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Sandra Lee's Hot Chocolate Candy Bar Cupcakes

Aunt Sandy Claws Hot Chocolate Candy Bar Cupcakes
Sandra Lee
makes 18 cupcakes

Chef notes

Two of my favorite things about the fall are hot chocolate and Halloween. These fun cupcakes combine the comforting flavors of warm cocoa with all the festive colors of the holiday. Plus, they're topped with candy!


  • 1 box dark chocolate cake mix
  • 1 cup chocolate milk, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs
Chocolate Frosting
  • 1/2 cup chocolate milk, room temperature
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • black food coloring
Orange Frosting
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • yellow and red food coloring
  • 18 assorted mini sized candy bars (unwrapped)


    For the cupcakes:


    Preheat oven to 350 F. Line 18 cups of standard muffins tins with paper liners.


    In a large bowl, with an electric mixer on low speed, combine cake mix, chocolate milk, oil and eggs, and beat until ingredients begin to come together. Increase speed to high and beat for 2 minutes.


    Divide batter among muffin cups. Batter should come a little over three-fourths of the way up the sides of cups to achieve a high dome on cakes.


    Bake for about 20 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out with moist crumbs sticking to it. As soon as cupcakes are cool enough to handle, place on a wire rack to cool completely.

    For the chocolate frosting:

    In a saucepan on medium heat, combine chocolate milk and butter, and heat until butter is melted. Add cocoa powder and whisk until smooth. Scrape into a large bowl and cool to room temperature.

    Using a hand mixer, add powdered sugar (1/2 cup at a time), beating until smooth, thick and fluffy. Add a few drops of black food coloring to darken the color. Put in a zip-top plastic bag and set aside.

    For the orange frosting:

    In a bowl, beat together orange juice and butter until thoroughly combined. Add powdered sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, and beat until light and fluffy. Add yellow and red food coloring, a few drops at a time, until desired color is reached. Place in a separate zip-top bag and set aside.

    To decorate:

    Snip the tip (about 1/2 inch) of chocolate and orange frosting zip lock bags. Place both frosting bags into one oversized zip-top bag with the snipped tip of the orange and chocolate frosting bags pointed down into the same corner of the oversized zip-top bag. Snip the tip of the oversized zip-top bag (about 1/2 inch). With firm and even pressure, gently squeeze both icing bags until equal amounts of each icing comes out of the oversized zip-top bag.

    Frost each cupcake in a circular motion, creating a swirled dolloped effect. Garnish with your favorite mini candy bar.