Mocha Latte Cupcakes

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Styling

  • Mocha Cake:
  • 2 cups boiling water 
  • 1 cup Dutch process cocoa
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons instant espresso
  • 1 cup butter, softened 
  • 2 cups fine granulated sugar or castor sugar 
  • 4 large eggs 
  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose soft-wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon chocolate extract or vanilla extract
  • Paper baking cups
  • Vegetable cooking spray $
  • Vanilla Frosting:
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened $
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons whipping cream $
  • 1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 (16-oz.) package powdered sugar
  • Toppings:
  • Chocolate jimmies
  • Caramel Drizzle:
  • 1/2 cup butter $
  • 1 cup sugar $
  • 1 cup whipping cream $
  • Chocolate Ganache:
  • 1 cup whipping cream $
  • 8 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Stir together boiling water, cocoa, and espresso until smooth; let cool. Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy; gradually add sugar, beating well. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating until blended after each addition. Combine flour and next 3 ingredients; add butter mixture alternately with cocoa mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed until blended after each addition. Stir in chocolate extract.
  • Place paper baking cups in 2 (12-cup) muffin pans, and coat with cooking spray; spoon batter into cups, filling two-thirds full. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks, and cool completely.
  • To prepare Vanilla Frosting, beat first 4 ingredients at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add powdered sugar, beating at low speed until blended. Beat at high speed 2 minutes or until creamy. Make 3 cups.
  • Frost each cupcake with Vanilla Frosting using metal tip no. 12.
  • To prepare drizzle, cook butter and sugar in a 2-qt. heavy metal saucepan over high heat, stirring occasionally, until mixture is caramel-colored, about 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat, and slowly add cream, stirring constantly until blended. Return to heat, and bring to a boil; cook 1 to 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cool. Makes about 1 1/2 cups.
  • To prepare ganache, cook cream in a heavy nonaluminum saucepan over medium heat, stirring often, just until it begins to steam (do not boil); remove from heat. Place chocolate in a glass bowl. Slowly add hot cream to chocolate, beating with a whisk until chocolate melts and mixture is well blended. The mixture will thicken as it cools. Makes about 2 cups.
  • Drizzle each cupcake with caramel and chocolate, and top each with chocolate jimmies.
At Dreamcakes Bakery, we use ice cream scoops to place a uniform amount of batter in each baking cup.
Jan Moon, Dreamcakes Bakery, Southern Living Big Book of Cupcakes, Oxmoor House