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Mocha Cream Filled Cupcakes

Mocha Cream Filled Cupcakes
The combination of coffee and chocolate – also known as mocha – is one of my favorite flavor pairings. Bittersweet coffee helps to bring out the fruity notes in chocolate and can help a chocolate dessert feel especially rich without it being overly sweet. Coffee pairs well with white, milk and dark chocolate, though I most often pair it with dark chocolate or unsweetened cocoa when I’m baking with it. These Mocha Cream Filled Cupcakes use coffee and chocolate in both the cake and the frosting/filling for a cupcake that both coffee and chocolate-fans will love.

The cupcake recipe that I used is one of my favorites a One Bowl Chocolate Cupcake recipe that I adapted here to make cupcakes that had a mocha flavor, rather than a pure chocolate one. There is plenty of cocoa powder in the cupcake mix, along with a generous amount of instant coffee. The cupcakes themselves are moist and fluffy, with a relatively dense crumb that makes them easy to core and fill after they have baked. The recipe uses no eggs (so no, it’s not a typo), yet the cupcakes are still impressively light. The cupcakes are also not overly sweet, which makes them a great candidate for combining with cream filling.

Mocha Cream Filled Cupcakes

While I used instant coffee in the cupcake batter, I used instant espresso in the frosting. Instant espresso delivers a more intense coffee flavor than instant coffee, so you can use less of it to achieve a mocha flavor. I also recommend Starbucks Via as an option for flavoring this frosting as an alternative to traditional instant coffee/espresso because it has a stronger flavor than instant coffee and dissolves more easily than instant espresso. The frosting and the filling are the same mocha buttercream. IF you want a stronger coffee flavor in the filling – which adds a little more contrast to the cupcake – feel free to separate out a small portion of the frosting and add a bit more coffee to it.

Mocha Cream Filled Cupcakes

The cupcakes can be filled using the “cone method,” which requires nothing more than a paring knife, and I have described that below. You can also read about it in detail here. You can also use a cupcake corer. Creating a cavity in the center of the cupcake allows for more filling than simply pressing a piping tip into the cake and squeezing and, since I like a lot of filling, that is always what I recommend.

Mocha Cream Filled Cupcakes
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1 cup sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp instant coffee
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda, salt and instant coffee
Pour in the rest of the ingredients (it’s helpful to have the buttermilk at about room temperature) and stir until just combined.
Divide evenly into the prepared muffin tin and bake for 15-18 minutes at 350F, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean and the tops spring back when lightly pressed. Allow cupcakes to cool completely on a wire rack before filling.

Makes 12

Mocha Frosting/Filling
1 cup butter, room temperature
1/3 cup cocoa powder
3 tbsp warm water
1 tsp instant espresso powder
2 tsp vanilla extract
approx 3 cups confectioners’ sugar

In a small bowl, dissolve espresso powder in warm water and let mixture cool to room temperature.
In a large bowl, combine butter, cocoa powder, espresso mixture and vanilla and beat until creamy. Gradually blend in confectioners’ sugar until a thick, smooth frosting forms.

Using a pairing knife, cut a small cone about 1-inch in diameter from the top of each cupcake. Cut off the base of the cone (pointy side) leaving the “lid”. This can also be done using a cupcake corer.
Transfer frosting to a piping bag and fill the hollow cupcake with frosting, then replace the “lid” and frost the cupcakes with remaining frosting. Repeat for all cupcakes.

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  • sabrina
    February 10, 2018

    nice, really like the coffee-chocolate pairing in these since, as you say, the slightly bitter and sweet go well together, so thank you for this recipe!

  • Anna
    April 2, 2018

    This would be a perfect pair for my coffee, soft and sweet, I will definitely try this one…

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