Friday, December 13, 2013

Mocha Cucakes with Espresso Buttercream Frosting

My oven has been seeing quite the action this past weekend. I decided to make my annual holiday boxes a little early this year because I knew I would be too busy later on. Although I sampled a few new recipes over the past month I wasn't satisfied with them so ultimately the box remained the same and no additions or substitutions were made.

However when it came time for my potluck Christmas party as work I knew that I wanted to make something new and I decided on cupcakes. Originally I found a recipe for cinnamon dolce latte cupcakes but when I read further into it I saw that it only made 12 cupcakes. I quickly did some research and found a second recipe for mocha cupcakes with espresso buttercream frosting. I thought that the two recipes paired well together because they had almost identical ingredients except for the fact that one included cinnamon and the other used cocoa powder.

Ironically enough, the mocha cupcakes turned out perfectly but the cinnamon ones gave me some trouble. The cupcakes turned out well but the kitchen was quite warm by the time I was making the frosting and as a result it broke. Next time I will have to be better with my timing so that I'm not scrambling at the last minute to get everything done. Still, when I brought the cupcakes to the party I received many compliments. I also managed to bring some leftovers home for my family and my mother and brother, both coffee lovers, expressed their enjoyment over the cupcakes.

Mocha Cupcakes with Espresso Buttercream Frosting
Note: This recipe makes 12 cupcakes.
  • 1 cups flour
  • cups unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ cup milk
  • ½ cup espresso
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ cup (8 tbsp) unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 egg 
  1. Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  2. Combine the milk with the espresso and vanilla and set aside.
  3. Cream the butter with the two sugars until light and fluffy.
  4. Beat in the egg.
  5. Reduce the mixer to low speed and add one-third of the dry ingredients. Once the flour is almost mixed in, add half of the espresso/milk mixture. 
  6. Mix in half of the remaining flour, then the remaining milk mixture, and finally the rest of the flour.
  7. Distribute the batter evenly amongst a well-greased or paper-lined 12 cup muffin pan. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 20-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
For the frosting:
  • ¾ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 cups icing sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp espresso powder
  • a bit of milk (maybe a tablespoon)
  1. In a small bowl, combine the vanilla with the espresso powder and stir to dissolve. If the espresso doesn't completely dissolve add a bit of hot water.
  2. Whip the butter for a few minutes on medium-high speed until whitened and fluffy.
  3. Reduce the speed to low-medium and gradually add the icing sugar.
  4. Pour in the vanilla/espresso mixture and beat on medium for a few minutes to incorporate. Scrape the sides of the bowl as necessary.
  5. If the buttercream is still stiff add about a tablespoon of milk so that it becomes more spreadable. Continue to whip for a couple of minutes on medium-high speed until it becomes fluffy.
  6. Frost the cupcakes once they are completely cooled. 

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