Hot Chocolate Cupcakes With Hot Chocolate Frosting

These hot chocolate cupcakes topped with chocolate buttercream frosting are delicious, moist cupcakes that melt in your mouth. They’re absolute treats for chocolate lovers.

Hot chocolate cupcakes.

What Are Hot Chocolate Cupcakes?

These delicious hot chocolate cupcakes are tiny chocolate cakes that taste like your favorite hot cocoa drink! They’re made of rich chocolate cakes that are super yummy, moist, and soft, just like the warm chocolate drink. 

The cupcakes are topped with a fluffy buttercream like the marshmallows you put on top of a hot chocolate. These cupcakes are like having that cozy cup of chocolate drink, but you can eat them with your hands!

Cupcakes with chocolate buttercream frosting.

What sets these cupcakes apart from other chocolatey cupcakes is the incorporation of hot chocolate powder instead of baking cocoa powder. So you’ll find the cocoa taste is not as intense, yet it gives the same warmth and coziness as sipping a cup of hot cocoa.

Why You’ll Like This Hot Cocoa Cupcake Recipe

  • Comfort in Every Bite: The cupcakes offer a warm and familiar flavor that can instantly boost our mood.
  • Irresistible Flavor: Hot chocolate creates an indulgent taste in the cupcake, making it delicious and satisfying for the sweet tooth.
  • Versatility: You can make these cupcakes according to individual preferences. You can have your cupcakes topped with marshmallows, chocolate drops, or shavings. Also, you can swap the chocolate buttercream with marshmallow frosting or whipped heavy cream. 
  • Simple and Straightforward: You can quickly replicate this simple homemade cupcake recipe with only a few daily ingredients and easy methods.
  • All-Season Appeal: Although the name may suggest a wintery and holiday treat, these moist chocolate cupcakes are lovely to enjoy all year round. The comforting flavors and versatile toppings make them a favorite for various occasions.
  • Ease of Sharing: These chocolate cupcakes are convenient for sharing at parties, events, or as a sweet gift. The individual portions make them easy to serve and enjoy without extra utensils. 
  • Kid-Friendly: The whimsical nature of hot chocolate cupcakes, with their playful toppings and chocolatey goodness, makes them especially appealing to children. It’s a fun and tasty way to excite our youngsters about baking and enjoying homemade treats.

Ingredients You Need 

For the cupcakes

  • Hot chocolate powder/ hot cocoa/ drinking cocoa powder: A ready-made mixture of cocoa powder, sugar, and flavorings to make a hot chocolate drink.
  • Margarine or baking spread: This butter substitute is made from vegetable oils and is used for flavoring, baking, and cooking. It adds fat to the recipe to make a more moist, light cupcake than butter.
  • Caster sugar: Ground granulated sugar to the finely ground state. It produces a less grainy cake.
  • All-purpose flour/ plain flour contains about 75 percent of the wheat grain, with most bran/wheat germ removed and normally artificially whitened.
  • Eggs: I prefer free-range. However, you can use what you like. These are key ingredients that bind the cake together.
  • Baking powder: A raising agent used in cake-making. It contains a mixture of bicarbonate of soda (alkali) and cream of tartar (acid), plus a filler like cornflour or rice flour. Activated when liquid is added, producing bubbles of carbon dioxide, causing the mixture to expand.   
Frosted chocolate cupcakes

For the Hot Chocolate Frosting

  • Hot chocolate powder: Ready-made mixture of cocoa powder, sugar, and flavorings to make a hot chocolate drink.
  • Butter, softened: Butter providing fat emulsifies the mixture to produce a melt-in-mouth frosting.
  • Icing sugar (powdered sugar): Ground white granulated sugar into fine white powder to produce a smooth, velvety buttercream.
  • Milk: I prefer using full-fat cow’s milk.

How To Make Hot Chocolate Cupcakes 

For the cupcakes

  1. It’s very easy to recreate this chocolate cupcake recipe. First, preheat the oven to 180℃/ 356℉ or gas mark 4, and prepare the cupcake tin with muffin cases or cupcake liners.
  2. To make the cupcakes, you place all the dry ingredients, i.e., flour, sugar, baking powder, and hot cocoa mix, into a bowl of a stand mixer or just a large bowl. Then, add the wet ingredients, margarine, and eggs. Mix them until you get a smooth batter. You can use a stand, handheld, or handheld whisk. Just remember that it will take longer to whisk the ingredients together if you use the latter.
  3. Then, scoop and spoon the cupcake batter into each case, ensuring each has approximately the same amount of mixture. Place the tray in the oven and bake the cupcakes for about 20 minutes until the top is firm but springy to the touch. You should check if the cakes are cooked in the middle by inserting a toothpick in the center of the cupcakes. If the toothpick comes out clean, they are ready.
  4. Take the cupcakes from the tin and put them onto a wire rack to cool completely to room temperature before putting the buttercream frosting on them.

For the frosting

  1. Place the butter in a mixing bowl and add in the powdered sugar and milk to make the frosting. Whisk together at medium speed until they all are mixed and combined.
  2. Next, add the hot chocolate to the butter mixture and mix again until you get a smooth, light, and fluffy frosting. It may take you approximately 5 minutes to do so. However, if you want your buttercream to be smoother and fluffier, mix it for longer. 
  3. Frost the cooled cupcakes with this chocolate flavor frosting. Top the frosted cupcakes with marshmallows, chocolate pieces, shavings, or even a candy cane for a festive mood. Anything you prefer.
Cupcakes with hot chocolate flavored frosting.

Top Tips For Making Scrumptious Hot Chocolate Cupcakes

  • Quality Ingredients. Make sure every item you use is fresh and of good quality.
  • Correct Measurement. Accurate measuring is crucial. Use a kitchen scale, measuring cups, and spoons for precision.
  • Room Temperature. Allow ingredients, such as eggs, margarine/ baking spread, and milk, to come to room temperature.
  • Do Not Overmix. Overmixing cake batter can cause a dense texture in the cake. Keep an eye on your batter as you mix it.
  • Baking Time. Overbaking can result in dry cupcakes. So, be mindful of the baking time.
  • Cooling Process. Let the cupcakes cool fully and thoroughly before you put frosting onto your cupcakes. Otherwise, the frosting will melt.
  • Creative Toppings. Feel free to have fun with toppings! Especially if you want to serve your cupcakes for parties or festivities. 

Substitutes and Variations

  • Every hot chocolate powder has a different proportion of cocoa and sugar. I often use the ordinary hot drinking cocoa powder, though sometimes I use the one with the malt, too. 
  • Try this recipe with a different flavor of hot cocoa mix, such as caramel-flavored.
  • You can also add half a teaspoon of coffee to the cake mixture and frosting to create a subtle mocha taste to the cupcakes and frosting.

 How To Store

  • Store the cupcakes in an airtight container at a cool room temperature. They keep well there for about 2-3 days.
  • However, I recommend storing the cupcake container in the refrigerator if the temperature is warm.
Buttercream covered chocolate cupcakes.

More Cupcakes Recipes

Do you need more ideas of what cupcakes you need to make next? Try these banana cupcakes with chocolate frosting, coffee cupcakes, raspberry cupcakes, or apple cupcakes. Your dessert menu is sorted.

Thank you for checking this hot chocolate cupcake recipe. I hope you like it and will try it. Let me know what you think about it.

Lastly, please follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. To sneak a look at what’s cooking in my kitchen. 

Take care and all the best.


Can I add almond flavor essence to the mixture?

Although I haven’t tried this combination, almond or hazelnut essence in the batter mixture or buttercream may be worth it to give an extra nutty flavor.

Can I omit the hot chocolate from the buttercream/ frosting?

You don’t need to use hot chocolate for the frosting mixture if you prefer.  Replace it with extra icing sugar to get white frosting. Add half a teaspoon of vanilla essence or extract for a vanilla-flavored buttercream.

If you don’t want to frost the cupcakes with buttercream for whatever reason, you can enjoy them as they are or cover them with whipped heavy cream.

Homemade Hot Chocolate  Cupcakes

Hot chocolate cupcakes are made with a hot chocolate mix in the batter. Whether enjoyed during colder seasons or as a sweet indulgence at any time of the year, these cupcakes offer warmth and coziness as if you sip on a hot cocoa drink.

Hot chocolate cupcakes.
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5 from 1 vote

Hot chocolate cupcakes and hot chocolate frosting recipe

This hot chocolate cupcake topped with chocolate buttercream frosting will help you make delicious, moist cupcakes that melt in your mouth. Absolute heaven for chocolate lovers.
Author: Devy Dar
Cook Time10 minutes
Total Time20 minutes
Course: Sweets & Desserts
Cuisine: American, British
Servings: 12 cupcakes


  • Mixing bowl
  • Stand mixer or handheld mixer.
  • Spatula
  • Cupcake tin
  • Muffin cases


For the cupcakes:

  • ½ cup hot chocolate powder/ drinking cocoa powder
  • ⅔  cup margarine or baking spread
  • ½ cup caster sugar
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour/ plain flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

For the buttercream

  • 3 tablespoons hot chocolate powder
  • cup butter softened
  • cup icing sugar
  • 3 tablespoons milk


For the cupcakes

  • Place the flour, sugar, hot chocolate powder, margarine, and eggs in a mixing bowl.
  • Using a handheld or stand mixer, beat the ingredients until you get a smooth batter.
  • Preheat the oven to 180℃/ 356℉ or gas mark 4, and prepare the cupcake tin with muffin cases.
  • Scoop and spoon the batter into each case. Bake for about 20-25 minutes until the top of the cupcake is firm but springy to the touch.
  • Take the cupcakes out of the tin and put them onto a cooling wire rack. Let them completely cool before putting the buttercream on them.

For the buttercream

  • Place the butter, icing sugar, and milk in a mixing bowl. Beat them until they all are mixed.
  • Add the hot chocolate powder to the butter mixture until you get a light and fluffy buttercream. It takes approximately 5 minutes to do so. However, if you want your buttercream to be smoother and fluffier, mix it longer.


  • Every hot chocolate powder has a different proportion of cocoa and sugar. I often use the ordinary hot drinking cocoa powder, though sometimes I use the one with the malt, too.
  • Making the buttercream can be painful, as the icing powder will go everywhere. Unless you use a stand mixer with a cover, if you use a handheld mixer, cover the bowl towards the mixer with cling film. Or, try mixing butter and icing sugar with a wooden spoon before using the handheld mixer.


Calories: 360kcal | Carbohydrates: 47g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 55mg | Sodium: 322mg | Potassium: 52mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 29g | Vitamin A: 676IU | Vitamin C: 0.02mg | Calcium: 68mg | Iron: 1mg


Nutritional info in this recipe is only estimate using online calculator. You should refer to it as a guide only. Please verify with your own data if you seek an accurate info.

Author: Devy Dar

Title: Food Writer, Recipe Developer, and Digital Content Creator.


Devy Dar founded So Yummy Recipes and Drizzling Flavor to share her love of food after exploring various cultures and cuisines for more than two decades. Her mission is to help others easily recreate traditional and non-traditional food with readily available ingredients. Her works have been featured in Reader’s Digest, Al Jazeera, MSN, Yahoo, Bon Appetit, and more. 

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