I Bake: Mocha Espresso Cupcakes

These cupcakes are pretty much perfect, and they smell AM-AZ-ING. I not only love to drink coffee, but I love the smell of it even more.  I was looking for the perfect recipe to make for a friend’s art show, and after a bit of online research and sifting through reader’s comments, this seemed to be the best one (and they definitely are!).  I am super happy with the frosting recipe as well because I like to put a nice big fluff of frosting on my cupcakes and it yielded the perfect amount. Yay!

These cupcakes use espresso powder, which I read isn’t found in most grocery stores so I didn’t even bother going to all the stores closest to me; I just went to Williams Sonoma and picked up a big bottle of the powder for $10 (which, may be be a tad pricey but you don’t have to use much of it at all). You can also find it online, but with shipping prices it’s probably not worth it.

Mocha Cupcakes with Espresso Buttercream Frosting
Recipe from browneyedbaker – Makes 12 cupcakes

For the cupcakes:

1-1/3 all-purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup whole milk
½ cup strong brewed coffee
1½ teaspoons espresso powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup light brown sugar
1 egg, at room temperature

1. Mix the espresso powder into the brewed coffee until dissolved; set aside to cool to room temperature.

2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a standard-size muffin tin with paper liners.

3. Whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

4. Beat the butter and both sugars together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Add the egg and beat until combined. In a measuring cup, combine the milk, brewed coffee mixture and vanilla. Slowly add the flour mixture, alternating with the coffee mixture, ending with the flour mixture.

5. Divide the batter evenly between the 12 liners. Baking for 17-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting cupcakes.

For the frosting:

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2½ cups powdered sugar
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1½ teaspoons espresso powder

1. Mix the espresso powder into the vanilla until dissolved; set aside.

2. Using the whisk attachment of a stand mixer, whip the butter on medium-high speed for 5 minutes, stopping once to scrape the sides of the bowl. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the powdered sugar a little at a time, waiting until it is mostly incorporated before adding more. Once all of the powdered sugar has been added, scrape the sides of the bowl and increase the speed to medium-high and whip until fluffy, about a minute or two. Add the espresso and vanilla mixture and continue to mix at medium-high until it is completely incorporated, scraping the sides as necessary.


10 responses to “I Bake: Mocha Espresso Cupcakes

  1. Oh my gosh, these look DELICIOUS!!! I need to see if I can find a recipe for coffee cupcakes without the espresso powder now! (Don’t have anyway of buying some, at the mo.)

    • I think it would work with either superfine grounded coffee or just a strong instant coffee? Maybe one of those Via packets from Starbucks? Try it! 🙂

  2. band of brothers

    such lovely photos!

  3. those. look. divine.


    your frosting technique is gorgeous. 😀

    beautiful work indeed.


  4. Can I please come live at your house where there are always beautiful, delicious cupcakes readily available? Yum!

  5. If you ever want to practice mailing out cupcakes, I would be a glad test-subject. 🙂

  6. Oh my goodness, those look amazing!

  7. Your cupcakes are always so pretty! I’m not even a fan of chocolate cake, yet I probably eat these haha

    Echoing Steph on mailing of cupcakes 🙂

  8. Wow!! Looks delicious! How do you get the frosting on the cupcakes like that?

  9. Looks good! No need to make a cup of coffee for my cupcakes now. 🙂

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