I started a list of ideas or recipes that I want to try and whenever I come across a recipe that looks good or have an idea, I’ll add it to the list. I was just bookmarking or starring them in google reader but sometimes I have an idea but no recipe or I find something on pinterest, etc and then a couple days later I forgot the idea I was so excited about or can’t remember where I saw what – maybe I’m getting old. Anyway, that’s why I started my list and when I’m in the mood to bake something but don’t have anything in particular in mind, I see what’s on the list. It’s a good idea except that it just keeps growing and growing – up to 36 items now! =)

I’d had coffee frosting on the list as something I wanted to make, but didn’t have a specific recipe in mind. And then one day I was looking through the list and it jumped out at me. I thought I’d just add espresso powder to a basic buttercream and see what happened – delicious! I paired the frosting with my favorite chocolate cupcakes and then googled (yeah, so I guess I should have already known this but whatever) what a chocolate/coffee drink was called and named them Cafe Mocha Cupcakes.  And then I googled Cafe Mocha Cupcakes and realized lots of people before me had had the same idea – oh well. You should still give this recipe a try because they are really good – even if you’re like me and don’t drink coffee (ever). Enjoy!

Cafe Mocha Cupcakes 
Chocolate Cupcakes
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped fine
1/3 cup Hershey’s special dark cocoa
3/4 cup hot coffee
3/4 cup bread flour
3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
6 tbsp vegetable oil
2 large eggs
2 tsp white vinegar
1 tsp vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Line muffin tins with paper liners (15-18).
3. Place chocolate and cocoa in medium bowl. Pour hot coffee over mixture and whisk until smooth. Cool slightly, about 5 minutes in refrigerator. Whisk flour, sugar, salt, and baking soda together in medium bowl; set aside. Whisk oil, eggs, vinegar, and vanilla into cooled chocolate mixture until smooth. Add flour mixture and whisk until smooth.
4. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups.
5. Bake for 13-17 minutes, or until edges are springy to touch and center is almost set.
6. Cool cupcakes completely.
*adapted from Cook’s Illustrated

Mocha Frosting
1 1/2 sticks butter
4 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp Watkins vanilla nut extract*
1 1/2 tsp instant espresso powder (more or less depending on how much coffee flavor you want)
3-4 tbsp whipping cream

1. Beat butter on medium high speed until light and fluffy. Add powdered sugar and beat until combined.
2. Add espresso powder and vanilla and beat about 30 seconds.
3. Add cream one tablespoon at a time until you reach your desired consistency. Continue to beat until light and fluffy, 1-2 minutes.
*I really think using this vanilla nut extract over plain vanilla makes a difference in the flavor, but if you really, really can’t find it anywhere and don’t want to order it online you could use regular vanilla.
*I just garnished mine with chocolate sprinkles – but if you have chocolate espresso beans, definitely use those instead! =)

Categories: Cupcakes

2 Responses so far.

  1. Pam says:

    This looks like something that might get my heart racing!!

  2. Kendra says:

    Oh yeah, definitely! Dark chocolate + espresso = heart racing. =)

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