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Special Mocha Cupcakes Recipe

Special Mocha Cupcakes Recipe

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 YIELD: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


  • 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.

Nutritional Facts

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

Reviews for Special Mocha Cupcakes

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2124arizona User ID: 845443 265734
Reviewed May. 8, 2017

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

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."

eysbrown74 User ID: 4738598 208888
Reviewed Oct. 2, 2011

"they were a little dry. I followed everything just like it said"

Fingland35 User ID: 2152940 95720
Reviewed Aug. 16, 2011

"Everyone loved them! The frosting was perfect after refrigerating it for a few hours. Cupcakes were moist."

zimmb User ID: 5495838 150666
Reviewed Aug. 15, 2011

"I love making cupcakes, and have lots of recipes for them, this is the best mocha cupcake I have found, I use very strong coffee cause I love the coffee flavor!!!!!So yummy, and my friends loved them"

omahataxidriver User ID: 5143548 96928
Reviewed Jul. 11, 2011

"I could just eat the frosting good!"

loriwakefield User ID: 5978486 95718
Reviewed May. 8, 2011

"These were just ok. Maybe I was expecting more, but I'd be just as happy with a chocolate cupcake made from a box and canned frosting..."

Lisa Mitchum User ID: 1204047 164998
Reviewed Apr. 2, 2011

"very dry and the frosting was not fluffy like the picture."

SherylKuipers User ID: 5719239 104353
Reviewed Mar. 11, 2011

"this is so good even though i havent ate it or made it (yet) it looks amazing"

elliek User ID: 967243 150659
Reviewed Feb. 7, 2011

"These are the best! Very moist. I like that it only makes 12, just enough but not too many for my family. I have made these more than once and am always satisfied!"

kbridge User ID: 1052042 208887
Reviewed Jan. 10, 2011

"Cupcakes were very dry and i didn't bake them as long as recipe said. Frosting was not fluffy and too sweet."

roakley1 User ID: 5382267 95717
Reviewed Aug. 25, 2010

"Didn't taste the coffee in them but still great. Icing wasn't fluffy like in the picture. It was runny and kinda melty!"

eveblack427 User ID: 2115583 164996
Reviewed Aug. 15, 2010

"My daughter and I just made these for my parents and my brother and his wife. Everyone loves them."

vmitch User ID: 547344 208886
Reviewed Jun. 29, 2010

"Followed the recipe except for the canola, I substituted vegetable oil. The cakes were dry and the frosting was way too sweet."

Osum User ID: 602610 208885
Reviewed Jun. 24, 2010

"This recipe is definately a keeper. I will only make these cupcakes again when I want chocolate. They are so spongy and light just like a mix. You won't be disappointed one bit!"

shivali User ID: 5227632 77530
Reviewed Jun. 21, 2010

"These cupcakes were a hit for Father's Day. Everybody enjoyed them -- all ages. When I follewed the recipe for the frosting exactly, I was left with a separated mess. Here are my recommendations for the most amazing tasting frosting...1. Instead of mixing the chocolate chips and butter and microwaving them (which seemed to cause the separation), melt the chips ONLY in the microwave and then add them to room temperature butter in a bowl and just swirl the mixture with a spatula, not the mixer. 2. Add the cold coffee, and confectioners suger. I added much more coffee than the recipe called for -- enough to give me a mocha flavor. 3. The recipe does not call for vanilla extract, but I added half a teaspoon.


ladychef3179 User ID: 5108726 125946
Reviewed May. 5, 2010

"I'm a new cook so I was a little nervous about making cupcakes from scratch. It turned out great. I was worried it would be too much chocolate for me but it's not. The cupcake is light, fluffy, and has just the right amount of chocolate. I didn't taste the coffee in the cupcake though but it still gets 5 stars."

annalisa_harmon User ID: 4521665 164994
Reviewed Dec. 10, 2009

"This is so good!"

dpurcell User ID: 4444009 77516
Reviewed Oct. 6, 2009

"These cupcakes were so YUMMY! The coffee wasn't over powering, just darn right good. Light fluffy icing...what's not to love. My whole family gobbled them right up. My only complaint would be is that the recipe only makes 12."

Nikircr User ID: 2818298 164749
Reviewed Mar. 7, 2009

"Didn't think these would be very good but was I ever surprised. Try these I guarantee you won't be sorry. I also like using all semi sweet chips in the icing. Moist, Fudgy, Yummmmmmmm"

snaxx User ID: 1856931 67999
Reviewed Mar. 2, 2009

"I made these cupcakes for my boss's birthday last week. I licked the bowl after I had the batter in the pans, and it was lucious even unbaked. He said they were the best cupcakes he had ever eaten. this recipe is a keeper, and I am sure I will make it very often. A winner, for sure. next time I make it tho, I think that instead of melting the butter along with the chocolate chips, I will just whip the softened butter in after the chips are melted and see the texture of that."

Doreenpv User ID: 3153622 67997
Reviewed Jun. 30, 2008

"I prefer 6 Tab of semi sweet chips instead of 3 and 3.

This recipe is delish."

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