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Coffee Cupcakes with Mocha Buttercream
Coffee Cupcakes with Mocha Buttercream Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

Wanna have your coffee and eat it too? These cupcakes are the answer: They’re tender, moist, rich in coffee flavor and topped with a ridiculously easy mocha buttercream. To make them extra festive, try baking them in stoneware mugs--and serving ’em straight up to your sure-to-swoon houseguests.

6 cupcakes

Coffee Cupcakes

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

2 teaspoons baking soda

¾ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 tablespoon instant espresso powder

2 cups sugar

½ cup vegetable oil

1 cup whole milk

1 cup coffee

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

Mocha Buttercream

8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted

¼ cup heavy cream

1 tablespoon instant espresso powder

2 tablespoons cocoa powder, plus more for garnish

1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Grease six 10-ounce mugs with nonstick cooking spray.

2. Make the Cupcakes: In a large bowl, whisk the flour with the baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, espresso powder and sugar to combine.

3. In a medium bowl, whisk the vegetable oil with the milk, coffee, eggs and vanilla to combine.

4. Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture, whisking just until the batter is fully combined.

5. Divide the batter evenly among the greased mugs, filling each one slightly more than halfway. Be careful not to fill the mugs too much or they may overflow during baking.

6. Bake the cupcakes until they are golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 30 to 40 minutes. Cool completely.

7. Make the Buttercream: In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and confectioners’ sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. In a small bowl, whisk the cream with the espresso powder and cocoa powder to combine. Add it to the butter mixture and mix until smooth.

8. Spread or pipe the frosting onto the cooled cupcakes and garnish with a sprinkling of cocoa powder. Serve the cupcakes immediately, or store them for up to two days in an airtight container.

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