Recipe: Chocolate Cupcakes with Marshmallow Cream

updated Jan 21, 2020
Chocolate Cupcakes with Marshmallow Cream
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(Image credit: Lauren Volo)

We made this sweet treat just for you, chocolate-lovers! These cupcakes skip on solid chocolate in favor of cocoa powder, but trust me — they’re doing it in the name of intense chocolate flavor. Cocoa powder joins forces with a bit of coffee to bring you the rich, deep, and intensely flavored chocolate cupcake you crave.

And because every good cupcake deserves an equally good frosting, the pillow of vanilla-scented marshmallow buttercream on top is just the right finishing touch.

Cocoa Powder and Coffee Deliver Big Chocolate Flavor

To achieve the deep chocolate flavor you expect in a good cupcake, this recipe relies on cocoa powder and hot coffee for an intensely rich, chocolate flavor. Cocoa powder is largely made from cocoa solids, has a concentrated flavor, and ounce for ounce has the power to bring more chocolate flavor to baked goods than its solid counterpart.

Coffee is a natural sidekick to chocolate, giving it a boost to make the flavor deeper and more rich. Don’t worry if you don’t like the taste of coffee — you don’t actually taste it in the cupcakes. The temperature of the coffee is also important, as the heat allows the cocoa powder to bloom and intensifies the flavor even more.

(Image credit: Lauren Volo)

Chocolate Cupcakes with Marshmallow Cream

Serves 12

Nutritional Info


For the cupcakes:

  • Cooking spray or paper liners

  • 1 cup

    granulated sugar

  • 3/4 cup

    plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 cup

    unsweetened natural cocoa powder

  • 3/4 teaspoon

    baking powder

  • 3/4 teaspoon

    baking soda

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    fine salt

  • 1

    large egg

  • 1/2 cup

    whole milk

  • 1/4 cup

    vegetable oil

  • 1 teaspoon

    vanilla extract

  • 1/2 cup

    hot, black coffee

For the frosting:

  • 1 cup

    (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature

  • 1

    (7.5-ounce) jar marshmallow fluff

  • 1 cup

    powdered sugar

  • 1 teaspoon

    vanilla extract


Make the cupcakes:

  1. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 350°F. Coat the wells of a 12-cup muffin pan with cooking spray or line with paper liners.

  2. Whisk the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. (Alternatively, use an electric hand mixer and large bowl.) Add the egg, milk, oil, and vanilla. Beat on medium speed until well-combined, about 2 minutes. Beat in the hot coffee. The batter will be quite thin. Divide the batter evenly between the wells in the pan, filling each no more than 3/4 full.

  3. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cupcakes comes out clean, 15 to 18 minutes. Cool the cupcakes in the tin for about 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely. Meanwhile, make the frosting.

Make the frosting:

  1. Place the butter and fluff in the clean bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. (Alternatively, use an electric hand mixer and clean bowl.) Beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Slowly add the powdered sugar while beating over low speed until incorporated. Beat in the vanilla.

  2. Frost the cooled cupcakes with a knife, or transfer the frosting to a pastry bag fitted with a round tip and pipe onto the cupcakes.

Recipe Notes

Make ahead: The cupcakes can be baked 1 day in advance before frosting. Store on a plate wrapped with plastic wrap or aluminum foil at room temperature.

Storage: Store the frosted cupcakes uncovered in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.