This recipe for Mocha Cupcakes with espresso buttercream will be everyone’s favorite chocolate cupcake. It is sweet and delicious with the perfect flavor.
The wonderful combination of chocolate and coffee come together in this tasty cupcake recipe. The chocolate flavor is not overwhelming, and the espresso frosting is so decadent.
It looks like the perfect cupcake from a bakery but it’s so easy to make at home. This is perfect for any celebration, and everyone will love it.
Anyone that loves coffee and chocolate will go crazy over these cupcakes. They are absolutely perfect in every way. Once you learn how to make mocha cupcakes, you will be hooked.
What does Chocolate Mocha Cupcakes taste like?
It is the best combination of two amazing flavors. The coffee flavor is subtle in the cupcakes and perfectly balanced with the chocolate.
The frosting is a delicious blend of espresso and other ingredients that result in the best coffee taste. The cupcake and frosting combine into a great dessert.
- All Purpose Flour
- Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
- Instant Espresso Powder
- Baking Soda
- Baking Powder
- Granulated Sugar
- Brown Sugar
- Sour Cream (room temperature)
- Large Eggs
- Strong Coffee
- Vegetable Oil
- Unsalted Butter (room temperature)
- Powdered Sugar
- Instant Espresso Powder
- Vanilla Extract
How to make chocolate mocha cupcakes:
- Step 1. Preheat the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line to cupcake tins with cupcake liners.
- Step 2. Combine the dry ingredients. In a large bowl whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, instant espresso powder, salt, baking soda and baking powder together. Set aside.
- Step 3. Get out a separate bowl. In a separate bowl, stir together the sugar, brown sugar, eggs, coffee, milk, water and vegetable oil.
- Step 4. Combine the dry ingredients and wet ingredients. Then stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just combined.
- Step 5. Fill the cupcake pans. Pour the cupcake batter into the cupcake tins filling them up approximately ¾ of the way full.
- Step 6. Bake the cupcakes. Bake for 15-20 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cupcakes comes out clean.
- Step 7. Allow to cool. Allow the cupcakes to cool in the pan for 10 minutes and then move to a wire rack to cool completely.
How to make frosting:
- Step 1. Combine the butter and sugar. Beat together the butter and powdered sugar with a hand held or stand up mixer until light and fluffy.
- Step 2. Mix in the espresso. Add in the espresso powder, vanilla extract and milk. Beat on medium speed until combined (5-8 minutes).
- Step 3. Use a piping bag and piping tip to add the frosting. Pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes and then they are ready to serve and enjoy!
Refrigerate the leftover cupcakes for up to 3 days. Cover the cupcakes with plastic wrap or place inside a storage container so they stay fresh.
Allow to come to room temperature before serving. I like to sit the cupcakes on the counter about an hour before serving.
Freeze the cupcakes up to 2 to 3 months. I suggest flash freezing the cupcakes for 1 to 2 hours on a baking sheet so the frosting stays intact.
Then wrap in plastic wrap and transfer the cupcakes to a freezer container. This should help to keep the cupcakes fresh and still looking great.
Tips for Success
- Measure the flour accurately. Spoon the flour into the measuring cup instead of scooping it inside. Scooping can lead to the flour being packed inside which leads to excessive flour.
- Room temperature butter. Make sure the butter is room temperature before making the frosting. It is easier to blend and will also result in a smoother consistency.
- Do not substitute ground espresso or ground coffee. You absolutely cannot substitute ground espresso or ground coffee for instant espresso. It will be grainy.
- Portion the cupcake batter easily. Just use a large cookie scoop to fill the cupcakes and each one will be the same size. You can also use an ice cream scooper or even a measuring cup. It will make it fast and easy while being the same size.
- Combine the frosting thoroughly. When you first add the espresso, it might look grainy but continue to mix. It will combine perfectly into a smooth and creamy buttercream.
- Piping bag. It is easiest to decorate these cupcakes using a piping bag and your preferred tip. However, you can use a ziplock bag to pipe the frosting if needed.
Fill the bag with frosting and seal. Cut off the corner and pipe the frosting as normal.
Variations and Substitutions
- Chocolate Filling. For another fun flavor twist, try stuffing these cupcakes with chocolate ganache. Use a cupcake corer or paring knife to remove the center. Then fill with ganache.
- Decaf. If you are concerned about the caffeine, you can substitute decaf coffee in the cupcakes.
- Instant Coffee. You can substitute instant coffee for espresso powder. However, the flavor will not be as strong and the granules do not mix together as smoothly in the frosting.
- Topping. Sprinkle mini chocolate chips on top of the buttercream frosting for an extra touch.
What is Instant Espresso Powder?
It is similar to instant coffee but with a more intense coffee flavor. It is powder that you combined with water, and it makes espresso.
The strong flavor is delicious in these cupcakes. You can also use it in other baked goods such as brownies. It is an easy way to add a new flavor to your baked goods.
Can you make the frosting and cupcakes in advance?
The frosting can be made a day in advance. Place inside an airtight container and store in the fridge.
You will need to beat it with a mixer before using it, so it returns to the normal consistency. If the frosting is hard to beat, add a little bit of milk and blend together. You probably will not need to add this but if you do, only add a very small amount.
You can make the cupcakes 1 to 2 days in advance. Store the plain cupcakes at room temperature and then frost when ready to serve. This is perfect for parties and holidays.
This delightful recipe is the perfect balance of chocolate and espresso flavors. Each bite is a delicious experience that is perfect for any occasion. Make this recipe today and see how wonderful these cupcakes are.
Print this Mocha Cupcake Recipe below:
For the Cupcakes:
- 3 cups All Purpose Flour
- 1/3 cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
- 1 Tablespoon Instant Espresso Powder
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt
- 1 Tablespoon Baking Soda
- 2 teaspoons Baking Powder
- 1 1/4 cup Granulated Sugar
- 1 1/4 cup Brown Sugar
- 1/2 cup Sour Cream room temperature
- 3 Large Eggs
- 1 cup Strong Coffee
- 1 cup Milk
- 1/2 cup Water
- 3/4 cup Vegetable Oil
For the Cupcakes:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line to cupcake tins with cupcake liners.
- In a mixing bowl, stir together the flour, cocoa powder, instant espresso powder, salt, baking soda and baking powder together. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl, stir together the sugar, brown sugar, eggs, coffee, milk, water and vegetable oil.
- Then stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just combined.
- Pour the cupcake batter into the cupcake tins filling them up approximately ¾ of the way full.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cupcakes comes out clean.
- Allow the cupcakes to cool in the pan for 10 minutes and then move to a wire rack to cool completely.
For the Frosting:
- Beat together the butter and powdered sugar with a hand held or stand up mixer until light and fluffy.
- Add in the espresso powder, vanilla extract and milk. Beat on medium speed until combined (5-8 minutes).
- Pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes and then they are ready to serve and enjoy!
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