Cupcake Hero #2: [Coffee]

January 21, 2008 at 8:01 PM | Posted in blog event, Cupcake Hero, cupcakes | 19 Comments
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Its that time again! Cupcake hero time!

This month, Laurie from the Quirky Cupcake, is inviting us to help celebrate her husband’s 29th birthday by coming up with a cupcake that includes one of her husband’s favorite things:

Now I am not a coffee drinker by any means. Actually the smell of coffee makes me kinda gag. LOL. I’d rather get my caffeine from Mountain Dew than Starbucks. But nonetheless I was still up for the challenge!

I enlisted the help of my husband (Mr. Don’t-talk-to-me-til-I’ve-had-my-morning-coffee guy) and his experience as a barista during his college years for inspiration. Ultimately it was Google that help me find a recipe based on T’s suggestions. But my hubbie did insist that he should get props for the garnish idea! haha. He fondly remembers that there was never a customer that said no to chocolate sprinkles with their whipped cream topping whenever it was offered. And I couldn’t resist either. Just call me garnish girl. ;)

(Nikki, look at my jimmies!)

Chocolate-Coffee Cupcakes w/ Mocha Ganache and Mascarpone Cream
(Recipe from LaBelle Cuisine | photos from me!)

Makes 30 cupcakes


Chocolate coffee cupcakes
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk
1/4 cup water
6 tablespoons dutch-process cocoa powder
1/4 cup instant coffee powder
1 1/2 cups cake flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 large eggs

[NOTES: I substituted 6 tbsp natural unsweetened cocoa powder+1/4 tsp baking soda for 6 tbsp dutch-process cocoa powder. Check out other helpful substitutions on the “what is kirsch?” tab above.]

Mocha ganache
1 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup coffee beans, crushed
8 ounces milk chocolate, finely chopped

Mascarpone cream
2 cups heavy cream
2 cups mascarpone cheese
1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted


To make chocolate-coffee cupcakes:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 30 standard muffin cups with paper liner.
  • Combine the milk, cocoa, coffee and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil, constantly whisking, until the cocoa and coffee have dissolved. Let cool and pour into a liquid measure.
  • Sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt. In the bowl of a mixer, cream the butter, sugar, and vanilla on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
  • With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients alternately with the milk mixture in three batches, ending with the liquid.
  • Fill each muffin cup halfway with the batter.
  • Bake 18 to 20 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove the cupcakes from the pan and let cool completely on a wire rack.

To make mocha ganache:

  • Combine the heavy cream and coffee beans in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Remove from the heat, cover and let infuse for 10 minutes.
  • Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a clean saucepan and bring back to a boil. Put the chocolate in a medium bowl and pour the hot cream over it, stirring slowly, until the ganache is smooth. Spoon enough ganache over each cupcake to fill the liners to the rim.

To make mascarpone cream:

  • Using a whisk or in the bowl of a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whip the heavy cream to stiff peaks. Add the mascarpone and confectioners’ sugar and whisk until smooth.
  • Spoon the mascarpone cream into a pastry bag fitted with a medium round tip and pipe the cream on top of the ganache in a circle. (Garnish with chocolate sprinkles)

Other garnish ideas:
sifted nutmeg
chocolate covered espresso beans


Isn’t my little espresso shot size cupcake by the handle uber cute? teeheee

Husband rating: A
He really liked the coffee flavor but prefers cream cheese to mascarpone.

Wifey rating: A/A-
I am sure it would be a good cupcake *if* you like coffee! I really liked the mocha ganache and mascarpone cream alot though!

Other rating: A+
Our friends really liked it and had more than one.

© iheartcuppycakes! 2007-2008 All rights reserved.



  1. Ok, just scrolling through that recipe makes me tired. It looks exhausting to bake! I’m still a box of mix girl too. The frosting is the fun part. I think the sprinkles add a lot. (Sorry Nikki, I just can’t say jimmies. It isn’t natural.)

    Have you tried the Hershey Special Dark cocoa powder? It isn’t as expensive as the actual dutch pressed, but it is SO much richer and yummier than the regular cocoa powder.

  2. ZEBE, I put hershey special dark cocoa powder on my shopping list! thanks!

  3. OMG, Clara….now THIS is a cupcake I could eat!!! These look awesome!!!!

  4. Wowzers! These look awesome! I do not like coffee, but they are super cute. Good job! :)

  5. ALANNA, Man if you lived just a little closer I’d bring you some! My coffee friends said they were yummy!

    APRIL, thanky! I am not coffee person either but the mascarpone and ganache were freaking too die for!

  6. Those look great! I’ll second the mtdew as a primary source of caffeine, but I’m like your husband in that I need a good cup in the morning to get me going. Also, I’m glad to see you call them “jimmies” instead of sprinkles. :)

  7. JAOS, omg. Its MR. Cupcake Hero! Another jimmies fan I see. I have been educated by my friend, Nikki :) Happy 29th Bday!

  8. Man, I wish these wouldn’t spoil in the mail. I want to eat them now!!

  9. Ooooh. Mascarpone cream? Yes, please!!

    These look yummy! (And congrats on 5000 hits!)

  10. CULINOGRAPHY, well hello! and thanky! Glad to see you around the cuppycake parts! teehee.

  11. I love how you have set up these photographs~ the cupcakes look gorgeous! I’m a marscarpone fan myself (as if cupcakes aren’t fattening enough, right?!)
    Great Hero entry!

  12. TEMPERED, thanky! I’ve been working on my photography skills but I have no eye for these things. You have no idea how long these pictures took me! haha. and oh yes… I ♥ mascarpone!

  13. These cupcakes are beautiful and such hard work! Very nicely done!

  14. MARY, thanky! I think they turned out pretty darn cool for someone who doesn’t like coffee. haha

  15. Looks like you had a lot of fun with the pictures…these look like little espresso shots! Nice cupcake hero entry!

  16. PRISSY, thanks! I wish I would have gotten a couple more side-by-side shots of the regular vs espresso size cupcake. It was uber cute! :)

  17. Hi.
    Thanks for the recipe! I’ve tried it and I love it! Although I wonder why my cupcakes (as well as other chocolate cupcake I’ve tried to make before) doesn’t stick to the liners, so when it’s time to put the ganache, the ganache flow to the sides of the liners. I’m no baking expert, but you might know what I’ve done wrong?

  18. MADEMOISELLE, So glad you enjoyed the recipe! There are a couple reason why your cupcakes would shrink. (1) Did you bake them long enough? If they aren’t baked enough they won’t have a firm structure and will fall. Also don’t open the oven prematurely to “check on them”. If you can’t resist the urge, give them maybe at least 15 minutes. (2) How long do you let them cool before applying ganache? When cupcakes cool they form a “crust” on the outside so that they pull away from the liner since the cake isn’t sticky anymore. When I am applying ganache I let the cupcake cool long enough so that I can hold it to apply the ganache but not so long that they pull away. Hope that helps!

  19. Mmmmm Coffee and chocolate is an amazing combo!
    I myself made Cinnamon Chocolate cupcakes that called for brewed coffee in them and they were AMAZING! Rave reviews all around … please visit:

    To see the recipe!

    p.s. These look cute btw, like the pics with the mug ;)

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