Hot Chocolate Cupcakes Recipe + Cocoa Frosting

Sure it’s cold and the sun is a little sleepy but who can complain about all things peppermint and cozy? Not to mention everybody’s favorite winter drink, hot cocoa! It’s practically impossible to go a winter without enjoying a big mug of cocoa. Which naturally inspired us to bring you today’s easy cupcake recipe Hot Chocolate Cupcakes with Cocoa Frosting

Light the fire, grab a blanket, and let’s get ready for an epic, winter cupcake recipe!

hot chocolate cupcakes on cup of mini marshmallows

An Easy Cocoa Cupcake Recipe – Cozy & Sweet! 

Hot cocoa is a tricky flavor to recreate because when you take away the “hot” all you really have is cocoa kinda. We all know despite the fact, there is still a distinct magical cocoa taste that we all know and love. We had to punch up the flavor and bring it to cupcakes!

To make these hot chocolate cupcakes, we spruced up a chocolate cake mix with actual hot cocoa mix. We even used the hot cocoa mix in the frosting to tie it all together. We topped things off with some whipping cream of course. Homemade whipped cream is SO simple to make and better than any store bought whipped cream topping hands down. 

If you’d rather a from scratch recipe, you can try adding cocoa mix to our scratch chocolate recipe too! We spread the love between mix recipes and scratch recipes. Gotta love them both!

Hot chocolate cupcakes recipe with cocoa buttercream

Decorating Hot Chocolate Cupcakes

To make these cupcakes as cute as they are yummy, we baked them in our white Bake Bright cupcake liners as the “mug”. We will never get over how well our BakeBright greaseproof liners hold up to even the darkest chocolate cake batters! *SWOON*

We also trimmed some of our snowflake paper straws to place in the frosting to look like a drink. You can’t forget the sprinkles! We added a little gold present candy sprinkle on top! All together, they definitely say cozy and sweet.

hot chocolate cupcakes with hot cocoa frosting, whipped cream topping and candy sprinkles

Hot Chocolate Cupcakes Recipe With Cocoa Frosting

TIP: To allow the cocoa to properly dissolve in the buttercream, we suggest making the cocoa frosting the day before serving. It will have the perfect creamy, cocoa flavor!

We used our large round plain piping tip to frost the buttercream on these. However, any classic frosting technique will bring these cupcakes to life. The pop of lighter cocoa frosting compliments the white of our liners and the dark cupcake color.

If you are in a pinch and have some of our chocolate buttercream on hand, it would go great as well!

To keep with the theme, you could top these cupcakes with mini marshmallows too instead of candy sprinkles

Love this delicious cupcake recipe? You’ll love these!

Hot chocolate cupcakes with snowflake paper straws

Yield: 24

Hot Chocolate Cupcakes

Hot Chocolate Cupcakes

Warm up this winter with fun new cupcakes, Hot chocolate cupcakes with hot cocoa buttercream!

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 22 minutes
Additional Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 12 minutes


  • 1 milk chocolate cake mix
  • ½ cup hot chocolate mix
  • 3 large eggs at room temperature
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 1 cup milk
  • ¼ oil
  • White Bake Bright Greaseproof Cupcake Liners
  • 2 cups unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 7 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • ½ cup hot cocoa mix (without marshmallows)
  • 8-10 table spoons heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 4 tbsp. powdered sugar


    1. Line cupcake pan with Bake Bright cupcake liners.

    2. In a mixing bowl, combine cake mix, cocoa mix, pudding mix, eggs, sour cream, oil, and milk at low speed. Once all ingredients are incorporated, beat cake batter medium/high for a full minute.

    3. Add 3-4 tbsp of cake batter to each cupcake liner. Bake for 20-22 minutes at 350F, or until toothpick comes out clean.

    4. While cupcakes are cooling it's time to make the hot cocoa frosting! In a large mixing bowl cream butter at medium speed until smooth. Add extract and mix until combined. Add in powdered sugar one cup at a time then add cocoa beating slightly between each addition. Add whipping cream 1 Tbsp. at a time beating in between additions until you reach your desired consistency.


    5. Place metal mixing bowl and metal whisk of electric mixer in freezer for 10 minutes. Once cold beat whipping cream in cold bowl with cold whisk until stiff peaks form.

    6. Beat in powdered sugar.

    7. Frost cooled hot cocoa cupcakes with hot cocoa frosting and finish with a little ruffle of whipped cream on top. Add sprinkles and trimmed straw for extra cuteness.

If you are looking for some decorating ideas instead of just sweets, check out our Melted Snowman and Winter Wonderland theme. 

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