Cinnamon, Mexican chocolate, and a little spicy kick make these cupcakes perfect for fall!
❤️ Why you'll love it
- Deliciously soft, tender cupcake
- Chocolate buttercream with hints of cinnamon and spice
- So much fun for a Mexican-inspired theme party, holiday-break activities with the kids, or a regular chilly winter evening
These Mexican hot chocolate cupcakes taste just like a cozy cup of hot cocoa, complete with Mexican chocolate frosting and a dollop of toasted marshmallow buttercream, too. After all, what's hot chocolate without some marshmallows?!
This is an overview of the ingredients. You'll find the full measurements and instructions in the green recipe card (printable) at the bottom of the page.
This is an overview of the instructions. Full instructions are in the green recipe card at the bottom of the page.
- In an electric mixer bowl, beat together the butter, sugar, Mexican chocolate, and eggs.
- Add the oil, room temperature buttermilk, and vanilla extract.
- Stir in the dry ingredients (flour, cocoa powder, salt, leaveners.)
- Mix in espresso and bake.
- In a small bowl, beat the heavy whipping cream and chocolate.
- Add the hot chocolate mix.
- Stir the chocolate/heavy cream sauce into the confectioner's sugar/butter mixture.
- Frost with a spatula or piping bag.
Spicy Mexican chocolate cupcakes always hit the spot—so be sure to make a double batch if you have a big family! They keep pretty well.
Just cover the frosted cupcakes with plastic wrap or put them in an airtight container. Or, use a cupcake carrier! Store at room temperature for up to three days.
Unfrosted cupcakes can be frozen for up to 3 months. Wrap them well with a double layer of plastic wrap. You can frost them from frozen; they'll thaw within a couple of hours at room temperature.
- Mexican Chocolate: If you can't find Mexican chocolate in local grocery stores, use 3.2 oz of milk, semi-sweet, or dark chocolate. Then, add ½ teaspoon each of ground chipotle chiles and cinnamon.
- More Spice: Add a pinch of cayenne pepper if you want a little kick.
- No Espresso: If you don't have any espresso, you can use instant espresso powder in hot water or strong black coffee.
- More Cinnamon Flavor: Grate a fresh cinnamon stick over top for yummy garnish.
- Marshmallows: Short on time? Add mini marshmallows to the top of each cupcake instead of making the marshmallow buttercream.
- Buttermilk Swap: Run out of buttermilk? You can make your own with lemon juice and milk, or use sour cream in its place.
- Make Minis: Instead of a traditional cupcake tin, use a mini muffin tin to make cute mini Mexican hot chocolate cupcakes. Bake time will be lower.
💭 Things to know
Expert Tip: Make sure your ingredients are at room temperature before getting started baking. Pull them out of the fridge in advance for best results.
- Butter is at room temperature when you can easily press into it with very gentle pressure from your finger.
- Prep the pan with paper liners, or use reusable silicone cupcake liners.
- After adding the flour mixture to the cupcake batter, don't mix it too much—just use low speed until everything comes together smoothly.
- For the buttercreams, you can use the whisk attachment of your mixer. However, when mixing the cake batter, use the paddle attachment.
- Fill the cupcake tins ¾ of the way full so that they are the proper size after rising in the oven.
- If you overbake the cupcakes they'll be dry. Start testing for doneness a few minutes before the bake time is over. Use a toothpick or cake tester and as soon as there is no wet batter on the tester, they're done!
- To make the chocolate swirl garnish, line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Pipe melted chooclate in swirls and let set.
- Always let cupcakes cool fully on a wire rack before frosting, otherwise your buttercream will melt!
- Frost cupcakes in swirls with a spatula. For a more finished look, use a piping bag and a neat piping tip.
Nope! Coffee enhances the chocolate flavor in these spicy chocolate cupcakes, but you don't really taste it. If you're absolutely against using coffee, you can replace it with water.
They aren't! They have a hint of spice, but the creamy, smooth frosting helps balance it a bit. They're perfectly flavored and a fun twist on ordinary chcolate cupcakes.
Since it's made from ground cacao nibs, it's a bit grainier than traditional chocolate.
📚 Related recipes
- Add these Marble Cupcakes to your must-try cupcake recipes list. The moist cupcakes are marbled with dark chocolate and almond and covered with chocolate frosting, marshmallow topping, AND a cherry!
- For a spooky Halloween give these black velvet cupcakes a try.
- Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes are moist, tender, and delicious, but the easy Maraschino frosting is really the cherry on top—it's so addictive!
- For an easier version of your favorite classic cake, try these Black Forest Cake Cupcakes. The boozy cherry pie filling and whipped cream topping perfectly compliment the decadent, rich chocolate cupcake.
🍽️ Serve with...
📞 The last word
If you click on the number of servings in the recipe card you can adjust the measurements up or down for the exact number of servings you need. Don't forget that you can click on "add to collection" to save it to your own, private recipe box!
If you love this recipe please give it 5 stars! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Mexican Hot Chocolate CupcakesPrint Pin Recipe Save Go to Collections
- ¼ cup butter, room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 3.2 ounces Mexican Chocolate, I used 1 disc of Ibarra
- 2 eggs, room temperature
- 3 egg yolks, room temperature
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- ⅓ cup buttermilk
- 1 cup flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ cup dark cocoa powder
- ½ cup espresso, cooled to room temperature
Hot Chocolate Frosting
- ½ cup unsalted butter
- 4 cups Confectioner's sugar
- ⅓ cup heavy cream
- 3.2 ounces Mexican chocolate
- 1 ounce instant hot chocolate mix, 1 packet
- 1 tablespoon chocolate instant pudding mix
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Mexican Hot Chocolate Cupcakes
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Mix the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and cocoa - set aside.
- Whisk the oil, buttermilk, and vanilla together - set aside.
- Heat the chocolate in the microwave until it is very soft - it won't get runny because of how Mexican chocolate it made.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer beat the butter and sugar until well combined.
- Beat the chocolate into the butter mixture.
- Add the eggs and egg yolks, one at a time until well blended.
- Add the the oil mixture.
- With the mixer on low add the dry ingredients until just combined.
- Blend in the espresso.
- Fill cupcake liners ⅔ full.
- Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Let cupcakes rest in the cupcake tins for a minute or two before removing them to a cooling rack.
- Frost when completely cool.
Hot Chocolate Frosting
- Heat the cream just under a boil in the microwave.
- Add the Mexican chocolate and stir until thick and creamy - no lumps remain. It will be a little grainy because of the Mexican chocolate - it's ok.
- Stir in the hot chocolate mix and set aside.
- In the bowl of your mixer cream the butter.
- With mixer on low beat in half the Confectioner's sugar until crumbly.
- Add the remaining Confectioner's sugar and pudding mix.
- Beat until well mixed.
- With mixer running slowly pour in the cream mixture.
- Blend well and then turn the mixer up to medium high and whip until light and fluffy.
- Swirl the hot chocolate frosting on the cupcake.
- If you don't have espresso just use a strong, black coffee.
- Make sure all ingredients are at room temperature.
- Don't overbake the cupcakes - they'll be dry.
- Fill cupcake pans ¾ to allow them to rise properly in the oven.
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First published October 16, 2017. Last updated September 21, 2022 with better images and tips.
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You'll need the following items to make this recipe successfully.
I want to make mini cupcakes. WhT would be the appropriate amount of time as to not over bake?
I've never made them that way - I'd check at 10 minutes.
I made these for my niece’s bridal shower. Her fiancé is Mexican and I wanted a nod to his family for the event. They were delicious! Just the right amount of spice. I made it as described - no changes. I was able to find Abuelita instant hot cocoa at my local grocery store and they had the chocolate there as well. All positive reviews! Wonderful balanced flavors with the cocoa buttercream and the marshmallow buttercream. They were a hit! Glad I used this recipe over others.
What is the garnish on the hot chocolate cupcakes?
melted chocolate formed into a shape and let cool.
I'm only 1/2 way through the process on these cupcakes and they smell divine but they deflated. I took to heart not cooking them too long and they came out of the oven perfect, but deflated after resting a bit. Not sure what I did wrong but I guess it just means more frosting!
Catherine @ Whine and Dancing
These cupcakes look divine! I have a huge weakness for chocolate, especially rich, high quality chocolate. I want to just dive into those cupcakes right now!
🙂 thanks! They're one of my favorite flavors.