Hot Chocolate Cupcakes
Filling and Chocolate Whipped Cream Buttercream:
Preheat oven to 375. Line pans with 24 paper cupcake liners.
In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the cake mix, cocoa, cinnamon and cayenne pepper. Add the eggs, milk, sour cream, oil and vanilla. Mix on low speed to combine then on medium for 2-3 minutes, scraping the bowl down a few times, until well blended. Divide batter between the paper liners.
Bake for 15-17 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in the pans for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and cool completely. Use a cupcake corer to remove a little bit of cake out of the center of each.
Pour the whipping cream into the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whip for 3 minutes, then sprinkle in the ¼ cup powdered sugar. Continue whipping until medium/firm peaks form that can hold their shape. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
To make the buttercream, place the butter in the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. In a separate bowl, combine the cocoa powder, 1 ½ cups powdered sugar, meringue powder and cinnamon. With the mixer on low, add the dry ingredients and mix to combine. Add the vanilla and milk, then increase speed to medium/high and whip for 4-5 minutes, scraping the bowl occasionally, until the buttercream is very light and fluffy.
Scoop about a cup of the whipped cream into a piping bag fitted with a round tip. Pipe the cream into the center of each cupcake, filling the hole just to the top. Squeeze any whipped cream left in the piping bag back into the bowl.
Fold the remaining whipped cream into the chocolate buttercream in three additions, folding gently just until combined. Fit a piping bag with the Wilton #2D tip and fill with the whipped cream chocolate buttercream. Pipe onto the cupcakes. Garnish the frosted cupcakes with the candy canes and marshmallows.
Because the frosting contains whipped cream, cover the cupcakes and refrigerate if not eating right away. Take out of the fridge about an hour before serving.
Yields 24 cupcakes.
Recipe from Curly Girl Kitchen