Mocha cupcakes! Moist, fluffy, and frosted with the most delicious coffee-flavored whipped cream frosting. Truly, a dream cake for every coffee lover out there!
This is another highly requested recipe here at RTK. It took a while but I'm so excited to finally be sharing this mocha cupcake recipe with you.
You will love it. I promise!
Why you'll love this recipe
- The batter is easy to make–it's a straightforward mocha cupcake recipe that is easier to make than a chiffon or sponge cake.
- Taste like a cafe mocha, in cake form! This is not a chocolate cupcake. It literally is a coffee-flavored cake.
- Super moist, fluffy, and delicious! Everything you love about a cupcake.
- Sweet but not too sweet. If you've been a long-time reader, you'll know how I don't like my cakes overly sweet.
- Frosted with the most delicious frosting - cream cheese whipped cream frosting added with just a hint of instant coffee to compliment the mocha cupcakes.
What do mocha cupcakes taste like?
This mocha cupcake is primarily made with coffee, whole milk, and cocoa powder—basically a cafe latte with chocolate.
Of course, I had to make it really special by adding whipped cream and chocolate chips on top.
You're welcome 🙂
What you need
Cake Batter Ingredients
Here are the ingredients you need to make these mocha cupcakes:
- All-purpose flour - these cupcakes come out better with all-purpose flour
- Baking Powder and Baking Soda - make sure they are still active and not past their due date.
- Butter - use pure unsalted butter, the best quality you can find.
- Milk - use full-fat fresh milk. I don't recommend substituting it with evaporated milk or low-fat milk.
- Vinegar - to help lift the cake as it bakes.
- Eggs - use two large eggs at room temperature.
- Sugar - use caster sugar or superfine granulated sugar. Avoid using coarse sugar as it doesn't dissolve easily.
- Oil - use canola oil or any flavorless vegetable oil. This is the secret ingredient to making cakes stay moist.
- Freeze Dried Instant Coffee - considered the highest quality of instant espresso powder available. To be specific, I used freeze-dried arabica coffee.
- Unsweetened Cocoa Powder - you will only need a hint so either dutch-processed or natural should work.
Tips for making cupcakes from scratch
Here are my top tips on how to successfully make moist mocha cupcakes:
- Use room temperature ingredients, this includes eggs, butter, and milk. Bring them out of the refrigerator 45mins – to 1 hour before you start baking. Room temperature ingredients make a smooth and uniform batter while cold ingredients do not blend together as easily which results in a flat cupcake.
- Cream the butter and sugar until light fluffy–don't overmix or it will create a lot of air and make the cake dry.
- Do not overmix the batter – overmixing can result in a denser, gummy cake.
- Dissolve the coffee powder in the milk mixture thoroughly. Don't dissolve in hot water or it will foam up and affect the cake's texture.
- Gently tap the muffin tin on your kitchen counter before baking to remove any large pockets that can cause holes in the finished cake.
Coffee Flavored Frosting
To make the frosting you will need:
- coffee/espresso powder
- 1 recipe of cream cheese whipped cream frosting (made of heavy cream, powdered sugar, and cream cheese)
Tip: Dissolve the coffee powder in a small amount of the cream, around ¼ cup. Once it's completely dissolved, add it to the remaining heavy cream.
Let the cupcakes cool completely before frosting (warm cupcakes will melt the frosting!). If you're pressed for time, refrigerate for 20-30 minutes to quickly cool.
How to Frost and Decorate
Here's how I filled and frosted the mocha cupcakes:
You can either make a small hole or a big hole using either a small knife or the back of a large piping tip. Fill the center of the cupcakes using small piping then finally, pipe small or tall peaks on top.
To decorate, simply top with mini chocolate chips or sprinkle with grated chocolate bars.
To make the cupcake batter, a simple hand whisk is all you need. I highly recommend using a stand or hand mixer if making a big batch.
Make the cupcakes one day before you need them. Place in the fridge unfrosted. It will taste better the next day after all the flavors have developed.
Frost and decorate before serving.
Storage and Shelf-Life
To keep cupcakes moist, cover with plastic wrap and place them in an air-tight container. It should last for 4 to 5 days in the fridge. This freezes fine for up to 3 months. Completely thaw before frosting.
Watch the Recipe Video
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Mocha Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Whipped Cream Frosting
- ¾ cup milk (full fat)
- 1 teaspoon white vinegar or lemon juice
- 2 ½ teaspoon freeze-dried instant coffee (see note 1)
Other Wet Ingredients
- Pre-heat oven to 350f/180c. Place cupcake liners in a cupcake tin.
- Combine milk and vinegar in a small bowl. Set aside for 10 minutes. Add instant coffee powder and stir until completely dissolved. Set aside.
- Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl whisk butter, oil, and sugar until pale. Add eggs one at a time. Continue beating until combined. Add milk mixture and stir.
- Sift dry ingredients onto the wet mixture. Stir until there are no more traces of flour. Do not overmix.1 ½ cup all-purpose flour, ¼ teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon baking powder, ¼ teaspoon salt, 4 teaspoon unsweetened natural cocoa powder
- Fill each cupcake liner with the batter. They should just be ⅔ full. Do not overfill.
- Bake for 18 to 20 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Remove cupcakes from the pan and transfer them to a wire rack. Cool completely before frosting.
Stabilized Whipped Cream Frosting
- Place ¼ cup of the cream and coffee powder in a bowl. Stir until dissolved. Add to the rest of the cream. Chill while making the cream cheese. Proceed with the next steps detailed in this recipe.
Frost the cupcakes (see step-by-step photo in the post)
- Make a hole in the center of each cupcake using a knife or the back of a piping tip. Fill a piping bag with a small tip with half of the frosting (or ziplock bag with a snipped corner). Fill the cupcakes.
- Pipe: Transfer the remaining frosting to a piping bag fitted with a decorating tip. Pipe on to the cupcakes. Top with mini chocolate chips if desired. Serve and enjoy!
Recipe Notes and Tips:
- Freeze Dried Instant Coffee - considered the highest quality of instant coffee available. To be specific, I used freeze-dried arabica coffee. Use 3 teaspoons for a stronger coffee flavor.
- Frosting - double the recipe if piping tall swirls.
- Storage and shelf-life: Store the cupcakes UNFROSTED in an air-tight container so they don't dry out. It should last for 4 to 5 days.
- Nutrition: Frosting not included in the calculation.
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