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Spice Cupcakes with Mocha Frosting

Old-fashioned flavor comes through with the molasses, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg in these light, fluffy cupcakes. The mocha frosting is a fresh touch that makes them extra special. —Sarah Vaughan, Waterville, Maine
  • Total Time
    Prep: 30 min. Bake: 20 min. + cooling
  • Makes
    15 cupcakes


  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon each ground cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1-3/4 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking cocoa
  • 2 tablespoons strong brewed coffee
  • 1 tablespoon butter, softened
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Chocolate-covered coffee beans and assorted candies, optional


  • In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and molasses. Combine the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg; add to creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk.
  • Fill paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full. Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
  • In a small bowl, combine confectioners' sugar and cocoa. Stir in the coffee, butter and vanilla until smooth. Frost cupcakes. Garnish with coffee beans and candies if desired.
Editor's Note
Warmed buttermilk will appear curdled.
Nutrition Facts
1 each: 227 calories, 7g fat (4g saturated fat), 32mg cholesterol, 147mg sodium, 39g carbohydrate (26g sugars, 0 fiber), 2g protein.

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Average Rating:
  • mkaskela
    Oct 8, 2015

    Great flavor combination. My only alteration was that I didn't have ground cloves in the house so I doubled the cinnamon.

  • Loiscooks
    Jul 20, 2015

    Very good recipe. Instead of cupcakes, I made this in an 8-inch square pan. It took about 35 minutes to bake. It made an excellent spice cake. I did not frost the cake.

  • Carolem36
    Jan 15, 2015

    Cinnamon Frosting on spice cupcakes is um um good. I use it a lot.

    Oct 18, 2014

    A little dry, I reduced baking time to 15 or so minutes. Otherwise everyone loved them.

  • ribbet39
    Nov 4, 2013

    Just made a batch...They are great. We did not ice them. They didn't need it. I got a dozen and a half from this recipe. Will make again.

  • muffbear74
    Apr 25, 2013

    The tops of mine came out a bit crusty, so I had some difficulty getting them out of the pan. The frosting also doesn't look as choclately as the picture, but they taste delicious!

  • LilMunchkin
    Nov 25, 2009

    omg!!! the best cupcake recipe in the world!!!! the best cupcakes i have ever in my life tasted!!! on my top favorites. plan to make them time and time again!!!! more than just 5 stars!!!!!

  • sofia9
    Nov 16, 2009

    Frosting got rave reviews from the family.

  • zucchinilady
    Nov 16, 2009

    this is so light/fluffy - and the flavor is out of this world! Made as a "thank you" for a friend who had helped me out - she ask for the recipe after eating just one! Will be in my "favorite" box" for sure

  • tkarinas
    Nov 9, 2009

    My family loves cupcakes and they devour these so fast, it's kinda scary. I make them as often as I can and they vanish just as fast. This recipe is definitely a keeper.