These mocha cupcakes are coffee and espresso-infused, with a subtle chocolate flavor, and topped with an espresso-spiked buttercream frosting.
These mocha cupcakes are a chocolate and coffee lover’s dream come true. If you can’t get your day going without your favorite cup of coffee, you’re in luck.
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 cake part itself strikes 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 love this recipe because it’s incredibly low maintenance in terms of preparation. I used my hand mixer and had these babies into the oven less than 30 minutes after I got started. I am absolutely infatuated with the texture of the cupcake – it’s so incredibly soft and tender, with not even a hint of dryness. It’s basically the perfect cupcake and I’m dying to think of other recipes to use the same base recipe.
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. I pile it way high!
I’ve mentioned many times that I’m not a big coffee drinker, mostly because I don’t like the flavor of black coffee, so I need to doctor it up with all kinds of cream and sugar to enjoy it, and I figure if I’m going to do that, I might as well just have some dessert… Oh wait.
These mocha cupcakes are pretty much how I like to ingest my coffee. Sugar? Check. Cream? Check.
While I don’t drink coffee, I absolutely, positively LOVE these cupcakes, and I’m willing to bet that many of you will, too!
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a standard-size muffin tin with paper liners.
Make the Cupcakes: In a measuring cup, whisk the espresso powder into the brewed coffee until completely dissolved. Add the milk and vanilla extract; set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
With an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter and both sugars until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg and beat until combined. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with two additions of the coffee mixture, mixing each until just combined. Using a rubber spatula, give the batter a final stir to ensure everything is incorporated.
Fill each muffin cup about two-thirds full with batter. Bake for 17 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting the cupcakes.
Make the Frosting: In a small bowl, whisk the espresso powder into the vanilla until dissolved; set aside.
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 1 to 2 minutes. Add the espresso and vanilla mixture and continue to mix at medium-high speed until it is completely incorporated, scraping the sides as necessary. Frost the cupcakes as desired (I used the Wilton 1M decorating tip).