Cafe Mocha Cupcakes

Here’s why I absolutely love this cake.

  1. It has a caffeine kick
  2. It’s chocolate
  3. It’s super moist (sorry for the word choice, anti-moist friends)

I originally started baking because I hated cakes. They’re too dry, too dull, too sweet, too fake–and don’t get me started on the frostings.

Still, there is nothing is more sad than a cake-less birthday. I decided, If I’m gonna have to eat cakes, I’m gonna make sure they’re damn delicious.


1 ¾ cups all purpose flour

2 cups sugar

¼ cup unsweetened cocoa

2/4 cup instant coffee

1 ½ baking soda

1 ½ baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

2 eggs

½ cup milk

½ cup vegetable oil

2 cups hot, hot coffee (just under boiling)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, coffee, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Mix with a wooden spoon and set aside. Mix SLOWLY. Flour loves nothing more than blowing up in your face. Sink the spoon to the bottom of the bowl and fold the ingredients over each other until it looks like a boxed cake mix.

In a smaller bowl, combine eggs, milk and oil. Beat well with a hand mixer. This step takes a few seconds with a mixer, about one minute by hand.

Now that coffee. Make sure that it is fresh. Old coffee that has been sitting on the burner has the bitter taste of burn. Brew the coffee (the darker roast, the better) and throw it in a small pot on the stove just until you see little bubbles form.

Side note, you can pop the coffee in the microwave but I DO NOT RECOMMEND IT! It’ll heat up super fast, likely boil over, create a mess and be too hot to handle right away. It’s just a hassle.

*ALSO* Don’t think that just because you have the instant coffee you don’t need the brewed coffee. THEY’RE DOING TWO DIFFERENT THINGS! The instant coffee is where you get most of your flavor. The brewed coffee is where you get your moisture.

Okay, so now that you have boiling coffee, slowly add it to the egg mixtures and blend well.

SLOWLY add wet ingredients to the dry and mix well. For those with patience problems, let me suggest pouring the wet mixture over the entire surface of the dry bowl. A spiral starting from the outside in usually works well. This creates a small barrier between the flour and your face, thus foiling its plan to be in your eyes. However, you do have to blend on a slower speed.

Divide evenly into lined cupcake pans. Bake for 16 minutes or until an inserted toothpick (or knife) removes cleanly.

For those coffee fiends out there (like me), to enhance the coffee flavor, shots of espresso packs much more of a punch with less coffee. In that instance, substitute 1 cup of espresso and 1/2 cup boiling water to the mix.

Delicious dealings, friends!

What frosting do I recommend? Hazelnut Creamer Buttercream

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