Friday, April 25, 2014

Chocolate Espresso Cupcakes

Hey loves! It’s been somewhat quiet over here lately. I have no excuse really just haven’t been in “blogging mode”. I’ve been in baking mode. Spending my days baking cookies, brownies, cakes, ect. to sell at my local bookstore/café as well as to family. It’s been so fun and has given me some great experience but I do not think I’ve ever been in the kitchen more!

And I’ve also as of late been in healthy eating & fitness mode. And how that fits into all the baking I’m doing for other people I have no idea, ha! Though I’m doing pretty good, I think. But I mean a good baker has to taste what she makes, right? Especially if someone is paying me for these treats… so I’d be lying if I said I haven’t taken a bite more than what I should’ve. Baby steps.

So all this to say, I thought I’d slip back into blogging mode with a yummy and indulgent cupcake recipe!!! Woot!  This is one of the cupcakes I’ve been making to sell at the bookstore/café and it’s been the one I’ve gotten the most comments on. So far it’s definitely been one of my best selling treats. I’ve also made it in cake form for family and got some really great feedback on it! It pairs two of my very favorite things, chocolate and coffee! Match made in heaven, right?

I have to give credit where credit is due though. I first got the idea for these babies when I tasted the “Chocolate Bolt” cupcake at a bakery called Yummy Finds, which is located just an hour from where I live. I was in love with the combo of  the chocolate cupcake with espresso filling and chocolate frosting. I was inspired so I just had to go home and try to replicate it. And I think I got pretty close. By the way, if you’re ever in Victoria, Texas do yourself a favor and stop by Yummy Finds. They not only have delish cupcakes but they serve awesome lunches as well. It’s one of my favorite places!

For this recipe I used what is now my very favorite chocolate cake recipe, along with an amazing recipe for espresso buttercream that I came across on Pinterest, and my stand by chocolate buttercream frosting I’ve been using for years. If you love chocolate and coffee and need a little caffeine jolt, give these cupcakes a shot!

Chocolate Espresso Cupcakes -



(First time I made them. Garnished these with just chocolate chips but I definitely  prefer the chocolate sprinkles and espresso beans.)

A moist, chocolaty cupcake filled with creamy espresso buttercream, frosted with a rich chocolate buttercream, and finally topped off with a small dollop of espresso buttercream, a chocolate covered espresso bean, and either chocolate chips or chocolate sprinkles!

This chocolate cake recipe is very similar to the one I’ve always used which is the Hershey’s recipe. But I recently tried this one and found that with the edition of the buttermilk and coffee it’s a lot more moist and rich then the Hershey’s cake. So this is definitely my staple chocolate cake recipe from now on.

This espresso buttercream… oh, what can I say? It’s magic. It’s just pure magic. It’s a fluffy, creamy coffee lover’s dream. And I’m definitely a coffee lover so, truth be told, I add in a smidge more espresso than the recipe calls for. Tell ya, I could eat it all with a spoon… ahem, not that I ever have or anything.



Like I said, I use my stand by chocolate buttercream. It’s just my favorite. It’s my own version of the one bowl buttercream recipe.

To hollow out the cupcakes so I can fill them I use my trusty cupcake corer. Makes it so much easier and faster. Plus, I kinda like eating the little centers lol. And then I just pipe some espresso buttercream right in the center!

Top these caffeinated lovelies off with an extra dollop of espresso buttercream, a chocolate covered espresso bean (got these in a Foodie Penpal package, love ‘em!), a dash of chocolate sprinkles and you’re good to go! 

And while they make amazing cupcakes they also make a very lovely cake! -


(My cousin asked me to make this one for her mom’s birthday. Really happy with the way it turned out and really really happy the they loved it!)


(First time I made this cake. For this one I used crushed chocolate covered espresso beans on the sides. But I ended up not liking the texture of them on the cake.)


cake -

(Recipe adapted from

2 cups sugar
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tablespoons King Arthur Flour Black Cocoa, optional
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup strong black coffee
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans or one 13x9x2-inch baking pan. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or in a large bowl with an electric mixer, combine the sugar, flour, cocoa(s), baking soda, baking powder and salt. Mix on low until dry ingredients are thoroughly combined. Add eggs, buttermilk, coffee, oil and vanilla. Beat on medium speed for about two minutes; the batter will be thin. Pour batter evenly into prepared pans.

For cupcakes bake for 16-18 minutes. For cake 30 to 35 minutes for round pans, 35 to 40 minutes for rectangular pan or until wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely.

Espresso Buttercream -
(Recipe adapted from

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2½ cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons espresso powder

Mix the espresso powder into the vanilla until dissolved; set aside.

Using the whisk attachment of a stand mixer, whip the butter on medium-high speed for 5 minutes, stopping once to scrape the sides of the bowl. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the powdered sugar a little at a time, waiting until it is mostly incorporated before adding more. Once all of the powdered sugar has been added, scrape the sides of the bowl and increase the speed to medium-high and whip until fluffy, about a minute or two.

Add the espresso and vanilla mixture and continue to mix at medium-high until it is completely incorporated, scraping the sides as necessary.

Chocolate Buttercream -

1 stick butter
4 tbsp. Cocoa
2 cups powdered sugar (sifted)
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. corn syrup
heavy cream (I never measure how much. Just a little drizzle to make it light and fluffy.)

In a medium bowl cream butter and cocoa with mixer until smooth. Beat in powdered sugar one cup at a time. Add in vanilla, corn syrup, and heavy cream and beat on medium speed for two minutes until light and fluffy.

Assembly: After cupcakes are completely cool, hollow out the center and fill each one with espresso buttercream. Then pipe on chocolate buttercream. Pipe a small dollop of espresso buttercream right on top in the center. Finish with chocolate sprinkles or chocolate chips.