Mocha Cupcakes with Espresso Buttercream Frosting
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!
Four years ago: Cherry Coke Float Cupcakes
Mocha Cupcakes with Espresso Buttercream Frosting
For the Cupcakes:
- ½ cup (118.5 ml) brewed coffee, at room temperature
- 1½ teaspoons (1.5 teaspoons) espresso powder
- ½ cup (122 ml) whole milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1⅓ cups (166.67 g) all-purpose flour
- ⅓ cup (28.67 g) unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon (0.5 teaspoon) baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon (0.25 teaspoon) salt
- ½ cup (113.5 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- ½ cup (100 g) granulated sugar
- ½ cup (110 g) light brown sugar
- 1 egg, at room temperature
For the Espresso Buttercream Frosting:
- 1 cup (227 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2½ cups (300 g) powdered sugar
- 1½ teaspoons (1.5 teaspoons) vanilla extract
- 1½ teaspoons (1.5 teaspoons) espresso powder
- 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).
Did you make this recipe?
Leave a review below, then snap a picture and tag @thebrowneyedbaker on Instagram so I can see it!
This recipe was originally published on August 13, 2010.
I love these cupcakes! I’ve been making them since high school. Recently I’ve thought about how I can make the cake itself a touch sweeter. Could I add a little more sugar? I also am wondering what you think would happen if I tried it with Texas pecan flavored coffee?
Hey, I was wondering about the icing. Every time I make it, it’s just a little bit to sweet and there is not enough coffee favor. I’d their anything that I could add without watering it down. Because the two other times I have made them, I added more expresso powder and coffee.
Made this recipe and came out amazing and delicious! Had excellent comments! The taste of coffee was just on point!Thank you 🙏🏼
The best baked good recipe I have ever made. I make it for every holiday and birthday. I even turn it into cakes. It’s the most delicious thing you could ever make. It’s not too sweet but definitely not bitter. It has the perfect amount of coffee and chocolate flavor. I recommend to everyone!
Um, whoa. I’m not exaggerating when I say this is the best cupcake I have ever made. Beautiful texture, the frosting whipped up very light (I like a LOT less than the author, though), and the flavor? Oh! To die for!!! I can’t wait to make these for a party!
I saw the ingredients, and knew I HAD to make these – they are heavenly! Thank You so much for sharing your hard work, and great results! I can’t wait to try another recipe of yours!!!
Absolutely delicious! Easy to make, and the best buttercream I have ever made! Definitely a keeper. I am going to drizzle them with some caramel and sprinkle with sea salt to see how that tastes.
Hi – this is my all time favorite cupcake!!! LOVE THEM! One question, can I freeze them and if so, what’s the best way to do that? Need to make them ahead for a trip…
I’ve been looking at this recipe for awhile. Finally made them last night. They are delicious. Just the right amount of sweetness. The cake was very light and you will want to lick that frosting bowl clean. My batter made 12 not 16 cupcakes. These cupcakes are right up there with the Brown Eyed Baker rum cake. Both are perfect recipes.
These were absolutely delicious! Coworkers who aren’t coffee drinkers loved them as well.
Hello my name is Dalinda and I love to bake your mocha cupcakes I’ve a question I want to make these adorable cupcakes but my question is how can I get a brewed coffee or how can I do it would please help
You juSt make a cup of coffee like you normally would or buy a cup if your are not a coffee drinker. I was shocked how delicious these were.
These cupcakes are amazing! The cake is tender and moist and the buttercream frosting is so fluffy. Just the right amount of coffee flavor.
Very good fluffy light cupcakes easy quick recipe and ingredients you can find in your house also very pretty looking result
My go to cupcakes!
I have been using this recipe for about 10 years now. They are so great that I have had professional bakers compliment me on these. Thank you for ever creating and sharing this!
Definitely does not make 16. If you barely fill the liners to half then you can get 16 small cupcakes. 12 – 14 at most.
The recipe sounds great and I really wanna try it but can this recipe be reduced to half? If so then wht will be the quantity of all the ingredients. please help.
I have made the cupcake recipe 5 times in the past month because I am freezing the cupcakes for an event. It is a consistently good recipe. The cupcakes are both light i crumb as well as rich in flavor, and the levening is perfect. It makes about 14 every time. The cupcakes are a deep chocolate flavor and have a bit of that coffee kick for extra oomph without being overwhelmingly acidic. Thank you!
Can this recipe be used to make a full sized cake?
This recipe is very good! The cupcakes were a big hit in my household. I love the creamy frosting combined with the rich cake. The cake is also very MOIST, which is a huge plus for me. Overall, I would HIGHLY recommend using this recipe!
Hi, the recipe calls for how many cupcakes? I’ll be making this tomorrow. Thanks,
The recipe makes 16 cupcakes. Enjoy!!
OH…MY…GOD…I made these today and they are the best cupcakes I have ever tasted! My husband doesn’t really like sweets and especially doesn’t like frosting but he LOVED these cupcakes because of the frosting! I made mini cupcakes (baked 10 min). I want to eat them all but instead I will be bringing them to my local police department tomorrow to show my support to the men and women in blue!
The hit of the party. Great recipe and a definite “do-over”. I added chocolate covered espresso beans on top which were so cute! Thanks
I decreased the butter in the frosting to a half cup, added a tablespoon of meringue powder & a little milk – they were still wonderful!
I love this recipe so easy and yummy! However I’m not sure what I did but the tops of my cupcakes are just breaking off like they have been cut? Is there something I am doing wrong? They are beautiful otherwise!!
My cupcakes did the exact same thing!
How long can the buttercream frosting be left unrefrigerated?
Hi Jessica, I’ll leave cupcakes at room temperature for up to 3 or 4 days. Enjoy!
I’m so glad I found your recipe again. I have made these cupcakes a few times but it was several years ago. They were my son’s FAVOURITE when he was younger. It’s my friend’s birthday tomorrow and I want to make these for her, but I couldn’t remember what they were called and your website. I finally found them again!
I’m so happy and I just know that everyone will love them as they always turn out beautifully!
Thank you so much for this lovely recipe.
Love this recipe!
I already have some cream cheese made up can I put espresso instant coffee in there?
Hi Karen, Do you mean cream cheese frosting? If so, yes! But I would dissolve it in a tiny bit of cream first, then add it to the frosting (you may need to add a tablespoon or so of powdered sugar to the frosting to compensate for the extra bit of liquid, depending on the consistency).
This is an excellent recipe! I made these cupcakes two years ago and made them again today. My husband (a tough critic) and two kids LOVED them! Thank you for sharing this! All the flavors compliment each other so well. Delicious! 💛
Hey, when you say espresso powder do you mean instant espresso? Or like an espresso grind on espresso beans? (Sorry, might be a regional difference.)
I’m wondering the same thing!
Hi, I dont have espresso powder. What is the alternative? i have instant coffee, but that i used to make room temperature coffee.
Hello ma’am the recepie is very good and I need to give it a try. My only concern about these cupcakes are that these are with egg so can you tell me the subsitution for egg fr these cupcakes? Thankyou in advance :)
Would the amount of buttercream be enough to frost 2×8″ cakes?
No, I would double the buttercream to frost a cake. Enjoy!!
One word…… DELICIOUS.
Have made these several times and they are divine! Cupcake is very light in texture and the frosting is definitely not too sweet, A real winner!!
These are the best cupcakes I’ve ever had! Just perfect! Thank you so much for sharing the recipe.
Can I make it 1 day ahead
Hi there, trying this recipe for the first time, and I wanted to add a salted caramel center and drizzle. Would it work with the base of this cupcake and frosting?
Hi Ana, I think those would work!!
Made these with instant Kona coffee and sprinkled coconuts shavings on top for a Hawaiian-themed bridal shower. They were a HUGE hit with everyone. Thank you for this recipe!
We double the recipe and make a double layer cake!! Everyone who has tried it loves it!
What kind of espresso powder did you use? I can’t wait to make these!
Ive made this as a round cake with the espresso icing brtween the layers and chocolate ganache over the top. It’s the most requested cake i make. Absolutely delicious and turns out perfect!
I have made this recipe a gazillion times. It is a family favorite! It’s one of the most moist cupcakes I’ve ever eaten. Most moist is hard to say.
Hi Michelle, I’m planning on making this recipe soon. For the actual cake, do we need 3 bowls? Do we beat the butter and sugar in a separate bowl or into the dry ingredients?
I don’t have espresso powder– can I use ground coffee or instant coffee instead?
Hi Maddie, Instant coffee! Enjoy!
I made these 4 times in the past 2 months I’ve found this recipe. Everyone I give them to raves about them. I have yet to have a bad review, I normally don’t get this much hype around my baking, I’m okay, but this recipe is fool proof and delicious. The cake is moist and the icing is so full of flavour. Even better, its so easy to make! Thank you!
I have made this recipe dozens of times, its perfect. I never change a thing, I’ve made cupcakes and round cakes! I just use a small round pan instead of doubling the recipe, and make several layers.
Wonderfully moist, fantastic flavor! Highly recommended.
vou amar fazer esse cupcake
I have been searching for a Chocolate Cake recipe that satisfied my taste buds with a texture between fluffy and brownie. I Finally found it here!!
I am making cupcakes for my son in law’s birthday party. I am thinking of make a chocolate butter cream with Jameson and espresso. Kind of like an Irish coffee thing. I LOVE your Guiness cupcakes with the ganache and bailey’s icing, but looking to do something less labor intensive. So his too favorite flavors in life are coffee and chocolate so I am trying to make something special. I am not creative and am nervous about experimenting on my own and was wondering if you had any advice. The Guiness cupcakes are intimidating to me because I would be making about 50-60. I have never made your Guiness cupcakes, only eaten them every year at my friend’s St. Patrick’s Day Party! I tried making the Jameson ganache on cupcakes but it didn’t really seem as though it would pipe onto cupcakes which is why I thought of trying to adapt a buttercream recipe. Would you be able to give my any advice?
A grateful mother-in-law,
Hi Kathy, What a nice mother-in-law you are! I’d be happy to help. Can you help me understand which recipes you’re trying to use? The Guinness cupcakes or these? I agree that the Jameson ganache would not pipe well. These mocha cupcakes are a great coffee/chocolate combination. You could add some Jameson to this frosting recipe – omit the vanilla extract and use 3 tablespoons of Jameson instead.
Do you think I could use actual espresso instead of a powder? Would it effect the cupcakes in any way?
Hi Alexis, You would be adding too much liquid into the batter; I would stick with the powder.
I love that you say these are great even if a person doesn’t like coffee. I love the smell of it but have never liked the taste. These look amazing though!
Hi i dont know what i did wrong but the cake batter was dense like the feeling of too much flour and even looked like muffins when i took them out…i have gone over the recipe to check my mistake so maybe you could help me understand what went wrong.Thanks
Layla, sounds to me you may have put too much flour or maybe overmixed the batter? Try weighing out your ingredients instead. OR if you you don’t have a scale, scoop your flour into your measuring cup then leveling instead of dipping your measuring cup into the flour.
These are soooo yummy. I love these cupcakes!!
Can I make this recipe as a cake or do I need to modify it at all?
Hi Jennifer, I would double the recipe and do three 8″ layers. You could use the recipe as-is in a 9×13 but it would be pretty thin.
OH MY GOD. I LOVE YOU FOR THIS RECIPE. IT WAS BEYOND AMAZING!!!
Oh my goodness. I just made these cupcakes and adapted them to make them vegan and they turned out delicious! My whole family is in love with them. Will definitely be making them again:)
Hello, can you please let me know the vegan substitutes? Keen to make this for my brother’s birthday next weekend
Amazing cupcakes, although i have not made them yet but they seem dazzling. I will be making these cupcakes on my parent’s wedding anniversary. I am sure they would love them. Thnx a lot for sharing this amazing recipe!( I am a 12-year old girl). Anyone can make these even a child. A very easy recipe. It is a bomb
These cupcakes are the bomb!! 💕 bakes for my daughters bake sale and they were a HIT! Kids and people were asking my daughter if her mom was going to bake more the next day. Indeed I baked 2.5 dozen more and half are already gone in 1.5 hours. I have a feeling this will be requested often!! ❤️
I’m just curious, what kind of espresso powder did you use?
Hi Alexis, I use Delallo brand espresso powder.
I’m planning to make these tonight for a cupcake camp event tomorrow and am hoping you might see this and be able to answer before then—would it be acceptable to use Starbucks Via instant coffee instead of espresso powder in the cupcakes (and for the brewed coffee)? Thank you in advance!
Does the espresso powder really dissolve completely? Mine didn’t. It does somewhat but it still has specs of coffee. I’m not sure if that’s normal….
Mine usually does unless it’s turned clumpy!
Love this recipe which is easy to follow and cupcakes are so delicious. I made them a few times now, definitely my favorite recipe. Thank you :)
If I wanted to make this dairy free can I just substitute the whole milk for flaxseed milk? Same amount?
I’ve never tried baking with flaxseed milk, so I couldn’t say what effect it might have on the texture or rise of the cupcake. If you try, please stop back and let us know how it went!
Love this recipe!!! It was a breeze to bake these. The cupcakes came out so light and fluffy, and the flavor was perfectly balanced! The buttercream was delicious. I will definitely be making them again.
If I want to bake it as 1 whole cake, then what inch pan should I be ideally using?
I would double the recipe and use two 9″ round pans or a 9×13
These are the best cupcakes! It’s definitely my go-to recipe when I need to bring a dish somewhere. I love that the ingredients are usually in my kitchen and I don’t have to make a special trip to the store. I do have to order the espresso powder off Amazon. These are always a hit.
Is there a substitute for the expresso powder. I can’t find it in my local grocer
I ordered it off of Amazon…
I was pretty excited for it and was sad at how they came out, pretty dry but a littlw moist at the same time, flavor was off not really chocolate or coffee and the frosting a little too buttery or powder sugary but that was honestly the best part of it.
I just love this recipe! I’ve made it in the past and I’m coming back to it per request for a graduation party. I was wondering if you had any tips on turning the batter into mini cupcakes instead? I have two 24 mini cupcake tins. Never used them before so I’m a little nervous about time, how much to fill etc. Thank you!!!
Hi Julia, I would start checking around 8 minutes so you don’t overbake. Enjoy!
These are my favorite cupcakes. I like the cake a little more chocolate so I use special dark cocoa.
Oh my! I cannot get over the success of this recipe. I used it in lieu of my regular espresso cupcake recipe and I am so glad I did. This recipe is easy so much better! Not only are these cupcakes simpler to make but also lighter, fluffier and tastier. Definitely a recipe to keep. The batter is runnier than I’m used to, but that turned out to be for the better when I saw the final result. Patiently whipping the butter for the frosting pays off too. This is the best frosting I’ve made to date as it was light, fluffy and easy to pipe without getting runny. Thank you for this amazing recipe!
That’s weird because i followed it to the T and my batter was very thick😑
I don’t know how that happened to you. My batter is always very runny as well, like soup :O
These cupcakes turned out beautifully! When you follow the recipe exactly, they become very fluffy! Love it!
I just made these for my husband’s birthday. They are excellent!! We loved them. The coffee flavor was just right! Thanks for sharing the recipe!
Can I make a cake with this recipe instead of cupcakes and it turn out as well?
Yes i tried it as a cake and it turned out good although i think it turned out better with cupcakes a cake works too
Beautiful cake recipe, but the sickly sweet buttercream makes me cringe. I don’t know why this wasn’t addressed in the recipe, but when adding some types of espresso powder they don’t all just dissolve. Yikes. It leaves a gritty feeling if you’re not dissolving it before adding it in.
It is dissolved. It’s easy to overlook it if you don’t read the recipe thoroughly, but you are supposed to dissolve the espresso powder in the vanilla. Works like a charm! I had no grittiness whatsoever.
Really enjoyed this! I don’t normally like chocolate cupcakes but this was pretty awesome. I didn’t get much of a coffee flavor but that may be because I didn’t grind my espresso powder enough (I tried to DIY it). I also got lazy toward the end and used store bought vanilla buttercream and mixed the espresso powder in. Not quite as pretty as yours but I did get some coffee flavor there! Thanks for the inspiration!
These cupcakes are the bomb. Moist, chocolately deliciousness. The frosting is excellent. I’ve made this recipe twice in the last two weeks and everyone loved them. Excellent!
These were so yummy! And absolute hit!
Made these for my husband’s birthday and he pronounced them EXCELLENT!
Michelle do you have the ingredients in weight please?? Namely the flour and cocoa?? Thanks.
Excellent, cupcake flavorful and moist. Frosting, doesn’t even need the cupcake. Yum!
I just tried this recipe today and it turned out amazing!! I baked the batter in two small cake pans and the texture of the cake had no issues; it was light and fluffy. I seriously couldn’t stop smelling the cake every time I took a bite! I love coffee cake and this recipe has the perfect blend of coffee and chocolate. I would highly recommend it! This is my new to go dessert ;) Thank you!!
PS : I know some of you might get offended (😖) but I am not a frosting person and cut the recipe in half. Also, I just used ground instant coffee 😬 because I couldn’t wait to try the recipe!
thanks for the recipe, but i actually didn’t like these cupcakes too much. sad to say. they weren’t moist and didn’t have much flavor. bummed since they take some time to make with lots of ingredients. the frosting was pretty tasty and we will see what my guests say tmrw.
Made these cupcakes and they were so so good. I will truly recommend.
Made these for my son’s birthday. The cake turned out super moist and the frosting has just the right amount of coffee flavor. A winner!
These cupcakes are very good although I would like to bump up the flavor. I only got 13 cupcakes and made only half of the frosting. Thank goodness as it was more than enough for the cupcakes I have, even spreading it thicker than normally would.
I just finished making this recipe (I added an extra egg) into a 2 layer cake and it is DIVINE! That frosting is the devil!! I could just eat that and be perfectly content. Thank you SO SO much for sharing this recipe :D
I just made these, and they are the best cupcakes I’ve ever had, in my opinion! The icing is amazing! 5 stars from this gal! Awesome recipe!
I am wondering if this recipe is suitable to make as a cake? It sounds amazing and I would like to make it for my husbands upcoming birthday 😍
Hi Tammy, Yes I think it would work!
This look amazing. I have a request to make a cake for a family member with frosting that isn’t ‘overly sweet.’ Buttercream is always so sweet (hey, I LOVE THAT– them, not so much). Any suggestions on taming down the sweetness?
Hi Jessica, I personally find this one a bit less sweet than most (a higher butter to sugar ratio) and adding in the espresso really cuts it as well. Maybe try a small batch just to taste and see if it would fit the bill?
The best recipe
can i use cocoa powder only instead of the unsweetened cocoa? if so, what will be the adjustment in the recipe. thanks
Hi Jedi, Unsweetened cocoa IS cocoa powder, but it’s a differentiation between that and Dutch cocoa powder. So short answer, yes, regular cocoa powder is what you should use :)
Is it possible to do this as a cake? Preferably a 3 tiered 6″ cake? Would it require more batter/frosting? What would the cooking time be? Thanks!
Hi Lydia, I’ve never tried it as a cake, so I can’t say for sure.
These are unbelievably delicious. Best cupcakes I’ve ever made myself, and probably the best cupcakes I’ve ever eaten period.
Hello and thank you for this recipe! One question is what type of cocoa you used. Is this natural or Dutch processed?
I followed the instructions to the letter, except I accidentally left out the brown sugar. Silly. But…they turned out beautifully, although I’m sure the additional sugar would have made them even more tasty and delicious. I got exactly 12 cupcakes from the recipe instead of 16–maybe partially due to the missing sugar. May add bittersweet chocolate shavings over the frosting next time, just for fun.
On your mocha cupcake recipe, how many cupcakes does this recipe make?
Hi Linda, I get about 16 cupcakes from this recipe.
Made some today at the request of my niece. Tried the cake and it didn’t tast like coffee, just enhanced the chocolate. For the frosting, I also added about 1.5 cups or so more of powdered sugar, another tsp of vanilla and espresso powder and about 2 tbsps of milk. I didn’t think I’d have enough frosting for all my cupcakes, which I yielded 19. Now I can’t wait to try them together and I’m not a huge coffee fan😊
Can I make the icing without the espresso powder and make it vanilla? If so how much vanilla should I use?
Hi Caitlyn, Yes! This is the vanilla version of this frosting: https://www.browneyedbaker.com/vanilla-cupcakes-vanilla-buttercream-frosting/
I made the icing, not the cupcakes. I’m not an icing girl; usually, icing is just too much–too heavy, too sweet, too sticky. The espresso buttercream turned out fabulous–not too sweet or dense. I had more than enough to frost my cake but I wasn’t scared to add the extra bit to make the cake look extra scrumptious.
Instead of using just vanilla in the espresso mixture, I used half hazelnut liquor and half vanilla. It is very subtle, but I can tell it’s there.
This is a first for me–I ate the icing right out of the bowl, off the whisk, off the off-set spatula, off my fingers. . .
For the past few years, I’ve been making these cupcakes at the end of each school year as gifts for my teachers. Everyone goes nuts over them! For decoration, I just top it off with a chocolate covered espresso bean. Simple and elegant!
Can you use instant coffee instead of espresso powder? In the frosting and the batter.
Hi Karina, As long as it’s very fine it should work. Espresso powder is preferred because it’s extremely fine and can dissolve easily so you don’t get a gritty texture.
I tride the Cupcakes yesterday, specialy the topping is gread. Verry nice !
Fantastic recipe! I now make these cupcakes on a regular basis as my whole family love them so much! Cupcakes are so soft and spongey and the icing is to die for! Perfect recipe!
The buttercream icing was great and looked beautiful but the cupcake itself was dry, dry, dry. I wouldn’t make it again. I got 18 out of the batch but the mocha flavor did not come through at all.
Baked these earlier today, and just ate one. Delicious! The cupcakes are so most and the buttercream is so fluffy! Definitely making these again! Thank you!
Can I add food coloring to the frosting? If I can what point in the recipe would you recommend adding it?
Hi Caitlyn, Yes you can, but the frosting does have a brownish tint from the espresso powder, so just be aware that the colors may be a bit off.
These cupcakes are so delightful! I added a drizzle of chocolate and 1 chocolate covered espresso bean. So pretty, so yummy 😋
Absolutely loved these, and I’m not a fan of cupcakes. The icing was the perfect consistency and the cake was light and fluffy. Not too sweet of cupcakes either.
One more question, why do I need both brown sugar and normal granulated sugar? Is there a reason or just for colour? Why do I also need both baking powder and soda? Does it make any difference if I just use only baking soda?
Hi Lauren, Brown sugar helps to keep a moist texture, it has nothing to do with color. And yes, only using baking soda would make a difference; they need the extra oomph from the baking powder, as well.
Just wondering? Is that much sugar really necessary?
Btw the temperature and time needed to bake the cupcakes didn’t work for me. I altered it to 135 degrees Celsius and around 15 mins.
PS: I’m using this recipe for my school’s chef of the year competition! I’m so gonna get a gold with this!
Hi Lauren, Yes, the sugar is the correct amount. Good luck in your competition!
These cupcakes are INCREDIBLE. My mom and sister made these for my birthday and they were just unbelievably good. My brother-in-law said they were the best cupcakes he’s had in his whole life. We added some chocolate shavings and a chocolate-covered espresso bean on top of each one for a bit of decoration!
Note: we followed the recipe exactly, except we used self-rising flour and left out the baking soda/baking powder. Turned out perfect!
I made these today. Used an extra egg because mine were small and I read the comments about them being crumbly. They were still crumbly. I followed the recipe to a T except for adding the egg. Not sure what happened, maybe 3 eggs next time. Tasted absolutely delicious, but completely fell apart. I will also double the frosting, I could frost 10 of the cupcakes with the quantity of frosting this recipe makes.
Hi Cassey, I’ve never, ever had these turn out crumbly, but I’ve never added extra eggs either. I would try it according to the recipe and see how they turn out.
Great recipe! I made these today and they where yummy! I subbed half the butter with applesauce and 1/3 of the sugar with stevia powder. To cut out some of the calories and they turned out fantastic! I recommend this recipe.
Thank you! Perfect answer for my MIL who loves mocha cake. So easy to throw together on a busy weekday in time for her birthday dinner. I have an espresso machine, so I subbed the coffee and powder in the batter with a half cup of cooled espresso. Delish!
I made these cupcakes for my mother’s 70 birthday. They were absolutely amazing and now I’m a junior high culinary arts teacher and will be making these with my students.
I would like to make this espresso buttercream to frost two eight inch cakes and crumb coat them as well. I would like a nice thick layer of the buttercream between the cakes. Can you tell me how much to increase the frosting recipe for something like that? Double it? Triple it?
Hi Yolanda, Do you mean two 8-inch layers stacked into one cake, or two separate 8-inch two-layer cakes?
These are absolutely delicious! I whipped up a batch of these for a work get together and they were an absolute hit with everyone! (Even the picky eaters and sweet’s haters!) I followed the recipe step by step and only deviated a little bit. Instead of using unsweetened cocoa, I substituted in hot cocoa mix; for the brewed coffee I substituted in Baileys Liquor. Everything else was left the same.
I rate this recipe 5/5 stars because it’s perfect for a quick dessert to have for parties, dinner or an evening snack. They’re incredibly delicious, moist and I’m positive all the ingredients are within reach of your pantry – so it ranks high on my convince list. I will be using this as my go-to recipe for all things chocolatey and delicious.
This is like, the most perfect cupcake recipe I have tried. I have messed up so many cupcake recipes I thought it was my fault. These came out PERFECTLY and there were exactly 16. For me that happens, uh, never. Kudos, I’ll definitely consider this site my first stop next time I need a baking recipe.
Hi Jill, I’m so, so happy you loved the cupcakes! Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a review!
How many cupcakes does a single batch make? I’m looking to make 2 dozen!
Hi Heather, This makes about 16 cupcakes (I have the yield up above in the recipe box)… you’ll probably want to double the recipe!
Has anyone tried baking these as mini cupcakes ? I’m curious about how they turn out and what’s the cooking time
Hi Amalia, I would start checking them at 8 minutes just to be sure they’re not overdone.
I just made these for a wedding this weekend. Sampled one of the cupcakes tonight and OMG these are good!!!! The frosting in particular. I may have accidentally eaten a second cupcake. Oops
It was my first time making cupcakes and these came out great! They are so delicious but at the same time very sweet and rich! Perfect with a cup of coffee!
Yum! I’ve been trying several cupcake recipes for my son’s graduation party this week and this one is definitely on the menu!
These are really delicious.! Thank you for a great recipe.
I’ve been making these cupcakes for years and they are my absolute favourite! They are fluffy and flavourful and the batter is amazing! I sometimes have trouble finding espresso powder but have used instant coffee in a crunch and it is delicious too! Love it :)
Oh, My, God! Just made these, literally 40 mins ago. Huge hit! The cake part is that right amount of chocolate and coffee flavor, tender and moist. The icing is exactly what you picture in your head of what an espresso frosting would taste like.
I’m big on contrasts and mixing it up, so I made one tweak, I took your Irish car bomb ganache recipe, substituted the whiskey for Kahlua, and put it in the centers. Wow, I can’t stop eating them, my son has consumed four already!
I forgot to mention that the batter was very watery which surprised me, so I’m thinking that maybe 1 1/3 cup of flour and 1/3 cup of cocoa isn’t enough given the amount of liquid. Any thoughts?
Hi Lauren, I’m sorry to hear these didn’t bake up perfectly for you. I’ve made them many times and haven’t had any issues. The batter should be on the thin side (this ensures that the cupcakes are light and moist). Were they fine once they finished baking? It could be that your oven runs a little on the cool side?
I made this exactly as written and not only did the cupcakes not rise, but after 20 min. they still needed to cook so I put them in for another 5 min. After that first 5 min I put them in for another 5 min and still they came out gooey so I am putting them in for another 5 min. I usually don’t have this much trouble baking so I’m not sure what the problem is. Any ideas?
I’m a complete beginner in baking and am quite overwhelmed with the variety of piping nozzles out there. Could you give any advice on the type/ size I could get to decorate both cakes and cupcakes?
Thanks a mil!
Hi Masha, I use a Wilton 1M for almost all of my cupcakes. It’s a great all-purpose tip that will give you a nice swirl. I also have an Ateco set which has some larger swirly tips, as well as some round ones. For cake borders like shells, you’ll want some smaller open star tips, like a #21, which is included in this tip starter set, which is a great deal if you don’t have any to start with!
Delicious cupcakes and frosting! Made them for a photo shoot. Only thing is you need to at least triple the frosting recipe to get the thick decorative swirl of icing depicted. A “rosette” shape with the same tool uses lot less icing.
Oh, yum yum and yum! Coffee…sugar…coffee…these mocha cupcakes are what I’d wake up to. Yes, wake up. I’d eat these first thing in the morning. With my cup of coffee :)
Can I use instant coffee in place of espresso powder? I can’t find it anywhere near me
Hi Lisa, Yes, as long as it’s instant, that should be fine.
What frosting tip did you use?? It looks very professional.
Hi Esther, I used the Wilton 1M frosting tip (http://amzn.to/2hvvcIp).
The cupcakes was amazing, the frosting is just heavens<3 .. we tasted a few 1-2 hours after making and it was good, then I left it overnight and was surprised by how delecious they turned out..
as always ..your blog is my go to whenever I feel like trying a new receipe but don't want to fail :)
these are amazing!!!!! the taste is beyond words loved everything about them!!!
Thanks for sharing! It’s usefull recipe!
Made these for a gathering a couple of nights ago and they were AMAZING! Just the right amount of espresso flavor.
They are my new favorite!
This is hands down one of the best and easiest cupcake recipes I have ever made. First I loved that the batter wasn’t crazy runny, I actually could neatly get the batter into the cupcake liner.
The cupcakes were incredibly moist and so flavorful. The frosting was also very easy to make and yielded just enough for the cupcakes to be generously frosted – which is good because I’d eat leftovers for dinner. Friends and family told me repeatedly that these are the best cupcakes I’ve ever made.
Made these awesome cupcakes … Every calorie was worth it. Yummm. Thanks for sharing ☕️?
I not a huge “from scratch” baker just yet, and I am wondering about using the base recipe here for other versions of cupcakes. What liquid would you substitute for the brewed coffee? Water? Oil? Milk?
Hi Marla, It depends on what kind of cupcake you’re looking to make. I have great recipes for basic vanilla and chocolate cupcakes, which I would recommend over trying to trying to manipulate this recipe:
Simple yet beautiful. Great photography!
So gorgeous! This frosting sounds divine!
How would I make this into a glutten free? I’ve baked this cupcake many times, and I have a friend who’s glutten intolerant. I would like to bake this for her.
Hi Kristeen, I don’t do any gluten-free baking, so I don’t have a tried and true recommendation for you, unfortunately. I know there are some gluten-free flour mixes you could try using, but I don’t know how they would work in this particular recipe.
These are tasty cupcakes, if a littletoo sweet in the frosting. I didnt get the mocha though. If I made these again I’d put way more espresso powder in the cupcakes and frosting.
THESE ARE SO BEAUTIFUL!!!!
I made a first batch which were still yummy but I used a shallower cupcake tray than the next batch, which I used a muffin tray (much deeper). It also really does make a difference if you whip it with the electric whisk for the time stated (I got impatient last time and didn’t do it for as long). They’re really dense and heavy cupcakes, but beautifully light at the same time.
The frosting is TO DIE FOR. I had some left over and had to keep it in a tupperware box just so I could eat it another time!
I brought some in for my colleagues and they said they would pay good money for them they were so delicious! Without a doubt my favourite recipe to this day.
The cupcakes were super moist but I found that they lacked flavour. I couldn’t taste chocolate or coffee.
I made these for my lovely roommate’s birthday a few weeks ago, and they are incredible. Even my boyfriend who is not a coffee fan liked them!
I could not find espresso powder so I used Cafe Bustelo espresso ground coffee that I found at Walmart. It worked perfectly well – the frosting looked speckled but was still smooth in the mouth and amazing. Next time I will use my mortar and pestle to grind the coffee more finely. Will certainly make these again.
You said you used a 1M tip But how did you use it around or back and fourth or some other way Love the way it looks
Hi Paulette, I just went in a circle around the bottom of the cupcake and worked my way up to a point. I hope that helps!
hi, i really like the sound of this recipe, but i would like to do it as a cake not cupcakes, would you have any suggestions or changes that i should do when baking, and if so, how long should i cook the cake for, and at what temperature?
Hi Megan, You would need to double the recipe for a 9×13 cake or two-layer 9″ cake. Bake at the same temperature, but it will take a little longer to cook. I would just keep checking every few minutes until done (I’m not sure of an exact time since I haven’t done it).
I have made these last week and they were the star of the night. These look almost as good as they taste. In fact, my husband has asked me to make them again this week, this time, a double recipe. I ended up eating 4 in one night and 1 for breakfast the next day. LOL These are AMAZING !!!!
I’m a 29yr old mother of four, and im a stay at home mom, i am constantly baking and when i started baking for family and friends I was told i should try and start a business selling my cakes and cupcakes. So , naturally i have tried many recipes searching for the perfect ones. When i saw this recipe , and all the positive comments, i thought i would give it a try. Seeing as how i LOVE COFFEE, i thought these would for sure be great….i was wrong, they are WAY BETTER than i could have imagined! So outstanding! !!!!! Im not exaggerating when i say, this is the best cupcake i have ever had!!! HANDS DOWN! It did make 16 cupcakes for me, but obviosly pan sizes differ. And to anyone considering making this recipe, you MUST MAKE THESE ASAP!!! Thank you so very much for this absolutely FANTASTIC recipe! I will make these again and again for the rest of my days!:-) PERFECTION! !!
Hello, I am making these tonight and i was wondering if i could sub the all purpose flour with cake flour instead? These look delicious, and after reading all these comments, i wouldn’t want to mess them up in any way! Im super excited to try these! Thank you so much!
Hi Rachel, I wouldn’t recommend the substitution, as the cake flour will absorb the liquid differently than the all-purpose flour.
I made these beauties yesterday afternoon to bring in to work today and they are INCREDIBLE! I’ve never had any luck making soft, fluffy & moist cupcakes but this recipe is a superstar! Thank you Michelle for making an office full of coffee loving manly men (& one coffee loving girl) very happy!
These are absolutely amazing. I had never baked anything except banana bread and cookies so I was a little hesitant to make these from scratch. They turned out wonderfully and the flavors are exquisite. Great recipe! I wouldn’t change a thing! :)
I used the frosting for a mocha cake I’ve been making for over a decade. My husband always complained because it only had powdered sugar. I saw this and knew he’s be happy. And yes, complete success. This is fantastic frosting! Although never be tempted to try the espresso powder/vanilla mixture by itself.
I really like your blog. I love to read blogs about recipes.I will tag it to my favourites internet site list. Keep it up !!
Hello, I’m going to bake these tmr.
Just wondering how do I actually make the Brewed Coffee?
Do you have a recipe for that? Or is it ok if I use a 3-in-1 coffee OR just plain black coffee w/o sugar & milk?
Hi, You can brew the coffee using a coffee maker, French press, etc. or you can just head to a cafe and pick up a coffee! Definitely make sure it’s black coffee.
These were by far the best cupcakes I have ever made! It was so easy and tastes amazing. The cupcakes were perfect and moist and the icing… OMG! I will definetly be making these again and again and again:) thanks for the recipe!
This sounds and looks delicious. I am looking to make a double layered 9in cake.. would this recipe work as written or should I double it? And what about the frosting? Thanks on advance for any tips! Can’t wait to make it :)
Hi Kay, I would probably double it! I would double the frosting too – always better to have some leftover than not enough to cover the cake!
Can this recipe be used to make a whole cake instead of cupcakes? Or could I make adjustments?
Hi Jennifer, I haven’t done so, but others have noted that they have without issue!
I would like to add chocolate to the frosting. How much cocoa powder could I had to this recipe?
Add* I’m not even sure if this is possible. It may change the consistency too much.
Hi Jodie, I would use this recipe and add the espresso powder :) https://www.browneyedbaker.com/best-chocolate-buttercream-cupcakes/
Thank you so much for this. I am going to be trying this soon.
I made these for my husband and they turned out perfect! So moist and light and delicious, and the frosting was great too! I added just a touch of heavy cream to it cause I like how it lightens it up a little. He absolutely loved them and told me to make sure I keep the recipe. Thanks Chica! :)
These are absolutely fantastic! I actually turned mine into a cake for my bestfriends birthday. Thanks so much!
I have made these cupcakes multiple times since you first published this outstanding recipe. I was preparing to make again, and came to your website. I couldn’t find the instructions I remember guiding the addition of cream to make the fluffiest frosting ever for this recipe. Seems like there was an original posting, then a follow-on posting sharing the goodness of adding cream for great taste/effect. Now I am unable to find it and it was by far my favorite frosting tip. Would you please consider re-posting that version so I can print and have on have FOREVER?!
Hi Andrea, Hmmm I actually didn’t change this post very much, save for some grammar corrections. There was nothing in here originally about adding cream to the frosting. Are you sure you aren’t thinking about another cupcake recipe?
HA! Leave it to me to be having cupcake dreams! Thank you for the reply! I spend lots of time on your site!
Michelle, I wasn’t following your blog at the time if the original post. Made them today as jumbos in tulip papers. Wow, who knew buttercream was so easy! I look forward to trying more.
I would love to make this into a cake. What changes would I have to make? I would like to use to round pans.
Hi Naomi, You would need to double the recipe and increase the baking time slightly (I’m not sure how long exactly, as I’ve never done it, but bake until a toothpick comes out clean).
Michelle, I want filling your blog at the time if the original post. Made them today as jumbos in tulip papers. Wow, who knew buttercream was so easy! I look forward to trying more.
I must be imagining things, I swore you posted these a couple years ago! I think I tried them then and remember accidentally adding too much liquid coffee and they came out flat haha!
Hi Jessica, They were an old recipe from six years ago, I gave it a much-needed update!
These look super yummy! Can’t wait to try them!!
Hello! I am from the UK and am unsure when the recipe says sugar (granulated sugar) if I should use UK caster sugar or UK granulated sugar – our granulated sugar has bigger granules that yours but the the caster sugar granules are finer than your granulated sugar. I am worried our granulated sugar will be too grainy in recipes and perhaps not cream properly?, but the caster sugar may then be too sweet. Which should I use when baking these american recipes?
Hi JP – I’m familiar with caster sugar, but I’m not familiar with UK granulated sugar, so without knowing how granule it is, I would say you could go ahead and use caster sugar in this recipe. I would go by weight since it’s finer, and use 3.5 ounces. I hope that helps!
These sound like they will become my husband’s favorite cupcake!
Hi! These look amazing and I can’t wait to try them. Where do I get espresso powder from? I’ve never seen it or used it.
Hi Lindy, Thank you! You can get espresso powder in Italian grocery stores, on Amazon or from King Arthur Flour.
These look amazing! Can’t wait to bake up a batch.
This was the first recipe I ever made off of your site. To this day, it is still my favorite go-to cupcake recipe. I have never had anyone not like them. I top them with a chocolate covered espresso bean for an added kick :-)
These cupcakes were the BEST I’ve ever had and a huge hit at work! I was wondering if you’ve ever used this to make a double or triple layer cake–or if you have any advice as to what ratios/cooking time would be needed…
Hi Christina, You could double the recipe and make a two-layer cake, I think a number of readers have commented that they have had success doing so. Enjoy!
These cupcakes are a real favorite in my house! However, I was wondering if I’m the only one having trouble with the liners separating from the cupcake? This is the only recipe i make that this is happening every time. Any suggestions?
What quantities should I use if I want to bake this as a 2-layer 9″ cake?
Hi Jen, You’ll want to double the recipe.
This was my very first time making cupcakes and they came out perfectly! The recipe and proportions of cake to icing and serving size are on point . Not too coffeey either; the icing has the perfect espresso flavor
I made these cupcakes because I am a huge fan of chocolate and coffee, so of course mocha is the ideal flavour combination for me. However-these did not work at all. I left them in for the required amount of time, at the correct temperature, but they did not rise, they did not seem to cook in the middle (it was raw looking and tasting, very gooey) and they tasted like flour. I had to throw them away:( Does anyone have ANY idea why this would happen? This has happened to me once before with a Red Velvet Cake recipe that I swear by and have made hundreds of times, but just once this exact same thing happened. I would be so grateful to anyone who has a solution for this problem!
Wow! These are incredible. The frosting was like nothing I’ve ever tasted. Thank you!
I made these a while ago and followed the recipe and directions exactly except using Starbucks VIA instant coffee powder instead of espresso powder. Man oh man did they turn out well – way better than expected for a rookie baker!! Will make these soon for a special occasion and will have just as much fun and with hopefully results as beautiful and delicious as the first time! Definitely recommend this recipe to anyone and everyone!
This recipe is terrible. I have been cooking for years and never had failed to make muffins nor cupcakes. This time I decided to try something new and found this recipe. I did everthing exactly as said. Nevertheless, my cupcakes turned out to be so light that they completely fell apart. I had to waste all my materials for nothing. The cupcakes didnt even taste good. They tasted like nothing. I do not recommend this recipe at all. It looks all pretty and everything, but do not let your eyes fool you.
The cupcakes look absolutely delicious and tempting!
Wow. Just Wow. These are delicious–probably the best cupcake ever. I’ll be making these often! Thanks, Michele!
These are fantastic! I had to bake something for an office meeting and decided to give these a try. My colleagues are hard to please, but they LOVED these! I could not find espresso powder (I live in a rural area) so I used a good instant coffee and the cupcakes tasted wonderful! Also, they are super moist.
These cupcakes are AH-MAY-ZING! Especially for coffee lovers. I have made them several times using various combos of espresso powder or instant coffee (whatever I have on hand or is on sale at the time) and they still come out great every time! Soft, moist, rich, and the frosting is perfectly sweet and fluffy. Thanks for a great recipe I will be keeping in my rotation for years to come!
I haven’t tried the cake portion of the recipe (yet), but the frosting is unbelievably amazing! I frosted pumpkin cupcakes with it for a coworker’s birthday, and while everyone liked the cupcakes, they went absolutely crazy for the frosting, calling it the best frosting ever. I loved the texture that the butter-whipping process created; I hadn’t made frosting that way before, but I will from now on!
I’ve made these a couple of times and each time they have been fantastic! No problems. If you are having a problem perhaps it is the baking time, the mixing order of ingredients, oven temperature setting, ingredients not at room temperature………..?
can u taste the coffee in the cake without the frosting?
Yes, but it’s more subtle than in the frosting.
Is it okay to double on the espresso powder if I want a stronger coffee flavor?
Hi Sam, Definitely!
I really want to make these from scratch, but I have a box of white cake mix that I really need to use. I don’t want it to end up going to waste How can I turn my white cake mix into mocha cake mix?
Unfortunately, I don’t think that would work, as the mocha cupcakes have a chocolate base. I’d probably use your cake mix for something else and make the mocha cupcakes from scratch.
Your recipe does not list eggs but the directions have you adding eggs am I missing something???
Hi Star, The egg is there, it is the last ingredient in the list.
I absolutely love these cupcakes! The first couple times making them were difficult trying to get everything right and so it was the right consistency (I’ll admit, the first time I had a sludgey cupcake tin) but after the first 5 times it’s become a breeze to make these. They’re not too overpowering with the coffe which is good considering I don’t like coffee and the cupcake with the frosting is absolutely divine! Tip for anyone making these: don’t eat just the frosting by itself. It’s very strong and will probably make you feel a little ill. D:
Thank you for this heavenly recipe!!
Hi! I just wanted to say that the icing recipe is delicious! I made it for my birthday (I made a three-layered vanilla cake with the espresso icing and my cousin made these cute little fondant flowers to decorate it) and it tasted incredible! Thank you very much for posting it.
Made these as one of three flavors for my nephew’s wedding July 5. They were beautiful and tasted heavenly…at least that’s what the guests told me. ; ) I also topped each one with a candy I found at a local shoppe: a chocolate covered chocolate in the shape of a coffee bean. TO. DIE. FOR. I doubled the recipe and it turned out just fine…I loved the way they tasted: chocolate at first then a few seconds later than wonderful coffee taste. Thank you for a wonderful recipe!
I tried this recipe a few days ago, and they came out super moist, but fell apart. I also overfilled the cupcake tins, trying to use all the batter. I also dumped all the coffee/milk mixture into the butter/sugar, then mixed all the flour mixture. I also sifted my flour–I think this is where my mistake was. I was unable to find espresso powder at my local grocery store, so I just brewed espresso and mixed that with the coffee, and added the liquid espresso to the frosting.
Fast forward to today…I did not sift the flour, and I alternated the coffee/milk mixture with the flour mixture. I found the espresso powder at a large grocery store today, I also had 16 cupcakes vs. 12, so they were the perfect size and no overflowing! The cupcakes were awesome, moist, but not falling apart and the perfect blend of coffee and chocolate.
Well, it was our fifth time making these tonight. My son wanted to learn how to bake, and asked me to show him. When I asked him what he wanted to bake, he asked if we could do the mocha cupcakes he loves so well. He then grabbed my iPhone to find the recipe online! He remembered what the website looked like from last time.
Anyway, we doubled it to make 24. They are amazing. Especially if you love that coffee flavour.
Thanks again for this yummy recipe. It’s our family favourite by far!
Hi Michelle….. these are wonderful! I made them into minis. People enjoyed them. I need your opinion on cupcake liners. Growing up all my Mom used was the light yellow, blue and pink ones. Now there are so many choices, I cannot find one that works all the way around. There are plain papers, waxed papers, some that say “no fade”, some with foil —– Do you have a favorite? Either they do bleed grease, the colors of the paper fade, the cake sticks to some, etc. I am hoping that you have made enough to have a favorite. Thanks again for this recipe. It is special!!!
Hi Sue, I play around with some different colors/patterns sometime, but my “tried and true” favorites are just the plain white paper liners I get from the grocery store. Can’t beat ’em!
Ok, so I know these comments are supposed to be helpful but if your looking for a helpful comment keep on looking. I really haven’t tried this icing but Im so tired of looking at it and not eating it. IM DIEING TO TRY THIS ICING OMG
HAI, CAN I BAKE THIS INTO A CAKE NOT INTO A CUPCAKE?
Hi Vanessa, You will need to double the recipe and bake in either two 8″ or 9″ layers, or a 9×13 pan.
I’ve made these cupcakes from this recipe a few times now. I just baked a batch this morning for my son as he was invited to a Valentine’s Day party at a girl’s house (that he is trying to impress). He was asked to bring a treat, and he SPECIFICALLY asked for these. They are his absolute favourite. And his little valentine loves them too. A few heart sprinkles, and they will be perfect.
Thanks for sharing this.
Oh, my gosh. I made these tonight for a “cafe’ ” themed event tomorrow, and they are more than I imagined. I quadrupled the recipe to make 48 cupcakes, and had enough extra batter remaining to make one 9″ round cake. The texture is light and fluffy, but not dry. I could not find “espresso powder,” so I ground an espresso blend bean and used those. The flavor of the cake is distinctly–but not over-powerfully–coffee. I overfilled the first batch, and the result was flat-topped, too-big cupcakes–the second batch, I filled the cups about 2/3 full and they were perfect. My buttercream does not look as lusciously smooth as browneyedbaker’s, but that is probably due to my not using espresso powder. However, the bite of the coffee cuts out the strong sweetness of the frosting to a perfect coffee flavor…I could eat it by the spoonful. So far, rave reviews–except from the coffee haters who dug in thinking it was chocolate/Oreo cake and were unpleasantly surprised.
I have a question. I made a double batch of these. Can you tell me why they poofed up while baking but then just went flat and kinda hung over the sides? A few also sunk a little in the middle but they are done. Any ideas what to do next time? Thanks. :-)
Also want to mention that they are super crumbly. To where the top wants to just crack or crumle when you go to take the paper liner off. Not sure what I did. :-)
i agree. i think we must have done something wrong
How long will unfrosted cupcakes last when refrigerated? I made the cupcakes in advance and will just frost a day or two before bringing them to work.
Hi Riz, I would not recommend refrigerating the cupcakes, as doing so could cause them to dry out. You can store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days before frosting and serving. I would not frost them more than a day in advance, so that they are still fresh when you serve them.
Hello there! I’m planning to do this recipe but may i just ask if the brewed cofffee must be on room temperature? Thanks! :)
Hi Paola, Yes, the coffee should be at room temperature. I will edit the recipe above to note that!
I have been making these cupcakes for a while, and the one issue that I have is that the tops fall a little and sometimes when handled, the tops fall off. Any tips or thoughts about what I might be doing wrong?
I LOVE all of your recipes. They are my go to baking staples!
Hi Ashley, I’m not sure why the tops would be falling off, unless perhaps you are over-filling the cups and the extra batter is settling in on top of the pan. That might make that extra little top especially delicate.
Just made these and they were great. But next time I will definitely add more espresso.
Made this recipe, they were awesome! I had to substitute instant coffee powder for the espresso powder but they still turned out perfect. So incredibly rich I could only stand to eat one. I’ll definitely be making more. Thanks for the recipe!
sounds delish! can i add food coloring to the frosting??? for example red color?
You could, if you wanted to.
These look scrumptious! I’ve been musing over a good combo for a chocolate and coffee cupcake to toss some toffee chips in (inspired by Ben & Jerry’s Coffee Heath Bar crunch)… But I am curious– if I wanted to use coffee liqueur in the frosting, would you substitute it for the same amount of coffee? Or do a mixture of coffee and coffee liqueur? Thanks! :)
Hi Heather, I think you could just use the coffee liquor.
OMG soooooo good! I love my coffee, and you put coffee and chocolate together and i’m in heaven. The frosting tastes just like those Coffee Creams chocolates from Laura Secord. My grandma used to give me those all the time when I was a kid (why she gave caffeinated chocolates to a 6 year old I’ll never know but she got me hooked lol). Love this recipe! Definitely one of my favourite cupcake recipes you’ve posted!
Hi, this is crazy but if I wanted to make this recipe into a cake, a big cake 16″ and I inch high, do you recommend tripling or quadrupling the recipe? Please help!
Hi Bertha, I really don’t know, as I’ve never made a cake that large. You could try using the cake pan conversion chart on this page as a guide: https://www.browneyedbaker.com/conversions/
Can I use buttermilk instead of the whole milk? That’s the only ingredient that I’m missing to make these tonight!
Hi Eva, I have not tried using buttermilk and sometimes it can change the texture, but I think you should be okay.
I used 2% milk and they tasted fantastic!!! I took them to work and my co-workers raved about the cupcakes and the frosting! This one is a keeper for me! Thank you so much for sharing your talent!
I was going to ask about substituting buttermilk, too, but I just went for it because I didn’t think to ask in time. They were amazing! (I usually increase the baking soda a little when I do that, but didn’t this time.) I found the cupcakes to be very moist, but I always set the timer for a few minutes before they’re supposed to be done and check them from there. The second there is no liquid batter on the toothpick I take them out. So, I’m not sure if the buttermilk added to the moistness or not. I always forget that buttermilk is low/nonfat, too. Not that I care! Thanks for yet another great recipe!
this look delicious
Your mocha frosting looks amazing and I’d love to use it for my Mom’s birthday cake! Do you think it would hold up if used in layers or would it be too light and squish out the sides? I’m planning to bake 4 layers in loaf-size pan.
Hi Carrie, I think it would be okay to use as a filling, although if you have four layers, you may need to scale the recipe up so you have enough. Enjoy and happy birthday to your mom!
Found your recipe via Google when looking for coffee flavoured cupcakes. I made these on Sunday and will be making another batch tonight (Tuesday). Hugh hit with everyone at work. Beautifully light cupcake and the butter cream is to die for. This will now become my “go to” cupcake recipe. Thanks for sharing.
I just made these cupcakes. They were very light. My oven is very hot, so next time I will let them bake for 14 or 15 minutes so that they would be more moist. I had problems with the frosting. First, I used low quality powdered sugar so it did not dissolve quickly in the butter. Then the espresso granules did not dissolve into the batter, so it did not have a nice pale tan color but more of a speckled look to it. Then the frosting was somewhat on the soft side. I will try the frosting with much better quality powdered sugar next time. Thank you for this recipe.
I usually don’t comment, but felt it was necessary. Have made these cupcakes several times and they always come out perfect! Easy recipe to follow, and thanks to you I have many requests for these delicious and moist treats!
These are the best cupcakes I’ve ever made and might be the best I’ve ever eaten! They take exactly 20 minutes in my oven, and cooking them on the rack below center seems to keep the tops from toughening. I sift the dry ingredients together, and also sift the powdered sugar. Had 2 for breakfast today with a Diet Coke. Thx Michelle!!!!
Every time I make these people think I bought them from a store! An absolutely perfect recipe EVERY time. I do find that you have to double the icing recipe to cover the amount of cupcakes this recipe makes. It says it yields 12; it always comes out to double that for me…which is and never will be a problem.
I bake these ALL the time and my family absolutely LOVES these cupcakes-especially the frosting! What a hit! Thanks so much for sharing!
Hi ms Michelle, I really really love your recipes. But I seem to be having problems with this one, I do hope for your help. I’ve used your red velvet, vanilla and mocha cupcakes recipes and they all turned out great. I’ve even used then for cakes by just adding a little but more liquid (around 30% more), the red velvet and vanilla were a success but this mocha always turns out to be gummy and nothing like the cupcakes version. I’ve done this thrice for mocha but failed. Hope to hear from you soon. Thanks
Hi Hana, I’m not sure what size cake you’re trying to make, but my recommendation would be to double this recipe to make a 9×13 or two-layer 8″ or 9″ cake; do not add more liquid. You’ll need to bake for a longer amount of time, as well.
DO you have a suggestion as a SUBSTITUTE for the ESPRESSO POWDER???
You can omit it, but then you obviously won’t have the mocha/coffee flavor.
Made these today and the cupcakes were outstanding! First time having coffee flavored cupcakes, BUT! The buttercream was waaaay too sweet for me. I’m going to use a chocolate swiss buttercream recipe and maybe add a bit of espresso. Hopefully it turns out better. =)
Thank you so much for this recipe! I made them for my friends’ birthday and they were a hit :D
Thank you so much for the receipen, the cupcakes were greatttt greatttt excellently perfect! Loved them and they taste so good. I think the frosting is too sweet for my taste so next time I’ll put less sugar in it. Thank you very very much!
These are a great cupcake, the cake was really light and moist and the coffee gave a proper punch. A fantastic grown up cake.
I tried these without the frosting and they turned out pretty great. I absolutely love each and every recipe on your site and it inspires me to come up with new recipes myself. :)
My cupcakes turned out terrible! :( They didn’t rise in a dome shape but rather just spread out. I live in Calgary, AB, Canada where our elevation is very high. Perhaps that’s the reason. Or overworked in the mixer. They taste ok but don’t peel out of the wrapper properly. No noticeable coffee flavor either. I’d recommend using 1/2c fresh espresso instead. (I’m a seasoned baker 15+ yrs)
What type of icing tip do you use to give it that satiny ribbon look? Because I am definitely making these on the weekend
Hi Laura, I used a Wilton 1M tip.
I just made these and wow. The cupcakes itself are fluffy and delicious. The frosting was also so good, but the only thing I did to it was increased the amount of espresso powder to 1 tablespoon. Other than that so good and will definitely be making these again.
OH MY GOD!!! These cupcakes are to die for. Just finished making them and had to taste test. They practically melt in your mouth and the buttercream frosting is divine! They are perfect. Thanks so much for sharing this amazing recipe Michelle.
I haven’t made these cupcakes but I have made the frosting several times to top my favorite chocolate, espresso cake/cupcakes and brownies. The frosting is delicious, thank you so much for sharing the recipe. :) (Hershey’s Black Magic cake is my favorite chocolate, espresso cake recipe and it is incredibly easy)
When I tried these, they didn’t rise. I think the recipe wanted 1 1/3 cups of flour, instead of 1-1/3 cups of flour. I tried the latter, and I guess that’s why they didn’t rise. I don’t live at an elevated height, and I don’t know what went wrong…
I have a coffee/chocolate loving man in my life, and he loves when I bake for him, so these were absolute perfection. I managed to get 14 perfect cupcakes out of the recipe (I was debating between diving the remaining batter between the 12 or just making extra cupcakes, and I’m glad I went the extra cupcakes route because I’m sure the wells would have overflowed otherwise). I could feel how light they were when I lifted them out of the pan! My brother said they taste like Coffee Crisp (Canadian chocolate bar, for those that don’t know), and my sister was scooping the remaining frosting out of the bowl by the spatula-full. All in all, a great cupcake success. Thank you :)
For a friend’s engagement party, I doubled this recipe and baked it in a 9 inch spring foam pan.The top fell a bit but I suspect that’s because I opened the oven too early. My frosting had expresso granules in them (no idea why) but I liked the look of it with the icing. It made it a bit more interesting to look at as I did not decorate or design the cake. Lol. Overall, the combination of the cake and frosting…*sigh* (I am in coffee heave right now). Shame all I could get was a taste!!
I absolutely love the flavor of these but after four batches, checking and rechecking measurements, I have an oven thermometer and even being very careful not to over do the brown sugar I have only had one batch actually rise the rest were flat, should they be like this? If not any ideas how to solve this problem? Thank you.
Hi Kimberlie, I’m not sure if you can tell from the photos, but these cupcakes don’t rise extremely high. They will dome slightly, but they won’t get terribly high.
let me just say this recipe looks like it makes awesome frosting. I have a question though. I’m doing a culinary final at my school and I’d love to use your recipe. Instead of making my cupcakes all at once on that final day, I plan on making my cupcakes the day before and other parts of it days before. I heard buttercream can last for a while. Does your buttercream recipe last for AT LEAST 2-3 days? I heard that crisco lasts in the refrigerator compared to sugar. Please reply back Id be an honor. thanks!!!
Hi Ewi, You can make the buttercream ahead. You can refrigerate it for up to 3 days, but it will need to be re-whipped before you use it. You could also frost the cupcakes up to a day or so ahead of when you’ll serve them.
These were amazing. Always come out perfect and the frosting is to die for. Delicious!!!
Could we have the grams measuremets as well please?
Hi Zita, I do not calculate gram conversions for all of the recipes; if you wish to do so, you can use this guide (you’ll need to go from ounces to grams to get your final number): http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipe/master-weight-chart.html
I just made the Espresso Buttercream Frosting. Oh mah gawd, it soooooo good!
Oh, this may not be proper baking technique, but I warmed the vanilla in the microwave for a few seconds and dissolved an instant coffee mix instead. I still turned out magnificently!!!!!
Hi there! If I wanted to make this into a cake, there wouldn’t be any necessary changes, right? Also, If I wanted to make a layer cake with the mocha cake and just a plain coffee-flavored cake, would I be able to use this recipe and just take out the cocoa powder or would that affect the batter? Thank you for your help!
You will need to double the recipe to make a two-layer 8-inch or 9-inch round cake, or a 9×13 cake. You will need to adjust the baking time (all will take longer to bake than the cupcakes) based on the cake you decide to make. I would not just omit the cocoa powder for a coffee-flavored cake.
I just made a batch of these this afternoon after coming across them on Pinterest this week. Let me simply say . . . they are TO DIE FOR!!
Many thanks for sharing this recipe.
These look delicious and I shall attempt very soon. Quick question, when alternating flour and coffee mix are you folding ingredients or using beater on low speed to incorporate?
Hi Leanne, You should mix on low speed. Sorry for the lack of clarification on that step!
Great Cupcakes! My family really love it! <3
Now why did I have to think of coffee at this kind of moment? I just finished a vanilla cake from Sweetapolita and now I just want to bake this treat!
It’s is my second time baking this cupcake and both times it turned out AMAZING! I love your recipies and I will try to bake them all!!! Lol
I was wondering if what else can I substitute for the espresso powder? I heard I can brew black coffee but to cut it on half to substitute for the powder
You can use instant coffee as well. I’ve never substitute a liquid for the powder.
I just made the butter cream and it is wonderful! This recipe has got to be the best butter cream recipe I have ever tried! Thank you for sharing!!
I made these cupcakes, they came out nice and moist but weren’t sweet enough. Are they supposed to not be sweet? I’m only speaker about the cupcakes not the frosting.
The cupcakes themselves should be a little sweet, but they lean more to the mocha flavor vs the chocolate, so they are not overly sweet.
I baked these yesterday and they were amazingly heavenly! I got so many compliments on them! All my friends thought they were super yummy and very pretty! I topped mine off with dark chocolate shavings and these dark chocolate covered toffeed expresso bits from Trader Joes. Thanks for the recipe, a straight up 7 stars out of 5!!!!
I just made these (and gave them out to friends today, who all loved them). They taste amazing and I ate all the leftover frosting… but the cake portion crumbled and fell apart, as other commenters have mentioned. The cake itself was very fluffy and moist (not at all dry). But eating the cupcake was very messy!
I just made these and they are super delicious. Very easy to make.
I just made these now for my parents aniversary, they totally loved it :)
I love these cupcakes, and have made them numerous times. but i substituted the flour for
½ cup almond flour ½ cup coconut flour 1/3 cup tapioca flour ½ teaspoon guar gum
and they came a little dyer then the original but just as tasty.
The frosting was super super good and the cupcake were amazingly delicious. I could eat ten of these mocha cupcakes. Cupcakes made by scratch are way better then store made. The cupcakes on the website were cool which is why we wanted to make them, but we just slapped the frosting on the top. My friend wanted to just eat the bowl of frosting. Now that we made them at school, we want try to make them at home.
Hi, I can’t wait to try your recipe for an upcoming party. Just wondering, can I use the same recipe to make a cake?
Yes, just double it for a 9×13-inch pan or a two-layer 8 or 9-inch cake. Bake it at the same temperature, but it will likely need to bake longer, at least 22 minutes.
Thank you so much for this delicious recipe! I’ve made it at least a half a dozen times now, and It’s always a hit! I read in your replies that you would double the recipe for a cake, but would you do the same time and temperature as well? Thanks in advance for your reply!
Definitely keep the same temperature, but you will need to bake it for a little longer, I would start checking it around 22 minutes, just to be sure you don’t overbake it. It may take a little longer than that.
Thank you! These are the best cupcakes and the frosting is my very favorite, EVER!
I really want to make this to top the chocolate cupcakes i just made, but i dont have espresso powder, only instant coffee powder. Would that work? Please respond!! Thanks!!!
Hi Elle, Yes, as long as it’s instant the coffee powder should work.
how do you ice your cupcakes like this?
This sounds like a great recipe. I will definitely have to try it. Do you think if I wanted to makes these even more “chocolatey” I could add some bittersweet chocolate chips to the batter–or do you think it might change the consistency too much?
Hi Janet, You could; I tend to not like adding chips to cupcakes that are meant to be light and fluffy because I think it weighs them down. I save those for double chocolate muffins :) You could always try it, though! No harm in experimenting!
I just made the espresso buttercream frosting and it looks like the espresso powder didn’t dissolve so much as just mix with the vanilla. You can see the espresso IN the frosting. Is that normal?? lol…
Tastes divine though!
Thank you for sharing with us!
Hi Caroline, My espresso powder dissolved right into the vanilla and you couldn’t see the specks in the frosting. Be sure you’re using instant espresso powder, and not just regular espresso powder – it will make a difference.
Ugh. I’m pretty sure it’s not instant. It still tastes fantastic, but… I don’t like the specks. :p
OMG!!! What a difference!!!! DIVINE!!!!
I have followed you for about two years and you are my go to person when I want to make a dessert to impress. These were delicious and I got all kinds of compliments. Your frosting is prettier than mine. How do you make it look like layers of ribbon?
Hi Lorrie, So glad you enjoyed the cupcakes! I used a Wilton 1M decorating tip for the frosting. Instead of swirling, I lingered in each section a little bit, which is what I think gave it that ribbon look. Hope that helps!
I made these and they came out absolutely perfect! They were melt-in your mouth perfect! Everyone who tried them loved the taste! The cupcake came out really moist and soft and the butter cream complemented the cupcake well! Thanks so much for this wonderful recipe :)
Hey is the brewed coffee with milk or is it the plain black coffee?
Hi Indra, Just plain black coffee, no extra milk.
Turned out great, except I definitely didn’t end up with enough frosting for a 1:1 ratio. I would double the frosting directions to have enough, you may even have a little too much then.
I’m not an experienced baker, but this recipe was the bomb! People raved about these. I couldn’t find espresso powder either – I used 2 Starbucks Italian Roast ready brew packets. Thank you!
Where is the EGG? Talks about it in the recipe but nowhere in the list of ingredients… Am I missing something?
Yvonne, Egg is the last ingredient listed.
Thanks Michelle. I must be blind!
They turned out really well. Just need that M1 tip! On it.
I’m needing to make 36 of these but the recipe only makes 12 can you help me out ?
Hi Sara, You’ll need to triple the recipe.
I had question. Do you mix the flour and coffee mixture afterwards or mix them each time you add it?
Hi Isabella, You add the flour mixture, mix, then the coffee, mix, then flour again, mix, coffee, mix, and lastly flour, mix.
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 :)
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!
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?
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.
what pattern is the decorating tip? it’s beautiful!
Hi Joanne, Thank you! I used a Wilton 1M decorating tip.
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! :)
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
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
Hi Joanne, No you should not be sopping up grease after the cupcakes are baked, something must have been wrong there.
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.
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.
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
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…
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!!
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
Can’t wait to try these, they sound amazing. Thank you for posting.
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?
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!
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!
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!
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 :)
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!
Just finished making these and they are sooooo good! Wow! Thanks for sharing the recipe.
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.
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!! :)
Awesome cupcakes. I’m a coffee addict and this mocha cupcake combined with espresso frosting will be heaven for me. :)
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!
u must use 2 eggs not one to improve structure
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!
^^^Lynn and I seem to be baking in parallel lives.
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. :-(
Just pinned your GORGEOUS cupcakes!
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!!
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.
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.
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.
Hi Lynne, I usually fill my cupcake tins between 2/3 and 3/4 of the way full. I hope that helps!
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!
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
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!
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.
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.
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…
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
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.
I recently made these cupcakes and they are sooo delicious! I’m really looking forward to trying more of your recipes. Thanks for sharing!!
Thank you so much for the recipe. I made this 2 dozens and give some to office and it was a huge hit! Delicious!
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!!
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!!
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!!!
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!
Where do you find espresso powder?
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.
I made these and they were the best! Super moist inside, the frosting was to sugary for me though
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!
These were amazing! I could eat the frosting by the spoonful. Thank you for sharing.
These are absolutely delicious!! Even my coffe hating family loved these.
do you ever make extra frosting to frost your cupcakes?
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.
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Oh my goodness! Those are like heaven in my mouth! Absolutely wonderful!
I love the cupcakes the frostin gi couln’t get right though
Yum! How did you frost these cupcakes, with what icing tip? They look looovelyyyy :)
Hi Kelly, I used a Wilton 1M decorating tip.
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.
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!
is the batter really runny? :( my first attempt was a fail)
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!
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! :)
Cant wait to try this!
Where can one buy espresso powder?
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. :)
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.
I bought my expresso powder from Walmart. I was shocked to see it there!
I just made these cupcakes and they were delicious! The icing was so light and fluffy. Definitely going to make these again.
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!!
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.
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.
Would these cupcakes be nice with a cardamom frosting as well?
That sounds great!
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:)
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!!
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
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!
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?
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.
Do you use standard size cupcake wrappers??
Absolutely loved the Espresso frosting nice recipe thanks for sharing :-)
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.
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.
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.
I made these cupcakes the other day and my friends and I loved them! thanks so much for sharing the recipe :)
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!!
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.
Oopsie =) I meant this reply for the meatball soup, but these look amazing too!
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!
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?
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!
These are Awesome! The frosting is so amazing…. tasty and light and fluffy. The kids loved them and so did my co-workers.
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!! :)
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
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.
Hi Cathy, The espresso powder is for instant espresso. Enjoy the cupcakes!
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?!
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!
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!
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!
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!
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!
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.
Hi Nicolene, I would recommend this chocolate buttercream frosting: https://www.browneyedbaker.com/2010/10/22/best-chocolate-buttercream-cupcakes/, and this espresso buttercream frosting: https://www.browneyedbaker.com/2010/08/13/mocha-cupcakes-with-espresso-buttercream-frosting/
I did use your mocha buttercream frosting, so I know I must be doing something wrong. Your frosting looks so silky and smooth, and mine acted as though it was leaking vanilla and coffee. Any ideas on what I could be doing wrong?
Hmm leaking liquid? If you didn’t make any ingredient substitutions, perhaps your butter was way too soft?
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!
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!
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