I have been called both and the difference is, Hot as an adjective for an attractive girl,just means the guy thinks she is so attractive he'd sleep with her. it just means something more on that direction, I don't like being called hot as much as cute. Hot is more like calling a girl 'sexy'.
Cute is for more the adorable, cutsy wootsy girl. Depends on the guys' tastes but I hear a lot of guys saying they would rather date the 'cute' girl than the 'hot' girl in terms of a L/T relationship. This is based on my personal experiences and my particular guy friends.
Turning cute into hot is pretty easy. It depends on how she dresses.
Honestly, I'm not sure is it's possible. I've been called cute, but never hot. Though for the most part, I'm okay with that. It's not really a term that I like to use, or have used on me. It just seems insincere somehow.
yeah cute is great, that means a guy is nice/good looking AND not a douchebag. most hot guys are extremely annoying and cocky. muscles are hot but hotness is not necessary a "look problem", being hot is an attitude. it can't really be explained, just don't stress about it too much, the "i couldn't care less" or "oh I'm so handsome" attitude COULD work. it only depends on the person you want to attract though. sometimes a normal-looking guy/girl is more fun to be around than a selfish gigolo/bimbo.
Yeah, I get called cute all the time, never hot. Besides the suggestions already posted, the kind of clothing you wear can also make a difference. Well fitted leather jackets, matched with nice dark jeans will help you look less cute. Good luck my friend