These hot chocolate cupcakes are made with actual hot chocolate in the batter and then topped with a delicious torched marshmallow meringue frosting, a perfect treat for the holidays!
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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.
I made these hot chocolate cupcakes with Domino® Golden Sugar; it's used in both the cupcake and the marshmallow meringue frosting. It’s made from pure cane sugar, is less processed than white sugar, and yet works cup-for-cup just like white sugar. It also imparts just a hint of molasses flavor and has the perfect golden color. You can grab Domino® Golden Sugar on Amazon here! Or you can find it in your local grocery store! (Here’s a nifty little store locator tool!)
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
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 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.
Ingredients for the Marshmallow Meringue
- Egg Whites: For best success, I recommend using fresh eggs instead of carton egg whites.
- Domino® Golden Sugar: This helps with the structure of the meringue; don’t skip out on it or reduce the amount!
- Cream of Tartar: Cream of tartar stabilizes the egg whites and helps the mixture hold its stiff peaks.
- Vanilla Bean Paste: Adds a wonderful flavor, not to mention those beautiful vanilla bean specks.
How to Make Marshmallow Meringue
If you’ve ever made a Swiss meringue before, this process will be very familiar to you. You’ll start by heating the egg whites and the Domino® Golden Sugar in a double boiler. This step serves two purposes:
- It helps the sugar dissolve into the egg whites.
- It heats the egg whites to a safe-to-eat temperature without the egg whites getting cooked like they would over direct heat.
Once the egg whites and sugar are combined and reach 160°F (70°C) on an instant-read thermometer, it’s time to let your stand mixer do all of the work. You’ll add the vanilla bean paste and whip the mixture on high for 4 to 5 minutes, and before you know it… you’ll have a glorious, marshmallow meringue. Try not to eat it all before topping the cupcakes!
LOVE THESE HOT CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES?
YOU MIGHT LIKE THESE RECIPES TOO!
Small Batch Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Buttercream Frosting
Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes with Maple Brown Butter Buttercream Frosting
Hot Chocolate Cupcakes with Marshmallow Meringue Frosting
For the Hot Chocolate Cupcakes:
- 200 g Domino® Golden 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)
For the Marshmallow Meringue Frosting:
- 3 large egg whites
- 150 g Domino® Golden Sugar
- ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
To Make the Hot Chocolate Cupcakes:
- Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Line a cupcake pan with cupcake liners.
- In a large bowl, whisk the Domino® Golden 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.
To Make the Marshmallow Meringue Frosting:
- In a large heatproof bowl, whisk together the egg whites, Domino® Golden Sugar, and cream of tartar, then set the bowl over a saucepan filled with just two inches of simmering water over medium heat. Do not let the bottom of the egg bowl touch the water. Whisk the eggs and sugar constantly until sugar is dissolved and the mixture has reached a temperature of 160°F (71°C), about 4 minutes. The mixture will be thick and tacky at first, then thin out and become frothy.
- Transfer the hot egg mixture to a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, and add the vanilla bean paste. Beat on high speed until stiff, glossy peaks form, about 4 to 5 minutes.
- Transfer meringue to a piping bag and pipe onto cooled brownie cupcakes using a large round open tip. If desired, use a kitchen torch to toast.
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