Mocha Cupcakes with Espresso Buttercream

Calling all coffee lovers to these Mocha cupcakes with Espresso Buttercream! Soft, moist chocolate cupcakes are topped with espresso buttercream then decorated with crushed coffee beans and a dark chocolate drizzle. It’s a classic coffee drink in dessert form.


Uses basic ingredients | There’s no fancy ingredients required for this recipe and all will either already be in your cupboard or are easily accessible from your local store.

Incredible combination of flavours and textures | Chocolate and Coffee have long been a match made in heaven and the flavour combination in these cupcakes is no exception. A soft tender chocolate sponge meets a smooth, creamy coffee buttercream and the crushed coffee beans add a very welcome crunch and kick of coffee.

Quick and simple to make | This Mocha Cupcake with Espresso Buttercream recipe is incredibly easy to make and it takes no more than 20 minutes to get the batter mixed and in the oven. The longest waiting time will be making sure they are totally cool before decorating!

Looks spectacular | The simple addition of crushed coffee beans and dark chocolate drizzle make these cupcakes a real showstopper.


Whip softened butter first | You want a softened butter at room temperature vs a fridge cold butter as the former will whip up really quickly and the latter will risk butter lumps.

Gradually add sifted icing sugar| For a super smooth buttercream, first sift the icing sugar to remove any lumps. Then gradually add it in and mix it through to give the sugar time to break down.

Bring it all together with hot milk | The creamy element of this buttercream comes from the addition of hot milk which brings the whole mixture together. The heat of the milk helps break the sugar down and dissolves the coffee powder so its super smooth, and the creaminess of the milk adds to the flavour. Alternatively if you want to avoid milk entirely you can use hot water. This will have same effect on the smooth texture but you may miss out on the creamy flavour. 

Beat the mixture together with a spatula | Beat all the air bubbles out with a spatula by pushing the buttercream against the bowl.


  • Use room temperature ingredients for the cupcake batter. When all ingredients are the same temperature they combine together much better which allows for the smoothest batter and most even bake.
  • Also use room temperature butter for the espresso buttercream. If it’s too soft, it won’t pipe as well.
  • Use a ice cream scoop to evenly distributed the cupcake batter between the cases.
  • Create a small dip in the centre of the cupcake batter before baking to help them bake level in the oven.
  • Once baked remove the cupcakes from the tin after about five minutes and allow them to cool on a wire rack rather than in the tin as this could cause condensation which makes the cupcake cases peel away.



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Mocha Cupcake with Espresso Buttercream

Calling all coffee lovers to these Mocha cupcakes with Espresso Buttercream! Soft, moist chocolate cupcakes are topped with espresso buttercream then decorated with crushed coffee beans and a dark chocolate drizzle. It's a classic coffee drink in dessert form.
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Course: Cupcakes, Dessert
Keyword: Coffee, Coffee Buttercream, Coffee Cupcakes, Espresso Buttercream, Mocha Cupcakes
Servings: 12 Cupcakes
Author: mykitchendrawer


For the Chocolate Cupcakes

  • 150 g unsalted butter softened
  • 150 g light brown sugar
  • 3 eggs large
  • 120 g self raising flour
  • 40 g cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 100 g dark chocolate chips
  • 2 tbsp hot coffee

For the Espresso Buttercream

  • 150 g unsalted butter softened
  • 250 g icing sugar
  • 1 tbsp coffee powder
  • 2 tbsp hot milk
  • 50 g coffee beans
  • 50 g dark chocolate melted


For the chocolate cupcakes

  • Preheat the oven to 160°C fan, gas mark 5 and line a cupcake tin with paper cupcake cases.
  • Place the butter and light brown sugar in a mixing bowl and beat until light and fluffy then gradually add the beaten eggs a little at a time until smooth.
  • Using a large metal spoon fold in the flour, cocoa powder, vanilla, baking powder, chocolate chips and hot coffee
  • Divide the mixture between the cupcake cases using a ice cream scoop or tablespoon then create a small well in the centre of each cupcake with a teaspoon and bake for 20 -25 minutes until risen and just firm to the touch.
  • Remove the cupcakes from the tin after 5 minutes and leave to cool on a wire rack before decorating.

For the Espresso Buttercream

  • Whisk softened butter in a large bowl until light and fluffy
  • Gradually add sifted icing sugar combining well between each addition. Then add the coffee powder and 2 tbsp hot milk (or boiling water) and beat it in to smooth the buttercream out. 
  • Continue beating the buttercream with a spatula (or with the flat beater of a standing mixer) for 3-5 minutes until it's super smooth and creamy. 
  • Fit a piping bag with your nozzle of choice and fill it with the creamy buttercream then top each cupcake with a generous swirl.
  • Crush the coffee beans with the end of a rolling pin until you have a mixture of crumbs, larger chunks and whole coffee beans.
  • Scatter the crushed coffee beans over the buttercream swirls then finish with a drizzle of melted dark chocolate before serving.
Tried this recipe?Mention @mykitchendrawer or tag #mykitchendrawer!

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