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Special Mocha Cupcakes

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
  • Total Time
    Prep: 25 min. Bake: 20 min. + cooling
  • Makes
    1 dozen


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup cold brewed coffee
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 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


  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 reach desired consistency. Pipe frosting onto cupcakes. Top with sprinkles; gently press down.
Test Kitchen Tips
  • Learn how to make cupcakes of all kinds with our ultimate guide.
  • Nutrition Facts
    1 cupcake: 412 calories, 19g fat (5g saturated fat), 49mg cholesterol, 255mg sodium, 59g carbohydrate (42g sugars, 1g fiber), 4g protein.

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    Click stars to rate
    Average Rating:
    • Ken
      Nov 17, 2019

      Everyone loved the frosting. I substituted Bittersweet chocolate for the semisweet and beated it at number 6 for 6 minutes (KitchenAid stand Mixer). The cake part, on the other hand, was dry, and lacked significant taste! I think the culprit might be the Cold Brewed coffee. Could either the author of the recipe or Taste of home please comment on either what brand of premade cold-brewed coffee was used or how the cold-brewed coffee was prepared. (In the grocery store there is a large selection of Cold brewed coffees!)

    • GStaelens
      Mar 13, 2019

      No comment left

    • 2124arizona
      May 8, 2017

      Love this recipe! It's a nice balance of chocolate and coffee! Everyone loves them!!

    • StoneyLake
      Sep 17, 2016

      No comment left

    • Hallas
      Apr 26, 2016

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

    • bwilkin
      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
      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
      Aug 25, 2013

      The mocha flavor is distinct without being overpowering. Excellent!

    • Karanic2
      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
      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.