Hot Cocoa Cupcakes

Hot Cocoa Cupcakes with Marshmallow Buttercream

A cozy holiday treat!

Who else thinks a cup of hot chocolate is a MUST for the holiday season? How about a hot cocoa cupcake with a decadent chocolate ganache filling and creamy marshmallow buttercream? These fluffy, mega-moist chocolate cupcakes taste like cozy hot cocoa we all cherish during the holiday season!

The little plus? These cuties are made to look like a real cup of hot cocoa, with a peppermint candy cane handle and mini marshmallows and chocolate sprinkles scattered over the top. Too darn cute!

Hot Cocoa Cupcakes

12 Days of Christmas!

Christmas is in 12 days… TWELVE! I feel like this holiday season flew by but believe it or not; this is my favorite time of the year! I always look forward to trying new baking treats these last twelve days of Christmas. This year, I’m focusing on cupcakes and cookies because they are fun to decorate and make wonderful winter treats!

Why You Should Try This Recipe!

These hot cocoa cupcakes are made with 100% cocoa powder for an ultimate cocoa flavor! They are not too sweet, just enough to bring the dark chocolate flavor we love! I cut down the sugar often used in chocolate cupcakes and used semi-sweet chocolate chips to make a decadent chocolate ganache filling!

Moreover, these little gems are topped with a light, fluffy marshmallow buttercream frosting that makes them look and taste like a good cup of hot cocoa! You can whip it up in a jiff and pipe it however you, please!

Lastly, my hot cocoa cupcake recipe is a ca n’t-miss! It’s super easy, uses no fancy ingredients, and takes less than 30 minutes to prepare! 

Hot Cocoa Cupcakes

Useful Tips

  1. Cocoa: Use unsweetened cocoa powder for an ultimate chocolate flavor! While most bakers use Dutch-processed baking cocoa, I prefer Nestle Toll House 100% Cocoa Powder for its deep chocolate flavor. That is, use whichever you like and what you have available!

  2. Coffee: I love using freshly brewed coffee for all my chocolate cake recipes! While you can’t taste it, coffee blends beautifully with cocoa powder, creating the most intense flavor. With that in mind, please feel free to substitute boiling or a decaf version if you are worried about caffeine.

  3. Finally, whole milk is usually the professional standard for baked goods because it includes all the fat needed for a creamy, moist cake! However, if whole milk isn’t available, you may use buttermilk instead.

Bon appétit!

Hot Cocoa Cupcakes

Hot Chocolate Cupcakes with Marshmallow Buttercream

Laila Benjelloun Bailey
These hot cocoa cupcakes are so fluffy, mega moist, and too darn cute! They are filled with a decadent chocolate ganache filling, a smooth marshmallow buttercream frosting, and decorated with a peppermint candy cane handle for a beautiful holiday treat!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 18 minutes
Inactive Time 10 minutes
Total Time 48 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 15 cupcakes


  • a muffin/cupcake pan
  • muffin/cupcake liners
  • a hand or stand mixer


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda (NOT baking powder)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup hot, freshly brewed coffee
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Chocolate Ganache Filling

  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature

Marshmallow Buttercream Frosting

  • 7 oz Marshmallow cream
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature (12 Tbsp)
  • 3/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp salt

Other Ingredients

  • Peppermint candy canes
  • mini marshmallows
  • chocolate sprinkles


Bake the Cupcakes

  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line your muffin pan with cupcake liners and set it aside.
  • Whisk together the flour, salt, baking cocoa, and baking soda in a medium bowl. Set it aside.
  • In a separate, large bowl, whisk the eggs with the sugar. Gradually add oil and whisk until it's all combined. Add the milk and vanilla extract, gently whisking with every addition. Gradually add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and whisk until it's all combined. Finally, gently whisk the hot coffee until the batter gets smooth and runny.
  • Transfer the batter to the prepared muffin pan, filling the liners only halfway. (about 2 Tbsp each liner). You may have some batter left; keep it aside. Bake in the middle rack for 18-21 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  • Allow the cupcakes to cool for 5 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack. Repeat with the remaining batter until it's all done. Finally, allow an additional 20-30 minutes of cooling; the cakes should be at room temperature before decorating.

Make the Chocolate Ganache

  • Bring the heavy whipping cream to a gentle boil and pour it over the semi-sweet chocolate chips. Set it aside for a couple of minutes. Whisk the two ingredients until it's all combined. Next, add the softened butter and whisk until your ganache becomes homogenous.
  • Using a large pastry tip, cut a hole in the center of your cupcake, so your filling has a place to go. Alternatively, you may use a small cookie cutter, an apple corer, or just your finger to poke a hole in the middle of your cupcake. Finally, Use a pastry bag or a small spoon to pipe the chocolate ganache into each cupcake.

Make the Marshmallow Buttercream Frosting

  • Mix the marshmallow cream, butter, salt, and vanilla extract with a hand mixer set on medium until it's all combined. Add sugar and mix until smooth and fluffy. Be careful not to over-beat, but please feel free to stop when you reach your desired consistency. As a side note, if your frosting is too thick for your taste, you may add some milk; if it's too thin, add some powdered sugar at a time.
  • Transfer your marshmallow buttercream to a piping bag and start decorating. Top your cupcake with mini marshmallows and chocolate sprinkles, and add a handle using a peppermint candy cane. Enjoy!
Keyword chocolate cupcakes, christmas cupcakes, holiday cupcakes, hot chocolate cupcakes, hot cocoa cupcakes

Do you love chocolate? ME TOO! Check out my favorite Chocolate Ganache Cake!
The Best Chocolate Ganache Cake
Chocolate lovers: this divine chocolate ganache cake is EVERYTHING! It is exceptionally moist, extremely delicious, and by far the best chocolate ganache cake ever! The combination of natural cocoa powder, nutty-flavored coffee, and creamy ganache gives this cake the most intense flavor and the perfect texture!
Check out this recipe
Chocolate Ganache Cake

Did you make these hot cocoa cupcakes? Tag @petitapron on Instagram so we can find you!

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