Mocha Cupcakes

mocha cupcake

A few weeks ago one of our good friends turned 40, and I made these mocha cupcakes for her party. I looooove coffee in any form: french press, latte, IV drip - and I especially love the combo of coffee and chocolate.

The "cake" part of these cupcakes is the recipe we've used for family birthday cakes for as long as I can remember. It was given to my mom by a friend, and it's so delicious! I love that these cupcakes have such good chocolate flavor and are also moist (I'm sorry, I also hate that word, but I'm at a loss for a synonym). The coffee flavor comes from the espresso buttercream I piped on top.

I have made more cupcakes in the last few months than I ever thought possible. I completely blame the tip set I bought, because I swear frosting cupcakes is an addiction. If you've never tried, you really should! I thought it would be difficult, but it's actually incredibly easy and makes cupcakes look super fancy.

Chocolate Cupcake Ingredients:

2 cups flour
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup water
1 cup unsalted butter (two sticks)
2 eggs, whisked
1/2 cup buttermilk, at room temp
1 tsp vanilla

Chocolate Cupcake Directions: 

Preheat oven to 350 and line a muffin tin with liners.

Whisk together the dry ingredients, flour through baking soda.

In a small pan, heat the butter and water until the mixture almost reaches a boil. Take off the burner and let cool.

Mix together the eggs, buttermilk and vanilla. Add to the butter mixture once cooled. If the butter mixture is still too hot when you mix these together, the eggs will cook. Yuck!

Add the dry ingredients into the now combined wet ingredients in two batches. Fold together until just combined. Pour batter into prepared cupcake tin and bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes.

Espresso Buttercream:

1 cup salted butter, room temperature
2-3 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp espresso powder

Espresso Buttercream Directions:

Dissolve the espresso powder into the vanilla, and set aside.

Using the whisk attachment on a stand mixer (or hand mixer if you prefer), whisk the butter on medium/medium high until it's light and fluffy.

Reduce the speed to low, and add the powdered sugar one cup at a time. Once it's all incorporated, increase the speed to medium high until fluffy. This usually takes 2-3 minutes.

I usually only need two cups of powdered sugar, but I also prefer desserts that aren't super sugary. The wonderful thing about buttercream is that you can taste/add as you go!

Add the espresso/vanilla mixture, and continue to whisk on medium until all the ingredients are incorporated. You will probably want to take a spatula and scrape down the sides a few times throughout the process to ensure that everything is mixed properly.

Then it's time to frost your cupcakes! My go-to frosting tip for standard cupcakes is the Wilton 1M tip.

Questions? Comments? Let me know in the comments below!

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Kirsten Bell