Come Christmas time, I always try to find an infinite number of ways to make chocolate peppermint treats! So I was thinking about how cute it would be to put marshmallows on top of cupcakes and thus these peppermint hot chocolate cupcakes were born! They have a rich peppermint chocolate cake base and are topped with a light peppermint whipped cream! Then sprinkled with marshmallows and crushed candy canes of course.
- Cocoa powder - My favorite cocoa powder to use in my baking is the King Arthur Flour Triple Cocoa Blend! It's a blend of natural, Dutch, and black cocoa and is perfect for any baking. But this recipe will work great with whatever cocoa you have on hand! I also love the Ghirardelli Natural Cocoa.
- Peppermint extract - You can find peppermint extract next to the vanilla at the grocery store, but I prefer this Taylor and Colledge Peppermint Paste! Just note that peppermint extract is very strong, so you only need a little bit for great peppermint flavor!
- Unflavored gelatin - This is optional, but great for keeping your whipped cream super stable! You should be able to find it in the baking aisle at your local grocery store.
stabilized whipped cream
You can use just regular whipped cream if you don't have gelatin lying around, but for piping I always prefer to stabilize the whipped cream so that it stays nice and pretty (aka doesn't start melting down the side of you cupcake after 12 hours).
You can also check out this blog post for all of my other tips for making good whipped cream!
- Add the water to a microwave safe bowl and sprinkle the unflavored gelatin on top. Allow to sit for a few minutes.
- Transfer the gelatin mixture to the microwave and microwave for 5-10 seconds, until the gelatin is fully dissolved. Stir the mixture, then set aside to cool.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, or in a large mixing bowl using an electric mixer, combine the heavy whipping cream, powdered sugar, and peppermint extract. Whip the mixture until it starts to thicken and soft peaks form, then turn the mixer to low speed. Slowly pour in the gelatin mixture until well combined. Increase the mixer to medium speed and continue mixing until stiff peaks form.
cupcake decorating tips
- To decorate all of my cakes and cupcakes, I use this Wilton Decorating Kit* and I love it! It’s super easy to use and has a ton of tips in different sizes. For these cupcakes, I used the 1M tip*.
- Make sure you let the cupcakes cool completely before frosting!! After frosting, garnish with mini marshmallows and crushed candy canes.
If you make these peppermint hot chocolate cupcakes, please leave us a star rating at the bottom of the page! This provides helpful feedback to both me and other readers. Happy baking!
Peppermint Hot Chocolate Cupcakes
- Chocolate Cupcakes1 ¼ cup cake flour, substitute all purpose flour½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder1 teaspoon espresso powder1 ½ teaspoons baking powder½ teaspoon kosher salt½ cup unsalted butter, melted1 cup granulated sugar2 eggs, room temperature½ teaspoon vanilla extract½ teaspoon peppermint extract½ cup buttermilk (substitute whole milk and 1 teaspoon lemon juice)Stabilized Whipped Cream2 cups heavy whipping cream, cold½ cup powdered sugar½ teaspoon peppermint extract2 teaspoons flavorless powdered gelatin2 tablespoons water
- Chocolate CupcakesPreheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a 12 cup muffin pan with cupcake liners.Whisk the flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl.In a separate bowl, whisk the melted butter, eggs, sugar, vanilla, and peppermint together until combined.Stir in about half of the flour mixture. Then stir in the buttermilk and the rest of the flour mixture and mix until fully combined.Pour about ¼ cup of batter into each cupcake liner (they should be about halfway full).Bake at 350 for 18-22 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.Remove from pan and let cool on wire rack.Let cupcakes cool completely before frosting.Stabilized Whipped CreamAdd the water to a microwave safe bowl and sprinkle the unflavored gelatin on top. Allow to sit for a few minutes.Transfer the gelatin mixture to the microwave and microwave for 5-10 seconds, until the gelatin is fully dissolved. Stir the mixture, then set aside to cool slightly.In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, or in a large mixing bowl using a hand mixer, combine the heavy whipping cream, powdered sugar, and peppermint extract. Whip the mixture until it starts to thicken and soft peaks form, then turn the mixer to low speed. Slowly pour in the gelatin mixture and mix on low until well combined. Increase the mixer to medium speed and continue mixing until stiff peaks form.Note: if the gelatin mixture thickens up too much before you add it to the whipped cream, just pop it back in the microwave for 3-5 seconds. It should be a pour-able consistency. Transfer the stabilized whipped cream into a piping bag fitted with a 1M tip and pipe swirls on each cupcake.Top with mini marshmallows and crushed candy canes.
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