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Rocky Road Cupcakes

I love everything about these Rocky Road Cupcakes. Double dose of rich chocolate, gooey marshmallows and crunchy cookies. What’s not to love?

Cupcakes on black table, frosted with ganache and decorated with crushed cookies and marshmallows.

updated from 2013


These moist chocolate cupcakes offer a delightful contrast of textures and flavors. Packed with delicious flavors they are sure to satisfy your sweet tooth.


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Start by making chocolate cupcakes. The recipe (see the recipe card) is easy to prepare and yields 12 cupcakes. Let cupcakes cool before decorating with frosting and toppings.


To make toppings stick to the cupcakes, I use chocolate ganache. It’s creamy, and packed with chocolate flavor.


  • Marshmallows are the most popular, a classic topping that adds a chewy texture. You can use micro, minis, or cut up regular marshmallows. Why not toss cut-up marshmallows in sprinkles for a festive flair. Cut sides are sticky and will make sprinkles adhere.
  • Chocolate chips or chopped chocolate – use the good quality chocolate.
  • Nuts: try chopped pecans, walnuts, hazelnuts, pistachios, or peanuts. To get the most out of the nuts, toast them in the skillet for several minutes until fragrant. Let them cool and chop them before adding them to the cupcakes.
  • Crushed cookies – use tea cookies, graham crackers. Basically, anything goes. Cookies add a pleasant crunch and flavor.
  • Shredded Coconut – if you enjoy coconut, make rocky road cupcakes with a tropical flare using coconut; plus a combination of chocolate and coconut is a match made in heaven. Try toasting sweetened shredded coconut before using it to magnify the coconut flavor.
  • Drizzle – caramel or chocolate drizzle is a nice way to polish the look and add an extra sweetness.
Bowls with chocolate ganache and crushed cookies and marshmallows.


Spread a generous amount of ganache on each cupcake. Dip or gently push toppings into the ganache.

Cupcakes frosted with chocolate ganache on a black plate.


Close-up of a decorated chocolate cupcake.

Rocky Road Cupcakes

This recipe makes 12 standard cupcakes.
Course Cake, cupcake, Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword 12 chocolate cupcakes, best chocolate cupcake, chocolate cupcake, easy chocolate cupcakes, moist chocolate cupcakes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Servings 12 people
Author Hani


Cupcake Batter

  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter (60 grams)
  • 1/4 cup oil (60 ml)
  • 1/2 cup strong coffee (120 ml)
  • 1 tbsp rum or whiskey (optional)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour (140 grams)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar (200 grams)
  • 1/3+1 cup+tbsp cocoa powder (40 grams)
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp table salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk (60 ml)
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract

Ganache Frosting

  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips – dark or bittersweet chocolate, or combination of dark and milk (90 grams) use dark or bittersweet chocolate, or combination of dark and milk if you prefer
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream or whipping cream (60 ml)
  • 3 tbsp butter (45 grams)
  • pinch of salt


  • 5 pieces broken up vanilla biscuits/cookies/graham crackers
  • 1/2 cup Micro Marshmallows or cut regular marshmallows
  • chopped peanuts, pecans (optional) optional


Cupcake Batter

  • Preheat oven to 350F (180C). Line a muffin pan with liners. 
    If you have a fan-forced (convection oven), preheat the oven to 325F (160C).
  • In a small saucepan, heat butter (4 tablespoons, 60 grams), oil (1/4 cup, 60 ml), coffee (1/2 cup, 120 ml), and rum or whiskey (1 tablespoon). Stir to combine, and cook until butter melts, about 3-5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let the mixture cool for minutes.
  • Into a bowl of your mixer, sift all-purpose flour (1 cup, 140 grams), granulated sugar (1 cup, 200 grams), cocoa powder (1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon, 40 grams), baking soda (3/4 teaspoon), and table salt (1/8 teaspoon).
  • Pour the butter mixture into the flour mixture, beat on low speed until combined and smooth. About 2 minutes.
    Add one large room-temperature egg and beat until combined about 30 seconds.
    Pour in room temperature buttermilk (1/4 cup, 60 ml) and Vanilla extract (1 teaspoon). Scrape the bowl and beat until smooth, about 1 minute.
  • Pour the cupcake batter into the prepared muffing pan.
  • Bake cupcakes in the middle of the oven for 18-20 minutes, depending on your oven. Toothpick inserted into the cupcake has to come out clean.
  • Let the cupcakes cool the pan, for 5 minutes, then transfer cupcakes onto a cooling rack to cool completely.

Ganache – can be made day ahead

  • Pour chocolate (1/2 cup, 90 grams) into a heatproof bowl, like tempered glass or stainless steel bowl, and set aside.
  • Heat heavy cream and butter until butter melts and heavy cream is hot, look for tiny bubbles forming on the surface of heavy cream, around the edges.
  • Pour hot cream over the chocolate. Let stand for 3 minutes. Whisk until smooth.
    Cover the ganache with plastic wrap, make sure the food wrap touches the surface, and let it cool completely in the fridge.

Assemble Cupcakes

  • Into a shallow bowl, add micro marshmallows or cut-up marshmallows, broken-up biscuits, stir, and add peanuts if using.
  • Spread a thick layer of ganache on each cupcake, then dip the cupcake into the biscuit marshmallow mix, or use your hands and sprinkle toppings on top of each cupcake. Load them up with toppings generously.
    TIP: If the ganache is too firm, microwave it in 3-second intervals until it's spreadable.


  • How long are the cupcakes good for? Plain cupcakes are good for a week, kept at room temperature. Cupcakes frosted with ganache should be stored in the fridge and can last for 3-5 days. 
  • These cupcakes are not overly sweet; if you prefer a sweeter cake batter, add an additional 1/4 cup of granulated sugar (total of 1 cup and  1/4 cup granulated sugar (250 grams))

This post was originally published on February 25th, 2013. On May 24th, 2023 I updated this recipe with new pictures, written text and a recipe card.

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