Coffee Cupcakes with Mocha Buttercream Frosting
Coffee and Mocha are hugely popular flavors in Asian desserts, particularly in variations of cakes. Here, I take those same aromatic flavors to create robust Coffee Cupcakes paired with a decadent Mocha Buttercream Frosting where the balance of sweetness and saltiness is just perfect. If you love coffee and chocolate, this is a dessert you will fall in love with.


Makes 1 Dozen Full-sized Cupcakes

1 ½ cup unsalted butter at room temperature
1 cup sugar
4 medium sized eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
½ cup fine cocoa powder
1/3 cup ground espresso coffee (super fine)
3/4 cup whole milk

Mocha Buttercream
1 cup unsalted butter (room temperature)
1 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla essence
1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar (powdered sugar)
1/3 cup whipping cream
1/3 cup fine cocoa powder
¼ cup ground espresso + for garnish
¼ cup Kahlua liquor

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In one bowl, sift together the dry ingredients- flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk the butter until fluffy then add the sugar and cream until smooth. Add the eggs one by one, whisking briefly between each.

Add the vanilla extract and whisk for another minute. Alternate between adding the dry ingredients and the milk, starting with the dry ingredients first. Do this in 3 to 4 batches, whisking briefly between each addition.

Line a cupcake baking sheet with cupcake liners. Bake the batter for 15 to 20 minutes. Use a skewer to gently pierce the middle of a cupcake and test for moistness. If it’s very moist then bake for another 2 to 3 minutes or so. Remove the cupcakes from the oven and allow to cool completely before frosting.

For the buttercream frosting, in another mixing bowl, whip the butter until fluffy then add the vanilla essence and whip again for a few seconds before adding the confectioners’ sugar. Scrape down the sides and whip the butter and sugar until thoroughly mixed. Slowly add the whipping cream and continue whipping for a few minutes until fluffy. Slowly add the cocoa powder and ground espresso; keep whisking for another few minutes, scraping down the sides.

Stop whisking and pour in the Kahlua. Manually fold in the Kahlua into the whipped buttercream until thoroughly incorporated. Pipe the frosting onto the completely cooled cupcakes and sprinkle a pinch of ground espresso on top of each.