food & recipes

Snow Day Hot Cocoa Cupcakes

Snow Day Hot Cocoa Cupcakes - On Monday, my plan was to shoot a DIY furniture upholstery post, but it snowed A LOT here. As I was almost ready to get started with the project, I realized I was out of staples and couldn’t exactly leave to go grab some. I was snowed in for the day, which is just fine considering I work from home, but it put a damper on my photoshoot plans. Despite the day not going as expected, I was feeling festive and decided to spend my lunch hour making one of my favorite snow day treats. It’s fun to pretend like you’re a carefree kid again when it snows. Ha! There’s something magical about a snow day that kind of does that to a person. Anyway, these cupcakes were too pretty not to share and I love shooting food, so if you’re interested- try these hot cocoa cupcakes or pin them for your next snow day! Click through for the recipe…

Snow Day Hot Cocoa Cupcakes - Don’t let the daunting ingredient list scare you- it goes really fast! I literally made these on my lunch break. You can also make these cupcakes as elaborate or indulgent as you like. I kind of went all out since I was snowed in and procrastinating. I added mini marshmallows, drizzled chocolate ganache, dusted them with powder sugar… the works. If you’re pressed for time or prefer a cupcake that is less rich, you can definitely skip the extra toppings- these are just as good with plain buttercream frosting, too! You could also save time and use a chocolate box cake mix, if you’d rather. I just prefer baking from scratch.



  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup hot water

Marshmallow Buttercream:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 oz marshmallow creme (a couple heaping spoonfuls)
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Dark Chocolate Buttercream:

  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 tablespoons premium cocoa powder
  • 3-4 cups powdered sugar
  • 2-3 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Chocolate Ganache:

  • 3-4 oz semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons milk


  • Powdered sugar (for dusting)
  • Mini marshmallows (for sprinkling)

Snow Day Hot Cocoa Cupcakes - Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two muffin tins with cupcake liners and set aside. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, cocoa powder, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. Use an electric hand mixer to beat the batter until well combined. Add in the vanilla, eggs, buttermilk, and vegetable oil, mixing on medium high speed until the batter is smooth… it will be thin, don’t worry! Pour the batter into prepared cupcake liners. Bake for 16-18 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Allow the cupcakes to cool on a wire rack and begin preparing the frosting.

Snow Day Hot Cocoa Cupcakes - Make the marshmallow buttercream… beat the softened butter with a stand mixer over medium speed until smooth and creamy. Add in the marshmallow creme and beat until well combined. Next, add the powdered sugar and vanilla, beating until the consistency is super smooth. Transfer the buttercream to a piping bag or plastic ziplock bag with the end snipped.

Snow Day Hot Cocoa Cupcakes - Next, make the chocolate buttercream. Using the same bowl and stand mixer, whip the butter and cocoa together until smooth. Stir in the vanilla extract. Add the powdered sugar one cup at a time. Slowly pour in the milk until the frosting reaches your desired consistency. Feel free to add more milk or powdered sugar until it meets your liking (or taste test). Scrape down the sides of the bowl and whip the frosting until it’s completely smooth- about 1 to 2 more minutes.

Snow Day Hot Cocoa Cupcakes - Whip the chocolate ganache. In a microwave safe bowl, add a splash of milk to the chocolate chips and heat on low in 20 second intervals until the chips can be stirred to a smooth consistency. Don’t be afraid to stir in more milk if your ganache isn’t drizzling very well.

Snow Day Hot Cocoa Cupcakes - Now it’s time to assemble the cupcakes! Pipe a ring around the outer edge of the cupcake using the marshmallow buttercream. Follow up with the chocolate buttercream, piping in a circular upward motion. Sprinkle on the mini marshmallows, then drizzle a tiny bit of ganache onto each cupcake. Lastly, using a sifter, lightly dust each cupcake with powdered sugar for a snow effect.

Snow Day Hot Cocoa Cupcakes - These certainly taste as good as they look! They’re a fun wintertime treat and I really did enjoy making and assembling this recipe. It would also be a fun Valentine’s Day surprise, if you’re into that sort of thing! Obviously I’ll take any excuse to bake and consume delicious chocolate (ahem, a snow day). Do you have a favorite winter dessert or guilty pleasure when it comes to food? For me, it’s probably a tie between french fries and anything chocolate. Haha! I’m not big on new year resolutions and after a lot of health and stomach issues last year, I’m saying yes to things that make me happy- including cupcakes, now that I can. I’m just excited to have my normal diet back. Cheers to that! Picture me raising a cupcake with a smile on my face.

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  • Reply
    January 23, 2019 at 4:12 am

    1. I love that you were out of staples, but had everything on that long list of cupcake ingredients in your pantry! You are my kind of people.
    2. “Prefer a cupcake that is less rich”…is that a thing?
    3. Although they’re rare, this teacher loves a snow day!!
    Beautiful photos…pinned for later.

    • Reply
      January 23, 2019 at 1:00 pm

      Haha!! I always have baking goods in the pantry :) lol! I’ve been eating them for breakfast! xo

  • Reply
    Kelsey Alexander
    January 23, 2019 at 6:08 am

    Yum! I cant wait to try these soon!!
    Hopefully this weeekend! I love baking!
    I just made an apple cake last night.
    Remember in high school before softball practice we would eat rice cakes. haha. I saw them at the store the other day and thought of you!

    • Reply
      January 23, 2019 at 1:00 pm

      Yay!! Let me know what you think :) The apple cake sounds delish!! I still like my rice cakes. haha! xox

  • Reply
    January 24, 2019 at 1:49 pm

    These cupcakes look beautiful and delicious! Pinning to try later!

    Enjoy your better health and the joyful things!

    • Reply
      January 24, 2019 at 3:25 pm

      Thanks Jessica! This year is off to a great start. All good things! Let me know what you think once you try them :)

  • Reply
    March 5, 2019 at 11:59 am

    You mention 1 c Hot Water in the cupcake ingredients, but not in the directions. What do I do with the water?

    • Reply
      March 6, 2019 at 3:44 pm

      Oops, sorry about that Angi! That goes in with the dry ingredients a little at a time (cocoa powder, etc).

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