Espresso Chocolate Cupcakes with Espresso Buttercream*

Screw dogs! Chocolate and flowers is a girl’s best friend! Whether it be a bad day, your “special” time, or for your birthday…chocolate should always be on the menu! When it came time for my friend Samarie’s birthday I was contemplating cupcake flavors. And when I couldn’t decided…I ended up picking three. One being Vanilla for any unadventurous losers. One was a fun, spicy flavor that I will be posting later this week. And the last cupcake flavor were these delicious Espresso Chocolate Cupcakes with Espresso Buttercream.

I think between the friends, the champagne, the tiara (because every girl should wear a tiara), and the cupcakes she enjoyed her birthday! I was really glad that I made extra cupcakes because people asked the restaurant for to go boxes to take the leftovers home with them! So these must have been a winner! I know Jorge loved them since he ate 4 of them in 24 hours!


Espresso Chocolate Cupcakes with Espresso Buttercream

Recipe Note: To make chocolate decorations, just melt chocolate in a ziplock in the microwave. Cut off a tiny corner and pipe onto parchment paper and allow to cool. And pop off and onto a cupcake!


Espresso Chocolate Cupcakes:
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
3/4 cup self rising flour
1 tbsp cocoa powder
2 tbsp instant espresso powder
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted
2 tbsp milk

Espresso Buttercream:
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 to 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoon instant espresso powder, mixed in 2 tablespoons water


Espresso Chocolate Cupcakes:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Cream together the butter, sugar, and melted chocolate in your stand mixer. Beat in the eggs one at a time. In a separate bowl combine the flour, cocoa, and instant espresso and mix well. Then add flour mixture, alternating with milk, until you have a smooth batter.

Divide the batter into a 12-cup muffin pan prepared with paper liners. Bake until a toothpick comes out clean, 14-18 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. And frost as desired.

Espresso Buttercream:
Beat butter on medium high, for 3 minutes. Slowly add in 2 cups powdered sugar, about a half a cup at a time. Once it is fully incorporated, carefully add the vanilla extract and espresso powder/water mixture.

At this point check the consistency of the buttercream. You should be able to lift the beaters and have the buttercream hold its shape. If it is too loose, add more powdered sugar, again 1/2 cup at a time. Pipe onto the top of cooled cupcakes as desired.

Espresso Chocolate Cupcakes adapted from How to Be a Domestic Goddess by Nigella Lawson
Espresso Buttercream a Novice Chef Blog original

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34 Responses to “Espresso Chocolate Cupcakes with Espresso Buttercream”

  1. 1

    Reginald@CeramicCanvas — August 31, 2010 @ 5:52 am

    Me wants this dessert now!

    You had me at chocolate and

    then you went an added an

    Espresso Butter cream Frosting.

    Looks amazing.


  2. 2

    katie o. — August 31, 2010 @ 6:07 am

    Oh lordy….it’s only 7am and I’m already staring at cupcakes. This can’t be a good thing. Then again, those are espresso cupcakes so that’s kind of like breakfast, right? :)

  3. 3

    Theresa — August 31, 2010 @ 6:40 am

    Oh wow, those look so yummy! Coffee AND chocolate? YES!
    Gotta love Nigella Lawson ay! 😀

  4. 4

    shelly (cookies and cups) — August 31, 2010 @ 7:40 am

    Love your site! Everything looks amazing and your photos are gorgeous :)

  5. 5

    TheKitchenWitch — August 31, 2010 @ 8:27 am

    Samarie is lucky to have you. And those lovely cupcakes.

  6. 6

    Roti n Rice — August 31, 2010 @ 8:40 am

    Those chocolate cupcakes sure do look good and the chocolate decorations are a nice touch. Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving a comment.

  7. 7

    Mrs. Mayhem — August 31, 2010 @ 8:49 am

    The cupcakes and frosting both sound amazing. Thanks so much for the tip about melting chocolate to make decorations. I never would have thought of doing that, and it’s lovely.

  8. 8

    Kerri — August 31, 2010 @ 8:57 am

    are you opening your own bakery soon!??!?!?! :)

  9. 9

    Espresso chocolate cupcakes with espresso buttercream | Love Cupcakes — August 31, 2010 @ 10:55 am

    […] espresso chocolate cupcakes with espresso buttercream are from The Novice Chef Blog – go there for the recipe! The chocolate flower and heart on top add a little extra touch […]

  10. 10

    Jeanne — August 31, 2010 @ 11:55 am

    These cupcakes are definitely my new best friend! Wow! :)

  11. 11

    SuziCate — August 31, 2010 @ 12:58 pm

    This recipe sounds delicious…thanks for sharing. I can’t wait to try it!

  12. 12

    Katie (Sweets and Veggies) — August 31, 2010 @ 2:29 pm

    Hey!! I just found your blog and I love all the recipes on here! Can’t wait to start reading your blog more. And happy birthday btw!!

  13. 13

    Juliana — August 31, 2010 @ 2:36 pm

    Wow, these cupcakes are lovely, love the espresso coffee in it…with chocolate…they look SO yummie, very nice decorated :-)

  14. 14

    Evan @swEEts — August 31, 2010 @ 2:48 pm

    These might just be the perfect cupcake for my mom’s birthday :) Thanks for the inspiration!

  15. 15

    lisa — August 31, 2010 @ 4:48 pm

    Wow, such beautiful photos. Looks delicious. Cupcakes are my fave. I made the red velvet ones from magnolia bakery and they were divine. You can check them out on my blog if you’d like to try them too

  16. 16

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  17. 17

    Nicole — August 31, 2010 @ 5:44 pm

    These are adorable and perfectly girly! I love that you made vanilla cupcakes for the “unadventurous losers” ha :)

  18. 18

    Lindsay @ Pinch of Yum — August 31, 2010 @ 8:26 pm

    Your cupcakes look fantastic! Im just too lazy to make them right now… maybe I could buy some from you? :) Just kidding.

  19. 19

    Sakura — August 31, 2010 @ 8:43 pm

    Thank-you for the wonderful recipe. :) Can someone tell me where to purchase espresso powder?

  20. 20

    Cookie Sleuth — August 31, 2010 @ 10:46 pm

    Those decorations are too cute! Thanks for the instructions on how to make them. The espresso buttercream sounds delicious!

  21. 21

    newlywed — September 1, 2010 @ 5:37 am

    Tiaras should indeed be worn whenever possible (I own four for variety). These look beautiful and very professional…nothing novice-looking about them!

  22. 22

    ErinsFoodFiles — September 1, 2010 @ 7:47 am

    I would love one of those right now… I had to get up WAY too early, so espresso would be nice. So would a cupcake. LOL

  23. 23

    Samarie — September 2, 2010 @ 2:26 pm

    Thank you so much for my cupcakes! They were to die for, and thanks for posting the picture and letting everyone know that a tiara is a must have. Love ya!

  24. 24

    Becky — September 2, 2010 @ 5:27 pm

    You and your amazing cupcakes! These are right up my alley – can’t wait to try them! : )

  25. 25

    jenn — September 3, 2010 @ 9:41 pm

    these cupcakes look delish! i love the chocolate accents on the frosting. (BTW: i lol’d at the vanilla for ‘unadventurous losers’ comment!)

  26. 26

    ingrid — September 4, 2010 @ 8:48 pm

    Hey, watch it, sista! Chocolate adds to a dessert but if you left it out you’d still have something delicious. Leave out vanilla and your dessert is just okay.

    Love the chocolate garnishes you made. They added a lovely touch.

    ~Vanilla rulz!, ingrid :)

  27. 27

    Clare @ Mrs Multitasker — September 5, 2010 @ 8:06 pm

    Jessica these look so so good. I love that first picture. What a brilliant way to spice up a food shot that has lots of brown!

  28. 28

    melissa — September 8, 2010 @ 10:37 pm

    I have no idea how I missed these but they look heavenly. Chocolate & espresso are two of my very favorites! Yumm!

  29. 29

    Stephanie — September 16, 2010 @ 6:33 pm

    is the melted chocolate in the recipe just for the decorations? The placement of it in the list of ingredients makes it seem like it goes in the cupcakes, but it isn’t in the directions.


  30. 30

    Sakura — October 4, 2010 @ 9:55 pm

    I made these cupcakes Jess and they were wonderful and a hit with my family. Very easy to make. Loved them.

  31. 31

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  32. 32

    Kelly — November 13, 2011 @ 5:02 pm

    I just baked these cupcakes but for some reason mine did not come out as dark and decadent looking as yours. Could I have used the wrong cocoa powder (Hershey’s).

    • Jessica replied: — November 15th, 2011 @ 12:27 pm

      Hmm the cocoa powder brand shouldn’t make a difference. I also used Hersheys. Between the cocoa powder, espresso powder, and melted bittersweet chocolate they should have come out pretty chocolate-y!

      I’m sorry they did not turn out for you. :-( A friend made them recently for a birthday party and had no issues. I don’t know what could have gone wrong!

  33. 33

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