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Peppermint Hot Chocolate Cupcakes

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These Peppermint Hot Chocolate Cupcakes are the perfect holiday cupcake recipe! Minty, chocolatey, and impossible to resist!

a peppermint hot chocolate cupcake on a cupcake stand

And the count down begins- 9 days till Christmas! I still have no tree, just a few presents bought and no cards. I did however manage to whip up a few dozen batches of cookies last night that I hope to get shipped in the next day or two. It’s all about priorities people.

I am usually much farther along and way more prepared, but I choose to ignore all the things on my to-do list so go snowboarding all weekend instead.  Once December hits, that is pretty much my M/O. I also love the winter season, because it means I can drink as much hot chocolate as I want!

I LOVE hot chocolate, but I am a bit of a snob when it comes to drinking it. I have my preferred brands, no Swiss-Miss for this girl! So I decided to start playing around with the different hot chocolate mixes I have in my house to make different cupcake flavors. I actually have two different flavors for you this week.

This Peppermint Hot Chocolate cupcake is filled with marshmallow cream and topped with a white chocolate Swiss meringue buttercream. They are drizzled with peppermint ganache that I made with Hershey’s Candy Cane Kisses. I just can’t get enough of those!

closeup side view of a chocolate peppermint cupcake on a cupcake stand

These cupcakes do take a little time, and some patience to prepare. Once the cupcakes go in the oven, I make the marshmallow filling and set it aside. The white chocolate Swiss meringue buttercream is what takes the longest, it about a 20 minutes frosting between tempering the egg whites and beating them- but it is totally worth it.

I make the frosting last, and it is my favorite frosting to make. If you have never made a Swiss meringue buttercream before, I highly recommend checking out this post for some tips and tricks to making a successful frosting.

peppermint hot chocolate cupcake on an opened cupcake wrapper with a bite taken out

Your time and effort will totally pay off with these cupcakes because once you take that first bite, you won’t look back. Before you know it, you will be licking your fingers clean. The smooth frosting and sweet filling really compliment the dark chocolate cupcake. You will notice this recipe calls out for chocolate extract, which is a specialty ingredient. If you don’t have it, substitute it for an extra teaspoon of vanilla extract.

closeup of a peppermint chocolate cupcake on a cupcake stand

Peppermint Hot Chocolate Cupcakes

  • Author: Julianne Dell
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 24 Cupcakes


If you love peppermint hot chocolate, then these Peppermint Hot Chocolate Cupcakes are going to be a new favorite!


  • 1 Box Chocolate cake mix
  • 1/2 C Hot chocolate mix
  • 1 C Milk
  • 3 Large eggs
  • 1/2 C Vegetable oil
  • 3/4 C Sour Cream
  • 1 tsp Pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp Chocolate extract (or substitute with vanilla)

For the marshmallow filling

  • 1 C Unsalted butter (at room temperature)
  • 2 C Marshmallow fluff
  • 2 C Powdered sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 tbsp Heavy whipping cream

For the white chocolate buttercream

  • 1 lb (4 sticks) Unsalted butter (at room temperature)
  • 4 oz White chocolate, melted and cooled
  • 5 Large egg whites
  • 1 C plus 2 tbsp Granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp Pure vanilla extract

For the peppermint ganache

  • 2 oz Hershey’s Candy Cane Kisses
  • 1 tbsp Heavy whipping cream


  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. Combine cake mix with hot chocolate mix. Add milk, eggs, vegetable oil, sour cream, vanilla extract and chocolate extract. Beat on medium speed until all ingredients are well combined.
  3. Line a cupcake pan with liners and fill each one 2/3 full.
  4. Bake at 350°F for 12-16 minutes. Check for doneness by inserting a toothpick in the middle of the cupcake. If the toothpick comes out clean, your cupcakes are done.
  5. Allow cupcakes to cool completely.

For the marshmallow filling

  1. Allow butter to soften to room temperature. Combine butter and marshmallow fluff and beat on medium high speed until well combined and fluffy.
  2. Add powered sugar, one cup at a time. Beat on slow speed and increase to medium speed once some of the powdered sugar has been absorbed into the butter. Mixture will be very thick.
  3. Add a pinch of salt and 3 tablespoons of heavy whipping cream. Beat on medium high speed for 3-5 minutes until filling is fluffy.
  4. Pour marshmallow filling in a large piping bag or Ziploc bag and cut off the bottom edge of the bag.
  5. Core out the center of your cooled cupcakes with a knife or spoon, making a small hole. Fill each cupcake with the marshmallow filling. Set aside.

For the white chocolate buttercream

  1. Allow butter to come to room temperature. This is important! Do not try to rush it by microwaving it. I recommend cutting the butter into smaller sections to help it thaw quicker.
  2. Melt white chocolate in the microwave using a microwave proof bowl in 20-second increments until melted. Stirring after each 20 seconds.
  3. Combine sugar and egg whites in your stainless steel mixer bowl (or any heat proof bowl)
  4. Attached your candy thermometer to the side of the bowl
  5. Set your bowl over top of a pot with water, just enough to cover the bottom of the pot. You do not want the water to boil and touch the bottom of your mixing bowl. Heat on medium.
  6. Stir the egg whites and sugar constantly until the mixture reaches 150° F. This is the most important part; you do not want to egg whites to cook- so keep stirring! I have read that you can heat it be anywhere between 120° F – 160° F. When it reaches 150° F, the sugar should be dissolved in the egg whites. You can test this by placing a drop on your fingertips and rubbing them together. The mixture should be completely smooth.
  7. Place the mixing bowl on your stand. Using the wire whisk attachment beat the eggs. Start on low speedand increase the speed to medium after 2 minutes.
  8. Beat for another 3 minutes on medium. At this point, your frosting should have turned white as the egg whites are whipped and the body of the meringue starts to form.
  9. After the first 5 minutes, increase speed to high. You will notice that as you increase the speed, the body of your meringue will also increase. It will start to look glossy as the peaks begin to form. Beat for another 5 minutes.
  10. After you have beaten the meringue for a total of about 10 minutes, the bottom of your mixing bowl should be cooled completely. Your SMB should look kind of like whipped cream. Scrape down all sides and bottom of the bowl.
  11. Turn your mixer down to medium-low. Slowly add your softened butter, about 1 tbsp at a time, ensuring it is mixed well after each addition. Once you have added all your butter, add vanilla extract. Mix for another minute and scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  12. Pour in melted white chocolate and switch to the paddle attachment and continue beating on medium to allow all the air bubbles to escape. In about 2-3 minutes the frosting is smooth. If your frosting has not formed yet, continue to beat until it is light and fluffy.
  13. Frost the marshmallow filled cupcakes.

For the peppermint ganache

  1. Combine Hershey’s Candy Cane Kisses and heavy whipping cream in a microwave safe bowl. I recommend cutting the kisses into smaller pieces. Microwave for 30 seconds and stir. Continue microwaving until melted. Drizzle over frosted cupcakes.
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: homemade cupcakes, christmas cupcakes, holiday baking

Leave a Comment

Recipe rating

15 Responses
  1. Julie @ This Gal Cooks

    Ok, not only are these beautiful cupcakes, they look like something that makes me want to lose all control and eat a ton of! Great recipe, Julianne!

  2. Emily @ It Bakes Me Happy

    These look divine! Thanks for linking up at Showcase Your Talent, you were one of my features this week, pinned these tasty little beauties too!

  3. Crissy R.

    Hi! These look amazing! But I have a question. You recipe says 1/2 hot chocolate mix. Does that mean 1/2 of a packet of hot chocolate or 1/2 a cup of hot chocolate? Please let me know. I want to make these on Christmas Eve…

      1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
        Beyond Frosting

        Hi Sarah, the cupcakes can for sure be made ahead of time, and stored in an airtight container. You can make the buttercream ahead of time and store at room temperature, but make sure the frosting is cooled before you store it. You may want to rewhip it before piping. I have not tried to make the filling ahead of time.

  4. Laura @ Laura's Culinary Adventures

    So pretty! I think you have the right attitude about Christmas. You should spend you time with those you love, family and friends.

  5. Jordan Hansen

    These cupcakes look AMAZING! But so does everything on your blog. Pinning this and probably about 50 other recipes of yours 🙂

  6. Lauren @ Dash of Soul

    I’m snobby about my hot chocolate too! Why waste the calories on a drink with no real chocolate in it? I prefer the real thing with lots of whipped cream on top. 🙂 These look fabulous, especially with the peppermint ganache on top!

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