Mocha Cupcakes with Espresso Buttercream Frosting

In my opinion, coffee and chocolate are a match made in heaven.  I love all things coffee related, so when I saw these cute cupcakes on the Brown Eyed Baker’s blog, I just knew I had to make them.  According to my #1 taste tester, these cupcakes were “freaking awesome.”  The cupcakes were chocolaty with a hint of creamy coffee flavor.  They were extremely fluffy, and so tasty (trust me, I just devoured one :) ).  The frosting was velvety, creamy, sweet, and deliciously coffee flavored.  I garnished the cupcakes with a few chocolate sprinkles, but I think a chocolate covered espresso bean would also be a fabulous (and yummy!) topper for them.  Even if you aren’t a fan of coffee, you will love these cupcakes!  Enjoy!

Mocha Cupcakes


  • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • ½ cup strong brewed coffee
  • 1½ teaspoons espresso powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • 1 egg, at room temperature


  1. Mix the espresso powder into the brewed coffee until dissolved; set aside to cool to room temperature.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a standard-size muffin tin with paper liners.
  3. Whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda & salt.
  4. Beat the butter and both sugars together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Add the egg and beat until combined. In a measuring cup, combine the milk, brewed coffee mixture and vanilla. Slowly add the flour mixture, alternating with the coffee mixture, and ending with the flour mixture.
  5. Divide the batter evenly between the 12 liners. Bake for 17-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting cupcakes.

Yield: 12 cupcakes

Source: Brown Eyed Baker Blog, Originally adapted from My Baking Addiction

Note: I made the cupcakes the day before I made the frosting.  After the cupcakes had cooled, I stored them in an airtight container in the refrigerator overnight.

Espresso Buttercream Frosting


  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2½ cups powdered sugar
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1½ teaspoons espresso powder


  1. Mix the espresso powder into the vanilla until dissolved; set aside.
  2. 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.
  3. 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 a minute or two.
  4. Add the espresso and vanilla mixture and continue to mix at medium-high until it is completely incorporated, scraping the sides as necessary.

Yield: Enough to frost 12 cupcakes


  • Do not skimp on the whipping of the frosting.  It may seem like a lot, but it really does give the frosting a wonderful fluffy, silky, & delicious texture!
  • I stored the leftover frosted cupcakes in an airtight container in the refrigerator.  They kept very well this way!  Before serving, let them come to room temperature for 30-45 minutes.

Source: Brown Eyed Baker Blog


13 Responses to “Mocha Cupcakes with Espresso Buttercream Frosting”

  1. 1 kristineskitchen August 22, 2010 at 1:35 PM

    These look so delicious! I love coffee and chocolate together, too.

  2. 2 Michelle @ Brown Eyed Baker August 25, 2010 at 6:45 AM

    Your cupcakes look great! So glad you enjoyed them :)

  3. 3 Dianne October 9, 2010 at 3:29 PM

    These look delish, can’t wait to try them. Re: the espresso powder, do you mean espresso coffee or is there a flavored powder you can purchase? thanks!

    • 4 Karen October 9, 2010 at 3:39 PM

      Dianne, Espresso powder is often referred to as “instant espresso coffee.” You can find it in the coffee aisle of the grocery store, next to the instant coffee. You can also substitute instant coffee powder, but the coffee flavor won’t be as strong. Hope that helps!

  4. 6 Pati @ A Crafty Escape October 11, 2010 at 7:15 PM

    Dianne posted these on FB and I can’t wait to make them. I love the way the frosting looks… did you use a tip? Thanks!

  5. 8 Dianne January 30, 2011 at 3:27 PM

    I finally got around to baking these this weekend and they were fantastic! Needless to say all 16 are gone already! Thanks so much for posting the recipe.

  6. 10 doreen February 8, 2011 at 1:15 PM

    This cupcake looks absolutely delish — can’t wait to bake them and, of course, eat them. I hopped over from Pati’s “A Crafty Escape” blog.
    Since you like everything coffee, I invite you to take a peek at my coffee-themed altered art I create. Go to: and/or to see a few of my favorite coffee pieces.

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