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Jun 7, 2023

Rocky Road Cupcakes

These rocky road cupcakes are inspired by the the classic ice cream flavor. They are super moist and chocolatey, and will satisfy your cravings for the flavors of chocolate, roasted almonds, and marshmallows together. 

Rocky Road Cupcakes on a yellow cake stand.

You'll love these cupcakes, especially with their decadent chocolate cake filled with chocolate chips and topped with a deep chocolate icing, nuts, more chocolate chips, marshmallows, and hot fudge sauce. 

Plus, you don't have to have any cake decorating skills to make these cupcakes. These look fun and festive with the toppings that you can just randomly press into the frosting! 

Rocky Road Cupcakes on a blue plate.

I will always have a soft spot for Rocky Road ice cream because it was my dad's favorite. Every summer for years, he would have a big bowl of it for dessert after dinner. There was always a carton of it in our freezer. 

Rocky Road ice cream consists of chocolate ice cream filled with a swirl of marshmallow cream or whole mini marshmallows and toasted almonds. As a kid I wasn't a fan because of the nuts, but now it's one of my favorite ice creams. 

The flavors come through in these cupcakes. 

Rocky Road Cupcakes Ingredients.


I used a chocolate fudge cake mix but you can use your favorite "from scratch" cake recipe and bake it into cupcakes. Just be sure your recipe includes Dutch process cocoa if you want a deep dark chocolate look and fudgy flavor. If you're using a mix, the ingredient list will usually include "alkalized cocoa." 

Also, because you use oil instead of butter to mix this batter, the cupcakes seem to stay moist longer. 

I also used a premade dark chocolate fudge frosting that comes in a tub. About three fourths of a one pound tub is all you need. Feel free to make your own favorite recipe for chocolate fudge frosting. You only need about a tablespoon and a half of frosting per cupcake. 

Two Rocky Road Cupcakes on green cupcake stands.

For the nuts, I used some chopped nut topping meant for ice cream sundaes and banana splits that includes a mix of all kinds of salted roasted nuts, including almonds, walnuts, pecans, peanuts, and pistachios. To be true devotee to the spirit of Rocky Road, just use only roasted almonds. 

You will also need some mini semi-sweet chocolate chips, some to stir into the batter, and some for sprinkling over the tops. 

For the marshmallows, I tried making some with mini marshmallows and some with tiny marshmallow bits. I preferred the multi-dimensional look of the mini marshmallows, but you can try it either way! The taste is the same. 

You will also need some hot fudge sauce or chocolate sauce to tie it all together. 

One individual Rocky Road Cupcake.

These cupcakes would be perfect for a birthday party or baking with kids. Just buy double the marshmallows because your baking "assistants" will probably sneak eat half of them while decorating. 

Decorating these Cupcakes:

Once the cupcakes have cooled, just use an ofset spatula to spread a thin layer of the frosting on top. Next, sprinkle the frosting with some mini chocolate chips and chopped nuts and then press a few mini marshmallows into the frosting. 

Finally, drizzle the tops with the chocolate fudge sauce. 

These cupcakes will keep fresh and moist at room temperature for up to four days in an airtight container. 

Unfrosted Chocolate Cupcakes on a cooling rack.

If you love chocolate, you will love these cupcakes. You will need a fork for sure unless you don't mind getting chocolate all over your fingers and face. 

These are great served on their own or with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. They're kind of a cross between "fancy" and "kid friendly," plus, they are so much fun!

Rocky Road Cupcakes on a blue plate.

More of my cupcake recipes:

Cookies and Cream Cupcakes

Maple Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

Creamsicle Cupcakes

Snowball Cupcakes

Gingerbread Cupcakes with Miracle Frosting

Red Wine Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Glaze (A great "from scratch" chocolate cupcake)

Chocolate Whiskey Cupcakes (these too!)

Did you know cupcake lover's day is June 13th? The Foodie Extravaganza Group is celebrating! 

Cupcake Lover's Day Cupcakes:

Rocky Road Cupcakes on a cake stand.

Rocky Road Cupcakes

Rocky Road Cupcakes
Yield: 21 Cupcakes
Author: Karen's Kitchen Stories
Prep time: 1 HourCook time: 20 MinInactive time: 30 MinTotal time: 1 H & 50 M
These rocky road cupcakes are inspired by the the classic ice cream flavor.


  • 1 package (about 15.25 ounces) chocolate fudge cake mix
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips, divided
  • 12 ounces chocolate fudge frosting (about 3/4 of a container)
  • 105 mini marshmallows (about 1 cup)
  • Heaping 1/2 cup chopped roasted nuts
  • About 2/3 cup hot fudge topping sauce, warmed


  1. Heat your oven to 325 degrees F. Line 21 cavities of muffin pans with paper liners.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the cake mix, water, eggs, oil, and 1/4 cup of the chocolate chips on low speed for about two minutes, until fully combined.
  3. Divide the batter among the cavities of the muffin/cupcake tin, about 2/3 full.
  4. Bake for 20 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool the cupcakes in the pan for 10 minutes, turn them out of the pan, and then finish cooling them on a rack.
  5. With and offset spatula, spread a 1/4 inch layer of frosting over the top of each cupcake (about 1 1/2 tablespoons each). Sprinkle with the rest of the chocolate chips and the chopped nuts and gently press them in. Gently press about 5 mini marshmallows into each cupcake and drizzle with a scan tablespoon of hot fudge or chocolate sauce.

Nutrition Facts



Fat (grams)

16.62 g

Sat. Fat (grams)

4.62 g

Carbs (grams)

38.58 g

Fiber (grams)

1.51 g

Net carbs

37.05 g

Sugar (grams)

25.08 g

Protein (grams)

3.56 g

Cholesterol (grams)

23.86 mg
cupcakes, rocky road
dessert, cake
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Recipe adapted from Fun Stuff Cupcakes (lots of cupcake decorating ideas - may be out of print)

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Would you like to comment?

  1. What fun cupcakes! I love how easy they are to make and such a perfect flavor combo too. I love that rocky road reminds you of your dad. ❤️

  2. This is the perfect summer recipe. Being semi homemade it can be cooked up in a flash when you have been lying in the pool all day instead of being in the kitchen.

    1. Definitely! Sometimes you just need something easy.

  3. I cannot wait to try these, Karen. Thanks for joining me!

  4. Such adorable cupcakes - love those toppings on it!


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