Hot Cocoa Cupcakes

Hot Cocoa Cupcakes
Photo: Jason Donnelly
Prep Time:
40 mins
Cool Time:
5 mins
Bake Time:
20 mins
Stand Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
40 mins
28 cupcakes


  • ¾ cup butter

  • 3 eggs

  • 2 ¼ cup all-purpose flour

  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

  • 1 tablespoon instant espresso coffee powder or instant coffee crystals

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • 1 ¾ cup sugar

  • ¼ cup coffee liqueur

  • 2 teaspoon vanilla

  • 1 ¼ cup chocolate milk

  • Marshmallow-Coffee Frosting

Marshmallow Coffee Frosting

  • 1 ½ cup sugar

  • cup cold water

  • 2 egg whites

  • ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar

  • 1 tablespoon coffee liqueur

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla


  1. Allow butter and eggs to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour twenty-eight 2 1/2-inch muffin cups or line with paper bake cups. In a medium bowl, stir together flour, 1/2 cup cocoa powder, espresso powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

  2. In a large bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Gradually add sugar, beating on medium speed until combined. Beat for 2 minutes more, scraping side of bowl occasionally. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in liqueur and vanilla. Alternately add flour mixture and chocolate milk, beating on low speed after each addition just until combined. Beat on medium to high speed for 20 seconds more. Spoon batter into the prepared cups, filling each about three-fourths full.

  3. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 to 18 minutes or until tops spring back when lightly touched. Cool in pans on wire racks for 5 minutes. Remove from pans; cool completely on racks.

  4. Increase oven temperature to 450°F. Pipe or spread Marshmallow-Coffee Frosting onto tops of cupcakes. Place frosted cupcakes on a large baking sheet. Bake in the preheated oven about 5 minutes or until frosting is lightly browned. Cool completely on wire racks.

Marshmallow Coffee Frosting

  1. In the top of a 2-quart double boiler combine sugar, the cold water, egg whites, and cream of tartar. Beat on low speed for 30 seconds. Place the double boiler top over boiling water (upper pan should not touch water). Cook, beating constantly on high speed, for 10 to 13 minutes or until a thermometer registers 160°F, stopping and quickly scraping bottom and sides of pan every 5 minutes to prevent sticking. Remove pan from heat. Add liqueur and vanilla. Beat about 1 minute or until frosting is fluffy and holds soft peaks (tips curl).

To prevent frosting from becoming gritty, do not scrape the sides of the bowl while beating over the double boiler.

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