Hot Chocolate Cupcakes

Cakes, Chocolate, Desserts

I’m a big fan of layers. This is the very reason why Fall and Winter make me leap for joy.

These seasons give me the ability to wear a tank top, a t-shirt, a button up, and a jacket (and maybe a scarf)…all while not perspiring. Perspiring sucks. So does shivering, I guess; but at least I sorta get an ab workout when I shiver. AM I RIGHT?!

I dig food layers, too. These cupcakes? Crazy food layering going on here. Maybe you can’t see all the food layers yet. It’s okay. I’m gonna outline them for you.

P.S. This recipe is basically these Ding Dongs just reworked. Same elements, different look. Nifty, eh?!

1st layer: The chocolatey chocolate cupcake. The part that gets me super psyched is how the directions call for melting good quality chocolate into a cup of strongly-brewed coffee.

This recipe was written for my soul.

(Side note I’m-not-getting-paid-to-say: I bought Newman’s Own Orangic Chocolate because they were out of Green and Black, and I might be my new fav. Rich with good texture.)

2nd layer: The chocolate ganache center.

And this one doesn’t require any piping or anything. Just cut out the center and spoon the chocolate into the center.

Easy delicous assembly. What a treat!

3rd layer: Toasted marshmallow frosting. Hi. It’s fluffy.

Who doesn’t love fluffy frosting? No one. It feels like a sweet pillow melting in your mouth. Just glorious.

In a last minute decision, I decided to a little hand torch to it to make the frosting all toasted. Good move.

You can also do this by putting the cupcakes under a broiler (while NOT walking away).

4th (and last) layer: Crushed candy canes. The crushing of them will be therapeutic. Promise.

(Sidenote: It took me three stores to find normal red and white candy canes. All the drug stores think it’s a GENIUS idea to have the annoying looking colorful ones. I want tradition, Candy Cane Makers; I don’t want my candy canes trendy!! No one does!!)

Get your layerin’ on this weekend! It’s a good look.

Hot Chocolate Cupcakes

Print this recipe!

Chocolate Cupcakes:

2 ounces fine-quality semisweet chocolate
1 cups hot brewed coffee
2 cups sugar
1 2/3 cups flour
1 cups unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch process)
1 1/3 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup well-shaken buttermilk
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 candy canes (for topping)

1. Preheat oven to 300Β°F. And line two cupcake tins with liners.

2. Finely chop chocolate and in a bowl combine with hot coffee. Let mixture stand, stirring occasionally, until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth.

3. Into a large bowl sift together sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In another large bowl with an electric mixer beat eggs until thickened slightly and lemon colored. Slowly add oil, buttermilk, vanilla, and melted chocolate mixture to eggs, beating until combined well. Add sugar mixture and beat on medium speed until just combined well.

4. Divide batter between cupcake tins, filling them up between half way to 3/4 of the way. Bake for 20-25 minutes, and until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.

5. Cool cupcakes in cupcake tins on racks until completely cool.

Seven Minute Frosting:

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
3 large egg whites
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

1. In large metal bowl, whisk together 1/4 cup water, sugar, egg whites, cream of tartar, and salt. Set bowl over pan of barely simmering water and mix with handheld electric mixer at low speed. Gradually increase speed to high, beating until mixture holds stiff peaks, about 5 minutes.

2. Transfer bowl from pan to folded kitchen towel on counter and continue beating until mixture is cool and billowy, about 2 minutes more. Beat in vanilla. (Frosting can be made 4 hours ahead and chilled, covered.)


1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter
6 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips

1. Heat the heavy cream and the butter in a 3-quart saucepan over medium high heat. Bring to a boil.

2. Place the semisweet chocolate in a 3-quart stainless steel bowl. Pour the boiling cream over the chocolate and allow to stand for 5 minutes. Stir until smooth.


1. Smash candy canes–using the bottom of a pan–into bits. Using a paring knife (or an apple corer), cut out a 1-inch circle out of the center of the cupcakes. Fill with a half teaspoon of chocolate ganache.

2. With a 1-inch star tip, pipe on frosting in a circular motion. Holding the torch about 6-7 inches away from the frosting, toast the tops of the cupcakes slowly, being sure to not light the cupcake liners (I did this!) on fire. Sprinkle crushed candy canes on top of each of the cupcakes. DONE!!!

Seven-Minute Frosting recipe tweaked from Epicurious

Chocolate Cake recipe from Smitten Kitchen

Yields about 20 cupcakes

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Leave a Reply

  • Reply Arlie August 8, 2014 at 11:35 am

    great insight. Really enjoyed looking over this blog.

    Keep up the good work and to everyone keep on tweeting!

  • Reply Ringo Huff February 21, 2014 at 1:36 am

    I am drooling over this. My wife’s weakness, chocolates and cupcakes. Been visiting your site for stuff like this. Getting new ideas for me to try. Thanks for sharing this.

  • Reply latifa July 19, 2013 at 9:56 am

    love the idea but the cupcake ended up too thick for my taste πŸ™

  • Reply Melissa December 14, 2012 at 2:24 pm

    I made these for a fundraiser at my mother’s work. Every year they have this and it’s called cupcake wars and the money earned goes to personal charities close to those in her department. I must say I am not afraid of any baking challenge and this cupcake, though many steps, was quite easy. They turned out wonderful! I was even able to share some with those that I love! I am getting ready to make the marshmallow cream for my daughter and mother to snack on! My mother is a sucker for some marshmallow cream and this way we know there are no additives!

  • Reply Jeniece June 27, 2012 at 8:59 pm

    The frosting tastes like marshmallow fluff, but in a good way! This is a chocolate and sugar overload and it’s so worth it! With three steps, it’s a bit of work and a few dishes, but I am definitely adding this to my recipe box! I even made a boo-boo by adding the vanilla into the icing with all of the other ingredients instead of waiting till the end and it turned out great.

  • Reply Hollie February 17, 2012 at 2:42 pm

    My frosting didn’t sit up either πŸ™
    After mixing for what seemed like forever (maybe 7-8 minutes) it was still runny. I had no choice but to throw it out and go with store bought. I was in a time crunch.
    Any luck with omitting water? I don’t know what I did wrong πŸ™

  • Reply Monica @ Soirees & Such January 6, 2012 at 2:53 am

    I really have to thank you for this recipe!! I made it for Christmas and it was AMAZING! I think I ate like 5 of them

  • Reply Chris January 5, 2012 at 3:28 am

    I just made these and they look amazing! But my frosting wouldn’t form stiff peaks. I’ve made meringue before with no problem, but I’ve never added water before. Any idea why I may have had some trouble?

    • Reply Adrianna January 5, 2012 at 4:48 am

      Hmm…not sure. I had to whip mine for a little longer than usual, but I’ve made this a few times and never had a problem. πŸ™

  • Reply Dana B @ thebakingbooth December 26, 2011 at 8:33 pm

    These look scrumptious!! I had Newman’s Own Organic Chocolate. Once. Vowed never again. Maybe it was old πŸ™ I agree with you 100% on candy canes tho! Aren’t the blue and yellow ones especially annoying?! egads. I may just have to start making my own πŸ™‚

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