Mocha Cupcakes

April 7, 2021

These mocha cupcakes are so moist and delicious. Topped with espresso chocolate whipped cream, they are truly a dream of chocolate and coffee lovers.

The very first time I’ve got to know about ‘mocha’ is when I was working for a local coffee shop which mostly provides traditional Vietnamese coffee. It means there were no western style coffee like cappuccino, latte on the menu. One day there is a guy coming to us asking for a cup of mocha coffee. I had no idea what it was and was about to deny his order but fortunately he came to tell me what he wanted: coffee mixed with chocolate. We had all the ingredients in our counter, so I gave it a try. It was kind of new but the taste was delicious.



These mocha cupcakes base off my classic chocolate cake recipe but I made them more flavorful by adding more instant espresso powder and butter. Coffee will enhance the flavor of chocolate and these flavors truly are a perfect match for each other. Using both butter and oil in the batter will make them stay exceptionally moist and fluffy for days.


Nothing can go better with chocolate cupcakes than chocolate-y frosting. Now imagine a hint of coffee flavor will be added to it. Amazing. Incredible. If this frosting is wrong I don’t want to be right. Because creamy, fluffy chocolate whipped cream filled with coffee goodness is a perfect match. My tips for stable frosting is to use really cold heavy cream and whip just until it reaches stiff peaks. Do not over-whip your frosting or the frosting will become grainy and curdled. Sifted powdered sugar, cocoa powder and tiny granules espresso powder also helps to stabilize the frosting. You can read more tips and tricks to make your dream chocolat-y frosting here.



Use natural unsweetened cocoa powder to control the amount of sugar. You don’t want overly sweet mocha cupcakes.

Sift cocoa powder before mixing it with other dry ingredients. Cocoa powder tends to be lumpy and it’s hard to remove the lumps once you’ve added it to the batter.

Let your cupcakes cool completely before frosting or the frosting will melt.

If you make this recipe, let me know by tagging me onInstagram or tell me all about it in the comments section down below. Happy baking xx

More Chocolate Recipes:

Mocha Cupcakes

These mocha cupcakes are so moist and delicious. Topped with espresso chocolate whipped cream, they are truly a dream of chocolate and coffee lovers.
5 from 3 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 12 cupcakes


Mocha Cupcakes 

  • 1 cup (190) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (60g) cocoa powder unsweetened
  • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (100g) light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon (5g) baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2.5g) baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs room temperature
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick/57g) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) buttermilk, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon (5ml) vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons instant espresso powder
  • 1/3 cup (240ml) hot water or hot coffee

Espresso Chocolate Whipped Cream Frosting

  • 2 cups (240ml) heavy cream chilled
  • 1/3 cup (38g) powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons (22g) cocoa powder sifted
  • 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
  • 1 teaspoon (5ml) pure vanilla extract


  • Preheat oven to 350°F/175°C. Line a muffin pan with 12 cupcake liners. Set aside.
  • Make Cupcakes. In a large bowl, sift together the dry ingredients: flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  • In a small cup mix instant espresso powder with hot water and stir it up until completely dissolved. Set aside.
  • In a small bowl microwave butter for 15-20 seconds until completely melted and cool. In a medium bowl, beat together eggs, oi, melted butter and vanilla until smooth. Add buttermilk and mixed until combined. With a mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet mixture into the dry mixture. Then add hot coffee and stir to combine. Keep whisking until the batter is fully combined and smooth. Make sure to not over mix.
  • Scoop out the batter into prepared cupcake liners using the ice cream scoop, filling about 3/4 cup (1 scoop). Bake for 18-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. Remove from the oven. Allow to cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Make Frosting. In a large mixing bowl, using a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat heavy cream, sifted cocoa powder, instant espresso powder, sugar, and vanilla on medium-low speed for 30 seconds. This would help incorporate all ingredients. Increase speed to high and beat until the cream reaches soft peaks or desired thickness is reached. Do not over whip or frosting will start to be grainy.
  • Once cupcakes are completely cool, frost on top of each cupcake using a piping bag and decorating tip (I use Wilton 6B tip). Store leftovers at room temperature for up to 2 days or in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Bring back to room temperature before serving.
Tried this recipe?Mention @herdreamykitchen on Instagram or tag #herdreamykitchen!

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  • Reply
    April 7, 2021 at 9:25 pm

    Hey Thu,
    I just scrolled down your recipe and would love to try it but can I use brew coffee bottle instead of powder? Monica.

    • Reply
      Thu Nguyen
      April 27, 2021 at 9:32 am

      Hi Monica,
      This is a good question for me. I’ve never tried using cold brew coffee in this recipe so I can’t tell you if it works or not. However, I will test it in the future and update it on my blog. If you have tried it yet please let me know how it goes and I’m happy to hear your sharing xx

  • Reply
    April 9, 2021 at 3:51 am

    5 stars
    These cupcakes are fabulous!

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