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Hot Cocoa Cupcakes #CupcakeDay

What's better than cup of hot cocoa? Hot cocoa cupcakes! Prepared cocoa adds flavor to the cupcake batter, and they're finished with a swirl of marshmallow buttercream on top!

Hot Cocoa Cupcakes with Marshmallow Buttercream #CupcakeDay by @TheRedheadBaker

One of my favorite things to do as a blogger is participate in blog "events," like Cheesecake Day and Ice Cream Week. A few months back, I noticed that there weren't any coming up. So I decided to host my own, and invited some blogger friends (who in turn invited their blogger friends ...). I love this community!

I saw that December 15th is National Cupcake Day. After all, who doesn't love cupcakes?? You get all of the best parts of a piece of cake — cake and frosting — in a portable little package, no plate and fork needed.

Except that December 15th is the posting date for the Food Blogger Cookie Swap (so don't forget to check in that day for an awesome cookie recipe!). So, we moved Cupcake Day up a week. After you've drooled over these cupcakes, don't forget to check out the other links at the bottom of this post!

Hot Cocoa Cupcakes with Marshmallow Buttercream #CupcakeDay by @TheRedheadBaker

It took me a long time to settle on a cupcake recipe. I wanted something somewhat winter-y. Did I want to focus on cupcake flavor? Or cupcake decoration? The answer actually came to me the night we got our first snow, as I was curled up on the couch with a cup of hot cocoa, complete with marshmallow bits.

I took my favorite chocolate cake recipe, and instead of mixing in prepared coffee, I made it with prepared hot cocoa. And they just wouldn't — couldn't — be hot cocoa cupcakes without marshmallow! I added marshmallow creme to a quick buttercream recipe, and voila! And just because there's no such thing as too much marshmallow, I added marshmallow bits on top.

Hot Cocoa Cupcakes with Marshmallow Buttercream #CupcakeDay by @TheRedheadBaker

Hot Cocoa Cupcakes with Marshmallow Buttercream #CupcakeDay by @TheRedheadBaker

Hot Cocoa Cupcakes #CupcakeDay

Yield: 12 cupcakes


For the cupcakes

  • 1 oz hot cocoa mix
  • 8 oz very hot water
  • 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ¼ oz baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the marshmallow buttercream

  • 1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 cups marshmallow creme, 6 oz
  • Marshmallow bits for garnish, optional


  1. Mix the contents of the hot cocoa packet with the hot water. Set aside to cool.
  2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees, and line a 12-well cupcake pan with paper liners.
  3. Place the flour in the bowl of a stand mixer, and sift in the sugar and cocoa powder. Stir in the baking soda and salt.
  4. Add the egg, oil, and half the hot cocoa. Mix on low speed just until combined.
  5. Add the remaining half of the hot cocoa and the vanilla. Mix on low just until incorporated, then beat on medium speed for 3 minutes.
  6. Divide the batter among all the cups, filling each about ¾ full. Bake for about 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely.
  7. To make the frosting, beat the butter on medium speed until light in color and fluffy. Beat in the vanilla.
  8. Add the powdered sugar, ½ cup at a time, beating until well-incorporated before adding more. Beat in the marshmallow creme just until fully mixed.
  9. Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a piping tip, and pipe a swirl of frosting onto each cupcake. Garnish with marshmallow bits, if desired.

Did you love this recipe?

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Cupcake recipe by The Redhead Baker; Marshmallow buttercream recipe slightly adapted from I Am Baker

Don't forget to check out the other Cupcake Day recipes!

Hot Cocoa Cupcakes with Marshmallow Buttercream #CupcakeDay by @TheRedheadBaker

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Thursday 9th of June 2022

These cupcakes are soooooo good! And I love that there aren't any weird ingredients.....I had everything in the pantry already! AND, I especially love that the recipe makes just 12.....because however many there are....we'll eat them all in 2 days! These are now the go-to cupcakes in our house.....I've made this 3 times in the last 3 weeks! LOL Thanks so much for an awesome recipe!


Saturday 25th of January 2020

SO glad I stumbled upon this recipe. Great cupcakes. Made an amazing 3 layer cake with the recipe too. Thank you!


Saturday 16th of December 2017

These came out dense and gummy. The flavor was good, but the texture was off.


Saturday 16th of December 2017

How much baking soda did you use? The measurement in the recipe is in ounces, not teaspoons.

Peppermint Patty Cupcakes - Comfortably Domestic

Tuesday 15th of December 2015

[…] Hot Cocoa Cupcakes by The Redhead Baker […]

Karen Gianni

Sunday 25th of October 2015

Why doesn't your site accept Email subscription? I want VERY much to follow you. Where can I do that?

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