as you read last week, i love coffee, and am celebrating my birthday… so i took the opportunity to combine these two things– and i am glad i did! i spotted this recipe last year and for some reason never made it. i will not be making that mistake again.
up until 11am yesterday (company was expected at 1), i still hadn’t decided what i wanted to bake. until the day before i didn’t know if a friend who is deathly allergic to peanuts was coming, and i knew i would have some vegans in attendance, so i had to adhere to some dietary guidelines. i kept coming back to the mochaspresso cupcakes, but wasn’t sure since a lot of people aren’t big fans of coffee. i eventually realized that i am the birthday girl, enough of my guests love coffee, and the rest will have to deal with the other food i had out. i was planning on having a bbq for my birthday, however since it was a rainy day, a small group of close friends ended up hanging out in my living room, and then i went out to a local tavern for some awesome live music with some of my other good friends.
while at my house, i commented that i was going to bring some of the cupcakes out for the night group, and apparently it came out the wrong way because my guests were all sitting there wondering if they could have one yet, or had to come out to the bar. i quickly cleared up that confusion and almost got trampled on their way to the kitchen. other than the top falling off of one of them (oops), they were a big hit. i even got a tweet from danielle that an hour after they left she was dreaming about the icing, which i agree was quite stellar. my only complaint was that there was not enough icing to pipe all of them, so i needed to spread on a few of them.
oh, and the bartender was eyeing them up, so i even let him have one. if you are looking for free drinks, this is apparently a good method for obtaining them… too bad i can’t drink! in any case, here’s my advice: don’t wait a year to make these, and make 1.5 batch of the icing. enjoy!
Yield: 12 cupcakes
Prep Time: 15 minutes Baking Time: 17-20 minutes
1-1/3 all-purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup whole milk (I used almond milk)
½ cup strong brewed coffee (I used an individual serving pack of instant coffee)
1½ teaspoons espresso powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature (I used Earth Balance vegan margarine)
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup light brown sugar
1 egg, at room temperature (I used egg-replacer)
1. Mix the espresso powder into the brewed coffee until dissolved; set aside to cool to room temperature.
2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a standard-size muffin tin with paper liners.
3. Whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
4. Beat the butter and both sugars together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Add the egg and beat until combined. In a measuring cup, combine the milk, brewed coffee mixture and vanilla. Slowly add the flour mixture, alternating with the coffee mixture, ending with the flour mixture.
5. Divide the batter evenly between the 12 liners. Baking for 17-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting cupcakes.
Espresso Buttercream Frosting
Makes enough to frost 12 cupcakes (but in my opinion, this stuff is so good that you will want more)
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature (I used Earth Balance vegan margarine)
2½ cups powdered sugar
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1½ teaspoons espresso powder
1. Mix the espresso powder into the vanilla until dissolved; set aside.
2. Using the whisk attachment of a stand mixer, whip the butter on medium-high speed for 5 minutes, stopping once to scrape the sides of the bowl. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the powdered sugar a little at a time, waiting until it is mostly incorporated before adding more. Once all of the powdered sugar has been added, scrape the sides of the bowl and increase the speed to medium-high and whip until fluffy, about a minute or two. Add the espresso and vanilla mixture and continue to mix at medium-high until it is completely incorporated, scraping the sides as necessary.
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