CH#5: Cappuccino Cupcakes

January 21, 2008 at 11:11 am | Posted in cupcakes, events, sweet things | 25 Comments

cappuccino cupcake

In my dream life, I spend my mornings sipping cappuccinos in a café while reading The New Yorker and watching the world go by.  In my real life though, The New Yorkers pile up on the kitchen table, and a cappuccino is a rare treat usually consumed on the go.  Laurie of Quirky Cupcake had her husband, Jaos, pick Cupcake Hero’s theme this month.  He chose coffee, so I thought I’d celebrate my favorite morning drink in cupcake form.

Now, I heard that Jaos likes his cupcakes kept simple, and since it is his birthday (happy 29th!), I kept that in mind.  This is a simple little cupcake (no filling this time), but it has great flavor, thanks to a double shot of espresso in the batter.  A little bit Kahlúa soaking syrup boosts the flavor and keeps them really moist.  The “foam” on top is just whipped cream, sweetened and flavored with an extra splash of Kahlúa.  And finally, because I like cinnamon and coffee, I sprinkled a bit on top.  I made a small batch of just six cupcakes, but the recipe could easily be doubled for a whole tin.

cappuccino cupcake

 Cappuccino Cupcakes makes 6 regular-size cupcakes

-Start with a batch of Kahlúa syrup (recipe below).

-Bake the espresso cupcakes (recipe below).  Lightly brush warm cupcakes with Kahlúa syrup, then cool completely.

-Whip some cream, sweetening to taste and adding a splash of Kahlúa (or other coffee liqueur) to flavor.  Note that, because whipped cream doesn’t keep well, it’s best to just top the cupcakes you will be eating that day.  If you have extras, make new whipped cream to top them as needed.

-Top with whipped cream and garnish with a sprinkle of cinnamon.

Kahlúa Syrup– makes more than you will need, but keeps for a long time and has many uses (like sweetening iced coffee)

1 cup sugar
3/4 cup water
splash of Kahlúa, or other coffee liqueur

-Combine sugar and water in a small saucepot.  Mix gently with your finger so sugar isn’t stuck to bottom or corners of pot.  Try not to get a lot of sugar on the sides of the pot above water level (cooking time is short, so it shouldn’t crystallize, but just to be safe…)

-Bring just to a full boil, at which point all the sugar should be dissolved.  Shut off heat and add in a splash of coffee liqueur to taste. 

-Transfer to a jar or airtight plastic container for storage.  This will keep in the refrigerator for weeks.

Espresso Cupcakes makes 6 regular-sized cupcakes

1/2 c plus 3 T all-purpose flour
1/4 t plus 1/8 t baking powder
pinch of salt
3 T brewed espresso, cooled to room temperature
1 T milk
1/2 t instant espresso powder
2 oz butter, room temperature
1/2 c sugar
1 egg

 -Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C and line a muffin tin with six paper cups. 

-Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.  Set aside.

-Combine the espresso and milk.  Dissolve the instant espresso powder in the mixture and set aside.

-Cream the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl until smooth, fluffy and pale.  Add the egg, beating well. 

-Add the dry ingredients and espresso mixture in three parts, alternating and beating smooth after each addition.  Add the liquid additions a little at a time to avoid splitting the batter.

-Divide the batter among the paper cups, and cook for about 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.  Cool in the tins for a few minutes and then transfer to a rack to cool completely.  


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  1. They look killer Steph! Oh so good. Love the whipped cream on top. Thanks so much!

  2. I don’t like coffee but your cupcake makes me think I should! haha. Looks like we all have come competition this month with your entry. Great job! 🙂

  3. These look wonderful, and the Kahlua is making me drool 🙂

  4. Thanks ladies!

  5. Oh boy. They look absolutely wickedly delicious. Think I might just have to make me some of those!

  6. Perfect coffee inspired cupcake! I love that it only makes 6 perfect 🙂

  7. I’m not much of a coffee drinker but I love the flavour in baked goods and sweets. These look great!

  8. those look so wonderful! . . .want some. . .

  9. They look awesome! Simple and yet full of flavors. I like my coffee without frills so this is going right in the recipe box.

  10. saw this over at slush’s blog….. came right over to get the recipe.

    I am a muffin marvel…cupcakes are not my love…but….. okay, well, the flavour of these sounds SO like a gourmet cake but perhaps with more of the ease of a muffin if you know what I am talking about….. gonna give them a try…tx for the recipe…

  11. Wow! These cupcakes look perfect. I love the coffee take on regular cupcakes and the Kalhua topping seems great. These would disappear in no time at our house…

  12. beautiful cupcakes and I love the dark brown wrappers too.

  13. your cupcakes look absolutely divine!

  14. Hey! From one Kahlua lover to another. Our brains must have been synced up. You were much more polite with your splash though. I went for a solid 1/4 cup- hah!
    Your cupcakes are really gorgeous- great job~ And way to pay attention to Jaos- what a suck up! 😉

  15. Tempered Woman–you gotta do what you gotta do, right? 🙂

  16. These look fantastic & sound totally delicious!!! 🙂

  17. Hi Steph, this is my first visit to your blog and all your posts look really yummee. Your pictures are great and every one of your recipes will end up in my menu plan sometime.

    Thanks for the inspiration


  18. I love Khalua on a cupcake! This sounds like a superb recipe!

  19. I meant to ask too~ how did you get that perfect little marshmallow look with your frosting? It sits so perfect on top of the cupcake?!?!

  20. These look so good. Love the photos!!

  21. Thanks everyone!

    temperedwoman– I dunno. It’s just whipped cream. I used a soup spoon to get a big pile of it…tried to keep it centered on the dome of the cupcake so the sides would be exposed (mainly for photo purposes!).

  22. Your cupcakes look so delicious! I love that you kept it so simple and delicious!

  23. Seriously…Let’s just put the frostings in a big cup of coffee and call it a day…These look delicious!

  24. Hi just wandering is the measurements of the ingredients done in metric. Eg T=Tablespoon etc

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