • Large Marshmallows - Will toast on top of these cupcakes and act as the “frosting”.

Cupcake Variations

Don’t want to mess with trying to toast marshmallows in the oven? You can top these hot chocolate cupcakes with a marshmallow buttercream instead!

To make this, simply whip together 1 cup of butter, 7 ounces of marshmallow fluff, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 2 tablespoons of heavy cream, 4-5 cups of powdered sugar, and a generous pinch of salt.

If you’re not a huge fan of hot chocolate, you can use this recipe to create s’mores cupcakes instead! Simply add a sleeve of crushed graham crackers into the cake batter! This will give your cupcakes a subtle cinnamon flavor and denser texture.

Make these hot chocolate cupcakes extra festive by turning them into peppermint hot chocolate cupcakes! Add a splash of peppermint extract to your cupcake batter and top the finished cakes with a peppermint buttercream frosting.

You can even garnish your finished hot cocoa cupcakes with some crushed candy canes. They’re the perfect sweet Christmas treat!

How To Make Hot Chocolate Cupcakes

All it takes to make these delicious cupcakes are a few simple steps. Mix the cupcake batter, bake it and then add marshmallows on top and brown them under the broiler. That's it!

Butter and sugar in glass mixing bowl.
Eggs and milk added to butter and sugar in mixing bowl.

Use an electric mixer to cream together the butter and granulated white sugar until light and smooth. Then add the eggs and milk and mix until combined.

Flour, baking powder and instant hot chocolate mix added to the rest of the ingredients in mixing bowl.
Cupcake batter in glass mixing bowl.

Next gently mix in the all-purpose flour, baking powder, and instant hot chocolate mix.

Cupcake batter added to liners in muffin tin.
Baked cupcakes in muffin pan.

Scoop the cake batter into a lined cupcake tin. Then bake until the tops of the cupcakes bounce back when lightly tapped.

Baked cupcakes with marshmallows on top in muffin pan.
Baked cupcakes with toasted marshmallow on top in muffin pan.

Top each baked cupcake with half of a large marshmallow. Place the cupcakes under a hot broiler until the marshmallows are gooey and golden brown.

Allow your finished hot chocolate cupcakes to cool slightly before serving. Enjoy!

Recommended Tools. Here are a few kitchen items that come in handy when making this recipe. (Affiliate links).

How to Store Cupcakes

Any leftover cupcakes can be stored in an airtight container on the counter for up to 4 days or in the fridge for up to 1 week.

You can also freeze these cupcakes but be aware that the texture of the marshmallows might change slightly when defrosted. It's best to freeze the cupcakes before adding the marshmallows.

I like to reheat these cupcakes in the microwave for about 20 seconds before eating. However, you can enjoy them at room temperature or even chilled!

Hot Chocolate Cupcakes topped with toasted marshmallows on counter.

Tips For Making These Cupcakes

  • Be careful not to overmix the batter! You want to whisk everything together just until no dry clumps of flour remain. If you mix beyond that, your cupcakes will turn out crumbly.
  • Keep a close eye on your marshmallows as they broil; they can go from perfectly toasted to burnt quickly!
  • You can use your favorite hot chocolate powder in this recipe. We have used both milk chocolate and dark chocolate. But taste great in this recipe.
  • Add some extra chocolate flavor to these hot cocoa cupcakes by mixing one cup of chocolate chips into your cake batter.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use hot chocolate powder instead of cocoa powder in cupcakes?

Yes! When you swap out cocoa powder for hot chocolate powder in your favorite cupcake recipe, the resulting cakes will have a milder, sweeter chocolate flavor. You won’t need to add as much sugar to your cake batter since the hot cocoa powder already contains some sugar.

What's the difference between hot chocolate powder and cocoa powder?

Cocoa powder is a popular baking ingredient used to add a deep chocolate flavor to all sorts of cakes and cookies. Cocoa powder is made from dry cocoa solids, meaning that it doesn’t contain any cocoa butter or added sweeteners.

Hot chocolate powder, on the other hand, is a mixture of cocoa powder, powdered milk, and sugar. When you add hot chocolate powder to hot water or milk, it creates a rich and sweet chocolatey drink!

How do I make these cupcakes extra moist?

Because these cupcakes are made with hot cocoa powder, they will naturally be a little moister than your average chocolate cupcake. This is because there is milk powder in hot chocolate mix!

Need more cupcake recipes? Here are a few more to try!

Three Hot Chocolate Cupcakes stacked on top of each other.

I hope you enjoy these Hot Chocolate Cupcakes! These sweet hot chocolate cupcakes are each topped with a giant, gooey marshmallow that is broiled to golden brown perfection.

The sweetness of the marshmallow and hot chocolate flavored cupcake pair perfectly, creating a delicious winter treat that will keep everyone coming back for seconds.

If you try this recipe, please come back and rate it and leave me a comment below. I love to hear from you!

Hot Chocolate Cupcakes served on wooden stand.

Hot Chocolate Cupcakes Recipe

Author: Judy Wilson
These delicious and easy Hot Chocolate Cupcakes are made with real hot cocoa powder and topped with a toasted marshmallow.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 23 minutes
Total Time 38 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 12
Calories 306 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • ¾ cup butter
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ cup hot chocolate powder
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • Large marshmallows

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350 and fill a standard 12 count cupcake tin with liners.
  • In a large mixing bowl, use an electric hand mixer to cream the butter and sugar together until smooth.
  • Add the eggs and milk to the mixing bowl. Mix on high speed until the eggs have been thoroughly beaten.
  • Gently mix in the baking powder, flour, and hot chocolate powder on a low speed until no clumps remain in the cupcake batter.
  • Fill the cupcake liners with batter and bake for 20 minutes.
  • After 20 minutes, cut the marshmallows in half and place one half on each cupcake with the sticky side face down. Place the cupcakes under a high broiler for 3 minutes, or until the marshmallows are golden brown.
  • Serve and enjoy!

Notes

Any leftover cupcakes can be stored in an airtight container on the counter for up to 4 days or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
You can use your favorite hot chocolate powder in this recipe. We have used both milk chocolate and dark chocolate. But taste great in this recipe.

Nutrition

Calories: 306kcalCarbohydrates: 41gProtein: 5gFat: 14gSaturated Fat: 8gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0.5gCholesterol: 60mgSodium: 188mgPotassium: 78mgFiber: 1gSugar: 17gVitamin A: 428IUCalcium: 62mgIron: 2mg
The nutritional information provided is approximate and should only be used as a general guideline. It is an estimate that will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.
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