chocolate espresso cupcakes frosted and sprinkled with coffee granules
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Chocolate Espresso Cupcakes with Espresso Frosting

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These coffee cupcakes with coffee buttercream frosting are super flavorful, moist, and tender! They pack an extra chocolaty flavor with hints of coffee (which you can customize to make stronger or milder).

Coffee lovers rejoice! These chocolate espresso cupcakes with espresso frosting are the perfect dessert to get your coffee fix.

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    What’s especially amazing about these cupcakes (aside from … well, everything!) is the fact that the chocolate flavor and coffee flavor really bring out the best in each other! If you’ve made my chocolate cupcakes or fudgy chocolate cake, you’ll know we use a hint of coffee in the batter because it really makes the chocolate flavor shine.

    chocolate espresso cupcakes bitten

    These cupcakes are kind of like a combination between a morning sweet and your morning coffee. So does that make it okay to have in the morning? Probably not, but I can dream can’t I?

    chocolate espresso cupcakes frosted

    Espresso cupcakes and espresso frosting ingredients:

    For the espresso cupcakes:

    water: you’ll need hot water to dissolve your espresso powder. Hot water also helps “bloom” the cocoa powder, which helps bring out a more intense chocolate flavor!
    espresso powder: wouldn’t be much of an espresso cupcake without it!
    flour
    cocoa powder
    baking powder & baking soda: I like a combination for an extra light and airy cupcake!
    salt
    butter: cakes and cupcakes made with butter can sometimes end up on the dry side, but this recipe benefits from the flavor of butter, ANNND it still ends up out-rage-ously moist!!
    granulated sugar
    egg
    vanilla extract
    buttermilk: buttermilk also helps give you an extra moist and airy cupcake. If you don’t have any on hand, here’s how to make a buttermilk substitute using regular milk!

    chocolate espresso cupcakes frosting on cupcakes overhead view

    For the espresso buttercream frosting:

    espresso powder: no substitutes!
    water: you’ll need boiling water to dissolve the espresso powder. Then, if you find your frosting is too thick, gradually add more cool water until it reaches your desired consistency
    butter
    powdered sugar
    vanilla extract

    chocolate espresso cupcakes frosted in cupcake tin

    How to make espresso cupcakes:

    For the cupcakes:

    1. Dissolve espresso powder in water. Set aside to prep the rest of the batter.

    chocolate espresso cupcakes espresso dissolved in water

    2. Combine dry ingredients. Whisk together and set aside.

    3. Cream together butter and sugar. It doesn’t need to be fluffy. Just until the sugar dissolves into the butter.
    4. Add in egg and vanilla. Whisk together with your butter and sugar.

    5. Combine. Alternate adding your ingredients to the butter/sugar mix in the following pattern: 1/3 of the dry ingredients, buttermilk, another 1/3 dry ingredients, espresso dissolved in water, and the remaining 1/3 of your dry ingredients. Whisk well after each addition.

    6. Portion and bake. Scoop the batter into your cupcake tin and bake. Cool completely before frosting.

    For the frosting:

    1. Dissolve espresso powder. Whisk with boiling water until dissolved, and set aside to cool.
    2. Cream together butter and sugar. Mix until pale and fluffy.
    3. Combine. Add vanilla and cooled espresso to the butter/sugar mix. Beat together until light and fluffy. If it’s too thick, gradually add more cool water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until it’s at your desired consistency.
    4. Frost cupcakes! And eat away (but I know you don’t need me to tell you that!)

    Check out these similar recipes!

    moist chocolate cupcakes
    funfetti cupcakes
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    Chocolate Espresso Cupcakes with Espresso Buttercream Frosting Recipe

    These coffee cupcakes with coffee buttercream frosting are super flavorful, moist, and tender! They pack an extra chocolaty flavor with hints of coffee (which you can customize to make stronger or milder).
    Prep Time 15 minutes
    Bake Time 15 minutes
    Total Time 30 minutes
    Servings 12 to 14 cupcakes

    Ingredients

    For the chocolate espresso cupcakes:

    • 1/2 cup boiling water
    • 2 to 3 teaspoons espresso powder, depending on your preference
    • 1 & 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
    • 1 cup granulated sugar
    • 1 large egg, at room temperature
    • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (optional)
    • 1/2 cup buttermilk

    For the espresso buttercream:

    • 1 to 2 tablespoons boiling water, plus more cool water if needed
    • 1 teaspoon espresso powder
    • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
    • 2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
    • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (optional)

    Instructions

    • Preheat your oven to 350°F. Line a 12 count cupcake tin with paper liners, and set aside.
    • Make the chocolate espresso cupcakes: In a medium sized bowl or cup, whisk together espresso powder and water until the espresso is dissolved. Set aside to prep the rest of the batter.
    • In a medium bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk to combine and set aside.
    • In a large bowl, combine butter and sugar. Cream together until the sugar crystals are fully dissolved. Add in your egg and vanilla extract, and whisk to combine.
    • Alternate adding dry ingredients and wet ingredients to the butter/sugar mix. So add about 1/3 of the dry ingredients, and whisk to combine. Then add all of your buttermilk, and whisk to combine. The mixture will look a bit clumpy and separated at this point, but that's normal! Add in another 1/3 of the dry ingredients, and whisk to combine. Then add your coffee, and whisk to combine. FINALLY, add in the final 1/3 of your dry ingredients and whisk until just combined.
    • Portion your batter into your prepared cupcake tin, filling each cup no more than about 2/3 of the way full. You may need to do another batch depending on the size of your paper liners. Bake the cupcakes in the center of your preheated 350°F oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting.
    • Make the espresso buttercream: In a small bowl, whisk together your espresso powder and boiling water until the espresso is dissolved. Set aside to cool completely.
    • In a large bowl, combine butter and powdered sugar. Cream together until light and fluffy (about 2 to 3 minutes on high speed using an electric mixer).
    • Add your cooled espresso/water mix and vanilla to the butter mixture. Beat together for about another minute, or until combined. If your frosting is too stiff, gradually add more cool water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until it reaches your desired consistency.
    • Frost your cooled cupcakes, and serve!

    Enjoy!



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