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Mocha Cupcakes with Espresso Buttercream Frosting

Mocha Cupcakes with Espresso Buttercream Frosting

You’ll be happy to know that I have recovered from my epic kitchen fail, the oven is sparkling, and to celebrate I give you these amazing mocha cupcakes with espresso buttercream frosting. Plus, it’s Friday. And cupcakes are a perfect way to welcome the weekend with open arms. It’s been a crazy, messy, stormy week, and you deserve one. I might even go so far as to suggest that you should just skip your morning cup of coffee or trip to Starbucks and have one of these instead. The cupcakes themselves strike a subtle balance between light chocolate and a hint of creamy coffee. Not overwhelming on either end of the spectrum, and the combination results in a smooth, clean flavor, which is perfect for topping with espresso-spiked buttercream. I’ve been trying a new method for making buttercream for cupcakes, and I think you’re going to love it as much as I do. It involves lots of whipping of the butter, and then really whipping the finished buttercream. It gives the frosting a very smooth texture and it melts in your mouth. And as always, I try to achieve at least a 1:1 ratio of frosting to cake when frosting my cupcakes. Frosting is dreamy, yes? I could eat it with a spoon, straight from the mixing bowl.

Mocha Cupcakes with Espresso Buttercream Frosting

Now, back to my baking disaster (sort of) for a moment. I wanted to share a recipe resource with all of you in the event that you don’t know about it yet. There is a custom Google search engine called Food Blog Search, built and maintained by Elise from Simply Recipes and Kayln of Kayln’s Kitchen, which pulls search results from over 2,000 hand-selected food blogs. It’s typically my first stop when I’m searching for inspiration for a specific recipe. While I absolutely adore my cookbook collection and find many wonderful recipes among their pages, I know that any recipe I find on a fellow blogger’s site will have been tested and reviewed, with honest feedback. That is invaluable information when undertaking something in the kitchen! Stopping there first instead of my cookbook shelf may have saved me from an oven of overflowing batter. In fact, I think you should bake these cupcakes, then mosy on over to your computer and eat the cupcake while testing out the Food Blog Search.

If you’re in the mood for more cupcakes you may want to send summer out in style with these Lemon-Limoncello Cupcakes, and then usher in fall Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting! And everyday is a good day for Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting.

One year ago: Pistachio Nut Ice Cream
Two years ago: Panzanella Salad
Three years ago: Samoas Brownies

Mocha Cupcakes with Espresso Buttercream Frosting

Yield: 12 cupcakes

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 17 to 20 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Coffee-infused chocolate cupcakes topped with espresso-spiked buttercream frosting.


For the Cupcakes:
1⅓ cups all-purpose flour
⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup whole milk
½ cup strong brewed coffee, at room temperature
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

For the Espresso Buttercream Frosting:
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2½ cups powdered sugar
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1½ teaspoons espresso powder


1. To make the Cupcakes: 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.

6. To make the Frosting: Mix the espresso powder into the vanilla until dissolved; set aside.

7. 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.

Note: To make the swirls on the cupcakes, I used a 1M decorating tip.

(Cupcake recipe adapted from My Baking Addiction)

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415 Responses to “Mocha Cupcakes with Espresso Buttercream Frosting”

  1. Joanna on September 8, 2011 at 9:54 pm

    I made these yesterday and they are hands down the best cupcakes I’ve ever made (I make a lot of cupcakes!!) I almost ate all 12 myself! I froze 5 of them (not frosted) and took them out this afternoon and they were just as delicious as when they were fresh baked!! They were so good that I am making them again right now!! I may attempt to make mini ones though, I have some of the frosting leftover and I think it’s a perfect amount for a batch of minis! Thanks for a great recipe!!


  2. Dawn Pourteau on September 11, 2011 at 12:23 pm

    On the chocolate mocha cupcakes u said u used a 1M tip. How did u pipe the frosting to look like ribbons?


    • Michelle on September 12th, 2011 at 1:42 pm

      Hi Dawn, I really just swirl around and up on top of the cupcake, I don’t really have a special technique, but I am working on creating a video of this since I get so many questions about it.


  3. Katie on September 14, 2011 at 11:42 pm

    Hey! I recently made some great cupcakes and started getting into baking again. I had a sudden discovery of the most amazing aisle in Michael’s…. and ended up getting a ton of stuff for decorating. Please post that demonstration for the icing as soon as possible! I really want mine to look that fantastic as I plan on making a ton of them and giving them out to people =) It makes them look extra delicious ! I really hope you can put up a video soon!!! Thanks!


  4. Ali Mc on September 21, 2011 at 1:51 pm

    Just found your blog – amazing! this recipe is JUST what I’ve been searching for. I have to make a dessert for my brother-in-laws bday and he is a coffee-lover, I am not. Can’t wait to tackle it.

    I love using the 1M tip but I love that ruffled look on one of the cupcakes swirls….how did you get that effect???


  5. Gracie on September 28, 2011 at 5:56 pm

    This is the easiest chocolate cupcake recipe ever! I messed up the recipe multiple times and it still came out great! :o


  6. Heather P. on September 28, 2011 at 6:25 pm

    You are my new hero! I made these back in August for my husband’s birthday and STILL cannot stop thinking about them! I’ve made them 3 times since them and will make them again next week. Everyone I’ve made them for loves them, including a friend who hates coffee flavored anything! Thank you thank you for this amazing recipe!


  7. Amy Pol on October 19, 2011 at 3:40 pm

    I’m going to try these for a school parent cocktail party, but make them mini-sized. How would you adjust the baking time and/or temperature? Thanks!


  8. Jane on October 28, 2011 at 5:31 am

    Desperate to try these but totally lost on the measurements … What is 1- 1/3 flour is that cups … Do you have the measure for that in grams .. Many thanks, Jane


    • Michelle on October 31st, 2011 at 12:48 pm

      Hi Jane, It is 1 cup, plus another 1/3 cup. I do not have the gram measurements, although you might be able to find some conversions through Google.


  9. sexygaia on November 11, 2011 at 8:53 pm

    hello..based on the comments, i may have found the perfect mocha cupcake recipe. is there any difference between incorporating by hand or an electric mixer the dry ingredients to the buttered sugar-butter mixture? because i’m not sure if overbeating the batter affects the cupcakes. thanks!


    • Michelle on November 12th, 2011 at 10:58 pm

      You can use an electric mixer on the lowest setting, or fold by hand. Mix until JUST combined, and give it a few more gentle folds by hand. Overbeating can definitely cause dry and/or dense cupcakes.


  10. sexygaia on November 13, 2011 at 12:43 am

    i see..wow, no wonder my cupcakes are super dense! thank you! =) i live in the philippines and i am new to baking. as to frosting, i’m a disaster! the last time i tried, 1 batch became so runny and the other got more than enough powdered sugar it got so hard and cracked easily. i’m so glad i chanced upon your link while googling for the perfect mocha cupcake recipe yesterday because i really learned a lot in a span of 1 day. many many thanks! =)


  11. Faythe on November 15, 2011 at 7:55 pm

    Coffee and chocolate is my weakness. Chocolate and peanut butter is a close second. I have to have these. Thank you, thank you, thank you.


  12. Margo on November 18, 2011 at 8:28 pm

    Needed an easy frosting recipe for my chocolate cupcakes. The espresso buttercream was perfect…can’t wait to try your cupcake recipe! Thanks!


  13. Fe on November 19, 2011 at 1:17 am

    These cupcakes were amazing! Thank you for sharing this recipe… I did run into a problem, however. The frosting I made looked nothing like that of which you made… It ended up extremely thick and quite dry..actually so dry that my pastry bag didn’t want to squeeze it out! :) Any idea of what I did wrong? To prevent this? Still tasted great nonetheless..


    • Michelle on November 20th, 2011 at 2:08 pm

      Hmm so thick that it wouldn’t go through a pastry bag is quite thick! Did you make any changes to the ingredients or quantities, or technique used? If not, it would really difficult to say what may have gone wrong.


      • Fe on November 20th, 2011 at 2:36 pm

        Hmm..I used the same technique and quantities. I did check my packages just now, and I just noticed my butter was not unsalted. Is the salt the culprit? Whoops!?


        • Michelle on November 20th, 2011 at 5:46 pm

          I don’t think the salted butter would have done it. But, was your butter soft at room temperature? If it was hard, it may not have whipped up well.


          • Fe on November 20th, 2011 at 11:24 pm

            Hm, yes..it was at room temperature. I probably made some human error and didn’t realize it. No worries, I will surely make these cupcakes and this frosting again in the near future…I’ll see where I made mistake then. Thanks for your help!


  14. Jaquelyn on November 26, 2011 at 11:33 pm

    I made this recipe tonight, and it was fantastic! My only complaint is that the cupcakes were too big and overflowed when they baked. Next time, I will make 18 cupcakes from this batter instead of 12. Not sure what happened. Other than that, though, they were absolutely amazing! Thanks for sharing. :)


  15. Diana on December 1, 2011 at 1:08 pm

    Hi Michelle, just wanted to let you know that your frosting is to-die-for! I didn’t use your cupcake recipe, but used the frosting for a different chocolate cupcake I made. I hope it’s okay I shared your recipe on my blog and gave you the big kudos and a link to your site :) Thank you!


  16. Rb on December 4, 2011 at 12:06 am

    The worst recipe I have tried the cupcakes were bland, sunken and fell apart…


  17. Kristee B on December 5, 2011 at 10:22 pm

    So I made these cupcakes last weekend and topped them with peppermint buttercream frosting for a peppermint mocha cupcake…Oh my goodness! They were heavenly. Move over Starbucks ;)


  18. Maria on December 12, 2011 at 6:57 pm

    Hey, just made these and they collapsed as soon as I tried to take them out of the pan. Looks like I’m turning them into cake pops. It’s moist, the flavor is good but the cupcake has no body. Any guesses of what may have gone wrong? I followed the recipe exactly.


  19. Michelle on December 12, 2011 at 11:31 pm

    Hi Maria, I’m sorry to hear that these didn’t quite turn out for you. Unfortunately there are a number of things that could have caused this so it’s really hard to pinpoint one cause exactly, especially without being there while they were made. Some possibilities:

    - The baking powder and/or the baking soda could have been expired and didn’t work properly.

    - If you opened the oven during baking it could have caused them to collapse.

    - If they were taken out of the oven too early and the interior structure of the cupcake wasn’t fully cooked, they will sink when removed from the heating element.

    - The oven temperature could be off; I always recommend an oven thermometer to make sure the temperature is correct.

    - The batter could have been overmixed, or the cupcake liners overfilled.


    • Maria on December 13th, 2011 at 7:22 am

      Thanks for the quick response, I do believe my baking soda has expired, also as I was retracing my thoughts I remembered I only put in one egg and I had doubled the recipe, so that’s probably why they didn’t have body. I have already bought some new baking soda and will definitely make these again. The crumbs are really delicious and now I can attempt making those cake pops. :)


  20. Meredith on December 17, 2011 at 8:21 pm

    I made these cupcakes in my consumer ed. class for a Cupcake Wars. We added mini chocolate chips inside the cupcake batter to give the chocolatey flavor a little more *zing!* and also sprinkled some minis atop the frosting. They were a huge hit; everybody loved the look and taste of everthing!


  21. Kristy on December 19, 2011 at 8:03 am

    I made these, ate them and am now planning on making them again… good thing, I have to share them with the hubby and kids or the big booty pants would be coming back into my wardrobe again!

    Thank you for posting this! This was the perfect solution for the craving the recent episode of cupcake wars ignited in the whole family! YAY for espresso!


  22. Nicolene on December 22, 2011 at 5:27 pm

    A friend and I made these cupcakes a little while back, and they are absolutely to die for. I keep running into a problem with my frosting though, and I was hoping you could help. When I make regular “vanilla” buttercream, it binds perfectly and I have no issues with it holding up, but as soon as I try to make a chocolate or coffee buttercream, it is as though the wet ingredients don’t want to combine with the dry ingredients, and it leaks the vanilla and espresso etc. Don’t know if this makes sense, but any advice would be greatly appreciated.


  23. Sandra on December 23, 2011 at 3:24 pm

    Just baked these and they are so scrumptious, very moist and filled with coffee flavor. I ran out of butter for the buttercreme (figures) so I used Margarine. It worked okay, although I am sure the butter would have been better. I think the extra whipping of the butter gives the buttercreme an exciting creamy texture. Thanks for a new favorite!


  24. Hannah on December 28, 2011 at 10:39 am

    These cupcakes were delicious! Everyone loved them and they turned out well despite the Colorado high altitude. This is coming from a 14 year old…They were easy to make and I didn’t run into any problems. Thanks for the recipe!


  25. Caitlin on January 3, 2012 at 6:18 pm

    I was wondering what techniques you used to do the icing and what sized tips? I’ve been working on my icing skills… and I think there getting worse. lol Thanks for the wonderful recipe!


    • Michelle on January 4th, 2012 at 8:44 pm

      Hi Caitlin, For these cupcakes I used a Wilton 1M tip and just sort of swirled the icing into a tower on top. I am working on a how-to video for my cupcake decorations!


  26. Erica on January 11, 2012 at 3:14 pm

    Hi there! I now you noted that you use a 1M tip but how do you get such pretty/fancy swirls??? They are absolutely gorgeous! Do you have a specific technique you use?!


    • Michelle on January 12th, 2012 at 5:25 pm

      Hi Erica, I just really went in circles on the top of the cupcake. I am hoping to put together a video soon since this is one of my most-asked questions!


  27. cathy gareri on January 26, 2012 at 4:55 pm

    I love the pic of the cupcakes. Just wanted to know if the powder coffee is instant coffee or regular brew coffee. I really want to make these.


    • Michelle on January 27th, 2012 at 8:33 pm

      Hi Cathy, The espresso powder is for instant espresso. Enjoy the cupcakes!


  28. Seima Bakes on January 27, 2012 at 12:55 am

    My favorite recipe when it comes to cupcakes! I am not a coffee drinker, but I am obsessing over any baked goods with coffee,mocha,espresso or latte in it! Will definitely try this recipes. ;) xx


  29. Sophie on January 28, 2012 at 5:51 pm

    I recently found your blog and absolutely loved it! i just made these cupcakes for my sisters 21st birthday and they were a hit. thanks a ton!! :)


  30. Sarah Peterson on February 1, 2012 at 2:58 pm

    These are Awesome! The frosting is so amazing…. tasty and light and fluffy. The kids loved them and so did my co-workers.


  31. Yesenia on February 2, 2012 at 5:51 pm

    These cupcakes were amazing! Not only that, but she really helped me. I emailed her a couple of questions and she responded back quickly and helped me out through some steps. Thank you so much and the cupcakes were awesome!


  32. Elizabeth on February 4, 2012 at 3:13 pm

    I finally(!) made these after bookmarking them months ago. I made a few alterations since I couldn’t find Expresso powder but they were still delicious. The only odd thing was that they were very dense. Anybody else have this result?


  33. Wyatt J on February 5, 2012 at 11:20 am

    I found the frosting to be a little thick and hard to pipe, but other than that these were really easy and delicious! I think my frosting was thick because I used shortening instead of butter because I NEVER have luck with butter in frosting. Good Recipe though!


  34. Julie on February 11, 2012 at 5:35 pm

    This soup looks so yummy. I was linked here from your 5 year anniversary post. What a great start to a wonderful blog!

    I can only hope mine is as successful as yours someday.


    • Julie on February 11th, 2012 at 5:36 pm

      Oopsie =) I meant this reply for the meatball soup, but these look amazing too!


  35. Teresa on February 18, 2012 at 6:11 pm

    I made these for a bridal shower today. This was the brides fave flavor and she said they were the best she’d ever had. Everyone was amazed at how good they were and so was I! I made regular buttercream because I needed to tint the icing pink and green and place fondant flowers on top for a shabby chic theme. Can’t wait to make them with your buttercream. Thanks for a great recipe!!


  36. terrie on February 18, 2012 at 8:24 pm

    I made these cupcakes the other day and my friends and I loved them! thanks so much for sharing the recipe :)


  37. Berna on February 24, 2012 at 12:36 pm

    I tried making these cupcakes for my teacher friends and they were a huge hit. The only problem I had was that the coffee grounds did not dissolve all the way. How can I fix this? I had coffe grounds in both the cupcake and the frosting. The cupcakes were still delicious, but I want to make them prett also. Thank you for your help.


    • Michelle on February 24th, 2012 at 10:20 pm

      Hi Berna, You mentioned coffee grounds – did you use actual coffee grounds or the instant espresso powder? The instant powder will dissolve nicely, while coffee grounds typically will not.


      • Berna on February 28th, 2012 at 3:27 am

        Duh! I used coffee grounds I purchased from Starbucks! I even asked them to grind them really fine, but I guess that does not work. Thank you for your reply. I really love your site. I’ve tried a few of your recipes and really loved the results.


  38. Peggy on February 28, 2012 at 1:24 pm

    Absolutely loved the Espresso frosting nice recipe thanks for sharing :-)


  39. Wendi on March 1, 2012 at 2:50 pm

    Do you use standard size cupcake wrappers??


  40. Therese on March 2, 2012 at 6:43 pm

    These look amazing, I can’t wait to try them! I’m going to make these for a b-day, so I’d like to make them into a cake instead. How many and what size cakepans should I use?


    • Michelle on March 2nd, 2012 at 6:51 pm

      Hi Therese, The recipe as-is won’t be enough for a two-layer cake (which is what I assume you are going for). You will need to double the recipe (I’ve never doubled it, so I can’t say for sure if it’s finicky or not – some recipes can be when doubled) and the icing, and use 8-inch or 9-inch cake pans.


  41. Karen on March 7, 2012 at 10:32 am

    Hi Michelle, was wondering what kind of decorating tip did you use for these? and how did you achieve this kind of effect? they look great! Thanks


    • Michelle on March 7th, 2012 at 4:27 pm

      Hi Karen, I used a Wilton 1M decorating tip. I just sort of swirled it around as I moved my hand in a circle, building up to a point. I hope that makes sense!


  42. Cheyenne Knowles on March 9, 2012 at 1:20 am

    I made these cupcakes today and they are the best I’ve ever made. Everyone who tried them LOVED them! I bake a lot and everyone said these were by far their favorites. The cake was super moist and the frosting was perfect! Anyone looking for cupcakes to impress, these are the ones to choose!!


  43. Toni on March 9, 2012 at 2:42 am

    These are absolutely delicious! I made them yesterday for my fiance’s coworkers birthday. He didn’t even take them all to work because he had to hoard some for himself. After he had a few he said “thank you lady from that blog” so delicious!!! love me some coffee especially in a cupcake:)


  44. PS on March 16, 2012 at 12:06 am

    Would these cupcakes be nice with a cardamom frosting as well?


    • Michelle on March 16th, 2012 at 9:03 am

      That sounds great!


  45. Rachel k. on March 19, 2012 at 4:20 am

    these cupcakes are so fluffy and moist! i did add an extra teaspoon of baking powder and used my leftover icing from the red velvet cupcakes i bakes 2 days ago. I must say, cream cheese goes with ANYTHING. so yummy.


  46. Deb on March 29, 2012 at 6:58 pm

    I hv used this recipe twice and still cant get enough of it. It is a fantastic easy recipe to use and the results are as i like my cakes to be. Thanks so much for sharing.


  47. Maryam on April 2, 2012 at 3:08 am

    These are seriously the best cupcakes ever. Like melt in your mouth amazing!! Thank you for sharing. I will be making these not on a regular basis only because they are way too good and I could eat the whole batch to myself!!


  48. Emily on April 8, 2012 at 10:00 am

    I just made these cupcakes and they were delicious! The icing was so light and fluffy. Definitely going to make these again.


  49. Val on April 10, 2012 at 7:58 am

    Cant wait to try this!
    Where can one buy espresso powder?


    • Deb on April 10th, 2012 at 12:04 pm

      Try Starbucks Via, there are several brews available and all are good and strong. They’re available in most supermarkets now, or online at Amazon. :)


    • Michelle on April 10th, 2012 at 12:34 pm

      Hi Val, I usually get mine at the local Italian market, they always carry it. You can also get it online from places like King Arthur Flour, Penzeys, and Amazon. Just make sure you buy instant espresso powder. If you use regular ground coffee it won’t dissolve as it should.


    • Rebecca S on October 25th, 2012 at 1:41 am

      I bought my expresso powder from Walmart. I was shocked to see it there!


  50. Lauren on April 11, 2012 at 10:59 pm

    I made these tonight and they are SOOO good! I’m writing a blog about them as we speak; just wanted to let you know (giving you credit, of course).
    What you did with the buttercream is absolute genius. It’s amazing! It really does melt in your mouth, as you said. Bravo! :)


  51. Ashley on April 19, 2012 at 12:52 am

    I made these not too long ago and they are beyond amazing!!! My favorite cupcake to date and that frosting……..mmmmm….. is out of this world!


  52. shanie on April 23, 2012 at 10:59 pm

    is the batter really runny? :( my first attempt was a fail)


  53. Angelica on April 26, 2012 at 10:34 pm

    Tried this yesterday and it was PERFECT. I loved it so much that I finished the entire batch/12pcs. Haha! I’m making this for our graduation party. Thanks for the recipe!


  54. Lori on April 30, 2012 at 1:01 am

    I used a different cake recipe, and really didn’t care for the icing it came along with because it called for 6 cups of powdered sugar, so I thought I would try yours. Was I ever glad I did…your method of beating the butter etc., made the buttercream just heavenly and so silky. Yummo and I am NOT a buttercream fan. I prefer the whipped cream, the only thing I did was eliminate 1/2 cup of the powdered sugar because I doubled the recipe, and the consistency was still god enough to pipe.


  55. Kelly on April 30, 2012 at 4:19 pm

    Yum! How did you frost these cupcakes, with what icing tip? They look looovelyyyy :)


    • Michelle on May 1st, 2012 at 12:29 am

      Hi Kelly, I used a Wilton 1M decorating tip.


  56. Jenny on May 1, 2012 at 5:45 pm

    I love the cupcakes the frostin gi couln’t get right though


  57. Stacie on May 4, 2012 at 7:57 am

    Oh my goodness! Those are like heaven in my mouth! Absolutely wonderful!


  58. Rosa on May 5, 2012 at 12:27 pm

    Sign me up!


  59. Ellie on May 17, 2012 at 3:50 pm

    do you ever make extra frosting to frost your cupcakes?


    • Michelle on May 17th, 2012 at 4:18 pm

      Hi Ellie, The ingredient quantities in the cupcake recipes are what I used to frost that number of cupcakes. In pretty much every case, there is some frosting leftover, but I’d always prefer to have too much than not enough. As you can see, I love to pile frosting high on cupcakes, so if you follow the quantities in the recipe I think you should have enough. You definitely could always double it, but I wanted you to know what was taken into account when I provide a frosting recipe.


  60. Carly on May 22, 2012 at 2:55 am

    These are absolutely delicious!! Even my coffe hating family loved these.


  61. Mandi on May 23, 2012 at 10:24 am

    These were amazing! I could eat the frosting by the spoonful. Thank you for sharing.


  62. Nicolene on May 25, 2012 at 4:05 pm

    I just wanted to let you know that I linked back to this post from my blog.(http://bit.ly/LobvqO) I finally achieved success with the frosting and even have a picture to prove it :) Thank you for such a great recipe. It is tucked away in my “keepers” file!


  63. Cora on June 1, 2012 at 7:15 pm

    I made these and they were the best! Super moist inside, the frosting was to sugary for me though


  64. Emma on June 2, 2012 at 5:00 pm

    Where do you find espresso powder?


    • Michelle on June 4th, 2012 at 9:57 pm

      Hi Emma, I buy mine at a local Italian grocery store, but you can also find it online on Amazon and places like King Arthur Flour.


  65. Sabrina on June 14, 2012 at 9:33 am

    Is there anything I can use to substitue for the espresso powder? By the way, I just made your lemon cupcakes and they are amazing!!!


    • Michelle on June 14th, 2012 at 10:34 am

      Hi Sabrina, If you have access to an instant coffee powder, you can use that too. They just need to be instant, so that they dissolve easily. Glad you enjoyed the lemon cupcakes!


  66. rebecca r on June 22, 2012 at 5:11 pm

    Thank you so much for this recipe!!!! I made them for a party and everyone just raved over them!! The cake was fluffy and rich and the frosting was creamy and perfect balance of espresso to chocolate. 5 stars!!


  67. Kendy on June 25, 2012 at 3:30 pm

    OMG! This Mocha cupcake recipe is the best EVER! I made them yesterday and came out perfect, perfec texture, perfect flavor! I just used a Nutella frosting with chocolate sprinkles on top & it was DELICIOUS! Took some to work & everyone loved it!!!! Thanks so much for the recipe!!


  68. Rose on July 12, 2012 at 10:31 pm

    Thank you so much for the recipe. I made this 2 dozens and give some to office and it was a huge hit! Delicious!


  69. Sherrene on July 18, 2012 at 10:45 am

    I recently made these cupcakes and they are sooo delicious! I’m really looking forward to trying more of your recipes. Thanks for sharing!!


  70. Kala on July 22, 2012 at 1:59 pm

    These were super good! But when I made mine, they overflowed and got crusty on the top. Any tips on how to prevent this in the future? Also if I double the recipe to make a 2 layer 9- inch cake, how long do you think they would need to bake? Thanks in advance


    • Michelle on July 28th, 2012 at 4:15 pm

      Hi Kala, I would just make sure that you only fill the cupcake liners 2/3 full. Some older pans aren’t the same size (my mom has pans that are all different sizes!), so making sure they aren’t over-filled will ensure they don’t overflow.


  71. Shilendra on August 4, 2012 at 10:45 am

    Dear Brown eyed baker,

    Thank you so very much for this absolutely mouth watering recipe… I tried this out for my husband’s birthday party and I had 60 guests, so I figured I would multiply all ingredients 5 fold, but I was dubious as well, as to how well the multiplying of all the components would work out towards the overall success of the cupcakes, but still went on… I was a bit worried about taking the exact milk and coffee liquid measures, so made only 2 cups worth of the liquid, but I had to remake the liquid mixture untill it was also 5 fold… AMAZING!!! I would have to rate this as the best recipe I have ever had to make, as it is simple and doles out amazing results… The cupcakes were super soft (as opposed to the general opinion of how the cakes become dense as the recipe is multiplied) and I put the chocolate frosting you had given in another recipe as I live in Sri Lanka and expresso powder isn’t available in any of the stores nearby… The cupcakes were scrumtious and all my guests thought so, some wanted the recipe and they couldn’t believe it was a recipe I had taken online… Some of my guests wanted to take extra’s home, it was sooooooooo good… Thank you so much brown eyed baker, your cupcakes were like the frosting on my cake…


  72. Gloria on August 8, 2012 at 4:07 am

    Hi, i love to bake and i am 15 years old, and i don’t make coffee often… about how many tbs or tsp of coffee go into the strong coffee? and what kind, if there is a special kind? Thank you so much, i just found your website and it’s beautiful.


    • Michelle on August 9th, 2012 at 5:17 pm

      Hi Gloria, If you don’t often make coffee, you could always head to Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts and just buy a coffee, that would be easy! Otherwise I usually use this formula for coffee – for however many cups as you’re making, use 1/2 that many scoops + 1. For example, if you fill your coffee pot to the 8 cup line, I would use 5 scoops. I am not sure about tablespoons/teaspoons – I use a coffee scoop when making coffee and am not sure what the equivalent is.


  73. shari on August 10, 2012 at 1:46 pm

    I was very excited to find an eggless cupcake since my daughter-in-law is allergic and then kept reading again to make sure I hadn’t missed it. Ahhh…the instructions show “the egg” but the list of ingredients do not. Thought you might want to know!

    I’m just going to have to make these when she’s not around. LOL


    • Michelle on August 10th, 2012 at 11:41 pm

      Hi Shari, Thanks so much for the note! The egg is actually the last ingredient listed, not in the usual spot you see it in recipes. Enjoy the cupcakes!


  74. Alexis on August 11, 2012 at 3:16 pm

    I tried these cupcakes and everyone loved them. The cupcakes turned out perfectly moist and the frosting was light and fluffy. I would reccommend these cupcakes to everyone!


  75. Lynne on August 14, 2012 at 8:44 pm

    This is the 3rd cupcake recipe that I have made from this site. I love the recipes and the pictures. However, each time I have ended up with more batter than the yeild specifies. Tonight I made these cupcakes, and the directions say to divide the batter among the 12 cupcakes, and if I had done that, they would be overflowing. As it is, they over-baked the cups and are all touching one another. I filled 2 more cupcakes and filled them more reasonably (the 3/4 usually recommended), and I think these will be perfect with the frosting. The other two recipes that made more than the yield are the Lemoncello and the Irish Car Bomb. I didn’t mind having extra cupcakes, but with the Lemoncello I ended up needing to make 2 batches of the frosting in order to have enough for the 12, and just enough for the additional 6 that were made. I’m probably doing something wrong, but I don’t know what.


    • Michelle on August 18th, 2012 at 3:37 pm

      Hi Lynne, Do you happen to have an older muffin tin? I ask because I have attempted to bake a couple of times with my mom’s tins, and the sizes of the muffin cups vary dramatically from pan to pan, and especially compared to the ones I own.


      • Lynne on August 30th, 2012 at 10:30 am

        Hi, my tins are not new, but they aren’t ancient either. I get the usual amount of cupcakes from a mix using them. Should the instructions just indicate how much to fill the tins? Then it doesn’t really matter what size they are and if they make more. BTW, when I wrote my comment, I hadn’t finished making the cupcakes. I did, and they were delicious. I found the cake extremely crumbly – had to eat it with a fork to not get it all over yourself. I did just barely have enough frosting to frost the amount of cupcakes I got (15) using the large decorating tip. I think I could have doubled the frosting, and I might have had a bit left over, but I prefer that to running out.


        • Michelle on September 27th, 2012 at 4:40 pm

          Hi Lynne, I usually fill my cupcake tins between 2/3 and 3/4 of the way full. I hope that helps!


  76. Emma on August 16, 2012 at 8:47 pm

    These are seriously the best cupcakes I’ve ever made!! Even my father in law who doesn’t like coffee LOVES them. I’ve had requests to make them at the last 4 family outings. Just amazing. I also like to sprinkle them with cocoa powder and stick a pirouette cookie in them. Even just the cupcake without frosting is incredible, moist and chocolatey with a hint of coffee. Perfect. Thanks!!


  77. icakepops on September 6, 2012 at 10:49 am

    Just pinned your GORGEOUS cupcakes!


  78. Amanda on September 10, 2012 at 11:49 pm

    When will your frosting tutorial be available? I’ve tried to make the pretty ruffle effect using the 1M tip as in your pic above, but mine doesnt look so good. :-(

    Any tips?


  79. Janeanne on September 11, 2012 at 11:20 am

    These are delicious. A few issues for me, though. The batter made more than the 12 standard-size cupcakes. I should have made 13 or 14 but instead overfilled my 12. :-(. Then I didn’t have quite enough frosting for the 12–and it certainly wouldn’t have covered the extra one or two. (I did pipe as well with a 1M tip.) Finally, I had the same issue with cake structure as several commenters. While very tender “pan” cake is wonderful, a handheld cake needs to be sturdier. Mine just fell into a tender, crumbly, delicious mess. Next time I’m going to try subbing bread flour for the all-purpose (a tip I picked up from a Cooks Illustrated chocolate cupcake recipe) to increase the protein content. Thanks for the recipe!


    • Janeanne on September 11th, 2012 at 11:23 am

      ^^^Lynn and I seem to be baking in parallel lives.


  80. bk on September 11, 2012 at 4:16 pm

    u must use 2 eggs not one to improve structure


  81. Teresa on September 14, 2012 at 5:45 pm

    I just got done making these. I greeted them w/ lukewarm feelings when i pulled them out of the oven. But then i took a bite after frosting them and… OH MY. They are delicious! The cake or frosting by themselves are sort of bland but together they are wonderful! I couldnt find espresso pwdr @ the store so i used instant coffee instead. I’ll definetly make again!


  82. Patrick on September 23, 2012 at 10:43 am

    Awesome cupcakes. I’m a coffee addict and this mocha cupcake combined with espresso frosting will be heaven for me. :)


  83. Kayla on September 23, 2012 at 6:01 pm

    These came out amazing. I ended up with more than 12, but still the best ones I’ve made to date. So yummy. The frosting is my favorite. I am wondering though, would it be possible to make these into a cake? I have tried using cupcake recipes for cakes before and they come out completely different. Thank you so much for such a great recipe.


    • J on October 11th, 2012 at 7:12 pm

      Often the only thing that changes is the time cooked because they are individual cakes rather than one big cake. Any cake or cupcake recipe can be made into the opposite. Depending on the temperature, cupcakes bake anywhere from 16-20 minutes and cakes 32-40 (size dep. as well). If you’re making in a standard cake pan I would start peeking in at 30 minutes- you can tell when it needs 2 minutes or 10 minutes. I’m sure your cake will turn out great!! :)


  84. Queenbear on September 28, 2012 at 4:04 pm

    Just finished making these and they are sooooo good! Wow! Thanks for sharing the recipe.


  85. Kelley on October 2, 2012 at 1:21 pm

    I made these this past weekend. They were AWESOME! I used instant coffee granules because that’s what I had on hand. I used 2x as much granules in the frosting to get more of an Espresso flavor vs regular coffee. My sister-n-law took the leftovers to her school & they were a HUGE hit! The other teachers said it was better than $5-6/cupcakes at a local cupcake shop! The icing was fluffy & light!
    I absolutely adore your blog & recipes! I have made dozens of your recipes & have not found a single one that doesn’t turn out divine! Thank you so much for sharing!


  86. J on October 11, 2012 at 7:04 pm

    This recipe is phenomenal! I enjoy baking cupcakes for my family and friends, so I often find a great recipe and put my own twist on it. After spending my summer fulfilling cupcake orders, I’ve learned how to determine if the result will taste delicious just by the ingredients and their amounts. This was one of those recipes. I did change things up a bit, however it was nothing that would change the consistency, and as is, this a recipe I will be keeping and making plenty of times! I needed a coffee inspired recipe so I made mocha coconut cupcakes by switching out the vanilla for coconut extract, and I used kona blend coffee. I greatly crave the frosting as much as the cake, and the frosting recipe more than frosted all my cupcakes and then some. I don’t prefer such gritty frosting so I usually add several tablespoons of half and half once I do the initial bowl scrape, but since I bought an 12oz whole milk for the recipe I used that instead. It seemed to work just fine. To finish the recipe, I topped it with a homemade caramel drizzle, and some toasted coconut flakes (super easy to do btw!). Doubling the cake recipe gave me 24 3/4full regular ice cream scoop cupcakes, and 16 mini cupcakes. So the original recipe would yield around 15-16 regular cupcakes using this scoop. I decided at the last minute not to substitute the espresso so I searched my city until I found it. It was more than worth it and I would suggest against it if you’re in the same situation. If you aren’t in a hurry, put on some good Pandora and enjoy the time it takes to bake these- don’t hurry if you can! These cupcakes are worth the wait! Thanks so much for such a great recipe :)


  87. Rebecca S on October 25, 2012 at 1:40 am

    I just made this frosting. I reduced the icing sugar by about 1/2 a cup and i added about 4 ounces of melted white chocolate. I also just about tripled the expresso powder. It turned out great!

    This is the recipe i used for the cupcakeshttp://www.annies-eats.com/2009/04/28/white-chocolate-mocha-cupcakes/

    All together everything turned out great!

    Thank You for posting the recipes!


  88. Kathy Hickey on November 2, 2012 at 10:27 am

    I made these cupcakes a couple of times now…. THEY ARE THE BEST! I bought some of those stick cookies (tuiles) that I bought at the grocery store.. they have a chocolate filling) I just put a half of one standing up in the icing.. looks sort of like a straw. These cupcakes are everyone’s faves!



  89. Sue Fuller on November 2, 2012 at 12:19 pm

    I threw out the first batch of these cupcakes I made, because in following the above recipe which says to split the batter into 12 liners in a standard size pan made the cupcakes overflow and burn. The batter tasted so good that I tried it again, this time in 20 standard size cups. Much better results this time. Will post another comment after they cool and they are frosted. They smell sooooooo good!


  90. simpleplans112 on November 5, 2012 at 8:37 am

    I tried these cupcakes last night and they came out really light, like they weren’t finished cooking, but they did. I followed everything step by step. Also I had a really hard time dissolving the expresso powder into the coffee. Almost impossible. Any advice on making them better?


  91. Simply Cakes By Nona (Margaret) on November 11, 2012 at 12:46 pm

    Can’t wait to try these, they sound amazing. Thank you for posting.


  92. JENinATX on November 11, 2012 at 9:12 pm

    Inspired by the BEB, I took this recipe, the margarita cupcake recipe (to ensure the proper amount of alcohol blend), and chocolate buttercream recipe and made a fantastic conundrum.

    I followed the majority of the cupcake recipe, but substituted 2 TBL of Patron Cafe for 2 TBL of the coffee.

    I also brushed the tops with Patron Cafe.

    I love chocolate (don’t think I’m alone here) and I love french vanilla (hazlenut and vanilla if you didn’t already know) so for the frosting I followed the espresso buttercream recipe, but increased the powered sugar to 2 3/4 c, and added 2 TBL of Patron Cafe, 1 Tea of Hazelnut extract, and 4 oz of melted semisweet chocolate.

    And it’s amazing!!!!

    The conundrum is do you eat them in the morning because of the espresso or in the evening because of the Patron Cafe…or maybe both. =D


  93. Marina on November 16, 2012 at 8:45 pm

    I made the cupcakes and they are awesome!!! The icing tastes great but it has a LOT of bubbles, netx time Im not gonna use the whisk attachment … other than I loved it!!


  94. Sarah on November 21, 2012 at 8:55 am

    Just made these myself and they are great! Thanks so much for the recipe, I dusted mine with cinnamon and would suggest that for anyone thinking about making them, it adds depth to the flavor and hides any mistakes you make while icing them. I also made a double batch of the cake part but kept the frosting as a single batch, and I still had leftovers! I can never seem to use enough of my frosting when I make cakes…


  95. Joanne on November 21, 2012 at 12:33 pm

    what pattern is the decorating tip? it’s beautiful!


    • Michelle on November 21st, 2012 at 4:29 pm

      Hi Joanne, Thank you! I used a Wilton 1M decorating tip.


      • Joanne on November 24th, 2012 at 10:42 am

        you are welcome. is there any special kind of pattern on the decorating tip or any special code number for it? because i have a Wilton 1M too and it doesn’t come out like yours. maybe you can take a picture of your Wilton 1M and post it here for the convenience of me and everyone else who are wondering too? thanks! :)


        • Michelle on November 24th, 2012 at 1:39 pm

          Hi Joanne, Not that I’m aware of. It’s a Wilton 1M, which is a large open star tip. You can see it here: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001683S5O/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B001683S5O&linkCode=as2&tag=broeyebak-20


          • Joanne on November 30th, 2012 at 6:57 am

            thank you so much! i don’t have the same decorating tip as yours but i am sure to buy one like yours the next time i visit the bakery store. by the way, i have tried baking your peanut butter chocolate cake and it was superb! i especially love the peanut butter frosting a lot. i have received many compliments for that cupcake. however, i think the chocolate cake is a bit too oily as the baking tray has a layer of oil over the surface. i also had to use paper towels to absorb the oil from the cake. is this normal? or did i make any pistake during the preparation? other than that, it was good. i’m going to try the espresso mocha cupcakes soon! thanks for sharing such wonderful recipes. :D


            • Michelle on December 2nd, 2012 at 10:57 am

              Hi Joanne, No you should not be sopping up grease after the cupcakes are baked, something must have been wrong there.

            • Joanne on December 2nd, 2012 at 12:47 pm

              hrm…i used a bar of butter (250g) for 1 recipe. is it too much butter? because the cupcakes turned out to be very oily.

            • Michelle on December 3rd, 2012 at 4:18 pm

              Joanne, The recipe calls for 1/2 cup butter, which is 4 ounces. I did a quick Google calculation and found that 4 ounces is equivalent to about 113 grams, so it looks like you used about twice as much butter as you needed to, which would explain the problem.

            • Joanne on December 4th, 2012 at 1:00 pm

              oh my goodness. that must have been the problem! i will definitely write that down in the recipe. thank you so much for giving me the exact amount in grams. that will definitely help a lot. thanks again! :D

  96. Satbir on November 22, 2012 at 1:35 am

    I’ve baked these cupcakes a few times. The first time was when I was visting a cousin in New Jersey. She knows I love to bake and asked me to make something, so I picked this recipe. She has a Nespresso coffee machine with the pods. The cupcakes tasted like an amazing combination of Mocha and Espresso – I could taste it in the batter and in the cupcake after it came out of the oven. I came back to Vancouver, Canada and baked these with a Nespresso coffee again, and they tasted quite different – not like the amazing combination I recalled in New Jersey.
    I’m wondering if dissolving espresso powder into the coffee would help enhance the flavour more. Any suggestions?


    • Michelle on November 22nd, 2012 at 8:46 am

      Hi Satbir, That’s interesting, I wonder what would have caused them to be different. I wonder if there is a difference in the water? In any case, you could dissolve some espresso powder for a more pumped-up flavor.


  97. Nana pfahlert on December 1, 2012 at 10:30 pm

    Wow! These are hands down the best cupcakes I’ve ever made. Super moist and the espresso flavor was sublime. I’m practicing decorating with a 1m frosting tip (and that was super easy too) for an upcoming wedding shower/reception. I’m excited to use this recipe. Thank you!


  98. Bri on December 4, 2012 at 10:37 pm

    I LOVE your recipes! I have made a few of your cupcakes, and they have all been a huge hit. They are so light and just the perfect amount of sweetness…nothing too crazy sugary. I just took these babies out of the oven and I AM SO EXCITED TO EAT THEM :)


  99. Isabella on December 6, 2012 at 7:33 am

    I had question. Do you mix the flour and coffee mixture afterwards or mix them each time you add it?


    • Michelle on December 6th, 2012 at 8:53 am

      Hi Isabella, You add the flour mixture, mix, then the coffee, mix, then flour again, mix, coffee, mix, and lastly flour, mix.


  100. Sara on December 18, 2012 at 12:14 pm

    I’m needing to make 36 of these but the recipe only makes 12 can you help me out ?


    • Michelle on December 18th, 2012 at 6:20 pm

      Hi Sara, You’ll need to triple the recipe.


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