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Looking for the perfect holiday dessert recipe? Try these fun, festive and super easy Hot Cocoa Cupcakes with marshmallow frosting!
Scroll down for the recipe for Hot Cocoa Cupcakes or PIN IT for later!
Happy December, friends! I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving with lots of good food, precious time with loved ones and plenty of good naps!
With December officially here, I hope you are as giddy as I am to dive head first into the remaining holiday season! Since I’m a firm believer in truly celebrating each individual holiday, we don’t put up our Christmas tree, or any other Christmas/winter décor for that matter, until after Thanksgiving. I won’t even listen to a single holiday song or watch any cheesy holiday rom coms until December because I want to truly savor the fun this time of year brings.
But now that December is here, you better believe the stockings are hung, our calendar is booked with holiday parties and events, our advent calendar is being broken into and all the holiday classics are blasting from my speakers.
With so many fun traditions and special events this time of year, one can easily get overwhelmed with trying to make things picture perfect and do it “all”. In fact, I’ve already taken a look at our Christmas bucket list and other commitments to try and eliminate things. However, I’ve decided that instead of completely doing away with certain traditions that I want to do with my family, I can make things easier on myself with help, either from my husband or from the store. 😊
For instance, many, many years ago, my husband and I started a tradition of making and decorating a gingerbread house together. It started with me making the house, from scratch, and then evolved into making our houses using graham crackers. And now? Due to time constraints, I happily pick up a gingerbread house “kit” from the store! The memories and fun are still there, but some of the stress around this beloved tradition has been taken away.
Another one of our traditions is to go and cut down our Christmas tree. Most years this a fun day long outing that we always look forward to. However, sometimes when we are doing a lot of traveling during the holiday season, or if we’ve had really bad weather, we can’t make it to the tree farm. Instead we pick up a tree at Walmart while getting our grocery shopping done and that is totally ok!
And I LIVE for all the holiday baking during this time of year! Baking with my Mom during the holiday season was something I ALWAYS looked forward to and is a tradition I desperately want to continue with my own children. But between you and me, sometimes I take
shortcuts help there too! Like keeping a few Duncan Hines® Devils Food Cake Mixes or Duncan Hines® Dark Chocolate Brownie Mixes in my pantry to whip up quick and easy holiday desserts.
Yes, while I love baking from scratch, using a cake or brownie mix, like those from Duncan Hines, not only create delicious desserts (hello Easy Apple Crumble and my Lemon Ricotta Cake!), but are convenient and affordable; in fact, Duncan Hines cake and brownie mixes only cost $1.00!
Hot Cocoa Cupcakes
So, on my recent trip to Walmart to stock up on holiday décor, I threw a few Duncan Hines cake and brownie mixes in my cart. My Mom has always been a brand loyalist to Duncan Hines and so these are the mixes I use too! On my recent shopping trip, I grabbed Duncan Hines Devils Food Cake Mix and Duncan Hines Dark Brownie Mix. Duncan Hines Dark Brownie Mix creates extra thick, fudgy and irresistible Dark Chocolate Fudge brownies that ooze fudge out of every bite and can easily be customized by stirring in mint baking chips or caramel pieces.
And while these Mint Chocolate Chip Cupcakes are one of my favorite ways to “doctor” a Duncan Hines Devils Food Cake Mix, I wanted to get in the holiday spirit with an even easier semi-homemade cupcake recipe; and thus these Hot Cocoa Cupcakes were born!
These Hot Cocoa Cupcakes are so easy to make and start with a perfectly moist batter using a box of Duncan Hines Devils Food Cake Mix. The actual cake part of this cupcake recipe only has 5 simple ingredients – Duncan Hines Devils Food Cake Mix, milk, hot cocoa mix, butter or oil and eggs. I then created a homemade marshmallow frosting, using store bought marshmallow crème, that made these simple cupcakes divine! Add some mini marshmallows and chocolate sprinkles and you have an incredibly easy, yet fun and festive treat worthy of any holiday party!!
What are your favorite holiday baking recipes? Please share in the comments below!
- Hot Cocoa Cupcakes:
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 packet hot cocoa mix (about 2 tablespoons)
- 1 (15.25-ounce) box Duncan Hines Devils Food Cake Mix
- 4 large eggs
- ½ cup melted unsalted butter or canola oil
- Marshmallow Frosting:
- 3 tablespoons whole milk
- 1 packet hot cocoa mix (about 2 tablespoons)
- 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 4 cups confectioners' sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 (7-ounce) jar marshmallow crème
- For Decorating (optional):
- Chocolate sprinkles
- Mini Marshmallows
- For Hot Cocoa Cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F Line two muffin tins with approximately 24 paper cupcake liners or spray pan with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
- Heat milk in a glass measuring cup in the microwave for 30-60 seconds, or until warm. Stir in packet of hot cocoa, stirring until well combined.
- In a large bowl, whisk together cake mix, eggs, melted butter and prepared hot cocoa; stirring just until combined and there are no lumps. Using an ice cream scoop or large cookie scoop, divide batter evenly among cupcake liners.
- Bake cupcakes in preheated 350-degree oven for 15-18 minutes or until the tops of the cupcakes spring back when lightly touched and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Allow cupcakes to cool inside the muffin tins for 1-2 minutes, before transferring cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely. Once cupcakes are completely cool, prepare frosting.
- For Marshmallow Frosting: Heat milk in a glass measuring cup in the microwave for 30-60 seconds, or until warm. Stir in packet of hot cocoa, stirring until well combined.
- Cream butter in a mixing bowl with an electric mixer on medium until butter is soft and fluffy. Gradually beat in 1-2 cups of confectioners' sugar, about 1/2 cup at a time. Beat in vanilla extract and 1 tablespoon of prepared hot cocoa.
- Gradually beat in remaining confectioners' sugar and prepared hot cocoa until a somewhat thick frosting is formed.
- Gently fold in the jar of marshmallow creme into the frosting until thoroughly incorporated.
- Frost cooled cupcakes with frosting and top with sprinkles and mini marshmallows, if desired.
Frosted cupcakes should be kept in the refrigerator until serving.
Stock up on Duncan Hines cake mixes, brownie mixes and prepared frostings on the baking aisle of your local Walmart or via Walmart’s Online Grocery. And for a limited time, be sure and check out this Ibotta offer. For more holiday recipe inspiration and baking tips, follow Duncan Hines online, including Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter!