Hot Cocoa Cupcakes with Marshmallow Buttercream

by Amy on 20 December 2012

this past weekend, one of my friends hosted her annual holiday party. even though she told me i didn’t need to bring anything, y’all know me, i can’t resist bringing a sweet to a party! while thinking about what to make, my favorite cold-weather treat popped to mind: hot cocoa! what if, i thought, i captured the flavors of hot cocoa in a cupcake? that would be a perfect holiday party dessert.

so, i thought about how i like my hot cocoa: full of rich, dark chocolate, + topped with a generous helping of marshmallows. and thus, the inspiration for the cupcakes! for the cupcake base, i used my tried-and-true dark chocolate cupcakes. they are SO wonderful – rich, moist, + full of chocolatey flavor. then, i used this marshmallow buttercream recipe. the light, sweet, fluffy marshmallow buttercream pairs beautifully with the rich, deep chocolate cupcakes. garnish with a little shaved chocolate + a mini marshmallow + voila! hot cocoa cupcakes. =)

and aren’t the cupcake wrappers just perfect for a holiday party? they’re by bella cupcake couture, a company that makes fabulous eco-friendly + food-friendly cupcake wrappers in tons of different styles. you’ll probably be seeing them lots more on my blog, because i can’t resist using ’em!

Hot Cocoa Cupcakes with Marshmallow Buttercream

makes 12 cupcakes, adapted from and cook’s lllustrated + baked bree


for the cupcakes:
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup dutch-processed cocoa powder
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
2 eggs
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1/2 cup (4 ounces) sour cream

for the marshmallow buttercream:
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 a (7-ounce) jar marshmallow creme
1 cup confectioners sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

to garnish (optional):
12 mini marshmallows
1 oz. dark chocolate


make the cupcakes:
adjust oven rack to lower-middle position + preheat to 350 degrees. (if using a non-stick muffin pan, heat the oven to 325 degrees.) line mini-muffin pan with baking cup liners.

combine butter, chocolate, + cocoa in medium heatproof bowl. set bowl over saucepan of barely simmering water; heat mixture until butter + chocolate are melted + whisk until smooth + combined. set aside to cool until just warm to the touch.

whisk flour, baking soda + baking powder in small bowl to combine. whisk eggs in second medium bowl to combine. add sugar, vanilla + salt until fully incorporated. add cooled chocolate mixture, whisk until combined.

sift about 1/3 of flour mixture over chocolate mixture + whisk until combined, then whisk in sour cream. sift in remaining flour mixture + whisk until batter is homogeneous + thick.

divide the batter evenly among muffin cups. bake until toothpick inserted into center of cupcakes comes out clean, about 12-14 minutes.

cool cupcakes in muffin pan on wire rack until cool enough to handle, about 10 minutes, then transfer each cupcake to cooling rack. cool to room temperature before icing.

make the buttercream:
cream the butter using a stand mixer or a hand mixer until it is light + fluffy, about 2 minutes. add the marshmallow creme + beat for 2 minutes more.

add the confectioners sugar + continue to beat for another 2 minutes. add vanilla extract + beat until combined.

ice the cupcakes using a piping bag + the tip of your choice, or a knife/spatula. top with a bit of shaved chocolate + a mini marshmallow, then enjoy!

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{ 53 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kristen @ notsodomesticated December 20, 2012 at 6:16 am

Oh, my, these look HEAVENLY. I think my favorite part is the marshmallow buttercream. Yum!

2 Julie @ Table for Two December 20, 2012 at 6:43 am

such cute cupcake wrappers!! perfect for a holiday party :) i love the hot cocoa idea for these cupcakes – much easier to eat than drink it when you’re at a holiday party 😉

3 kathryn December 20, 2012 at 6:55 am

these are so beautiful amy, I love those festive wrappers and the cupcakes themselves sound incredible!

4 danielle December 20, 2012 at 7:26 am

These sound delicious I love anything with dark chocolate anyway but the marshmallow buttercream takes it over the top.

5 elizabeth @ chronic venture December 20, 2012 at 8:13 am

these are just so adorable and creative! and I love the little cupcake wrappers, so cute! and i want to eat a bowl of that frosting right now for breakfast, thanks.

6 amy December 20, 2012 at 8:26 am

you + me alike, friend… =) now i wish i had made extra marshmallow buttercream for snackin’!

7 Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar December 20, 2012 at 8:27 am

Heck yes! Love those little cups!

8 Nicole @ The Marvelous Misadventures of a Foodie December 20, 2012 at 10:04 am

Those cupcake wrappers are soooo cute! Love them!

And that buttercream sounds wonderful – I can only imagine how yummy that would be atop a chocolate cupcake!

9 Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious December 20, 2012 at 11:35 am

This may be the perfect dessert to bring to a holiday party! And the presentation is absolutely gorgeous!

10 Bernadette @ Now Stir It Up December 20, 2012 at 2:03 pm

I cant help brining things either. Never too much right?? These look fab!

11 amy December 20, 2012 at 2:07 pm

I’m glad I’m not alone in thinking that you can never have too many desserts at a party! =)

12 natalie@thesweetslife December 20, 2012 at 2:32 pm

these look PERFECT for the season! just might need them come mid-January to cheer me up when I’m tired of the cold :)

13 claire @ the realistic nutritionist December 20, 2012 at 3:13 pm

You make the world’s most delicious things ever.

14 amy December 20, 2012 at 3:20 pm

i adore you, claire! =)

15 Carrie of Bella Cupcake Couture December 20, 2012 at 3:33 pm

Thank you so much for the wonderful post and great recipe! We love how adorable the cupcakes turned out with our “Happy Holidays” cupcake wrappers. Thanks!

16 Rachel @ Baked by Rachel December 20, 2012 at 6:34 pm

Those wrappers are so cute! And I totally want to dip my finger in the frosting lol

17 Jed Gray (sportsglutton) December 20, 2012 at 6:50 pm

Great presentation for a wonderful cupcake Amy. Do you ship?

If you don’t post tomorrow…enjoy the holidays!!

18 amy December 20, 2012 at 7:15 pm

i won’t be posting tomorrow, so thank you! happy holidays to you + the family, too! And yes, I do ship! =)

19 Smitten Foodie December 20, 2012 at 8:54 pm

These look and sound amazing! Would be so cute for the kiddos on Christmas Day dinner.

20 Elizabeth December 21, 2012 at 12:50 am

I would totally do the same thing: bring baked goods even when I’m told I don’t need to!
And these look soo delicious and perfect for a winter sweet!

21 Renee December 21, 2012 at 6:56 am

You always make the prettiest cupcakes Amy! I love those cupcake cups. These sound very tasty too.

22 JulieD December 21, 2012 at 7:33 am

These look so perfect and cute, Amy!!

23 tijuana (po' man meals) December 21, 2012 at 8:49 am

these look stunning. so sophisticated! perfect for a new year’s party! :)

24 EA-The Spicy RD December 21, 2012 at 8:56 am

Catching up on all my blog reading, and all of your recent sweets look delicious, but these cupcakes are beautiful! Love the wrappers, and I can imagine my kids devouring these, marshmallow buttercream frosting and all! OK-I would devour one too!!

25 katie December 21, 2012 at 9:32 am

Yes please! These look beautiful and I think would impress just about any guest at a party!

26 Ashley @ Kitchen Meets Girl December 21, 2012 at 10:31 am

This looks like a perfect cupcake for the winter season–I can’t get enough hot chocolate during these cold nights. In cupcake form, it’s even better! Happy Holidays, friend!

27 Amy (Savory Moments) December 21, 2012 at 12:34 pm

Oh my goodness! These are so adorable and festive! They sound really delicious, too.

28 Jackie @ Domestic Fits December 21, 2012 at 1:19 pm

I love it when people say, “You don’t need to bring anything” as if I just offered to scrub toilets. Instead of “can I bring something?” I’ve learned to say, “Please let me bring something!” Most people don’t realize how much food bloggers WANT to bring something and how we get kind of bummed out if we can’t!

29 amy December 21, 2012 at 1:28 pm

AMEN! you summed it up perfectly. =)

30 Ilan December 21, 2012 at 2:25 pm

Those cupcakes look dreamy!

31 Ashley - Baker by Nature December 21, 2012 at 3:01 pm

These are all kinds of cute, Amy!!!

32 Lesley Eats December 21, 2012 at 3:52 pm

I love this marshmallow buttercream trend. No gelatin means I can eat it! And what a nifty concept, the hot cocoa. I love it!

33 Erin @ The Spiffy Cookie December 21, 2012 at 4:07 pm

Great cupcake! Love those liners too.

34 Baking Serendipity December 22, 2012 at 8:44 pm

That marshmallow buttercream is my favorite part! So fun :)

35 Kelsey @ K&K Test Kitchen December 22, 2012 at 11:34 pm

Oooh, Amy these sound delicious! I need to find an excuse to make these!

36 Jen L | Tartine and Apron Strings December 23, 2012 at 1:13 am

My kids will TOTALLY go insane for this! They love sipping hot cocoa with marshmallows. What’s better than cupcakes that simulate that! It’s beginning to feel like Christmas, and I feel like singing a christmas jingle…Oh wait, no, that’s my ipod playing Wham’s “Last Christmas” in the background…Have a happy holiday!

37 amy December 23, 2012 at 8:39 am

Ooh, Wham’s “Last Christmas” is one of my favorites! Happy Holidays to you + your family, too! =)

38 Amber @ Caleigh's Kitchen December 23, 2012 at 1:48 pm

These look and sound so delicious!!!

39 angela @ another bite please December 23, 2012 at 3:01 pm

wow these sound delicous….look delicious and I am lovin’ the cupcake wrappers and eco-friendly LOVE that even more!

40 Nik@ABrownTable December 24, 2012 at 10:07 am

Amy, these look heavenly! Happy holidays.

41 Annie @ Annie's Noms December 24, 2012 at 12:19 pm

Wow! These look so yummy. I loveeeee hot cocoa especially when it’s freezing outside and those cupcake wrappers are so cute!

42 Erin @ Texanerin Baking December 26, 2012 at 2:28 am

I’m the same way with parties. Wherever I go, there will be cookies or brownies or something!

Those cupcake wrappers ARE cute. Very cute! Going to go check out the site now.

43 Lauren December 26, 2012 at 10:20 am

I really like those cupcake liners!

44 Sammie December 26, 2012 at 11:04 pm

Hi Amy! What a fantastic looking treat for Christmas!! it looks irresistible! Your guests must have been so impressed! Merry Christmas to you and your family dear!! :)

45 Kristi @ My San Francisco Kitchen December 27, 2012 at 8:19 am

Delicious! These are the perfect holiday cupcake 😀 I always wanted to try to bake hot cocoa cupcakes, yummm! I am the same way-even if I am told not to bring anything, I always do anyway-its just too much fun not to! Happy Holidays <3

46 Hayley @ The Domestic Rebel December 27, 2012 at 8:03 pm

Amy, these cupcakes are the ultimate in cuteness and perfection! I LOVE that fluffy marshmallow buttercream on top of those delicious-looking, rich cocoa cupcakes. I need!

47 Chelsie December 28, 2012 at 10:07 am

Oh my!! These are making my mouth water. Precious!
Thanks for sharing! :) Hope you had a Merry Christmas!


48 Regina@SpecialtyCakeCreations December 28, 2012 at 11:47 pm

Oh yummy hot chocolate! I dont have any cold weather to fight, but I’ll take these cupcakes any day :)

49 Maggie December 30, 2012 at 3:18 pm

Hi Amy, These look absolutely yummy! I’ve pinned the recipe to my recipes board! By the way, I finished my son’s cowl from your cabled cowl pattern. He was so pleased with it and let me take a photo! A rare occurence! You can see it on my latest post
Happy new year!
Maggie xx

50 amy December 30, 2012 at 6:39 pm

I just checked it out, Maggie and I looooove the cowl for George – so handsome! (both your son AND the cowl in manly colors). =)

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