chocolate | cinnamon | coffee | cupcakes | recipe

“Grown-up” mocha cupcakes.

July 18, 2008

I have no idea why these are called “grown-up” mocha cupcakes. I don’t know why a chocolate cupcake would be considered grown-up in any way, really, it just seems like an oxy-moron to me. But I suppose because this one has coffee and cinnamon in it its supposedly more adult. I still think a grown-up cupcake is self-negating. Cupcakes are inherently child-like, or would it be… childish? Whatever. I haven’t been in an English class in 4 years.

I had to christen my new mixer and I felt like I hadn’t made cupcakes in years. More like a month, really, but it was a long time either way. So here we are. At first I felt like the flavors were a bit autumnal… or ‘winter-y’ for this time of year; what with the cinnamon, espresso and chocolate cake and the vanilla-orange buttercream frosting (more on that later) sprinkled with more cinnamon… but nobody else thought so. *shrugs* I stand corrected. Maybe my palate is more refined? Heh. Kidding.

Post-frosting, pre-cinnamon.


My mixer, by the way, is heaven sent and makes buttercream like I’ve never made before in my life. It makes everything so much easier too. Don’t get me wrong- I love my little Michael Graves hand mixer, and its made more than its share of frostings and cakes and such since I bought it and never did me wrong… and I will definitely continue to use it since the stand mixer is a bit, well, too strong for some things… but seriously… KitchenAid artisan stand mixer in pink, marry me.

These cupcakes weren’t supposed to be frosted… what? Yeah. No frosting is “grown-up” I guess. But I said EFF THAT and decided on a lovely vanilla buttercream with a hint of orange. I felt like the orange would go really well with the flavors of the actual cupcake- and I was right! I used such a tiny amount of orange extract there is no measurement for it. Seriously. I had like, an iota (wow, SAT word!) left in the bottle, so I swirled a little vanilla extract in there with it and poured it out. It gave the frosting a nice orange flavor that wasn’t too in your face or overpowering. So do with that what you like, when and if you decide to make this frosting. Its just basic vanilla buttercream, with that lil bit of orange extract thrown in there.

I would’ve made toppers or tinted the frosting but it was 1:30 a.m. and while I’m a night owl… my ass was tired. So I did the least work possible. I couldn’t even be bothered to look for my star tip, I just used the round one I’ve been using on the last few cupcakes I made. Lazy ass.


Getchaself this here stuff:
  • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp Kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 ½ tsps instant coffee or ground coffee powder (use espresso powder if you wish)
  • ½ cup hot water
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ cup whole milk, plain yogurt or sour cream*
  • ¼ pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
Thenyagonna do this:
  1. Preheat the oven to 375º degrees. Line 18 muffin cups with paper baking cups.**
  2. Place the flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon in a bowl and mix to combine.
  3. Place the coffee powder and hot water in a small bowl and mix until the coffee has dissolved. Add the vanilla and milk/yogurt/sour cream and mix until well combined.
  4. Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment*** and beat until liight, fluffy, and light lemon colored, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add the egg & beat until combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add half the flour mixture. Beat until combined.
  5. Add the coffee mixture, beat, and then add the rest of the flour mixture. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and fill baking cups about two-thirds full. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Set aside to cool.

* I used plain yogurt.

** I definitely got exactly 18 cupcakes.

*** I didn’t use a paddle attachment, I used the regular flat beater.

All in all these are perfect. Now, I don’t know if this was just a good recipe, and the buttercream coming out great was just luck.. or if those things are the result of the new mixer. But either way, this cupcake was certainly a hit.

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  1. AWESOME! I can’t wait to try it. Thanks for your wonderful blog! I featured you in my last entry on my blog. Have a magical weekend!

  2. Is it me or the recipe left out when to put the egg in? I was making this and realised I don’t know when the put the egg in! unfortunately I was at the last step already so I just dropped it in at that point. I’m waiting for them to be done now, so I hope it works out fine!

  3. You are totally right Maxine! Have no fear your cakes will come out fine. The egg is *supposed* to go in after you cream the butter. I’m going to edit it now. Thank you for noticing! Typing up recipes can be tedious.

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