hot cocoa cupcakes

Hot Cocoa Cupcakes with Marshmallow Buttercream + Spiced Ganache

  • Author: Tiffany La Forge
  • Prep Time: 25 mins
  • Cook Time: 22 mins
  • Total Time: 47 minutes
  • Yield: 24
  • Category: cupcakes, dessert


These Hot Cocoa Cupcakes taste like a cozy cup of hot chocolate, in cake form. Moist chocolate cupcakes are topped with a winter-spiced chocolate ganache and fluffy marshmallow buttercream.


For the Cupcakes:

  • 1 stick butter
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup coffee
  • 1 3/4 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch processed)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla

For the Ganache:

  • 8 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 3/4 cup cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • Pinch salt

For the Frosting:

  • 4 sticks butter, room temperature
  • 14 ounces marshmallow creme
  • 2 cups confectioners sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cream
  • 1 vanilla bean


Make the cupcakes:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and lightly spray 24 cupcake liners set in cupcake baking trays.
  2. In a small saucepan, melt the butter, vegetable oil, and coffee. Set aside to cool a bit.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the flour, cocoa, sugar, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt. Pour the coffee mixture into the dry mixture and whisk well until combined. Add in the eggs, whisk to combine. Finally, mix in the buttermilk and vanilla.
  4. Divide the batter among 24 cupcake liners, filling them about 3/4 full, Bake for about 20-22 minutes, until the cupcakes spring back when touched and a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Make the Ganache:

  1. Heat the cream until hot but not boiling. Pour the cream over the chopped chocolate, spices, salt, and vanilla. Let sit for about a minute and then whisk until combined. Set aside.

Make the Buttercream:

  1. In a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the softened, room temperature butter about 1-2 minutes. Add in sifted confectioners sugar little by little and cream until combined and fluffy. Add in the marshmallow creme and the vanilla seeds from one vanilla bean. Beat the frosting a few minutes until combined and fluffy. Beat in the cream.

Assemble the Cupcakes:

  1. With a small offset spatula or knife, spread a thin layer of ganache on the top of the cupcakes. Frost with the marshmallow buttercream and top with mini marshmallows, mini chocolate chips, and chocolate sprinkles. Enjoy!