clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon

Chocolate Espresso Cupcakes

  • Author: Elizabeth Buuck
  • Prep Time: 20
  • Cook Time: 20
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 24 Cupcakes 1x
  • Category: Cupcakes, Recipes


Classic chocolate cupcakes topped with espresso infused american buttercream and sprinkled with toffee bits.



For the Chocolate Cupcakes

  • 1 3/4 C All Purpose Flour
  • 2 C Granulated Sugar
  • 3/4 C Dark Cocoa Powder
  • 2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 3/4 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 C Buttermilk, at room temperature
  • 1/2 C Vegetable Oil
  • 3 Lg Eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1 C HOT Coffee

For the Espresso Buttercream

  • 1 1/2 C (3 Sticks) Unsalted Butter, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 6 C Powdered Sugar
  • 2 TBSP Instant Espresso Powder
  • 1/2 C Heavy Cream, at room temperature
  • 1/2 C Toffee Bits, for sprinkling (optional)


For Chocolate Cupcakes

  • Preheat oven to 350 and line two cupcake pans.
  • In bowl of stand mixer with paddle attachment, combine flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, buttermilk, oil, and vanilla.
  • With mixer on low, slowly pour in the buttermilk mixture. Mix to combine, scraping down bowl as needed.
  • With mixer on low, slowly stream in the HOT coffee. 
  • Once everything is combined, use a rubber spatula to scrape the bowl and make sure everything is evenly combined.
  • Scoop into cupcake pan using 4 oz ice cream scoop or 1/2 C measuring cup.
  • Bake at 350 18-20 min. Let cool completely.

For Espresso Buttercream

  • Stir together the heavy cream and espresso powder. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer with paddle attachment, beat the butter for 10 minutes. Scrape the bowl down half way through.
  • Add vanilla and salt. Mix to combine.
  • Add powdered sugar in 2 additions (3 C at a time) and mix on medium for 3 minutes after each addition.
  • Add espresso infused cream 2 TBSP at a time until you reach your desired consistency. For a fluffy, but pipe-able buttercream, I added 6 TBSP of espresso cream total.
  • Fit a piping bag with your favorite tip and fill with buttercream.
  • Swirl buttercream onto each cupcake. Top with toffee bits.


*If you dont have buttermilk, you can make your own with 1C minus 1 TBSP regular milk + 1 TBSP white vinegar.

*Piping bags are totally optional, you can just dollop on some frosting on each cupcake and swirl it around with a butter knife or offset spatula. I talk through a technique on this on my Chocolate Nutella Cupcake post, that’ll make them look just as pretty without a piping bag.

Keywords: chocolate cupcakes, espresso buttercream, chocolate coffee desserts