Chef Nicole Smathers’s Hot Cocoa Cupcakes


A delicious hot cocoa cupcakes recipe from our Executive Chef, Nicole Smathers.


A plate of hot cocoa cupcakes with chocolate chips and candy cane garnish

Nicole Smathers's Hot Cocoa Cupcakes

Cocoa mix cupcakes topped with chocolate frosting and marshmallows


  • Cupcake pan
  • Large mixing bowls
  • Electric mixer
  • Measuring cups
  • Cupcake liners
  • Piping bag
  • Star tip


Cupcake Ingredients

  • 1 box Chocolate cake mix
  • 1/2 cup Water
  • 1/3 cup Cooking oil
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1/2 cup Hot cocoa mix
  • 1 3.5 oz Chocolate pudding

Frosting Ingredients

  • 2 sticks Butter softened
  • 3-4 cups Powdered sugar
  • 3 tbsp Heavy cream
  • 3 tbsp Chocolate syrup
  • Dehydrated marshmallow bits or mini marshmallows


Chocolate Cupcake Directions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with baking liners.
  • In a large bowl, add cake mix, water, eggs, and oil.
  • Using an electric hand or stand mixer, mix on medium for 1 minute or until ingredients are thoroughly combined. Mix in the hot cocoa mix.
  • Fill each muffin cup 2/3 of the way with batter.
  • Bake for 18-20 minutes or until cupcakes spring back when touched. Allow to cool completely.

Chocolate Frosting Directions

  • In a large mixing bowl and using an electric or stand mixer, beat the butter on high for 2 minutes or until light and fluffy.
  • Mix in the chocolate syrup.
  • Add in the powdered sugar and chocolate pudding, alternating with the heavy cream until smooth and forms small, stiff peaks.
  • Add frosting to the piping bag and frost cupcakes.
  • Sprinkle it with marshmallow bits or min marshmallows.