Chocolate cupcakes with mocha frosting – A moist, rich chocolate cupcake topped with an irresistible mocha buttercream frosting. Coffee and chocolate together again!
Sometimes you just need chocolate. Ok I ALWAYS need chocolate. Like chocolate cupcakes with mocha frosting. Because let’s face it, I also need my coffee.
I don’t know about you but at the end of every dinner. Ok every meal. Seriously, even breakfast sometimes. I’m craving dessert and that dessert is usually chocolate.
So I took my recipe for the best buttercream icing and changed it up a bit to create these cupcakes with mocha frosting.
Mocha is simply coffee and chocolate. So naturally of course I added some chocolate. I used 1/4 cup cocoa powder added to my frosting recipe. I used natural cocoa powder but I don’t see why any kind can’t be used.
For the coffee I used instant espresso. Have you ever baked with this stuff before? It’s fantastic. All you have to do it dissolve a tablespoon of the crystals in a cup of hot water. And voila! Instant espresso! Perfect for adding to recipes. Coffee (or espresso) always bring out that chocolate flavor. So they are a perfect pairing. I added 4 Tablespoons of the (cooled) espresso to my buttercream frosting. You can add less or more depending on your fanciness for coffee. I definitely wanted a STRONG kick to my frosting.
For the chocolate cupcakes? They are Hershey’s simply chocolate cake recipe. When I went back through all my recipes, I realized I have only ever posted two times (here and here) about these cupcakes and I can’t count how many times I have made them! So it’s high time they show up on this blog again! They are that good. They are also cinch to throw together. (No mixer required!) and I have had success every single time. Never a bad cupcake. These chocolate cupcakes are my go-to for sure. They come out perfectly chocolate-y and moist. Every. Single. Time. Do you have a go-to chocolate cupcake you think I should try then please let me know! I am always looking for an excuse to eat more chocolate.
A Few Tips For Perfect Cupcakes:
This is a very liquid cupcake batter, so to scoop I recommend placing your batter in a liquid measuring cup to pour them evenly and with little mess. You want to fill these no more than 3/4 of the way full so they don’t spill over the edges of your pan and create a mess when baking.
For cupcakes that all come out perfectly, I like to set my timer for half the time the recipe calls for in order to remember to rotate my pans halfway through baking. Most ovens have what are called “hot spots” where it’s hotter in certain areas. So cupcakes that are in the “hot spots” can bake faster than others, so by rotating your pans halfway through you can ensure they evenly bake.
Once baked, it’s best to immediately take them out of the pan and let them cool on a cooling rack. If you leave them in the pan, they will continue to bake from “carryover heat”, which means your cupcakes could come out perfect and then end up being being dry if left in the pan.
These are affiliate links that will re-direct you to Amazon. I do receive a small commission if you make a purchase but it costs you nothing extra. I also only recommend products that I own and love!
To make these cupcakes you will need:
- Cupcake Pans (you want two!)
- Cooling Racks
- Piping/Pastry Bags
- Ateco Tip #847
- Stand Mixer
- Dry Measuring Cups and spoons
Happy Baking Everyone!
Chocolate cupcakes with mocha frosting
For the cupcake
- *2 cups sugar
- *1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
- *3/4 cup cocoa
- *1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- *1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- *1 teaspoon salt
- * 2 eggs
- * 1 cup milk
- * 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- * 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- * 1 cup boiling water
For the frosting
- 2 1/2 sticks (1 1/4 cups) unsalted butter softened
- 2 1/2 cups confectioner sugar
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 Tbs. espresso cooled
- 1 Tbs. Heavy cream
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Prepare cupcake pans with liners.
3. In large bowl, stir together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla extract. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes.
4. Stir in boiling water. Batter will be very thin at this point.
5. Pour into cupcake liners. Fill about 2/3 full.
6. Bake about 22-25 minutes until toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely before adding the frosting on top.
7. For the frosting: Cream the butter first until light and fluffy. Add the confectioner sugar and cocoa powder and beat for another 1 to 2 minutes until combined. You may want to scrap down the bowl at this point. Then add the vanilla extract, espresso, and heavy cream. Then mix on high speed for 8 minutes until light and fluffy.
9. When cupcakes are cooled, then using a pastry bag and tip swirl the frosting on top. Decorate with sprinkles!
* I used an Atecco tip #874, closed star tip, to achieve the swirl on top.
* For the espresso, follow the directions on the container to make a cup of espresso. Allow it to cool so you don't melt your frosting! You can always add more or less (just be careful of the consistency if you decide to add more). You could always just use good strong coffee if you don't have (or can find) espresso.
* If you find your frosting is too soft to pipe. Just throw it in the fridge for a 1/2 hour or so and you should be good to go!
Adapted from Hershey's chocolate cake, Cook's Illustrated Vanilla Buttercream
Get My Buttercream Cheatsheet!
Join the community to get the tips, tricks, and simple from scratch recipes so you can start baking delicious desserts today. PLUS I will send you my Buttercream Cheatsheet with 13 ways to flavor your buttercream!