These cute chocolate hot cocoa melting mugs are filled with an easy homemade hot cocoa mix and topped with marshmallows. Add to a hot cup of milk and watch the magic as it melts into the perfect cup of hot cocoa!
what makes these hot cocoa melting mugs so good?
- adorable little mug shape
- deliciously warm and chocolaty
- fun and easy to make!
- amazing treat to share with family or friends around Christmastime!
not a fan of chocolate + peppermint?
I'm the weirdest picky eater you may ever meet. I won't combine certain ingredients together in one recipe but I'll love them in another. Exhibit A: chocolate and peppermint. It is NOT my favorite combo (and you definitely will never catch me eating peppermint chocolate chip ice cream).
So if you don't love chocolate and peppermint, I see you lol. What I love to do with my melting cocoa mugs is hold onto the candy cane "handle" and swirl the chocolate mug around in the hot milk until it completely melts into the cup. The candy cane handle is then my little snack for later! You may get the FAINTEST peppermint flavor, but it's definitely not in your face.
If you love chocolate and peppermint, by all means, drop the whole chocolate mug into your cup of milk! The candy cane handle won't really dissolve into the drink, but it'll sink to the bottom and flavor it as you drink.
how to make hot cocoa melting mugs
1. Mix together hot chocolate mix ingredients. Set aside to make the mini chocolate mugs.
2. Melt chocolate.
3. Brush the bottoms and sides of 4 cupcake cups with melted chocolate. Chill until set. I like to pop mine into the freezer for faster chilling, but you can also place them in the fridge if you're not in a hurry!
4. Brush a second layer of chocolate on the sides. The sides can be very fragile, so a second coating of chocolate helps keep them sturdy! Set aside in the fridge or freezer again to set.
5. Pull the cupcake liners off the chocolate. Be gentle and take your time to make sure the chocolate doesn't break.
6. Dip the tops in melted chocolate and roll around in sprinkles or crushed candy canes. This part isn't necessary, but I think it gives it a cute looking rim!
7. Fill the cups with hot cocoa mix and mini marshmallows. You'll need about 2 tablespoons of mix per cup and then fill the rest of the cup with marshmallows going a little above the rim.
8. Finishing touches. Snap off the curved sides of 4 candy canes. Dip the ends in melted chocolate and stick onto the side of your chocolate cups.
One part of the candy cane will be resting on the top rim of the chocolate cup and the other part of the candy cane will be stuck to the side of the cup (as seen in the picture below). I find it's the sturdiest way to attach the candy cane!
Drizzle some melted chocolate on top of the marshmallows to help keep them in place, and your cute little mugs are ready!
how to use these melting mugs
Now that you've made your mugs, it's time for the best part: melting them! If you used store-bought hot chocolate mix to fill the cups, then prepare your milk according to the package instructions. Each chocolate mug will make about 1 cup of hot chocolate.
If you used the homemade hot chocolate mix that I outlined below, I would personally recommend melting your mugs in a mix of 1 part water, 1 part whole milk. The milk powder will make the mixture extra milky and rich. I find that using all milk to melt them makes for an OVERLY milky cup of hot cocoa. The water helps dilute it perfectly - but it's of course up to you and your preference!
- use good quality chocolate: You really can taste the difference - and good quality chocolate will melt more smoothly! You don't need to get anything crazy expensive, but do look for chocolate that's labeled "Baker's" or "couverture" - it's the most ideal for heating and melting.
- patience is key: The cupcake liners are going to want to move around a lot when you brush them with chocolate, so take it slow and steady! The liners may be a bit stubborn. Also, once the chocolate is set, the liners are going to be a bit tricky to pull off at first - but once you get the first piece pulled off, the rest is a breeze!!
- double layer the chocolate on the sides: The sides of these cups are quite fragile. So to make them less prone to cracking and breaking when you try to pull away the paper liner, brush on your chocolate, let it set in the freezer, then brush on a second layer of chocolate!
- keep everything cold: These cups are easiest to work with and decorate if they're cold. So it's best to pop them into the freezer whenever you're not working on them and if at any point you feel the chocolate softening.
Can I use store-bought hot chocolate mix?
Yes! Feel free to skip the homemade mix and just use your favorite package of store-bought hot chocolate. I just included how to make your own at home for anyone who wanted to make it from scratch!
Can I send these as gifts?
The chocolate in these cups isn't tempered. Tempered chocolate will set and stay firm at room temperature, whereas chocolate that hasn't been tempered will be extra soft and fragile if it's not stored in the fridge. If you want to send these as gifts, the process of melting the chocolate will be a little different. This article by Handle the Heat goes over how to temper chocolate in great detail if you want to give it a go!
Can I make these ahead?
You sure can. But again, if the chocolate isn't tempered, these need to be kept stored in the fridge.
How do I store melting hot cocoa mugs?
Keep hot cocoa mugs stored in an airtight container in a single layer. It's best to cover the bottom with parchment paper to keep them from sticking to your container.
How long do these keep?
You can keep these mugs stored in your fridge for practically as long as your ingredients will last. Whichever ingredient expires first will be your expiration date. So for example if all of your ingredients expire in 6 months but the powdered milk expires in 3, then your cocoa cups expire in 3 months. It is best to try to use the cups within about 1 to 2 months - the quality and flavor will diminish as time goes by.
check out these other recipes!
How to Make Hot Cocoa Melting Mugs
For the homemade hot chocolate mix (optional - skip if using store-bought mix):
- ¼ cup (20g) instant milk powder
- ¼ cup (30g) powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- pinch of salt
For the mug shaped melting cups:
- 6 ounces (170g) semi-sweet chocolate, about 1 cup finely chopped *see notes
- festive sprinkles and / or crushed candy canes (optional - for decorating the rims of the melting cups)
- mini marshmallows
- candy canes
- ½ cup (120mL) whole milk per melting mug (total of 2 cups milk if making all 4 mugs at once)
- ½ cup (120mL) water per melting mug (total of 2 cups water if making all 4 mugs at once)
make the hot chocolate mix:
- In a medium sized bowl, whisk together hot chocolate mix ingredients until combined and all major lumps are worked out. Set aside.¼ cup (20g) instant milk powder, ¼ cup (30g) powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, pinch of salt
make the mini melting mugs:
- Add chocolate to a medium microwave / heat safe bowl. Melt chocolate in your microwave or over a bain-marie.To melt in the microwave, heat the mixture on high for 20 seconds. Pause to stir, and continue heating in 10 second intervals, stirring after each burst, until fully melted and smooth.To melt over a bain-marie, fill a small pot with about 1 inch of water and bring the water up to a gentle simmer. Place the bowl of chocolate on top of the pot (making sure the bottom of the bowl doesn't touch the water). Heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture is melted and smooth.6 ounces (170g) semi-sweet chocolate,
- Set the chocolate aside for about 5 minutes to cool slightly. While you wait, line a standard sized cupcake tin with 4 paper liners.
- Pour about 1 tablespoon of chocolate into each cupcake liner. Use a brush to coat the bottoms and all the way up the sides of the liners with melted chocolate. If needed, pour in a bit more chocolate as needed to get everything coated.
- Pop the chocolate coated cupcake liners into your freezer for 10 to 15 minutes, or until set. If the chocolate firms up in this time, you can gently reheat it in the microwave or over your pot of boiling water.
- Take the chocolate cups out of the freezer and brush on a second coat of chocolate, focusing on the sides to make sure they have a thick coating. This will help prevent breakage later when you pull the liners off the chocolate! You should have about 2 to 3 tablespoons of melted chocolate left over for decorating later.
- Freeze the cups again for another 10 to 15 minutes, or until set.
- Gently peel the paper liners off the chocolate. It may give you some trouble when you're trying to get the first piece of paper off, but will glide off more easily once you make the first rip! Keep any cups you're not working on in the freezer so they stay firm and easy to work with.
- Dip the tops of the chocolate cups in melted chocolate then dip into a bowl of sprinkles or crushed candy canes to stick to the top.festive sprinkles and / or crushed candy canes
- Fill each cup with about 2 tablespoons of hot cocoa mix. Add mini marshmallows on top, going slightly past the rims of the chocolate cups.mini marshmallows
- Break the curved ends of 4 candy canes off of the straight ends. Dip the tips of the curved candy cane and then stick to the side of your chocolate cup (see above for visual). Drizzle melted chocolate over the marshmallows to keep them in place.candy canes
how to use the chocolate melting mugs:
- In a medium saucepot, bring ½ a cup of water and ½ a cup of milk to a boil for each chocolate cup you plan on serving. Each mug will make 1 cup of hot chocolate.½ cup (120mL) whole milk per melting mug, ½ cup (120mL) water per melting mug
- Pour the hot milk mixture into a large mug, then drop your mini chocolate mug in. Stir until melted and sprinkle some more marshmallows on top if desired!