Espresso Cupcakes gives you everything you love about coffee and cupcakes in the perfect little dessert treat! Topped with an espresso cream cheese frosting, these are sure to be your new favorite!
Amp up the flavor of your cupcakes with these delicious and easy to make Espresso Cupcakes with Espresso Cream Cheese Frosting. Inspired by chocolate-covered espresso beans, these adult cupcakes have the perfect texture and sweetness.
And, while you’re at it, why not pair these cupcakes with a delicious Espresso Martini with Kahlua! It’s a simple 3 ingredient cocktail you don’t want to miss! And, for another fan coffee-flavored treat, don’t miss my Tiramisu with Kahlua or this Chocolate Chip Ricotta Cake. If you love Amaretto, be sure to try my Amaretto Pound Cake.
The BEST Espresso Cupcakes!
Sometimes you need to kick overly sweet and sugar-laden cupcakes out the door! These little cupcakes are perfect for your next get together and are ideal for the coffee lover in your life.
When you bite into an Espresso Cupcake you get a combination of sweet cake and espresso flavor. The cream cheese frosting adds a smooth creamy finishing, making this best cupcake ever!
My husband and adult family members all loved these cupcakes; they couldn’t get enough! However, truth be told, these are not for the kiddos. Perhaps they do like the coffee flavors, but with the addition of ground espresso and crushed chocolate-covered espresso beans, they may not be great for the littles.
I like to serve these at parties in addition to something sweet for the kids. If you are looking for a great cupcake that kids will love, be sure to check out my Strawberry Cupcakes or really surprise everyone with my awesome Giant Cupcake Cake.
The ingredients for this recipe include: flour, sugar, instant espresso powder, milk, eggs, oil, vanilla, and chocolate-covered espresso beans.
- Instant Espresso Powder: you can find instant espresso powder in the coffee section of most grocery stores. My personal favorite is Medaglia D’Oro, but Cafe Bustelo is a close second.
- Chocolate-Covered Espresso Beans: these are an essential component to this recipe. They add a dark chocolate crunch that just can’t be beat. You can buy them in most grocery stores, coffee shops, or online. In a pinch, you can substitute chopped dark chocolate or mini chocolate chips.
To make the Cream Cheese Espresso Frosting, you will need: cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, and instant espresso powder. This recipe makes just enough to put a nice dollop of frosting on top of the cupcakes without being too much.
How to make Espresso Cupcakes
To make Espresso Cupcakes you will need to start by lining a 12-cup muffin pan with cupcake liners. I like to use these pretty gold liners but any will do. Next, preheat your oven to 350 degrees and adjust baking rack so that it is in the middle shelf of the oven.
Step 1: In a bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients, including the espresso powder and sugar. In a large bowl, beat together the oil, milk, eggs, and vanilla. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet until well combined. Add in the crushed chocolate-covered espresso beans.
Step 2: Use a muffin scoop to pour the batter evenly into the cupcake liners. You should be able to fill 12 cupcakes liners about ¾ full.
Step 3: Bake the cupcakes in the middle rack of the oven until just done. Test for doneness using a toothpick. Remove from oven and let cool completely before frosting.
Step 4: Add on a dollop of the espresso cream cheese frosting. Garnish with a chocolate covered espresso bean.
Espresso Cream Cheese Frosting
Keep the espresso flavor going with this simple espresso cream cheese frosting recipe. This simple-to-make frosting uses just a few ingredients and is the perfect way to top off espresso or any coffee-flavored cupcakes.
To start, use a handheld mixer to cream together the butter and cream cheese. Add in the powdered sugar, vanilla, and the instant espresso coffee. Mix until well combined.
Use a piping bag fitted with a star attachment to apply the frosting to the top of the cupcakes. Be sure not to frost the entire top of the cupcake; you want to leave some of the chocolate-covered espresso bean cupcake showing.
Lastly, top the cupcake with a chocolate-covered espresso bean! Simple and delicious, you are going to love this recipe.
Recipe Tips and FAQs
- If you love lots of frosting on your cupcakes, double the frosting recipe. Leftovers can be used to top coffee, ice cream, or fruit.
- Use leftover instant espresso powder to add flavor your cookies like in this Triple Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe.
- Can’t find chocolate-covered espresso beans? Try using chopped dark chocolate or mini chocolate chips instead.
If you are looking for a quick way to add coffee flavor to your cupcakes, just make a vanilla cupcake and add espresso powder to the batter. To make it extra special, include crushed chocolate-covered espresso beans in the batter.
You can make your own chocolate-covered espresso beans at home. Start by microwaving chocolate chips with a teaspoon of coconut oil until melted. Then add in whole espresso beans and remove from the chocolate using fork. Allow excess chocolate to drip off and place on parchment paper to dry. If you want the chocolate extra thick on the bean, re-dip it after the chocolate has set.
Looking for more delicious adult-centered desserts? Check out some of these fan favorites:
Espresso Cupcakes with Espresso Cream Cheese Frosting
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons instant espresso powder
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup milk (2% or whole)
- ¾ cup vegetable or canola oil
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ¼ cup chocolate-covered espresso beans crushed
Espresso Cream Cheese Frosting
- 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
- ¼ cup butter, softened (half a stick)
- 1 ½ cups powdered sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- ½ teaspoon instant espresso powder
- 12 whole chocolate-covered espresso beans (for topping)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin tin with 12 muffin liners; set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, 2 tablespoons of instant espresso powder, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the vegetable oil, milk, eggs, and vanilla. Pour in the dry ingredients and stir to combine. Fold in the ¼ cup of crushed chocolate covered espresso beans.
- Use a muffin scoop to fill the cupcakes about three quarters full (you may have some leftover batter). Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cupcake comes out clean. Cool on wire baking rack completely before frosting.
Espresso Cream Cheese Frosting
- In a medium bowl, cream together the cream cheese and butter using a handheld mixer. Add in the powdered sugar, vanilla, and ½ teaspoon of instant espresso powder. Mix to combine.
- Spoon frosting into a piping bag fitted with a star attachment. Pipe on frosting leaving about a half an inch of the cupcake top border showing. Top off with a chocolate-covered espresso bean.
- Can’t find chocolate covered espresso beans. You can use chopped dark chocolate or mini chocolate chips instead.
- Make these cupcakes ahead of time and store in a refrigerator for up to a week, or freeze for up to a month. Top with frosting before serving.