Hot Cocoa Cupcakes – January Birthdays

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January Birthdays at work and time for a new cupcake creation…something wintery was the inspiration and after a lot of suggestions, I created the Hot Cocoa Cupcake. I’m sure tons of people have done similar things and I am not the first to do this – but this is my version. Enjoy!

Hot Cocoa Cupcakes with Marshmallow Buttercream

Yields 18 cupcakes

Ingredients:
1 Cup cocoa powder (unsweetened)
2 Cups water boiling
2 3/4 Cups flour, all-purpose sifted
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 Cup butter, unsalted softened
2 1/2 Cups sugar, white
4 Each egg, whole
1 1/2 tsp extract, vanilla
14 ounces marshmallow fluff
2 cups Crisco, white
4 cups sugar, powdered, sifted
2 Tbls milk
2 Tbls cocoa, sweetened or chocolate drink mix (like Nesquik)
54 mini marshmallows

Directions:

In a medium bowl, combine cocoa with boiling water, mixing with whisk until smooth. Cool completely. Sift flour with soda, salt and baking powder.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease well and lightly flour three 9 inch layer cake pans. In a large bowl, beat butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla on high speed, about 5 minutes.

At low speed, beat in flour mixture in fourths, alternating with cocoa mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Do not overbeat.

Line muffin tins with cupcake papers. Dish cupcakes and bake for 20 minutes until toothpick insert into the center comes out clean.

Cool completely.

Meanwhile, beat Crisco and fluff on medium high until light and fluffy and well combined. Reduce speed to low, slowly add sifted powdered sugar until completely incorporated. Add milk until smooth and pipable.

Pipe cupcakes with icing. Sprinkle each with sweetened cocoa/drink mix and top with 3 mini marshmallows.

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