Go Back

Hot Cocoa Cupcakes

Dark chocolate cupcakes with thick chocolate ganache filling and fluffy hot cocoa frosting. 
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 18 mins
Course Dessert
Servings 12 cupcakes


For the Chocolate Cupcakes

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour spooned and leveled, see notes
  • 5 tablespoon cocoa powder Dutch process
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup softened unsalted butter
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg, at room temperature
  • 1 egg yolk, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ¼ cup sour cream, at room temperature
  • ½ cup whole milk, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoon instant coffee dissolved in 1 teaspoon water optional

For the Chocolate Ganache Filling

  • ½ cup heavy whipping cream
  • 4 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips or chopped baking chocolate

For the Hot Cocoa Frosting

  • ½ cup hot cocoa mix Swiss Miss milk chocolate (without marshmallows)
  • ¼ cup heavy whipping cream
  • ¾ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ cups powder sugar, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder Dutch process


For the Chocolate Cupcakes

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a cupcake pan with liners and set aside.
  • In a small bowl sift together the all-purpose flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  • Add the granulated white sugar and softened butter to a large bowl. Cream together with an electric mixer for 1-2 minutes.
  • Then add in the egg, egg yolk and vanilla and mix until pale in color and smooth, about 1 minute.
  • Next add in the sour cream and milk. Mix until combined.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and combine.
  • Lastly mix in the dissolved instant coffee.
  • Divide the batter between the 12 cupcake wells. Each should be ¾ of the way full. Bake the cupcakes for 17-19 minutes, or until a toothpick/cake tester comes out clean from the centers.
  • Let the cupcakes cool in the pan for 5 minutes then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely. 

For the Chocolate Ganache Filling

  • Heat heavy cream just until boiling. (You can do this on the stovetop or microwave).
  • Add the semi-sweet chocolate chips or chopped chocolate to a bowl and pour the hot cream over top.
  • Let it sit for a minute, then stir to combine everything. Let the ganache cool to about room temperature before filling the cupcakes with it.
  • Transfer the ganache to a piping bag once it has cooled. It should be thicker but still easily worked with.

For the Hot Cocoa Frosting

  • Add the hot cocoa mix and heavy cream to a microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 15-20 seconds. Stir to combine the cream and hot cocoa together. If the hot cocoa is not completely dissolved, microwave in 5 second intervals until it is. Let it cool to room temperature.
  • Add the butter and salt to a large bowl. Beat the butter with an electric mixer on high until it is super pale in color and fluffy, 5-7 minutes.
  • When the hot cocoa mixture is cooled to room temperature, add it and the powdered sugar a little at a time to the butter.
  • Lastly mix in the vanilla and cocoa powder.
  • Mix the frosting until it is light and fluffy, 1-2 more minutes.
  • Transfer the frosting to a piping bag fitted with a decorative tip. My favorite to use is my Wilton 1M tip.

Assembling the Cupcakes

  • Once the cupcakes are cooled, remove a bit of their centers. A cupcake corer is great for this.
  • Pipe a bit of chocolate ganache into the center of each cupcake.
  • Then pipe a generous amount of hot cocoa frosting onto the tops of each cupcake.
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to three days.


Measure your flour properly. This is always my #1 baking tip. Do not ever scoop a measuring cup into your flour. This will always lead to using too much flour. (Trust me, I've learned the hard way that I need to measure properly!) Instead scoop spoonfuls of flour into your measuring cup and swipe excess flour off with the back of a knife. Or better yet, weigh your flour. 1 cup of flour equals 120-125 grams.
Keyword chocolate, cupcakes, hot cocoa
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!