Hot Chocolate Cupcakes with Peppermint Buttercream and Mousse Filling

These festive holiday hot chocolate cupcakes are topped with the simplest peppermint flavored buttercream, filled with a creamy, milk chocolate mousse, and taste just like your favorite cup of wintery hot chocolate.


Hot Chocolate Cupcakes

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup hot water

Milk Chocolate Mousse

  • 1/4 cup hot water
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup milk chocolate chips
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tsp granulated sugar

Peppermint Buttercream and Topping

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 7 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 5-6 tbsp whole milk
  • 1/2 tsp peppermint extract
  • 16 mini candy canes, plus additional for crushing
  • 16 mini marshmallows


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake trays with 16 liners.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a large mixing bowl, add all cupcake dry ingredients and mix on medium low until combined. With the mixer on low, add in all cupcake wet ingredients, mixing continiously throughout each addition. Once combined, scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula, then mix on medium for about 2 minutes.
  3. Pour into lined cupcake trays and bake for 18-20 minutes, then let cool completely.
  4. Meanwhile, prepare the mousse filling. In a small bowl, combine the hot water and cocoa powder. Add the milk chocolate chips to a medium microwave safe bowl and microwave in 10 second increments, stirring between each, until smooth. Pour the cocoa mixture over the melted chocolate and stir until combined and smooth. Cool to room temperature.
  5. In the bowl of a stand mixer beat the cream and sugar until stiff peaks form. Fold in the cooled chocolate mixture with a spatula until combined. Refridgerate while you prepare the frosting.
  6. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a large mixing bowl, combine butter, powdered sugar, milk, and peppermint extract on low speed. Once combined beat for 1-2 minutes on medium until fluffy.
  7. To assemble, use a knife to cut a quarter-sized hole in the middle of each cooled cupcake. Remove about a 1-inch cube from each cupcake. Add the mousse to a pastry bag and fill each cupcake. Add peppermint buttercream to a pastry bag with an open star tip and pipe onto each cupcake.
  8. Stick the bottom end of each mini candy cane into a mini marshmallow. Carefully stick the hooked end of each candy cane into the side of each frosted cupcake. Sprinkle with adiditional crushed candy canes if desired and enjoy!