This recipe for Mocha Cupcakes with espresso buttercream will be everyone’s favorite chocolate cupcake. It is sweet and delicious with the perfect flavor.

Mocha Cupcakes decorated and ready to enjoy.
Want to save this recipe?

The wonderful combination of Chocolate Cupcakes and coffee come together in this tasty cupcake recipe. The chocolate flavor is not overwhelming, and the espresso frosting is so decadent. I have made it for Easy Graduation Desserts.

I love to make this for parties along with Red Velvet Cupcakes, Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes or Margarita Cupcakes. You can also use these to make Graduation Cupcakes.

For more coffee flavor, try these delicious Coffee Cookies.

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.

Ingredients

Ingredients for Mocha Cupcakes - flour, cocoa powder, expresso powder, brown sugar, sour cream, eggs, coffee, oil, powdered sugar.

Cupcakes

  • All Purpose Flour 
  • Unsweetened Cocoa Powder 
  • Instant Espresso Powder 
  • Brown Sugar 
  • Sour Cream (room temperature)
  • Large Eggs 
  • Strong Coffee 
  • Vegetable Oil 

Espresso Buttercream

  • Unsalted Butter (room temperature) 
  • Powdered Sugar 
  • Instant Espresso Powder 
  • Milk 

Find the complete list of ingredients at the bottom of the post.

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.
  • Frosting. For a different flavor, try Peanut Butter Frosting Recipe or Salted Caramel Frosting.

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. 
Mixing bowl with dry ingredients.

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. 

Mixing bowl with butter and egg mixture combined.

Step 3. Next, get out a separate bowl. Stir together the sugar, brown sugar, eggs, coffee, milk, water and vegetable oil. 

Mixing bowl with wet and dry ingredients combined.

Step 4. Combine the dry ingredients and wet ingredients until just combined. 

Cupcakes in pan.

Step 5. Fill the cupcake batter into the cupcake pans. Bake for 15-20 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. 

Frosting in bowl combined.

Step 6. While the cupcakes are cooling, make the frosting. Beat together the butter and powdered sugar until light and fluffy using a stand mixer.  Mix in the espresso and combine.

Piping bag with frosting piping frosting on each cupcake.

Step 7. Pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes using a piping tip. Then serve and enjoy! 

Storage

Refrigerator

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.

Freezer

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.
Mocha Cupcakes decorated and ready to enjoy.

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.

More Easy Cupcakes to try

Once you make this mocha cupcake recipe, you will be hooked. Don’t forget to come back and leave a comment once you do.

Mocha Cupcakes

5 from 4 votes
This recipe for Mocha Cupcakes with espresso buttercream will be everyone's favorite chocolate cupcake. It is sweet and delicious with the perfect flavor.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Let Cool 10 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 24
Cuisine American
Course Dessert
Calories 346

Ingredients

For the Cupcakes:

For the Espresso Buttercream:

  • 1 cup Unsalted Butter room temperature
  • 2 1/2 cups Powdered Sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Instant Espresso Powder
  • 2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
  • 2 Tablespoons Milk
Want to save this?
Just enter your email and I’ll send it right to you, plus great new recipes weekly!

Instructions

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!

Recipe Notes

Refrigerate the leftover cupcakes for up to 3 days.

Nutrition Facts

Calories 346kcal, Carbohydrates 48g, Protein 3g, Fat 17g, Saturated Fat 7g, Polyunsaturated Fat 4g, Monounsaturated Fat 4g, Trans Fat 0.4g, Cholesterol 45mg, Sodium 240mg, Potassium 99mg, Fiber 1g, Sugar 35g, Vitamin A 314IU, Vitamin C 0.04mg, Calcium 58mg, Iron 1mg

Pin This Now to Remember It Later

Pin Recipe

Try these other recipes

Share this recipe!

PinYummly

About the Author

Hi, I’m Carrie. Welcome to Desserts on a Dime!

I’m on a mission to help you create delicious desserts on a budget and do not require a ton of time. Together, we are going to make something sweet that the entire family will love!

Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating