Coffee Cupcakes

Coffee cupcakes are a perfect dessert for those who love coffee. Made 100% from scratch with a melt in your mouth mocha buttercream.

Calling all coffee lovers….this is the cupcake recipe for you. This is not just another coffee cake recipe. It’s a coffee cake. Rather than vanilla or chocolate, this cupcake has a coffee flavor in the cupcake itself, plus a coffee buttercream with just a hint of chocolate.

Forget about the coffee shop…try these homemade coffee cupcakes instead.

a mocha coffee cupcake with frosting on top

About Coffee Cupcakes:

  • Flavor: The cake part is brown, but that is from the coffee, so rather than chocolate, you’ll mostly taste coffee in the cupcakes. If you don’t like coffee, this cupcake recipe is not for you.
  • Texture: The texture in both the cupcakes and the frosting is smooth.

How to Make Coffee Cupcakes

Make the cupcakes.

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 12-cup, standard muffin tin with 12 cupcake liners. Set aside.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and espresso powder. Set aside.
dry ingredients for coffee cupcakes in a bowl
  • In a large bowl, add the sugar and oil and whisk together well.
  • Add the eggs one at a time, whisking until just combined. Pour in the vanilla extract and milk, and stir with the whisk until mixed. Pour in the brewed coffee, and stir again until combined.
coffee in a mixing bowl
  • Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, stirring to make sure there are no big lumps (some small lumps are fine). The batter will be thin.
cupcake batter in a bowl with a spatula
  • Fill the paper liners with the cupcake batter to the top. Then bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center cupcakes comes out clean.
a pan of mocha cupcakes

Make the buttercream.

  • Cream the butter in a large bowl with an electric hand mixer on medium high speed (or in a stand mixer with a paddle attachment).
  • Add the espresso powder, cocoa powder, and salt, and continue beating.
creamed butter, cocoa powder and coffee in a mixing bowl
  • Slowly add the powdered sugar while continuing to mix with the electric hand mixer, adding the heavy whipped cream when the frosting starts to get thick.
creamed butter and sugar in a mixing bowl
  • Continue mixing until the buttercream is smooth and thick. Transfer the buttercream to a piping bag with a large star tip (either Wilton 1M or 2D works well.)
  • Once the cupcakes are cooled to room temperature, pipe the buttercream in swirls on top of the baked cupcakes.
piping mocha frosting on a coffee cupcake

Recipe Variations

  • Use cake flour instead of all-purpose flour.
  • Use instant coffee powder instead of instant espresso powder. I used the Medaglia D’Oro brand. I found it in the coffee aisle of my grocery store.
  • Feel free to add more cocoa powder to the buttercream if you’d like more chocolate flavor.
  • Use vegetable oil or melted coconut oil instead of canola oil.
  • Use salted butter instead of unsalted butter, but omit the added salt if you do this.
half of a coffee cupcake on a table

Storage Instructions

  • Room temperature: Store in an airtight container on the counter for up to 3 days.
  • Refrigerator: Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 7 days. Bring to room temperature or enjoy chilled.
  • Freezer: Store in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 2 months. Thaw before serving. Please note, that the texture of the buttercream may change slightly.
closeup of a chocolate cupcake with mocha frosting
closeup of a chocolate cupcake with mocha frosting

Coffee Cupcakes

4.75 from 27 votes
Coffee cupcakes are a perfect dessert for those who love coffee. Made 100% from scratch with a melt in your mouth mocha buttercream.
Servings 12
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes

Ingredients
 

For the cupcakes:

For the mocha buttercream

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 12-cup, standard muffin pan with 12 cupcake liners. Set aside.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and espresso powder. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, add the sugar and oil and whisk together well.
  • Add the eggs one at a time, whisking until just combined.
  • Pour in the vanilla extract and milk, and stir with the whisk until mixed.
  • Pour in the brewed coffee, and stir again until combined.
  • Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, stirring to make sure there are no big lumps (some small lumps are fine). The batter will be thin.
  • Fill the paper liners with the cupcake batter to the top. Then bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center cupcakes comes out clean. Allow the cupcakes to cool on a wire rack.
  • While the cupcakes are cooling, cream the butter in a large bowl with an electric hand mixer (or in a stand mixer with a paddle attachment).
  • Add the espresso powder, cocoa powder, and salt, and continue beating.
  • Slowly add the powdered sugar while continuing to mix with the electric hand mixer, adding the heavy whipped cream when the frosting starts to get thick.
  • Continue mixing until the buttercream is smooth and thick. Transfer the buttercream to a piping bag with a large star tip (either Wilton 1M or 2D works well.)
  • Once the cupcakes are cooled to room temperature, pipe the buttercream in swirls on top of the baked cupcakes.
  • Top the cupcakes off with a chocolate-covered espresso bean and some cocoa powder, optional.
  • Store in an airtight container.

Notes

▪ When you add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, the batter may get very lumpy. I used a spatula to stir everything together, and I pressed the large lumps on the sides of the bowl to get them to break apart. You can also gradually sift in the dry ingredients, or use a whisk to mix everything. Some small lumps in the batter are fine, but larger lumps will rise to the tops of the cupcakes and make the cupcakes look lumpy after they bake.
▪ Don’t be afraid to fill the cupcake liners almost to the top with this batter. Because of the extra moisture in these cupcakes (due to the added coffee) they won’t rise too much over the top of the pan.
Refer to the article above for more tips and tricks.
The calories shown are based on the recipe making 12 cupcakes, with 1 serving being 1 cupcake. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the calories shown are just an estimate. **We are not dietitians and recommend you seek a nutritionist for exact nutritional information. The information in the nutrition box are calculated through a program and there is room for error. If you need an accurate count, I recommend running the ingredients through your favorite nutrition calculator.**

Nutrition

Calories: 488kcal | Carbohydrates: 70g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 75mg | Sodium: 208mg | Potassium: 183mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 52g | Vitamin A: 559IU | Vitamin C: 0.02mg | Calcium: 52mg | Iron: 1mg
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Calories 488
Keyword chocolate cupcakes, homemade cupcakes

Other Cupcake Recipes

If you love cupcakes, try one of our favorites:

About Julie Clark

We are Julie, Maddie, and Kinslee – a mother and daughter team sharing with you the best cakes to satisfy any need or sweet craving that you may have. Welcome to our family’s kitchen!

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4.75 from 27 votes (27 ratings without comment)
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