Mocha Mocha Cupcakes

I had an order for a client today for some decadent Mocha cupcakes.  Mmmm coffee and chocolate… you really can’t go wrong with that combo. I decided that I would take my new favorite chocolate recipe that normally calls for the use of a Guinness beer and sub that for brewed coffee to create more of a mocha flavor. I then topped the cupcake with a basic chocolate buttercream but threw in a little bit of cream cheese for some extra tang and smoothness.

Really though, this recipe for chocolate cupcakes I’m finding to be very versatile and it creates a moist, dense cupcake… every time! So although this post is short and sweet…  these Mocha Mocha cupcakes are FULL of flavor!  YUM!

5 from 1 reviews
Mocha Mocha Cupcakes
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 2 dozen cupcakes
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1¼ cup strong brewed coffee
  • ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tbsp espresso powder (HEAPING tbsps!)
  • 2 eggs
  • ⅔ cup buttermilk (if you don’t have buttermilk, add 1tbsp of vinegar or lemon juice to 1 cup of milk and let sit for 5 minutes)
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1½ tsp baking soda
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 4oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tbsp espresso powder mixed with 2 tbsp warm whipping/heavy cream
  • 2lbs powdered sugar
  • ¼ cup whipping/heavy cream
  • pinch of salt
  • coffee beans, garnish
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Line cupcake pans with liners.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a medium sauce pan over medium-high, heat and whisk the butter and brewed coffee together until the butter has melted.
  4. Whisk in the cocoa powder and espresso powder and heat until simmering. You want the mixture to thicken, but not boil. Remove from heat and cool slightly.
  5. While the chocolate/butter mix is heating/cooling, in a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and milk.
  6. SLOWLY pour the chocolate mix into the egg mix, whisking constantly. NOTE: Add only a couple tbsp to temper the eggs. You don’t want to add so much hot liquid too quickly, it will cook the eggs. Scrape the sides of the bowl to make sure everything is incorporated.
  7. Whisk the flour/sugar into the wet mixture in two parts. Whisk about 50 strokes.
  8. Fill cupcake liners ⅔ with batter.
  9. Bake 18-19 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Rotate pan after 12 minutes.
  10. Let cupcakes cool in pan for 4-5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
  1. Cream together the butter and cream cheese.
  2. Mix in the cocoa powder and espresso powder/cream. Scrape the sides of the bowl.
  3. Mix in the powdered sugar in two parts. Add a few tbsp of heavy cream after each addition. Beat on high until smooth.
  4. Mix in the salt. Scrape sides of the bowl.
  5. Add the remaining heavy cream until you get the consistency and texture you want.
  6. Beat for 4-5 minutes on high.
  7. Swirl buttercream on top of each cupcake and garnish with a coffee bean.

22 thoughts on “Mocha Mocha Cupcakes

  1. These look divine! I assume you just combine all the ingredients for the buttercream? I’m just seeing a repeat of the ingredients under the “Instructions” section.

  2. Oh WOW! These are the best I have ever made! Thank you so very much for sharing your knowledge with us. You make us look like pastry chefs to our friends that we share these with!

    1. Oh awesome! I’m so glad they turned out great for you!! It’s one of my favorite recipes! xoxo If you have any left… take pictures! I’d love to see how they turned out! xoxo

  3. These were absolutely delicious!! Rich and decadent! The cupcake recipe will be my new go-to recipe for chocolate cupcakes. I made these for my daughter, Laura, whose birthday was March 5th 🙂 Everyone loved them. Thanks so much for sharing this fabulous recipe!

  4. Any suggestion if I only want to make a dozen of cupcakes instead? Regards from the island of Java, Indonesia.

    1. I don’t think there is a substitute for the brewed coffee. It really is a key ingredient to making the chocolate in this cake stand out. It’s subtle flavor in the cake… meaning, you don’t taste an overwhelming coffee flavor. BUT – it does bring out the chocolate flavor so much so that subbing anything for it would completely change the taste and texture of the cake.

  5. Hello Betsy, I’ve made these cupcakes many times they are amazing !! I was wondering, I’d like to try it with the cocoa powder just straight coffee flavor. What do I substitute cocoa powder with if I remove it from the recipe?
    I would appreciate your reply very much

  6. Hey Betsy! I just made these cupcakes and love the flavor! However, mine didn’t rise all that much in the oven, and also fell when I took them out and they cooled. Plus they don’t have as deep a chocolate color as yours do in your pictures. Would beating the batter less help to keep them tall and rounded? Or do I just need more leavening? And should I use a dark cocoa powder for a deeper darker color?
    Thanks! Im practicing some recipes for my sister’s wedding and hope to make this one a home run!

    1. Hi Nika – Have you tested your oven temperature lately? Sometimes the temp needs to be adjusted because your oven may not be heating up hot enough. Get a thermometer and place it in the center/back and test the temp. Also, use a dark cocoa powder to get the dark color. And yes, try not mixing the batter as much before you put it in the liners. If those don’t help… up the temperature by 25F degrees and try baking at that temp for 5 minutes then reduce to the regular heat. Sometimes a higher heat helps with the rise. Good luck! Happy baking!

  7. I just made a batch of these mocha cupcakes and passed them around to my “tester” friends. I got all thumbs up! The cupcakes have a great texture, and the buttercream piped perfectly. With a few chocolate sprinkles and a dark chocolate espresso bean, I had a winner! Chocolate + coffee = double addictive! Thanks so much for the recipe.

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