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+ servings

Mocha Cupcakes

These mocha cupcakes feature a light, moist, chocolate and espresso cake that is topped with a divine mocha buttercream frosting. They are easy to make and a perfect way to start your morning!
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 45 mins
Cook Time 17 mins
Total Time 1 hr 2 mins
Course Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 12 cupcakes
Calories 531 kcal


  • 12-count muffin pan
  • piping bag
  • piping tip


Mocha Cupcakes:

  • 1 and ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ¾ tsp. salt
  • 2 tbsp. natural unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • ¼ cup strong-brewed hot coffee*
  • 2 tbsp. semi-sweet or dark chocolate, chopped or chocolate chips
  • 2 tbsp. instant espresso powder
  • ½ cup whole milk, room temperature

Mocha Buttercream Frosting:

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 2 tbsp. dark or semi-sweet chocolate, chopped or chocolate chips
  • 2 tbsp. instant espresso powder
  • ¼ cup heavy whipping cream, cold
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • ½ tsp. salt*
  • 2 tsp. unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted


  • Line a 12-count muffin pan with cupcake liners and preheat your oven to 350°F.

Make the Mocha Cupcakes:

  • In a medium bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder. Set aside.
  • Stir the hot coffee, semi-sweet chocolate, and espresso powder together in a small bowl. Microwave in 15-second intervals until the chocolate is melted and smooth.
  • In a large bowl, whisk the vegetable oil, granulated sugar, and room temperature eggs until smooth. Add the coffee mixture, whole milk, and whisk until smooth. Add the dry ingredients and whisk until the batter is smooth.
  • Pour the batter into the cupcake liners and bake the cupcakes for 16-17 minutes. A toothpick inserted into the center should come out clean. Allow the cupcakes to cool in the pan, then remove from the pan and cool completely on a plate or wire rack before frosting.

Make the Mocha Buttercream Frosting:

  • Add the chocolate to a small bowl and microwave it in 15-second intervals until melted and smooth. Stir in the espresso powder to make a thick paste.
  • In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the softened butter with the chocolate/espresso paste until smooth. Add 2 cups of powdered sugar and mix on low speed until just incorporated.
  • In a separate bowl, use an electric mixer to whip the heavy cream for 30-45 seconds until thick. Add it to the bowl of frosting along with the remaining 2 cups of powdered sugar, salt, and sifted cocoa powder. Mix until the frosting is smooth.
  • Add the frosting to a piping bag with a large piping tip (I used a 1M tip) and frost the cupcakes with a classic swirl.


*Regular or decaf. To make strong-brewed coffee, use 1 and ½ - 2 tablespoons of ground coffee for every 1 cup of water. You can also use hot water instead of coffee. 
*For the mocha frosting, if your butter is salted leave out the added salt in the recipe.  
Nutrition facts for 1 cupcake without frosting: Calories: 219 Total Fat: 11g Saturated Fat:2.6g Cholesterol: 32mg Sodium: 216mg Sugar: 18.3g Fiber: 0.6g Protein: 2.9g Cholesterol: 32mg 


Serving: 1cupcake (frosted)Calories: 531kcalCarbohydrates: 70.6gProtein: 3.5gFat: 28gSaturated Fat: 13.3gCholesterol: 76mgSodium: 326mgPotassium: 121mgFiber: 1gSugar: 58.5gCalcium: 44mgIron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @meals.by.molly or tag #mealsbymolly!