Saturday, January 9, 2010

Chocolate Cupcakes with Coffee Buttercream

You see the cupcake in the back and on the left? The ugly, blurred-out ones? Yeah...awful.

These cupcakes revived my craving for chocolate. Seriously. I've written about this chocolate cake recipe before; it is my go-to recipe. I used the leftover coffee buttercream from the macarons I made in October and also used it to practice my piping skills. I'm still not good at it, as you can see. One day I'll get it.

These two are the best ones I frosted. These two give me hope haha.

Since this buttercream is prepared differently than the others I've made, it has a soft, silkier texture with a bolt of a coffee flavor. In a word, it is FANTASTIC.

Look how moist the cake is...

Look how silky the frosting is...

Please at least think about making this buttercream. Also, bump up the chocolate flavor in your cake by adding a bit of espresso and/or chocolate bits to the batter. I didn't do that, but I thought about doing it after the fact.

I call this "The Life of a Moist, Chocolate Cupcake with Delicious Buttercream". ;)

Hershey's Perfectly Chocolate Cake
adapted by Hershey's
(this recipe is also on the back of the Hershey's cocoa canister)
Yields: 24 cupcakes when filled 3/4ths full. Can be halved easily.

2 cups sugar
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
2 tsp instant coffee granules or 1 tsp espresso powder dissolved in 1 Tbsp water (my addition)
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk or milk (or whole milk + 1Tbsp lemon juice after it sits for 3-5 minutes)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water (I microwaved the water for 5 minutes, and it worked fine. Could substitute hot coffee or espresso? I haven't tried this, though.)

Optional add-in:
1/2 - 1 cup crushed chocolate bars or chocolate chips

1. Heat oven to 350°F. Line muffin cups (2-1/2 inches in diameter) with paper bake cups (I didn't use bake cups because they stayed in the house and in my mouth haha).

2. Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin).

3. Fill cups 2/3 full with batter. Bake 22 to 25 minutes. Cool completely. Frost. About 30 cupcakes.

Coffee Buttercream
adapted from Tartelette
(I suggest halving the recipe because it yields a lot, or you could freeze theleftovers for up to 3 months)

1 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
2 large eggs
3 sticks (1 1/2 cups) unsalted butter, softened
3 tablespoons instant espresso powder dissolved in 1 tablespoon hot water

In a small heavy saucepan set over medium heat, dissolve the sugar in the water. While stirring bring the mixture to a boil, and continue to cook until it registers 240°F. on a candy thermometer.

In the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment or with a hand-held beater, beat the eggs until they are frothy. Add the sugar syrup in a thin stream, beating, and beat the mixture until it is cool. Change to the paddle attachment and add in the butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, the espresso mixture, and beat the buttercream until it is combined well.

Leave at room temperature so it will be easier to spread.


  1. Wow, I am the first one to leave a comment this time! It is a little after midnight and I am looking at your cupcakes and tasting every delicious bite! I love the snapshot of the "Life of a moist cupcake!" Very clever and inviting! Good job with the piping--there is no way you can mess up chocolate cupcakes with butter cream frosting! I would eat that "ugly" cupcake in a heartbeat, don'tcha know :o)

  2. Can't find any ugly cupcakes no matter how hard I looked! I must try this. The cupackes and buttercream are the perfect pairing.

  3. Hi Memoria,

    I like to use that same cake recipe. Ok so I am going to help you with piping! Start your spiral in the center and pipe just above the cake letting the frosting fall onto the cupcake. That's the only trick to it!

    I bet they tasted fantastic with that coffee frosting ooooo.


  4. The buttercream looks so good. I haven't used a recipe with eggs. I'll have to try it. Love that you ate every last little morsel of that cupcake!

  5. Those cupcakes looks so yummy! Love how you put on the frosting!

  6. chocolate and coffee- my two favorite things! i will have to try these!

  7. Mom - Thanks. The "ugly" cupcake was just as good as the "pretty" one haha.

    Ju - Awww, you are so sweet! You must be blind in one eye and can't see in the other, but that's okay haha. They truly do taste great together.

    Laura - Thanks for the tips. I will keep them in mind the next time I try to pipe frosting.

    Sarah - This was my first making a buttercream with eggs, too. I love the consistency of it. The coffee makes it taste really intense.

    Hummingbird - Thanks you!! I'm still practicing on the piping, but it's much better than my past attempts.

    Ceecee - Please do! They are awesome!

  8. wow, new design and delicious recipe :)

  9. You use the whole eggs? I've never heard of a buttercream recipe that uses the yolks - most "meringue" buttercreams use only the whites. Interesting. Looks delicious!


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