These hot chocolate cupcakes are the most adorable and delicious Christmas cupcakes ever! Chocolate cupcakes filled with a delicious marshmallow filling and topped with more marshmallow makes these a cupcake everyone will love!
I’m a big fan of anything chocolate, which is funny because my son doesn’t like it at all. Well except these Oreo truffles, but that’s a totally different story.
These hot chocolate cupcakes are like my perfect dessert. Chocolate cupcakes, marshmallow filling, chocolate ganache, and well they’re also just plain cute. And I like cute. And marshmallows (hello s’mores bars).
They’re also super easy to make. They start with a box mix but are doctored enough that you’d never be able to tell. Most box cake mixes, especially with cupcakes, are dry. These aren’t dry at all.
They’re soft, filled with melted marshmallows, and super flavorful. Add the little straws and some marshmallows or peppermints on top and you have the perfect Christmas treat.
They’d be great on a Christmas cookie plate for neighbors along with these Christmas tree brownies, cherry cheesecake cookies, and of course my favorite chewy ginger cookies.
- Devil’s food cake mix – I mentioned that these started with a box mix but you do enough to them that you’ll never know it was a box mix by the time you’re done. I just used a typical Duncan Hines cake mix.
- Chocolate pudding – make sure it’s the instant kind, the other stuff won’t work the same way.
- Large marshmallows – unlike with many recipes, you really can’t substitute the little marshmallows in this recipe, it has to be the big ones. They’re not only to stuff inside the cupcakes but also for the top.
- Peppermint candies or sprinkles – these are just for garnish and not necessary unless you want them They’re yummy without! But they do make great Valentine’s Day cupcakes when you add a few Valentine’s Day sprinkles!
- Oil – you can use canola oil, vegetable oil, or my preference – avocado oil. Just make sure whatever oil you use is flavorless unlike olive oil or coconut oil that will change the flavor of the cupcakes.
- Chocolate chips – you need both regular chocolate chips and mini chocolate chips for this recipe (ideally). The regular ones will be mixed into the matter and the mini ones will be added with the marshmallow topping. Using the mini ones on top allows them to fit in and melt better.
How to make hot chocolate cupcakes
As usual, start by preheating your oven to 325°F and line two cupcake pans with cupcake liners.
Using a stand mixer or hand mixer, mix the cake mix, instant pudding, eggs, water, and oil together.
Add in the chocolate chips and mix well. These will melt in and give the chocolates a deep chocolately flavor.
Using a 3 tablespoon cookie scoop or a spoon, fill the cupcake liners 3/4 full of the chocolate batter.
Pop them in the oven and bake for 30 minutes. You’ll know they’re done when you lightly press on one and it bounces back. You could also test them like I do with my cranberry orange bread and put a knife down the center – if it comes out clean, they’re done.
Remove cupcakes from the oven and push a large marshmallow into the center of each cupcake. You might need to twist the marshmallow a little to get it into the cupcake.
You want to get it as deep into the cupcake as possible so it’s easier to add the chocolate glaze on top.
Now put them back in the oven for about 2 minutes to let the marshmallows melt.
After 2 minutes, take the cupcakes out of the oven and push the marshmallows down into the cupcake again. This will help it melt down inside and fill the extra space around the cupcake.
Let them cool in the cupcake pan for 10 minutes, then transfer them to a cooling rack.
While the cupcakes are cooling, make the frosting by mixing the powdered sugar, unsweetened cocoa powder, water and vanilla extract until smooth.
Now you’ll fill the the marshmallow indentation with mini chocolate chips. You don’t need to go overboard, just add a little spoon full.
Next, add the frosting over the chocolate chips. It will be a little thin (more like glaze than a frosting) so go light on the frosting so it doesn’t run all over the place.
To finish cupcakes, cut large marshmallows in half and put 1/2 marshmallow on top of the frosting on each cupcake, then drizzle with frosting.
If you want to make them a little prettier, add peppermint crunch or holiday sprinkles to make them extra fancy.
Now cut holiday straws into thirds and insert one into each cupcake and they’re ready to serve and enjoy!
Want to make them for Valentine’s Day? Skip the straw and peppermint crunch and add pink and red sprinkles instead. Easy and delicious!
Watch the oven when you put the cupcakes back in with the marshmallow. You really only want to cook them for two minutes to let the marshmallow melt but not start browning. You’re not making cookie s’mores after all.
Turn these into Valentine’s Day cupcakes with pink cupcake wrappers, Valentine’s Day straws, and/or Valentine’s Day sprinkles of some sort. They’re delicious and decadent.
Make sure the cupcakes have time to cool before adding the chocolate glaze. Otherwise the glaze will just pool and melt off the hot cupcakes.
Pat the cupcake tins down gently on the counter to get rid of any air bubbles in the cupcake batter before putting in the oven. This helps them cook more evenly.
Use a 3 tablespoon cookie scoop (also called a large cookie scoop) to scoop the batter into your cupcake wrappers. This helps ensure all of the cupcakes are the same size and will cook evenly. Otherwise, use a measuring cup to fill them about 3/4 full.
While technically you could freeze these cupcakes, I don’t recommend it. One of the best parts of these hot chocolate cupcakes is the ooey gooey marshmallow center and that just won’t happen when you thaw them from frozen.
Store these in an airtight container and enjoy within five days for the best taste. But they likely won’t last that long – we ate the entire batch in under 24 hours.
More Easy Cakes
- Chocolate brownie cake
- Banana pudding cupcakes
- Snickers poke cake
- Pumpkin crunch cake
- Strawberry poke cake
Hot Chocolate Cupcakes
- 1 box Chocolate Devil's Food Cake Mix
- 1 (3.9 oz) box chocolate instant pudding mix
- 4 eggs
- 1 ¼ cups water
- ½ cup oil canola, vegetable, or avocado
- 12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 36 marshmallows 12 cut in half
- ½ cup semi-sweet mini chocolate chips
- peppermint crunch or holiday sprinkles for garnish
- holiday straws for garnish
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- ⅔ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- ½ cup water
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- Preheat over to 325°F.
- Place liners in cupcake pan.
- Mix cake mix, instant pudding, eggs, water, and canola oil with stand or hand mixer.
- Bake for 30 minutes.
- Remove from oven and push a large marshmallow into the center of each cupcake.
- Put cupcakes back in oven and bake for 2 minutes until marshmallows melt.
- Push marshmallows down into cake so it will melt and fill center and empty spaces around cupcake.
- Let cupcakes cool in pan for 10 minutes before transferring to cooling rack. Make frosting while they are cooling.
- Fill marshmallow indentation with mini chocolate chips, then add frosting over chocolate chips.
- Cut large marshmallows in half and place half a marshmallow on top of each cupcake. Drizzle with frosting, then garnish with peppermint crunch or holiday sprinkles.
- Cut holiday straws into thirds and place one piece of straw in each cupcake.
- Mix powdered sugar, cocoa powder, water, and vanilla until smooth.
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