Moist, soft, fudgy chocolate cupcakes infused with coffee and topped with fluffy coffee frosting. These mocha cupcakes are perfect for true coffee lovers!
I’ve come to the realization that I can’t live without coffee. Or at least if I can, I really don’t want to. Coffee is my favorite simple pleasure. And there’s nothing that tastes better than a warm cup of coffee and a piece of chocolate.
So needless to say – these mocha cupcakes with coffee frosting are a total winner.
The idea came a few weeks ago when I was enjoying a large coffee and fudgy chocolate cupcake. The bitter coffee was the perfect thing to cut the sweetness of the sweet, chocolate-y goodness. So it only seemed logical to combine the two.
And since dipping a cupcake in coffee would be weird and wrong…. I created these Mocha Cupcakes with Coffee Frosting. Fudgy, moist, super soft, chocolate filled mocha cupcakes topped with fluffy, creamy coffee frosting.
How to Make Mocha Cupcakes
These mocha cupcakes are no joke. Moist, fudgy, a super soft cupcake crumb, and definitely not short on chocolate. So let’s talk specifics:
- Oil keeps them extra moist
- A combo of white sugar & brown sugar = more flavor & more moisture
- 2 eggs for tenderness
- Buttermilk for the most tender crumb (or make your own – see recipe notes)
- Instant coffee granules for the coffee flavor.
For these mocha cupcakes, the chocolate flavor is the most prominent – since we’re topping them with coffee frosting. But if you want an even strong coffee taste – then feel free to use 2.5 tablespoons of instant coffee granules instead of 2.
Then for the Coffee Frosting
Ok let’s just take a moment to examine the beauty of coffee frosting…… Inhale coffee, exhale happiness. Inhale coffee frosting, inhale more coffee frosting.
Because creamy, fluffy buttercream filled with coffee goodness is a recipe for perfection. When making this frosting, I recommend using instant coffee with very tiny granules so that they evenly dissolve and infuse the frosting with creamy goodness. I really like using the Starbucks Via variety for this.
Then as always – I really recommend using whipping cream or heavy cream for frosting. Seriously, it makes the creamiest, fluffiest, most delicious coffee frosting for our mocha cupcakes.
So if you love coffee and chocolate – or are looking for a way to make your chocolate cupcakes just a little more grown up, or acceptable to eat at 9 am – then these mocha cupcakes with coffee frosting are definitely the thing for you!
Mocha Cupcakes with Coffee Frosting
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- ½ cup cocoa powder , sifted
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2-2.5 tbsp instant coffee granules
- ½ cup buttermilk (or 1 tsp vinegar mixed with ½ cup milk)
- ¾ cup unsalted butter , softened
- 3-3.5 cups powdered sugar , sifted
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1-1.5 tbsp instant coffee granules
- 4-6 tablspoons whipping cream or heavy cream
- chocolate covered coffee beans
- chocolate shavings
- Preheat the oven to 350F degrees & line muffin pans with muffin papers.
- In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
- In a large bowl beat together the oil, sugars, eggs, vanilla extract & instant coffee granules.
- Slowly beat in the flour mixture about ⅓ at a time, alternating with about ⅓ of the milk until combined. Turn off the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
- Spoon the batter into the prepared pans, filling each cupcake liner about ⅔ full. You'll end up with 14-15 cupcakes total.
- Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
- In a large bowl, beat the butter until fluffy.
- Beat in 2 cups of the powdered sugar, the vanilla extract and salt.
- Mix the coffee granules with the cream (they won't fully dissolve).
- Then beat in the rest of the powdered sugar about ½ at a time, alternating with 1-2 tablespoons of the cream until the desired flavor and consistency is reached.
- Frost each cupcake using a knife or a piping bag and tip (I used a piping bag and a 1M tip). Optionally, decorate with chocolate covered coffee beans and chocolate shavings.
I love coffee and those cupcakes are too good! If I may ask, Fiona, how do you prepare your coffee just to have a good cup of strong-tasting, delicious caffeine in the morning? I never seem to get it right. If you have any brand recommendations and preparation techniques, please feel free to share. I am down to using instant!
Thanks so much Amanda! Personally, I’m not overly particular with my coffee. I like getting whole beans and grinding them at home since I think the flavor is more robust. I also LOVE a pour over coffee, or like to make a press coffee in the morning.
Hey, this is natural cocoa right? not dutch processed? Can i use dutch processed?
Dutch processed would be fine for this recipe since it uses baking powder and baking soda for the cupcakes to rise 🙂
I made these for my moms birthday. They were very good. I may have over baked them by a minute or two so they were a little dry. The flavor was delicious. The frosting was amazing. I didn’t have heavy cream so I used milk and would add a little less milk next time for a thicker frosting. I would definitely make these again. Thank you !
Glad you enjoyed them! Happy birthday to your Mom
What blend of Starbucks VIA would you recommend?
I believe I used the Italian roast – but I think any variety that isn’t sweetened or flavored would work well
These cupcakes baked beautifully, and they taste SO scrumptious! Great recipe!