I had the privilege of making cupcakes for my beautiful friend’s baby shower last weekend. In a couple months, little Ezekiel will grace the world with his presence, and the ladies of our church got together to celebrate his impending arrival as well as the momma carrying him. She is a coffee enthusiast, so naturally, we thought it would be great to have mocha cupcakes for her (made with decaf of course)!
The first step in this recipe is actually deciding the coffee that will go into it. The java makes all the difference in this one! On this particular occasion, of course I chose to use a decaf coffee since the guest of honor doesn’t need the caffeine. But on pretty much any other occasion I would have wanted something dark and rich. So the first question you need to ask yourself is how strong you like your coffee and what overall flavor you want to come through. Do you you want it to be more chocolate with a hint of coffee? Or the other way around?
Next you want to brew the coffee and let it cool. But make sure you don’t let it sit all day. We wouldn’t want that delicious flavor to go stale (especially if you’ll be serving them to coffee lovers)!
Start on the Mocha Cupcakes
As soon as the coffee has cooled, you can start assembling your batter. With this recipe, we mix the dry ingredients in a separate bowl from the wet and then slowly incorporate them together. Overall, it’s extremely simple. We just want to avoid over-mixing, which can cause the cupcakes to come out tough. No one wants a tough cupcake!
The original recipe called for milk, but I had such success with heavy whipping cream in my vanilla cupcake recipe that I decided to use it again. And yet again, it did not disappoint! It’s quickly becoming one of my favorite recipe hacks for moist and fluffy cupcakes. I also decided to add coffee to the batter, which was not included in the original recipe. It added just a touch of bitterness that nicely balanced the sweetness of the chocolate and gave it a darker flavor.
The smell that filled the house as they were baking was absolute HEAVEN (or as close to it as you can get here on Earth). Even my kids were eager to try them! Although, that may not say much since my two-year-old likes to sneak sips of my coffee any chance she gets–as if she needs the energy.
The Best Part: Buttercream!
Next, I employed my little helpers to assist me with the frosting, which is their favorite part (and mine). This recipe is super simple. After fluffing the unsalted butter, you can dump all of the dry ingredients in together and let them combine. Afterward, we add the heavy cream, let it incorporate, and add the coffee. Then we just need to let it beat on high until we have nice fluffy peaks. And we’re done!
Of course, it doesn’t feel like a true cupcake to me unless I pipe on the icing with a fun Wilton tip. Any will do, but for this occasion, I chose the 2D. For some reason, it’s my go-to favorite!
For an extra touch of elegance, you can drizzle on some homemade chocolate sauce or add a chocolate-covered espresso bean to the icing’s peak (or do both).
No matter how you choose to decorate them, the taste will definitely come through and make everyone’s taste buds very happy! Give ’em a try, and you’ll see what I mean.
Until next time,
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- 1 cup unsalted sweet cream butter room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 egg room temperature
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
- 2/3 cup freshly brewed coffee cooled
- 1 cups unsalted sweet cream butter room temperature
- 3 cups confectioners' sugar
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 5 TBSP heavy whipping cream
- 3 TBSP freshley brewed coffee cooled
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a metal cupcake pan with paper liners.
In a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar until light and creamy.
Add egg and vanilla extract. Beat on medium speed until just combined.
In a separate bowl, mix together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
Slowly mix dry ingredients into the wet ingredients in the mixing bowl, alternating with the heavy cream.
Add the coffee and continue to beat on medium speed until fully combined. Scrape sides of the bowl as needed.
Fill cups 3/4 of the way full and bake for 20-23 minutes.
Cream the butter on high until light and fluffy.
Add the confectioner's sugar & cocoa powder. Combine on low speed.
Slowly pour in the heavy whipping cream and allow the mixture to beat on high for one minute.
Add the coffee, and continue beating on high until peaks form.
Pipe or frost as desired.
Recipe adapted from kellystilwell.com