Mocha Fudge Cupcakes

These cupcakes are rich, moist and fudgy, topped with a light creamy chocolate espresso frosting, a drizzle of simple chocolate glaze and finished with a tiny swirl of sweet vanilla espresso buttercream and a chocolate covered espresso bean, pure decadence.

Since Mother's Day is coming up, I thought I would post one of my mom's top cupcake picks. These are probably one of my mom's most top requested cupcakes... and that's ok with me because these cupcakes are one of my personal favorites too! I love the combination of chocolate and coffee, and these mocha fudge cupcakes really take it to the next level. They are insanely rich and chocolatey, a perfect treat to enjoy with a hot cup of coffee or a tall glass of milk.

Mocha Fudge Cupcakes

Yield: 14 cupcakes or about 2 dozen minis


Chocolate Cupcakes:
  • 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons (105g) all-purpose flour, weighed or spooned and leveled
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons (30g) unsweetened cocoa powder, dutch processed or "Special Dark"
  • 1 cup (200g) granulated white sugar
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder or instant coffee granules
  • 1/2 cup boiling water

Mocha Buttercream Frosting:
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick/4oz) unsalted butter, softened 
  • 1 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon instant coffee or espresso powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 cups (1/2lb) powdered sugar, sifted
  • 3-4 tablespoons heavy whipping cream (sub half and half or milk if necessary)

Chocolate Glaze Drizzle:
  • 1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon light corn syrup
  • 1/8 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Vanilla Espresso Buttercream Frosting:
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick/4 tablespoons) butter, softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 tablespoon cream, half & half or milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (use imitation vanilla for a pure white color)
  • 1/4 teaspoon instant espresso/coffee powder
  • pinch salt (omit if using salted butter) 

  • chocolate covered espresso beans


Prepare Cupcakes:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a cupcake pan with baking cups.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cocoa and sugar. In a measuring cup whisk together oil, egg, vanilla and sour cream. Gently stir into dry ingredients. Dissolve instant espresso or coffee in the boiling water and stir into batter. Batter will be thin and liquidy.

Fill cupcake liners just over 1/2 full, about 3 tablespoons of batter per cup. Bake for 16-19 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. (For mini cupcakes, fill with about 1 1/2 tablespoons batter each and bake for about 8-10 minutes). Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.

Prepare Mocha Frosting:
With an electric mixer, beat butter on medium-high speed until smooth and pale in color, about 2-3 minutes. On low speed, beat in vanilla, espresso/coffee powder, and salt. Sift together cocoa and  powdered sugar, and beat it in, about a half cup at a time, followed by the cream. Increase speed to medium-high and beat for about 3-5 minutes until smooth, light and fluffy.

Prepare Chocolate Glaze:
Microwave chocolate, butter and corn syrup in a microwave safe bowl/cup on 50% power for 30 second intervals, stirring every 30 seconds until smooth (or melt in a small saucepan over low heat). Stir in vanilla. Pour glaze into the corner of a small plastic sandwich bag and seal. Set aside.

Prepare Vanilla Espresso Buttercream:
With an electric mixer, beat butter on medium speed until smooth. Gradually beat in powdered sugar and cream until smooth. Add vanilla, espresso powder and salt. Beat on medium speed for about 3 minutes until light and creamy. Place in a decorating bag fitted with a small star tip if desired.

Frost completely cooled cupcakes with chocolate espresso buttercream. Snip a tiny piece off of the corner of the bag of chocolate glaze and drizzle on top of frosting. Pipe a little swirl of vanilla espresso frosting on top. Finish cupcakes with a chocolate covered espresso bean for garnish.


I've also made these without the chocolate glaze drizzle and vanilla buttercream swirl for a quick simple variation. I used a little less cocoa in the frosting and adorned the cupcakes with chocolate sprinkles and chocolate covered espresso beans!