Hot Chocolate Cupcakes! Your favorite cool weather drink made into a cupcake. Rich chocolate flavored with cinnamon & topped with marshmallow frosting! Gluten free & vegan recipe! A perfect dessert for winter.
It’s your favorite cool weather drink made into a cupcake! These cupcakes are flavored with hot chocolate mix and cinnamon and topped with a fluffy marshmallow buttercream frosting. Transform them into Mexican hot chocolate cupcakes with the addition of chili powder (hint: it’s totally amazing!). No matter which way you enjoy them, they are the perfect dessert for winter!
How to Make Hot Chocolate Cupcakes
Start with preheating the oven to 350F and lining a muffin tin with liners or spraying with a neutral flavored oil. This will make 12 cupcakes so you should only need one pan.
In a small mixing bowl, let’s first make our flax egg. Combine the ground flax seeds with the almost boiling water. Mix it really well and set it aside for 5-10 minutes. You want it to become very gelatinous in texture. This is what helps to bind the cupcake together so you want to make sure the water is super hot to help activate the flax seeds!
While the flax is getting ready, in a large mixing bowl, begin to combine your wet ingredients. Mix the milk of your choice (I really like oat or soy in these cupcakes) with the oil, sugar, vanilla, and applesauce. The applesauce also helps to bring moisture to these gluten free cupcakes and keeps them from being too grainy after baking.
After a few minutes, the flax seed should be ready to add to the wet ingredients. Whisk it together before adding the dry.
Now, you can mix the dry ingredients together in another small mixing bowl and add them together to the wet ingredients, but I’ll tell you a secret: I almost never do that. This recipe is pretty hearty and doesn’t require a delicate mixing of ingredients. So feel free to go ahead and just throw the ingredients into the bowl without sifting together!
Add your dry ingredients to your wet and give them a good mix. No need to worry about over-developing the gluten, after all!
Here is where you can make a little variation! To keep these plain hot chocolate, simply add the hot chocolate mixture. To make them Mexican hot chocolate, add a teaspoon of cinnamon and a ½ teaspoon of chili/cayenne powder. Go ahead and make them more or less spicy to your tastes! Any way you make them is a delicious dessert!
Spoon the batter into the prepared cupcake liners until the cupcakes are about ⅔ (this makes the cupcakes level with the paper liner) to ¾ (this makes the cupcakes have a soft dome to their top) full.
Bake in the oven for 23-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center pulls clean!
It is super important that for the first 20 minutes of baking you do NOT open the oven door! This is when the magic of the baking powder happens and is what helps the cupcakes rise.
Let the cupcakes cool completely before frosting.
Making the Marshmallow Buttercream
In a stand mixer or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, combine butter of your choice with marshmallows. Whip it together for about 5 minutes, or until the mix is light and fluffy.
You can use marshmallow fluff or melted vegan marshmallows for this recipe. Both make an amazing tasting marshmallow buttercream!
After the butter and marshmallows have combined, add the vanilla, cinnamon, and powdered sugar. Starting slowly, mix them together. You may need to add a spoonful of milk or water to help it combine.
Whisk this together for another 4-5 minutes or until the frosting has doubled in size and is light and fluffy. Transfer to a piping bag to get swirls on top or use a knife and generously frost each cupcake.
Totally optional, you can melt ¼ cup of chocolate chips with a splash of milk to make the chocolate drizzle like you see on these cupcakes! I think it adds a nice final touch to the cupcakes and makes them extra special. Other ideas for final toppings include more marshmallows, a sprinkle of hot chocolate mix, or a sprinkle of cinnamon.
Allergy Variations for Hot Chocolate Cupcakes
These cupcakes are gluten free, vegan, and top 8 friendly.
If you have a birch allergy, make sure your gluten free blend is free from xanthan gum! You can swap out the applesauce with your favorite vanilla flavored yogurt.
If you are allergic to corn, you need to make sure that your confectioners sugar is free from corn! The brand Wholesome makes a corn free sugar that uses tapioca in place of cornstarch.
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Hot Chocolate Cupcakes
- 2 tablespoon ground flax seeds
- 5 tablespoon hot water
- 1 cup milk of choice rice, soy, oat
- ¾ cup white sugar
- ½ cup oil canola or vegetable
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup applesauce plain, unsweetened (see note if allergic)
- 1 ¼ cup gluten free flour blend
- ⅓ cup hot chocolate mix can use cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- sprinkle of salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon, optional
- ½ teaspoon chili powder, optional
- ½ cup butter of choice, softened
- ⅓ cup marshmallows fluff or melted vegan marshmallows both work!
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2-3 cups confectioner's sugar (see note if allergic)
- splash milk, optional
Hot Chocolate Cupcakes
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Prepare a muffin tin with liners or lightly spray with a neutral flavored oil. Set aside.
- In a small mixing bowl, combine the flax seeds with the hot water. Mix well and set aside for 5-10 minutes to allow the flax to get gelatinous.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the milk, oil, sugar, vanilla, and applesauce. Add flax and mix well.
- Begin to add your dry ingredients beginning with the hot chocolate mix, then baking powder, baking soda, salt, flour, and spices if adding. Mix together until no lumps remain and batter is smooth.
- Pour batter into the prepared muffin tin until each cup is between ⅔ and ¾ full.
- Bake for 23-25 minutes, making sure to not open the oven for the first 20 minutes of baking. Cupcakes will be done when there is no wiggle in the cupcake and a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. Let the cakes cool completely before frosting.
- To store cupcakes, keep in the fridge for up to 5 days. These can be frozen before frosting. Let come to room temperature before frosting. Can be stored for up to 3 months in the freezer.
- In a large bowl with a hand mixer, or in a stand mixer, combine the butter and marshmallows. Mix well until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
- Add the sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt and mix. Start off slow so sugar does not get everywhere! Mix until the frosting has doubled in size and is light and fluffy. You may need to add a splash of milk to get the right consistency. Transfer to a piping bag if using or use a knife to spread onto each cupcake.
Hot Chocolate Cupcakes