Let me preface this by saying these are not your average cupcake. The first time I made these, I had just started out in my baking adventures and thought I’d massively screwed these up. The cupcake’s texture itself is not what you’d expect from a cupcake; it’s more like it’s namesake… denser, richer… In short, more like a brownie. The rich chocolate gets a boost from some espresso powder and even more of a coffee punch from some coffee liqueur, then the delightful cake gets topped with a fluffy, coffee-infused buttercream. Definitely not for those who don’t like that coffee-chocolate flavor combo, but I wouldn’t bother spending time with someone like that. 😜
For the cupcakes:
- 11 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 3 oz. unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
- 1½ cups flour
- 2 tsp espresso powder
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 3 large eggs
- 2 cups sugar
- ½ cup coffee liqueur
For the frosting:
- 16 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 3 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
- 1 tbsp instant coffee granules
- 2 tsp hot coffee
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
To start, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line two cupcake pans with paper liners. Combine the butter and chocolate in a heatproof bowl and microwave in 30 second intervals until completely melted and smooth, stirring between.
Set aside and allow to cool slightly. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, espresso powder, baking powder and salt. In the bowl of your stand mixer, combine the eggs and sugar and beat on medium speed until light. Stir in the chocolate mixture and the coffee liqueur until well combined.
Mix in the dry ingredients on low speed just until combined and no dry streaks remain. Fill each liner about 2/3 full with batter. . Bake for about 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with only a few crumbs. Allow to cool in the pans about 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
To make the frosting, beat the butter in your stand mixer bowl on medium-high speed until smooth. Mix in the confectioners’ sugar on low speed just until incorporated, then increase the speed to medium-high and beat until smooth and light. Mix in the coffee granules, hot coffee and vanilla extract until completely incorporated.
*The only place I’ve found espresso powder locally has been Sur La Table. This is what it looks like in case you’re out hunting for it! It adds a nice richness to chocolate desserts without necessarily making it taste like coffee. Happy baking! 😀
Recipe adapted slightly from Annie’s Eats.