Table of contents
Hot Chocolate Cupcakes
These Hot Chocolate Cupcakes are a fun and delicious winter-time treat the whole family will enjoy! These moist, rich, chocolatey cupcakes use actual hot chocolate in the batter, for that familiar taste we all know and love. And don't even get me started on the marshmallow meringue frosting... which basically tastes like homemade marshmallow fluff (without all the artificial ingredients/flavorings).
Ingredients & Substitutions
- Granulated Sugar: You'll need it for the cupcake and the marshmallow meringue frosting!
- All-Purpose Flour: Only 2 cups of all-purpose flour is needed!
- Cocoa Powder: Make sure you use unsweetened natural cocoa powder. Dutch-processed cocoa will not work with this recipe since we're relying on the acidity to react with the baking soda.
- Baking Powder & Baking Soda: To help our cupcakes bake up nicely.
- Salt: Baked goods made without salt can taste a little plain, so don't forget it!
- Oil: Oil instead of butter helps the cocoa flavor shine through. It also has the added benefit of yielding a super moist chocolate cupcake.
- Milk: The milk helps make these cupcakes extremely moist and also makes for a tender cupcake.
- Eggs: You'll need one large egg for the cupcakes and three large egg whites for the marshmallow meringue topping. I recommend using fresh eggs instead of carton eggs/whites for the best success.
- Vanilla Bean Paste: Adds a wonderful flavor, not to mention those beautiful vanilla bean specks. You can use an equal amount of vanilla extract!
- Hot Chocolate: Use your favorite brand here! Alternatively, you can use hot water, just know that you'll missing out on that extra hot chocolate flavor!
- Cream of Tartar: You'll need some of this for the marshmallow meringue frosting. Cream of tartar stabilizes the egg whites and helps the mixture hold its stiff peaks. Don't skip it!
How to Make Hot Chocolate Cupcakes
While they may look daunting, today’s hot chocolate cupcakes have two main components:
1. Hot Chocolate Cupcakes
The batter is made from all familiar and convenient ingredients like cocoa powder, flour, butter, eggs, and sugar. Nothing fancy or complicated, just rich and fudgy decadence. I added 1/2 cup of hot chocolate (prepared with milk) for that extra chocolate punch, but you can use hot water instead to yield a more classic chocolate cupcake.
2. Marshmallow Meringue Frosting
Don’t be scared or disgusted by the word “meringue”. It’s really easy to make and it makes for a gorgeous topping on these cupcakes. Marshmallow meringue frosting is everything you love about marshmallows, but in semi-liquified form; think of it as homemade marshmallow fluff without all the artificial ingredients/flavorings. It’s also the same meringue used in my S'mores Brownies.
Hot Chocolate Cupcakes with Marshmallow Meringue Frosting
- 200 g granulated sugar
- 240 g all-purpose flour
- 65 g unsweetened natural cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 75 g canola oil
- 120 g milk
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 120 g hot chocolate (or hot water)
- 1 batch marshmallow meringue frosting
- Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Line a cupcake pan with cupcake liners.
- In a large bowl, whisk the granulated sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together then set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the vegetable oil, milk, egg, and vanilla extract and stir until combined. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisk until mostly combined.
- Add the hot chocolate and stir until the mixture is evenly combined. (When the hot chocolate is initially added, the batter may separate a bit, but continue stirring until it’s even in texture. The batter will be thick, don’t panic!)
- Spoon the batter into the liners until each cup is 2/3 full. Bake for 20-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow the cupcakes to cool completely before frosting.
- Transfer the marshmallow meringue frosting to a piping bag and pipe onto cooled cupcakes using a large round open tip. If desired, use a kitchen torch to toast.
- Cover and store leftover cupcakes in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.