Every home baker knows it, but it bears repeating: when you want a dessert as a cute as it is delicious, your best bet is a cupcake! Not only are there tons of ways to make the little treats look great, the best ideas make the cupcakes taste even better. Prime example? Hi Hat Cupcakes!

What’s a Hi Hat Cupcake? It’s your favorite chocolate cupcake topped with a high mound – or “hat,” if you prefer! – of dreamy meringue frosting, then dipped in a simply delicious chocolate coating. (One of our chefs even compares it to a Dairy Queen “dip cone” and the popular chocolate “magic shell”!) The result is so simple but so effective and tasty. Just take a look at our craving-inducing demonstration, then read on for the full step-by-step instructions!

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Hi Hat Cupcakes

Makes 12 cupcakes
Prep Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours


  • 12 chocolate cupcakes


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 large egg whites
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Chocolate Coating

  • 2 cups (about 12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons coconut or canola oil


  1. Prepare your chocolate cupcakes according to your favorite recipe.
  2. In a large heatproof bowl, combine the sugar, egg whites, water, salt and cream of tartar. Using a handheld electric mixer, beat the mixture on low speed for about 2 to 3 minutes, until it’s slightly foamy and the sugar is dissolved.
  3. Set the bowl over a pan of barely simmering water. With the handheld mixer, beat on high for about 12 minutes, until the frosting is snowy white, beginning to form peaks and reaches 160 degrees Fahrenheit on a candy thermometer.
  4. Remove from the heat. Add the vanilla extract, and beat for 2 minutes more, until the frosting thickens and forms stiff peaks.
    Frosting for hi hat cupcakesTipHero
  5. Transfer the frosting to a large pastry bag fitted with a ½-inch plain pastry tip. Leaving a ⅛-inch border on each cupcake, pipe a spiral of frosting into a 2-inch-high cone shape, using about ½ cup of frosting per cupcake.
    Pipe a spiral of frosting into a 2-inch-high cone shapeTipHero
  6. Transfer the frosted cupcakes to a baking sheet, and refrigerate or freeze while preparing the chocolate coating.
  7. To prepare the chocolate coating, combine the chocolate chips and coconut oil in a medium, microwave-safe bowl. Microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring in between each interval, until the chocolate is completely melted and smooth. Transfer the melted chocolate into a 2-cup measuring cup, or a narrow and deep bowl or cup, and let cool for about 5 minutes.
  8. Holding each cupcake by its bottom, dip each cupcake in the melted chocolate to coat the frosting completely, and allow any excess to drip off. Transfer to a baking sheet fitted with a wire rack. If needed, spoon more coating around the edge of each cupcake and any exposed frosting. The frosting should be completely covered and none should be showing.
  9. Allow the cupcakes to stand at room temperature for 15 minutes, or until the chocolate begins to set.
  10. If you used paper liners when you made the cupcakes, carefully remove them now. Place the cupcakes on a serving platter and refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour to let the chocolate coating set completely.
  11. Serve cold. Cupcakes can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.

Chef’s Tip

  • Have difficulty piping frosting, run out of piping bags or simply don’t feel like frosting your cupcakes that way? Alternatively in step 4, you can just use an offset spatula or butter knife to frost the cupcakes by hand.
Hi hat cupcakes with 1 cut in halfTipHero

How delightful are these cupcakes?! There’s absolutely nothing better than biting through a rich chocolate shell and getting some perfectly creamy meringue frosting. These cupcakes are simultaneously so simple – just cake, frosting and chocolate coating – and fabulously festive.

So what do you think? Have you ever made Hi Hat Cupcakes before? Are you super-tempted by the layers of chocolate and frosting? Would you try this method on a different flavor of cupcake, or change up this recipe in any other way? Let us know if you give this recipe a try and be sure to let us know how they turn out for you!

Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart