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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!

Mocha Mocha Cupcakes

Yield: 2 dozen cupcakes
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 18 minutes
Total Time: 38 minutes



  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 1/4 cup strong brewed coffee
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tbsp espresso powder (HEAPING tbsps!)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 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
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp salt


  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 4oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tbsp espresso powder mixed with 2 tbsp warm whipping/heavy cream
  • 2lbs powdered sugar
  • 1/4 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 2/3 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.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram


Sunday 14th of January 2018

Thank you so much for sharing your recipe. These cupcakes were perfect and delicious!!! I have made them many times and they always come out so good!!!

Betsy Eves

Thursday 25th of January 2018

You're welcome! :)


Sunday 19th of July 2015

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.

Betsy Eves

Monday 20th of July 2015

So glad you love the recipe!!! Thanks for the feedback!

Nika Weixelman

Sunday 5th of April 2015

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!

Betsy Eves

Monday 6th of April 2015

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!

Sue Gadbois

Monday 1st of September 2014

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 Thanks

Betsy Eves

Wednesday 3rd of September 2014

I'd suggest using a different recipe then. Removing the cocoa powder all together would drastically change the ratios of flour and butter needed to create the cupcake. Maybe try this recipe? Good luck!


Wednesday 12th of February 2014

what will be the substitute ingredient if you dont have brewed coffee?

Betsy Eves

Wednesday 12th of February 2014

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.

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