Special Mocha Cupcakes Recipe
Special Mocha Cupcakes Recipe photo by Taste of Home
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Special Mocha Cupcakes Recipe

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4.5 30 52
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Topped with a fluffy frosting and chocolate sprinkles, these extra-rich, extra-delicious cupcakes smell wonderful while baking and taste even better! —Mary Bilyeu, Ann Arbor, Michigan
Featured In: Top 10 Cupcake Recipes
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 25 min. Bake: 20 min. + cooling
MAKES:12 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 25 min. Bake: 20 min. + cooling
MAKES: 12 servings


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup cold brewed coffee
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 teaspoons cider vinegar
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup baking cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons milk chocolate chips
  • 3 tablespoons semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons brewed coffee
  • 1/2 cup chocolate sprinkles

Nutritional Facts

1 each: 412 calories, 19g fat (5g saturated fat), 49mg cholesterol, 255mg sodium, 59g carbohydrate (42g sugars, 1g fiber), 4g protein.


  1. Preheat oven to 350°. In a large bowl, beat sugar, coffee, oil, eggs, vinegar and vanilla until well blended. In a small bowl, combine flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt; gradually beat into coffee mixture until blended.
  2. Fill paper-lined muffin cups three-fourths full. Bake 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack to cool.
  3. For frosting, in a microwave, melt chips and butter; stir until smooth. Transfer to a large bowl. Gradually beat in confectioners' sugar and enough coffee to achieve desired consistency. Pipe frosting onto cupcakes. Top with sprinkles; gently press down. Yield: 1 dozen.
Originally published as Special Mocha Cupcakes in Taste of Home April/May 2007, p27

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Hallas User ID: 8054855 247508
Reviewed Apr. 26, 2016

"this recipe was incredible! it is awesome!!!!"

bwilkin User ID: 3339114 220125
Reviewed Feb. 9, 2015

"The cupcakes as well as the frosting were dry and had very little chocolate flavor. Could not taste the coffee at all either. Won't bother with this recipe again."

mominthekitchen User ID: 2931682 165326
Reviewed May. 11, 2014

"I've made these cupcakes about three times and the frosting dozens of times. It's my go-to chocolate frosting -- the coffee just adds that extra depth to the chocolate flavor without being overwhelming. Even my coffee-hating father-in-law was raving about the frosting and was surprised when I told him the "secret" ingredient.

Unfortunately I've found that every time I add coffee as an ingredient in cake, it tends to dry the cake out (and honestly, the coffee flavor doesn't come through well anyway). Couldn't get these cupcakes to be moist no matter how much I watched the bake time. The frosting, however, is to die for IF you make it as the magazine originally said, which is NOT to melt the butter in the microwave. Just melt the chips, let them cool, and blend them with the softened butter, powdered sugar, and cooled coffee. I also only use semi-sweet chocolate chips (replacing the milk chocolate chips with additional semi-sweet chips). It's sweet enough and there's no reason to buy two different kinds of chocolate chips."

JessBella6 User ID: 5295511 95739
Reviewed Aug. 25, 2013

"The mocha flavor is distinct without being overpowering. Excellent!"

Karanic2 User ID: 3130116 150676
Reviewed May. 31, 2013

"It made 17 cupcakes for me! I filled my standard sized cupcake pan 3/4 or almost more full (2 pampered chef medium sized scoops for each one). Don't know if anyone else had that issue or not. They're baking up nicely:)"

rhiler User ID: 2066529 95725
Reviewed May. 19, 2013

"The cupcakes were delicious and moist, except for the tops which came out a bit crunchy; not sure they need a whole 20 mins. I did not care for the icing however, next time I'll make a traditional buttercream and substitute the milk with coffee."

Nicolejanine User ID: 6593167 165008
Reviewed Jan. 15, 2013

"These are great chocolate cupcakes with a rich flavor. But I was disappointed that I couldn't really taste any coffee flavor. Using espresso would have probably made a difference."

bdOakPark User ID: 7004209 208889
Reviewed Dec. 4, 2012

"icing can always be tough but the rerigeration tricks seemed to help. I also used espresso instead of coffee - richer and darker. For those who draw their own shots at home, you can do a few long draws vs. literally going shot by shot."

SKTerpstra User ID: 4231446 165006
Reviewed Oct. 4, 2012

"These moist morsels sold out quickly at a Haiti disaster fundraiser & received rave reviews!"

mcdetray User ID: 4566258 150675
Reviewed Jan. 5, 2012

"The flavored are fantastic! The cake was a touch dry for my liking after baking 20 minutes, and the frosting got too soft to pipe rather quickly. But they taste so good, I will definitely make again! Perhaps next time I will bake a little less, and refrigerate the frosting for awhile before piping on."

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