Mocha Cupcakes with Coffee Frosting

in Cakes

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These mocha cupcakes are a simple one-bowl recipe with perfectly balanced flavors of both chocolate and coffee, topped with a coffee buttercream frosting and finished with an indulgent chocolate drizzle.

These mocha cupcakes are a combination of two my most favorite things in the world: chocolate and coffee.

I’ll admit I can be a snob about both chocolate and coffee, so to make these cupcakes pass my own test was a bit of a challenge.

I can tell you that I got it! These mocha cupcakes have it all:

  • a moist cupcake where the flavors of chocolate and coffee co-exist without overpowering each other
  • a coffee frosting that has just the right amount of coffee to wake you up
  • finsihed with a delicious chocolate drizzle that just ties the cupcake together.

Basically, the best combination EVER made into a cupcake. The flavors remind me of my espresso dark chocolate chip cookies. Those are my all-time favorite cookies on here, and if you’re a chocolate and coffee addict like me, I know you’ll love them too!

Now back to these mocha cupcakes. They’re moist cupcakes and are full of flavor. They’re a perfect baking project for a Sunday afternoon. And of course they will pair exceptionally well with your afternoon coffee.

If you prefer to watch the video for this recipe, here’s the link! Don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel.

How to make Mocha Cupcakes with Coffee Frosting?

There are three components to the recipe:

  • mocha cupcakes
  • coffee frosting
  • chocolate drizzle

Mocha Cupcakes

The cupcakes are really simple to put together. They’re both really easy to make, and I love that this is a great one-bowl cupcake recipe, without a ton of dishes!

#1: Make the coffee mixture

First, dissolve the instant coffee in some hot water and set it aside to cool while you make the rest of the cupcake batter.

#2: Mix all the wet ingredients

Mix together the brown sugar, white sugar, and oil. Then add in the egg and beat it for a few minutes.

Add in the melted chocolate, sour cream, and vanilla.

#2: Add in the dry ingredients

Sift in the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Mix it just until the dry ingredients have been incorporated. Try not to over-mix the batter at this point.

#3: Mix and Bake

Lastly, add in the instant coffee mixture, and mix the batter together.

Add it to a cupcake pan with cupcake liners, and fill them about 2/3 of the way.

Bake at 350ºF for 15-18 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Coffee Buttercream Frosting

The frosting is really simple to make. And it has just the right amount of coffee flavor to pair well with the mocha cupcakes!

#1: Whip the butter

Just like the cupcakes, we’re going to dissolve some instant coffee in hot water, cool it for a few minutes and then add it to the buttercream frosting.

#2: Whip the butter

Whip the butter until it is light and fluffy. This usually takes me about 5-7 minutes with an electric hand mixer.

#3: add the powdered sugar, and coffee mixture

Then add in powdered/icing sugar in 3 separate additions, alternating with the coffee mixture.

#4: continue to mix until fluffy

Mix the frosting until all the icing sugar and coffee mixture is incorporated and the frosting is light and fluffy.

If frosting is too soft, you can add in more icing sugar (2 tbsp at a time), if too frosting is too stiff, add a little cream (1 teaspoon at a time)

#5: Transfer to a piping bag

Once you’re happy with the texture, transfer the frosting to a piping bag, fitted with your favorite piping tip. I used a Wilton 2D Decorating Tip for these cupcakes.

Chocolate Drizzle

For the chocolate drizzle, melt your favorite chocolate bar, or just chocolate chips to drizzle over the cupcakes.

You could also skip the chocolate drizzle, but I think it really pairs well with the coffee buttercream frosting.

In the video I used this candy squeeze bottle to drizzle the chocolate over the cupcakes.

Tips to make Mocha Cupcakes

  • This recipe is a smaller-batch recipe for about 8-9 cupcakes. It can easily be doubled or tripled for more cupcakes!
  • I used instant coffee to get a good coffee flavor in both the cupcakes and frosting. I love my coffee, so there is a strong flavor of coffee in both the cupcakes and frosting.
  • If you don’t have instant coffee, you can also use espresso powder but would have to adjust the amount for taste.
  • To get a moist and fluffy cupcake (rather than a dense crumb), make sure to not overmix the batter. I typically mix dry and wet ingredients together by hand because it helps mix it just right.
  • Make sure the butter is at room temperature before whipping it for the frosting.
  • Add the powdered sugar and coffee mixture in three additions, and mixing well between each addition for the best texture.
  • If your frosting is too runny you can add more icing sugar to thicken it. If the frosting is too thick, you can add cream to get the texture right!

Let me know if you give it a try!

Tag me in your creations and follow me on Instagram @sprinklesandscribbles for more baking inspiration!



Ready to make these Mocha Cupcakes with Coffee Buttercream Frosting?

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Mocha Cupcakes with Coffee Frosting

These mocha cupcakes are a simple one-bowl recipe with perfectly balanced flavors of both chocolate and coffee, topped with a coffee buttercream frosting and finished with an indulgent chocolate drizzle.
Prep Time1 hr
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time1 hr 15 mins
Course: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: mocha cupcake recipe, mocha cupcakes, mocha cupcakes recipe


Mocha Cupcakes

  • 1/4 cup canola oil 60 mL
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar 50 g
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar 50 g
  • 1/8 cup chocolate melted, 1 oz or 28 g
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 egg large
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour 90 g
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder 25 g
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup hot water
  • 1/2 tablespoon instant coffee

Coffee Buttercream

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter 113 grams or 1 stick
  • 1 cup icing sugar 120g
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoons instant coffee
  • 1 tablespoon hot water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Assemble & Decorate

  • 2 tablespoons chocolate, melted chocolate chips or chocolate bar


Mocha Cupcakes

  • Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  • In a large bowl, mix together, the oil, white sugar, brown sugar and melted chocolate. Add in the egg and egg yolk, and beat for a couple of minutes.
  • Sift in the dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cocoa powder.
  • Line cupcake tin with cupcake liners (about 9-12).
  • Bake at 350ºF for 15-18 minutes. Cupcakes are done when toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  • Cool cupcakes in cupcake tin for about 10 minutes, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

Coffee Buttercream Frosting

  • Dissolve 1 tablespoon instant coffee in 2 tablespoons of boiling hot water. Mix until combined, then set aside.
  • In a large bowl, beat room temperature butter until fluffy – about 5-7 minutes.
  • Add in 1/3 cup icing sugar and mix until incorporated, then add 1/2 tablespoon of hot coffee mixture, and 1/2 tbsp of cream. Mix in completely.
  • Repeat process, until all the ingredients have been used up.
  • Beat until incorporated and frosting is light and fluffy.
  • If frosting is too soft, add in more icing sugar (2 tbsp at a time), if too frosting is too stiff, add a little cream (1 teaspoon at a time)
  • Transfer frosting to a piping bag, fitted with a Wilton 2D tip.

Assemble & Decorate

  • Melt some chocolate chips or some semi-sweet chocolate for about 2 tablespoons of melted chocolate. Transfer to squeeze bottle or ziploc bag, if using. Allow it to cool for a few minutes before drizzling onto cupcakes.
  • Swirl frosting onto cupcakes as desired.
    Drizzle melted chocolate over cupcakes.


1 Comment

  • […] a coffee addict (see these mocha cupcakes and mocha waffles) who used to frequently work out of various coffee shops, I like to think I know […]

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    Welcome to Sprinkles and Scribbles! I'm Anum - baker, writer, accountant. Here I share the sweet side of life. Explore all things baking, books and life with me! Read More


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