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+ servings
Chocolate Cupcakes

Rich Chocolate Cupcakes with Espresso Buttercream

Rich chocolate cupcakes with espresso buttercream are the perfect marriage of flavors. The buttercream has just a hint of espresso, providing a perfect subtle complement.
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Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 12 cupcakes


  • Mixer (handheld or stand)
  • Two mixing bowls
  • Muffin Tin
  • Muffin Cups
  • Whisk
  • Piping bag
  • Large flower drop piping tip (Ex. Wilton 2D)





  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Prepare the cupcake tin with liners.
  • In a mixing bowl combine the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, salt, and baking soda. Using a whisk, mix all the ingredients well. These are your dry ingredients.
  • In a separate mixing bowl whisk the egg, milk, vegetable oil, and vanilla together. These are your wet ingredients.
  • Combine the wet and dry ingredients together. This is your batter.
  • Add the boiling/hot water to your batter, mix well, and let stand for 1- 2 minutes. Your batter will be thin.
  • Pour the batter into the tins and bake for 15 - 20 minutes. While the cupcakes are baking you can begin making the frosting.
  • Remove and allow cupcakes to fully cool before adding frosting.


  • Using the mixer, beat the butter until it is fluffy.
  • Add the confectioner's sugar, slowly, one cup at a time.
  • Add the vanilla and espresso powder.
  • Add the buttercream to the piping bag and pipe onto the cupcakes.


When making the cupcakes:
  • You will want to add very hot water or boiling water and allow the batter to stand for one to two minutes.  This step helps to dissolve any cocoa powder clumps and helps make a moist cupcake.
  • When I wrote the recipe, I added a long cooking time. This is because I live at a high altitude and the cooking time is slightly different. To see if your cupcake is done you can try one of two methods:
    • Insert a toothpick and if it comes out clean, you're done.
    • Gently tap the top of the cupcake and if the cupcake springs back with no indentation, you're done.
When making the espresso buttercream:
  • I increased the buttercream to accommodate a dramatic frosting. If this is more frosting than you would like, feel free to adjust the recipe down. Here is an adjusted down recipe I recommend:
    • 1 cup butter
    • 4 cups confectioner's sugar
    • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
    • 2 tablespoons espresso powder
I hope you enjoy it! If you like this recipe, please let me know and give me a good rating. 
Thank you!
Keyword Buttercream, Chocolate, Chocolate Cupcake, Cupcake, Espresso
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