Hot beverages, staying home and binging on “Homeland” were all I could be bothered to think about this weekend as I did my best to take shelter from DC’s now undeniable winter. Green tea lattes and hot chocolate happened to play a very large part in that effort, so I thought now would be a great time to share my recipe for hot-chocolate cupcakes.
I made these for an office birthday after racking my brain for days for ideas. My coworkers aren’t easily impressed, you see, but then I remembered an adage of mine: when in doubt, stuff a cupcake. It’s a strategy that never fails.
True to their name, these cupcakes call for a cup of piping hot chocolate along with a host of other tasty ingredients. Once baked, remove the cupcake cores and replace them with spoonfuls of creamy marshmallow fluff, because we all know that hot chocolate is best enjoyed with melted marshmallows, lots of them.
The hot-chocolate inspiration doesn’t end there either. Instead of the normal buttercream frosting, I paired these with a stabilized whipped cream frosting that has all of the lightness and taste of a whipped topping without any of the usual melting and mess. Win-win.
For the finishing touch, sprinkle each cupcake with ground cinnamon, and voilà! You’ll have two dozen hot chocolate cupcakes so true to their liquid inspiration that you’ll want to add baker/barista to your résumé.
Enjoy and stay warm out there.
- 1¼ cups sugar
- 1¾ cups flour
- ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
- 1½ teaspoons baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup milk
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup prepared liquid hot chocolate
- 1 (7oz) jar marshmallow fluff
- ½ to 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2½ teaspoons cornstarch
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ground cinnamon for sprinkling
- Heat oven to 350°F. Line two cupcake pans with liners.
- Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl.
- Transfer dry ingredients to bowl of a stand mixer and add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla, and beat on medium speed for 2 minutes.
- Stir in freshly made hot chocolate (meaning hot), and fill paper liners 2/3 of the way full.
- Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 22 to 25 minutes.
- Remove cupcakes from the oven and transfer on a wire rack to cool.
- Once cool, core cupcakes and fill each one with as much or as little marshmallow fluff as you'd like.
- Place metal stand mixer bowl and wire whisk beater in the freezer to chill.
- In a small saucepan, combine ½ cup powdered sugar and cornstarch, and whisk until mixed.
- Next, slowly whisk in ½ cup heavy cream until smooth.
- Place the saucepan on medium heat until mixture thickens and almost comes to a boil. Stir constantly to avoid burning at the bottom.
- Remove from heat, transfer to a bowl and set aside, stirring occasionally until it reaches room temperature.
- In the chilled bowl, combine the remaining 1½ cups heavy whipping cream and the vanilla, and beat with the chilled whisk until the cream begins to take shape.
- Next, add in the powdered sugar, cornstarch mixture a little at a time, and beat until the mixture forms stiff peaks. Be careful not to over beat.
- Taste the whipped cream frosting and if you decide you'd like to use more powdered sugar, go for it. Add and mix until it's to your liking.
- Transfer whipped cream to piping bags and frost hot-chocolate cupcakes.
- Finishing touch: sprinkle each cupcake with cinnamon.