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Hot Cocoa Cupcakes

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Hot cocoa cupcakes are simple and delicious. Made using packs of hot chocolate mix they taste just like you’re sipping on a cup of hot cocoa!

Here are a few more cupcake recipes we love – Lovely Little Cupcakes, Cupcake Poppers, and Easy Polka Dot Cupcakes.

a tray of hot cocoa cupcakes with a cute straw on top

A Hot Cocoa Dessert

These hot cocoa cupcakes are a great treat to make when the weather cools down and you’re craving the classic flavors of winter and fall. Because there’s nothing like a warm cup of hot cocoa… unless you have the option to consume it in cupcake form!

Hot cocoa cupcakes are beautifully light brown with a delicious cocoa flavor that tastes amazing! The whipped cream frosting is light and sweet – just like the whipped cream in a cup of hot cocoa. These cupcakes are sprinkled with mini chocolate chips and mini crunchy marshmallows. They not only taste great, but they also look adorable too!

uncooked cupcake batter in a muffin tin

How to Make Hot Cocoa Cupcakes

Cupcake Mix – To make these hot chocolate cupcakes, start with a box of white cake mix. You’ll make the cupcakes mostly according to package directions with the following exceptions. You’ll substitute milk for the water and add an extra 3 tablespoons that is called for on the box. Next, you’ll add a teaspoon of vanilla extract, as well as 3 packets of hot chocolate mix too!

Blend – Mix all of the ingredients together until the batter is nice and smooth. Remember, with the addition of the hot chocolate mix, the batter will be thicker than normal. When the batter is ready, fill each cupcake liner about 2/3 full. During the holidays, I love using festive cupcake liners when I make these.

freshly baked hot chocolate cupcakes

Bring The Heat – Bake the cupcakes at 350 degrees F for about 17 minutes. Remove from oven, and let cool completely.

vanilla whipped cream frosting

Make The Frosting – Meanwhile, make the delicious vanilla frosting by combining butter, vanilla and powdered sugar to a bowl. In a separate bowl, mix together the milk and vanilla instant pudding mix. Add the pudding mixture to the powdered sugar mixture, and mix on low while gradually adding some heavy whipping cream. Continue mixing until the frosting forms stiff peaks.

Get The Best Consistency – If the frosting is too thin, add a little more powdered sugar. If you find that it is too thick, add a tablespoon or so of milk and mix again.

white frosting being piped onto a cupcake

Pipe It – Spoon your frosting into a piping bag or the corner of a gallon size freezer bag. Pipe the frosting on top of the cooled hot cocoa cupcakes. I used a star tip to frost my cupcakes so that it would look like whipped cream from a can.

Decorate – Sprinkle with mini marshmallows and mini chocolate chips. For an extra added measure, cut a striped paper straw in half and push it right into the top of the cupcakes. You can add any other toppings you like. During the holidays, sometimes I’ll even add crushed candy canes on top as well.

looking down on cupcakes topped with white frosting and chocolate chips

More Delicious Holiday Desserts

There you have it, these cupcakes are so cute and easy! Leave us a comment below and let us know what you thought of adding the flavor of hot cocoa mix to your cupcakes.

a tray of hot chocolate cupcakes
5 from 3 votes

Hot Cocoa Cupcakes Recipe

Hot Cocoa Cupcakes are simple, delicious and taste just like you're sipping on a cup of hot cocoa!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword 30 minutes or less, chocolate, cupcakes, hot chocolate
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 17 minutes
Total Time 27 minutes
Servings 24 cupcakes
Calories 168 kcal



  • 1 box white cake mix
  • egg whites as many as mentioned on the back of the box
  • oil the exact amount as mentioned on the back of the box
  • milk the same amount as the water suggested on your cake mix + 3 tablespoons
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 3 packets hot cocoa mix

Vanilla Whipped Cream Frosting

  • 1 stick butter softened
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3 cups powdered sugar give or take
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 3 tbsp. vanilla instant pudding mix
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

for the toppings -

  • mini crunchy marshmallows
  • mini chocolate chips
  • straws cut in half (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 and line 24 muffin tins with cupcake liners
  2. Empty the cake mix into a large mixing bowl. Make the cake batter according to the directions on the box, but with a few substitutions -
  3. Use the same amount of eggs and oil
  4. Use milk instead of water and add 3 tbsp. more than the box suggests
  5. Add a tsp. of vanilla extract
  6. Add 3 packets of hot cocoa mix
  7. Mix well with a stand or hand mixer until batter is smooth. Because of the hot cocoa mix, this batter will be thicker than usual.
  8. Use an ice cream scoop or measuring cup to fill cupcake wrappers about 2/3 full.
  9. Bake for 17 minutes, then remove from the oven and let cool completely.
  10. Meanwhile, make the frosting by creaming together the butter and vanilla.
  11. Add the sugar, starting with about 2 1/2 cups, and mix well. This will be very thick.
  12. In a small separate bowl, mix 1/2 cup of cold milk with 3 tbsp. vanilla instant pudding mix, and whisk until smooth and thickened.
  13. Add the thickened pudding mixture into the butter and sugar and mix until well combined.
  14. With the mixer on low speed, slowly pour in the whipping cream.
  15. Turn mixer to medium speed and mix until all ingredients are combined and smooth. The frosting should form stiff peaks, but be pretty light. If it is too thin, add a little more powdered sugar and if it is too thick, add a tbsp. or so of milk and mix again.
  16. Spoon into a piping bag or the corner of a gallon size freezer bag.
  17. Pipe the frosting on top of the cooled Hot Cocoa Cupcakes.
  18. Sprinkle the top of the frosting with some mini marshmallows and mini chocolate chips.
  19. Push your straw right into the top of the cupcakes, and you are done!
Nutrition Facts
Hot Cocoa Cupcakes Recipe
Amount Per Serving (1 cupcake)
Calories 168 Calories from Fat 27
% Daily Value*
Fat 3g5%
Saturated Fat 2g13%
Cholesterol 7mg2%
Sodium 167mg7%
Potassium 24mg1%
Carbohydrates 35g12%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 26g29%
Protein 1g2%
Vitamin A 81IU2%
Calcium 56mg6%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

So cute and easy.

a tray of hot cocoa cupcakes with vanilla frosting

ABOUT THE AUTHOR – Haley is the creative mom and baker behind Haley’s Creative Blog. She was a food contributor on Somewhat Simple in 2014.

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