Mocha Cupcakes
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A little bit of Chocolate and a little bit of coffee combine to make a scrumptious mocha cupcake. Top these cakes with a flourish using coffee flavored seven minute frosting and crown with a chocolate covered espresso bean.
Recipe type: Dessert | Cupcakes | Butter Cakes
  • 2¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1½ teaspoons baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup freshly brewed coffee or espresso
  • 1 teaspoon instant espresso coffee (espresso powder)
  • 2 tablespoons coffee liqueur, such as Tia Maria
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1½ cups firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup sour cream
Coffee Seven Minute Frosting:
  • 1 teaspoon water
  • 2 teaspoons instant espresso coffee (espresso powder)
  • 2 tablespoons coffee liqueur, such as Tia Maria
  • 3 large egg whites
  • 1½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
  • ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • ⅓ cup water
  • Chocolate Covered Espresso Beans
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare two standard 12-cup muffin pans; line with paper cupcake liners.
  1. In a medium mixing bowl, combine flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt; sift or whisk together to mix. Set aside.
  2. In a small mixing bowl, stir the brewed coffee, instant espresso coffee, coffee liqueur, and vanilla extract together. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Tip: To cream, start by placing the butter in the bowl, with an electric mixer on medium speed begin by beating the butter about 1 minute until it is smooth and light in color. With the mixer still on medium speed, slowly add the brown sugar to the butter, either one tablespoon at a time, or in a very slow steady stream, taking from 4 to 8 minutes to add all of the sugar, beating until the butter and sugar are fully incorporated and the mixture has a fluffy texture. While adding the sugar, stop the mixer occasionally to scrape the mixture off the paddle and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula so the mixture blends evenly.
  4. Add eggs one at a time, beating until thoroughly mixed. Tip: For each egg, crack the egg into a small bowl and whisk with a fork to thoroughly break up the egg before adding to the creamed mixture. Start with the mixer on low speed so the liquid from the egg doesn’t splatter, once the egg is partially mixed increase the speed to medium. Each egg should be fully incorporated into the mixture before adding the next egg, taking about one minute to blend in each egg.
  5. With the mixer on low speed, add about one third of the flour mixture, mix just until the flour is almost completely blended. Scrape the bowl down, and add the sour cream, blending just until mixed. Scrape the bowl down again and alternate with about one third of the flour mixture, all of the coffee mixture, and ending with the last one third of the flour, and stirring just until blended.
  6. Spoon the batter into the cupcake liners. Fill about ⅔ full, using about ¼ cup of batter per cup. Tip: Avoid over-filling the liners which may cause the batter to run-over the sides when baking. It is better to bake any remaining batter separately after the first pan of cupcakes has finished baking.
  7. Bake: Bake, rotating pan halfway through, 22 minutes, or until the cakes are just firm and spring back when gently pressed, and a toothpick, wooden skewer, or cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool slightly in cupcake pan on a wire cooling rack, and turn out of pan when cool enough to handle. Repeat process with any remaining batter. Cool cupcakes completely on the wire cooling rack before frosting.
Coffee Seven Minute Frosting:
  1. In a small cup, stir the water and instant espresso coffee, and coffee liqueur together. Set aside.
  2. In top of a double boiler, combine egg whites, sugar, corn syrup, cream of tartar, and water. Beat on high speed 1 minute with a hand-held electric mixer. Place pan over boiling water (the upper pan should not touch the water.) Cook, beating constantly with mixer on high speed about seven minutes or until stiff peaks form. Remove from heat; add coffee mixture. Beat 2 to 3 minutes longer or until frosting is thick. Tip: Create a double boiler by filling a saucepan with 2 inches of water and bringing it to a boil. Place a stainless steel, ceramic, or glass bowl on top of the boiling water, the upper pan should not touch the water.
  3. Use a small offset spatula to frost the top of each cupcake and make decorative swirls and peaks.
  1. Place a chocolate covered espresso bean on top of each frosted cupcake.
Source: Martha Stewart's Cupcakes, Clarkson Potter Publishers, New York, 2009Walter, Carole, Great Cakes, Random House, New York, 1991
Recipe Notes
Pan: Two Standard 12-Cup Muffin Pans Pan Prep: Paper Liners Oven Temp: 350° Yield: 20 Cupcakes Storage: Covered, Room Temperature or Refrigerate

Help: Cake Hints and Tips, Chocolate Types

TheBakingPan Recommends: The BEST instant read thermometer I’ve used for cooking and baking; the ThermoWorks Splash-Proof Super-Fast Thermapen Thermometer is incredibly fast, ThermoWorks Splash-Proof Super-Fast Thermapenaccurate, and well worth the investment. I use my Thermapen Thermometer for checking room temperature ingredients, tempering chocolate, baking bread, making pastry creams, sugar syrup, caramel, and candy, cooking meats and fish, and deep frying. Thermapen Thermometer available here.
Recipe by at