Dark chocolate mocha cupcakes with coffee buttercream

I wasn’t going to bake for a few weeks. I made those Double Ginger Cookies a few days ago, ate way too many of them, and realized it would probably be best for that marathon I’m running (in 11 days. OMG.) if I didn’t go crazy with sugar for awhile.

But today was my Sister-in-Law’s birthday AND Mike found out he got a new job (!!!) so the no-baking plans were scrapped and celebratory cupcakes were made. My sister-in-law drinks a lot of coffee, so dark chocolate mocha cupcakes with coffee buttercream seemed like a natural choice. The dark chocolate stars are just piped melted chocolate – easy but decorative and delicious.

Obviously, if you like either coffee or chocolate, these will be hard to resist. I think it’s easiest to use instant coffee for baking, so that’s what I did here, for both the cake and the frosting. If you’d rather brew some espresso, I’m sure that would work too.

(adapted from Evil Shenanigans)

3/4 cup cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup cocoa powder
4 tablespoons butter, melted
1/3 cup buttermilk
1 large egg
1 egg white
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 tablespoons strong coffee (or three tablespoons warm water mixed with 1 tablespoon instant coffee)

4 tbsp butter, softened
2 tbsp warm water
1 tbsp instant coffee
1 tsp vanilla
3 cups powdered sugar

a few ounces of dark chocolate, melted

Preheat the oven to 350 F and line a 12-cupcake pan with paper liners.

Whisk together all the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, sugar, and cocoa) in a medium bowl.

Beat the egg and egg white gently with a fork, then stir in the buttermilk, vanilla, melted butter, and coffee. Pour into the dry ingredients and mix until most of the lumps are gone. Divide evenly among the cupcake tins and bake for about 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean.

Transfer the cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the frosting, dissolve the coffee in the warm water. Beat the butter, coffee-water, and vanilla in a stand mixer. Add the powdered sugar and beat until creamy and spreadable, adding a few drops of milk if too dry. Pipe onto the cooled cupcakes.

To make the chocolate decorations: Put the melted chocolate in a piping bag with a small round tip and pipe designs onto parchment. Transfer to the fridge for about 30 mintues to set, then place the decorations on the iced cupcakes.


20 Responses to “Dark chocolate mocha cupcakes with coffee buttercream”

  1. 1 The Nifty Foodie July 15, 2010 at 6:05 am

    Wow, these sound AMAZING!

  2. 2 Cara July 15, 2010 at 6:34 am

    Yum! I’d have trouble avoiding sugar if I made these. Good luck with the rest of your training days!

  3. 3 ashley July 15, 2010 at 7:00 am

    they’re so pretty!!

  4. 4 valen July 15, 2010 at 9:07 am

    I love how you decorated those cupcakes! Love coffee or espresso flavored anything, just finished off a container of espresso frozen yogurt.

  5. 5 Natalie (The Sweets Life) July 15, 2010 at 10:10 am

    good luck! I’m training for my first right now–I hope you tell us how it goes!

    Those cupcakes sound awesome. I’m not a coffee-drinker but I love coffee flavored things…and I have a friend who would love things. Can’t wait to make them!

  6. 6 Maria July 15, 2010 at 12:59 pm

    Decadent! I want one now!

  7. 7 marla {family fresh cooking} July 15, 2010 at 4:42 pm

    I love dark chocolate & coffee. Absolutely beautiful cupcakes. Best of luck in your marathon!

  8. 8 Memoria July 16, 2010 at 1:12 am

    Wow! Beautiful cupcakes and great news for your family! Happy birthday to your sister!!

  9. 9 Elizabeth July 16, 2010 at 5:50 am

    These sound fantastic! I’m always on the lookout for cupcakes to take to work and what better than more coffee?!?!

    And congrats on all the celebrations!

  10. 10 Danielle July 18, 2010 at 7:03 pm

    Wow these cupcakes look and sound amazing!! I’m definitely adding this recipe to my to-try list. Yum!!

  11. 11 Lauren July 26, 2010 at 2:52 pm

    Wow, those really do look amazing, I have to agree with everyone else! I can’t resist chocolate or coffee so it looks like I am a sucker for this recipe! Do you mind if I use this recipe on my blog to share with my readers?

  12. 12 dee January 30, 2012 at 9:14 am

    i dont know if i did something wrong but when i made the coffee buttercream it came out way to thick, so i added a bit of milk then it was way too loose, it was pouring out of the pastry bag. I threw out the frosting and tried it again and didnt add milk this time, it looked good but when i put it in the pastry bag it started getting runny again.

    • 13 Cate January 30, 2012 at 1:38 pm

      Dee – sometimes the heat from your hands on the pastry bag can soften the frosting. If that happens, you can put it in the fridge for a few minutes to firm it up again

  13. 14 susan April 9, 2012 at 4:17 pm

    are this cupcakes for 12 cup??

  14. 16 ames June 13, 2013 at 5:45 pm

    what if you cant find cake flour what can you use ?

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