Have your coffee and eat it too with these moist, flavorful coffee cupcakes that taste like your favorite cup of joe. This cupcake recipe is a proven crowd-pleaser and makes plenty to share with your friends, neighbors, and co-workers!
I HATE coffee. Strike that. I used to hate coffee. Now I can mildly tolerate it, though I still don't know much about various brands and types. If you threw me into a Starbucks, I would just order whatever they were advertising on the closest poster. Actually, that's exactly what I do.
There was always something about that distinct coffee smell that really rubs me the wrong way. Maybe it's because I once had to spend an entire night with some stranger's cold coffee staining my jacket as I rode the bus back home from my part-time job in college.
Maybe it's because I once went through a Starbucks craze while in high school and tried to make my own coffee at home with disastrous results. Who knows.
Coffee cupcakes...now that's a horse of a different color!
By the way, look at that picture above with the mug adorned in frosting. Inside, there is an actual coffee cupcake...Or, more like 4 cupcakes, about half a pound of frosting, and a billion calories.
Something just told me that I needed to make the coffee cupcakes in a coffee mug, but when I noticed how much batter I needed, I quickly move over to the regular cupcakes. Perhaps I should've just used a smaller mug.
If you are a true coffee lover, you will adore these coffee cupcakes because they merge the best parts of coffee with a pastry. And the mocha buttercream frosting? It's pretty much the perfect coffee topping.
I am telling you, this is going to be the only way you can start your Monday mornings. This is a really great recipe to experiment with different types of coffee (I am picturing myself making these next fall with pumpkin spice coffee... yum!).
I do recommend using the darker roasts or anything with a strong flavor to really enhance that coffee taste. I actually prefer to make this with coffee that is about double in strength. There are also lots of coffee concentrates available in stores (I love Chameleon) that would be perfect for these cupcakes.
When making the batter, you will notice that it is very runny and you may be tempted to add more flour. Don't. Resist this urge as much as you can. You will still end up with a light, springy cake, it just takes a little longer to bake. The results are a moist, melt-in-your-mouth experience.
How to Make Coffee Cupcakes Without Eggs
You can make these cupcakes if you cannot eat eggs. I like to make a flax or chia "egg" by using 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed and 3 tablespoons of water. Allow the mixture to sit for about 5 minutes to gel. This mixture equals about one egg. Just double or triple the amounts for whatever number of eggs needed in any baked good recipe.
Don't have time to make this coffee-tastic cupcake now? Pin it for later!
Hungry for More Recipes?
Check out my cake version of these cupcakes on my coffee-flavored cake recipe, and don't miss out on my favorite coffee oreo ice cream! If you're really into coffee, try making your own cold brew coffee at home. Coffee cinnamon rolls might also be a great fit for you! For more cupcakes, you might love my double chocolate cupcakes or even my blackberry lime cupcakes. These Easter cupcakes are delicious at any time of year!
Coffee Cupcakes With Mocha Buttercream Frosting
- 3 cups 384 grams all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon 5 grams baking powder
- 2 teaspoons 10 grams baking soda
- 1 teaspoon 5 grams salt
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- pinch of nutmeg
- 3 tablespoons instant espresso powder
- 2 cups 402 grams granulated sugar
- ½ cup 223 grams vegetable oil
- ¾ cup 184 grams milk, room temperature
- 1 cup 236 grams strong brewed coffee (I recommend double strength or cold brew concentrate), room temperature
- 2 eggs room temperature
- 2 teaspoons 10 grams vanilla
- 1 cup 225 grams unsalted butter, room temperature
- 3 ½ cups 448 grams powdered sugar, sifted
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- ¼ cup of your favorite coffee cooled to room temperature
- 1 tablespoon 14.3 grams instant espresso powder
- 2 tablespoons 28.3 grams cocoa powder, plus more for garnish
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line your cupcake pan with liners or grease with butter and flour.
- Mix the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, espresso powder, and sugar in a medium bowl.
- Whisk vigorously the oil, milk, coffee, eggs, and vanilla together in a large bowl.
- Slowly add the flour mixture to the coffee mixture and mix to combine. Do not over mix.
- Evenly distribute the batter among the liners. You may need to make a second batch.
- Bake the cupcakes for about 25 - 30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Allow the cupcakes to completely cool.
- Cream the butter until light and fluffy.
- Slowly add the powdered sugar and salt.
- Mix the cream, espresso, coffee, salt, and cocoa powder together, then slowly add to the frosting while beating the mixture. You may not need all of the liquid.
- Frost, dust with extra cocoa powder, and enjoy!
These were delicious! I made them as mini cupcakes and added a chocolate ganache filling to make them a little more chocolatey and it paired really well. As others noted, I also left out the cinnamon and nutmeg and they had a really nice coffee-forward flavor.
Don't want to leave a bad review. Just need help. Made the recipe exactly as followed at 350 and the cupcakes were burnt black on the bottom, has never happened before so I'm not sure what went wrong. Any ideas? The tops looked the same as the picture and the buttercream is delicious
Amanda Powell says
Hi Markie, Apologies for the late reply. I have never had this happen, so I am not sure. Was there anything different? A different pan you were using, or perhaps the rack you were using was at a lower level? I don't think there is anything specific to the recipe that could cause it from what I am seeing. I wish I could be more help.
Hey I wanted to make this recipe but I don’t have any instant coffee powder, but I do have usual brewed coffee would it still taste good without the powder?
For the vegetable oil, it says to use 1/2 cup or 223 grams. 1/2 is 113 grams, so which one is correct?
Tried this recipe today for my wife's birthday and they turned out great. A couple things I noticed with the recipe was that a few weight measurements didn't match up with their cup/Tbls measurements. For example the vegetable oil was closer to 1 cup when weighed and for the frosting the cocoa powder was 10 grams for 2 Tbls and the instant espresso was 5 grams for 1 Tbls.
I made these cupcakes back in October 2021, for my daughter's birthday and she loved them. Not only did she love them but so did the rest of the family. I will be making these again on Saturday for her uncle's birthday party!
sheetal patel says
For the milk in the recipe so I use whole
Milk or 2%?
Amanda Powell says
Either one will work. I prefer using whole milk though 🙂
Hello! First off, thank you so much for this recipe! I work in kitchens and was assigned the task of making a coffee cupcake for an event this weekend. I used today for recipe testing and am utilizing your recipe as a jumping off point. I am commenting because perhaps my experience can help a fellow baker.
A few notes:
1) I made a half batch *VEGAN* version of *JUST* the cupcake, not the frosting. I made two substitutions: flax egg for the egg (as per your suggestion), almond milk, and instant coffee in place of the instant espresso.
2) As noted above, I would definitely omit the cinnamon and nutmeg in my next batch in order to achieve a more *pure* coffee flavor.
3) As also noted above, the cupcake tin was definitely too full of batter prior to baking. I filled a dozen batch muffin tin thinking it was a little too full but decided to follow the recipe. The cupcakes overflowed and resulted in muffin tops (not a good look when you're trying to make cupcakes). The way to avoid this is to only fill the cupcake tin paper liners 2/3rds full.
4) I can't speak for the instant espresso powder (I've never used it), but with the instant coffee in my next batch I would definitely dissolve the granules in hot milk - the milk from the recipe (then obviously cool it to room temp before proceeding). You could still see the granules on the tops of the cupcakes after baking (i.e. they did not dissolve properly). This is an easy fix.
5) The crumb's end result was a little dry; I baked them for 25 minutes before testing. I think this may be due to the long bake time (as someone also noted in a prior comment). Next time I would check the cupcakes with a toothpick at 20 minutes (at 15 when I rotated the pan they still looked wet in the middle).
6) To combat the dryness I would also substitute the flax egg with 1/4 cup (1/2 cup for a full batch) plain nondairy yogurt, such as Forager or Kite Hill brand. I believe this would aid in a more moist crumb. If the crumb is still dry, I would simply brush the tops with coffee simple syrup (1 part hot coffee combined with 1 part dissolved sugar; 1/4-1/2 cup of each would probably be enough).
Again, thank you for your work! I am not here to criticize, only to provide my [vegan] experience. I will update you on Friday after baking another batch with the above adjustments.
This was so good! I made these while still at home social distancing. I used instant coffee instead of freshly brewed coffee, and I didn't have espresso powder but I just added a ton of extra instant coffee powder to the mix (until the batter tasted good ;)). It turned out amazing. Also topped it with cream cheese frosting and the pairing was phenomenal. Thanks for this recipe - SO quick and easy and turned out great. The only thing I guess I wasn't clear about was how much to fill the cupcake pan (I'm an amateur baker), but 2/3 seemed just right!
Amanda Powell says
I am so glad you enjoyed it!!! Cream cheese frosting actually sounds amazing with this!!