These fluffy Hot Chocolate Cupcakes are topped with the best hot chocolate frosting and mini dehydrated marshmallows!
These fun hot cocoa cupcakes are a favourite in my family! I get requests for these special nostalgic cupcakes for birthdays or just for no special occasion at all. There is just something about the fluffy frosting that actually contains hot chocolate mix powder that makes it different than regular chocolate frosting. Use your favourite hot chocolate mix so that it tastes like hot chocolate to you!
Like my Hot Chocolate Nougat Candy that I make every Christmas, these cupcakes are topped with dehydrated marshmallows. Sometimes I can find them locally, but most of the time I order them from Amazon. Here is a link to the ones I buy: Dehydrated Marshmallows.
⭐️ Why You Need to Make This Recipe
- These cupcakes are so fun with the marshmallows on top and they are also very yummy!
- They contain real hot chocolate mix and those delicious little dehydrated marshmallows found in some hot chocolate mixes.
- A great dessert for Christmas!
Here are the ingredients needed to make these exciting hot cocoa cupcakes!
- Melted Butter + Oil - A combination of both fats is used for the flavour of salted butter and the moisture that oil brings. Additional butter is also used to make the frosting.
- White Sugar - Not only does sugar sweeten the cupcakes just the right amount, but it also helps to create a moist and pleasant textured cupcake.
- Vanilla Extract - I add a little vanilla to most of my recipes!
- Eggs - By nature eggs provide structure when cooked.
- Sour Cream + Milk - Sour cream aids the texture of this recipe and milk thins out the batter just enough.
- Vinegar reacts with the milk in the recipe to also help with the soft texture.
- Flour - All-purpose flour is great in this recipe.
- Cocoa Powder - I use Dutch-processed cocoa which has a great flavour.
- Baking Powder + Baking Soda are leavening agents.
- Salt - Always a key ingredient in making flavours pop!
- Whipping Cream - For the frosting.
- Hot Chocolate Powder Mix - Yes, you use real hot chocolate mix to make the frosting! With or without the mini marshmallows both work
- Salted Butter - Again, salt brings the flavours out and helps cut the sweetness a bit in this case.
- Powdered Sugar - Also called confectioners sugar or icing sugar, this is necessary to make a successful buttercream.
- Cocoa Powder - A little cocoa adds to the chocolate flavour and colour in the frosting.
- Dehydrated Mini Marshmallows - I typically buy these dehydrated marshmallows from Amazon.
See the recipe card for measurements.
Step 1: Whisk together the melted butter, oil, sugar, vanilla, vinegar, and eggs until well combined. Add the sour cream and milk and whisk until incorporated.
Step 2: Whisk together the flour, sifted cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add to the combined wet ingredients.
Step 3: Mix just until no streaks of flour remain. Do not overmix!
Step 4: Distribute the batter evenly between 24 cups of a cupcake tin lined with cupcake liners
Step 5: Bake for 14-18 minutes or just until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean.
Step 6: Stir together heated heavy cream and hot chocolate mix to dissolve. Let cool fully.
Step 7: Whip together the cool hot chocolate/cream mixture and butter until smooth and fluffy.
Step 8: Sift in the powdered sugar and cocoa powder. Mix on low speed until combined.
Step 9: Add the extra cold heavy cream and vanilla and whip on high speed until fluffy.
Step 10: Frost the completely cooled cupcakes with your desired piping tip. I used a Wilton 1M open star piping tip for these cupcakes. Sprinkle dehydrated marshmallows on top. Serve immediately.
Hint: The dehydrated marshmallows will get squishy from the humidity so I recommend waiting to add them on top until right before serving.
Here are a few possible substitutions for making these cupcakes.
- Salted Butter - Unsalted butter may be substituted in most recipes with an added ¼ teaspoon of salt per ½ cup (stick) of butter.
- Sour Cream - The texture won't be as great but you could use plain yogurt instead in a pinch.
- Dehydrated Marshmallows - If you absolutely cannot find dehydrated marshmallows, you could use normal mini marshmallows instead.
Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days, though they will be freshest the first day.
💡 Top tip
Do not overbake the cupcakes! Bake just until a tester (like a toothpick) inserted into the center comes out without any wet batter.
While this recipe does call for hot chocolate powder in the frosting, I do not recommend using it in the cupcake batter. The powdered mix contains sugar and overall won't give the same deep chocolate flavour as real cocoa powder.
Sour cream and milk with vinegar help make these cupcakes soft and moist.
🧁 More Cupcake Recipes
Looking for other recipes for yummy cupcakes? Try these ones next:
If you tried these Hot Chocolate Cupcakes or any other recipe on my website, please leave a ⭐️ star rating and write a little note telling me how it went in the comments below. Thank you!!
Hot Chocolate Cupcakes
- muffin tin(s)
- cupcake liners
- mixing bowls
- measuring cups & spoons
- electric handheld mixer
- silicone spatula
For the Cupcakes:
- ¼ cup salted butter, melted
- ⅓ cup canola oil
- 1 cup granulated white sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
- 2 eggs
- ¾ cup sour cream
- ½ cup milk
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted (I use Dutch-processed cocoa)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
For the Frosting:
- ¼ cup whipping cream heated until scalding
- ½ cup hot chocolate powder mix
- ¾ cup salted butter softened
- 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1-2 tablespoons whipping cream, cold
- ¾ cup mini dehydrated marshmallows* to garnish
To make the Cupcakes:
- Preheat the oven to 350℉. Prepare muffin tins with 24 cupcake liners or grease with non-stick spray.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the melted butter, oil, sugar, vanilla, vinegar, and eggs until well combined. Add the sour cream and milk and whisk until incorporated.
- In another bowl, whisk together the flour, sifted cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Pour the dry ingredient mixture into the bowl with the combined wet ingredients and stir just until no streaks of flour remain. Do not overmix!
- Distribute the batter evenly between the 24 cupcake liners in the prepared pans, filling each liner about half full. Bake in the preheated oven for 12-16 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pans for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.
To make the Frosting:
- In a small bowl, stir the heated whipping creaming and hot chocolate powder mix until the powder is completely dissolved. Let cool to room temperature.
- In a large bowl using an electric handheld mixer, blend the softened butter and cooled hot chocolate/cream mixture on medium speed until smooth. Sift in the powdered sugar and cocoa and mix until combined. Turn up the mixer to high speed. Lastly, add the vanilla extract and 1-2 more tablespoons of cold whipping cream and mix at high speed until a smooth, fluffy consistency is reached.
- Pipe onto the fully cooled cupcakes and top with a sprinkle of mini dehydrated marshmallows before the surface of the frosting dries. (The dehydrated marshmallows will get squishy from the humidity so I recommend waiting to add them on top until right before serving.)
- I bought these mini dehydrated marshmallows from Amazon.