Espresso Cupcakes

I’ve become pretty addicted to (good) coffee. I can never drink it in excess since the caffeine will make me jittery, but I drink a cup every morning now. That made me want to go back and take another look at this recipe, which never got the love it deserves from me.

I re-made them and focused on getting a good coffee flavor with plenty of chocolate notes. After reading about bacteria for my Food Fermentation class, this was a welcome distraction! I now have 11 credits for my Masters done, with 19 to go. And then, who knows, why not get a PhD?

Oh yeah, because school is hard and not always immediately rewarding. But anyways, this beautiful cupcake is moist, soft, dark chocolatey and not overly sweet, with a hint of coffee flavor. The filling is cream cheese espresso, so it has a big hit of coffee flavor. The frosting is whipped mocha, very creamy and sweet with a slight coffee flavor.  If you need an afternoon pick-me-up, these are guaranteed to do it!

*Makes 12 cupcakes

Cupcake Ingredients:
1 c. flour
1 c. sugar
2/3 c. dark cocoa powder
1 t. baking soda
1 t. baking powder
2 T. espresso powder or instant coffee
3 T. vegetable oil, or melted coconut oil
½ c. buttermilk
½ c. hot water
1 large egg
1 t. vanilla

Cupcake Directions: 
Preheat oven to 350˚ F. Line cupcake pans with paper liners. In bowl of electric mixer, combine flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and espresso powder. Mix on low to blend.  Add oil, buttermilk, hot water, egg, and vanilla to the bowl and mix on low until blended, scraping bowl as needed. Divide the batter evenly between the liners (fill about 3/4 full, batter will be slightly runny). Bake 18-20 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let the cupcakes cool in pans for 5 minutes, then remove to wire rack to cool.

Filling Ingredients & Directions:
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 T. espresso powder or instant coffee
1/2 c. powdered sugar

Beat cream cheese, espresso powder, and sugar until well-blended and fluffy, about 2 minutes.

Frosting Ingredients & Directions:
1 c. butter, softened
2 t. espresso powder
1 c. chocolate chips, melted and cooled
1/4 c. cocoa powder
1 c. powdered sugar
1 T. whipping cream, optional

Beat butter and espresso powder until butter is light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Melt chocolate chips and let cool slightly. Add chocolate to butter mixture and blend until incorporated. Sift in powdered sugar and cocoa slowly. Add whipping cream and whip for 2 minutes if desired (for a less dense frosting).

TO ASSEMBLE: Cut cupcakes using the cone method (seen HERE) and fill, replacing cut tops. Pipe frosting on top (I use a large star tip). Store in the fridge for up to 3 days.

*An Anna Original*

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