Hot Cocoa Cupcakes with Meringue Frosting


A mother of two and former bakery owner Silvano Nardone loves nostalgic desserts, like these rich chocolate cupcakes mounted with a fluffy marshmallow-esque meringue frosting. The recipe calls for a homemade gluten-free flour, but you can use store-bought if you need to.

Hot Cocoa Cupcakes with Marshmallow Frosting
Photo: © Sarah Bolla
Active Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
50 mins
12 to 12 cupcakes cupcakes


Silvana's Kitchen Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour

  • 6 cups white rice flour

  • 3 cups tapioca flour, preferably Shiloh Farms

  • 1 1/2 cups potato starch

  • 2 tablespoons xanthan gum

  • 1 tablespoon salt


  • 1 1/2 cups Silvana's Kitchen Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1/2 cup natural cocoa powder (not Dutch process)

  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

  • 3/4 cup boiling water

  • 1 cup sugar

  • 3/4 cup sour cream, at room temperature

  • 1/2 cup canola oil

  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature

  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

Marshmallow Frosting

  • 4 large egg whites, at room temperature

  • 1 cup sugar

  • Pinch of cream of tartar

  • 3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (optional)


Make the Gluten-Free Flour

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together all of the ingredients. Set aside 1 1/2 cups and store the rest in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 year.

Make the cupcakes

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners. In a bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a separate, larger bowl, whisk the cocoa powder and chocolate chips with the boiling water until smooth. Add the sugar, sour cream, canola oil, eggs, and vanilla; whisk until no streaks remain. Whisk in the dry ingredients until incorporated.

  2. Fill the prepared muffin cups with the batter and bake for about 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cupcakes comes out clean. Transfer the cupcakes to a rack and let cool completely.

Make the Frosting

  1. In a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water (the bottom of the bowl shouldn't touch the water), whisk the egg whites with the sugar and cream of tartar until the sugar has dissolved, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat. Using a handheld electric mixer, beat the whites at high speed until stiff peaks form, about 6 minutes. Beat in the vanilla if using.

  2. Transfer the meringue frosting to a piping bag fitted with a large round pastry tip and frost the cupcakes.

Make Ahead

The cupcakes can be kept at room temperature for up to 1 day.

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