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Caffeine Fix: Mocha Cupcakes with Espresso Buttercream Frosting

September 6, 2010

I’m a college student. We live on caffeine and unhealthy food (and you know, alcohol…but that’s another post for another day). So naturally, combining coffee and butter was, well…natural!

Mocha cupcakes with espresso buttercream frosting. Recipe adapted from Brown-Eyed Baker.

These cupcakes are divine. I don’t know if I did a better job mixing them than usual or if it was the ingredients, but these things were so moist. The frosting is perfect, too. The combination of mocha and espresso is not overpowering or too rich — it’s just right. The cupcakes are fun and they’re definitely not difficult.

Mocha Cupcakes

Makes: 24 cupcakes. Prep time: 20 minutes. Cook time: 17-20 minutes

1/2 cup strong-brewed coffee

1 1/2 tsp. instant coffee powder (the original calls for espresso powder, but I couldn’t find it…)

1 1/3 cup flour

1/3 cup cocoa

1 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. salt

1/2 cup buttermilk

1 tsp. vanilla

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 egg


1. Brew coffee. Mix espresso powder with coffee until dissolved. Set aside to cool.

2. Preheat the oven to 350. Spray muffin tins or line with cupcake liners.

3. Whisk together flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt in medium-sized bowl. Set aside.

4. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugars on high until light and fluffy. Add egg and beat until combined. In small bowl, combine buttermilk, coffee mixture and vanilla.

5. Slowly add flour mixture to butter and sugar mixture, alternating with coffee. End with the flour mixture.

6. Divide the batter into muffin tin. Bake for 17-20 minutes until toothpick comes out cleanly. Let cool before frosting.

Espresso Buttercream Frosting

Will frost 24 cupcakes

1 1/2 tsp. vanilla

1 1/2 tsp. instant coffee powder

1 cup (2 sticks) butter at room temperature

2 1/2 cups powdered sugar

1. Mix espresso and vanilla until dissolved. Set aside.

2. Mix together butter until light and fluffy. You may use the whisk attachment on a stand mixer, but I only have a hand mixer now, and it worked just fine. Add the powdered sugar a bit at a time until well incorporated. Stop to scrap the sides of the bowl, then whip until light and fluffy.

3. Add vanilla and espresso mixture. Mix until completely incorporated.

Recipe adapted from Brown-Eyed Baker.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. September 23, 2010 11:33 pm

    Found you on FoodGawker 🙂 These sound so good! And I love the way the frosting looks in the top picture–did you use a decorating tip to make it swirl in a ribbon like that? The way the light catches on the texture of the icing is gorgeous…

    • September 24, 2010 11:46 am

      Yes, I believe I actually used a “leaf” tip. I’m not sure what size it is — I can look it up if you’re curious! Thanks so much 🙂

      • September 24, 2010 1:30 pm

        Maybe when you have a minute. I always use a star tip because it’s so fast. A different tip would be just as fast, but give a different look. Thanks 🙂

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