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Chocolate Cupcakes with Espresso Buttercream

February 5, 2011

Last weekend I took a little baby trip north to San Francisco to visit some long lost friends.

One of them, Jacob, happens to be an avid baker and cupcake obsessionist, much like yours truly.

What happens when you out two baking/cupcake obsessors together?

Instead of going out sight seeing like you planned…

You stay inside and make these.


Chocolate Cupcakes with Espresso Buttercream Frosting

Meet Jacob.

He’s a genius. The key to these cupcakes is in the frosting. Which is his speciality. Hence him being a genius.


It helps that he has the coolest little baby retro oven ever. I am obsessed. Cute ovens inevitably create cuter, yummier cupcakes.


The chocolate cake itself is actually no great secret. Straight from the Hershey Cocoa box. It has this crazy step where you add boiling water to the mixings, creating this bubbling ooey goodness that makes it one of the richer, moister chocolate cakes I’ve had. Sometimes name brands are the way to go.


Cupcake baking FACTORY.



Coffee and chocolate are one of my all time favorite combos (see Mississippi Mud Pie). This frosting is unreal… adult enough without being overpowering and not too sweet. I highly highly recommend.



Chocolate Cupcakes, courtesy of Hershey’s Perfectly Chocolate Cake


  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup HERSHEY’S Cocoa
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water



  1. Heat oven to 350°F.
  2. Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour batter into prepared pans.
  3. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting.


Jacob’s Espresso Buttercream Frosting


  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1.5 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1.5 tsp espresso powder (i just use espresso grounds)
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) butter, softened.


  1. In a small container, mix the espresso and vanilla and let sit.
  2. Next, beat the butter til it’s light, then add sugar. I add about a 1/2 cup at a time. Mix it all together.
  3. Finally, add the espresso/vanilla mixture and stir!
2 Comments leave one →
  1. February 6, 2011 3:31 am

    Looks totally yummy! I have copied out the recipe for myself – I don’t think my cupcakes would ever look as nice as yours though. Tnx for the pics as well!

  2. February 27, 2011 4:19 pm

    This is delicious. Thanks so much for sharing!

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