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Hi! I'm Ari, photographer and recipe developer behind Well Seasoned. As a former NYC chef, I'm spilling all my tips and tricks from the restaurant industry with you! To learn more about me click here.

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chocolate cupcakes with espresso buttercream!

Chocolate Cupcakes with Espresso Buttercream

Posted by: Ari Laing

Nothing beats moist, decadent homemade chocolate cupcakes with espresso buttercream. The espresso buttercream frosting is so creamy and indulgent you'll eat it with a spoon!

recipe +-

Posted by: Ari Laing
chocolate cupcakes with espresso buttercream!
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Homemade Chocolate Cupcakes with Espresso Buttercream

Nothing beats moist, decadent homemade chocolate cupcakes with espresso buttercream. In fact, I bet you'll find yourself eating the espresso buttercream frosting with a spoon!
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chocolate cupcakes from scratch, easy chocolate cupcakes, espresso buttercream, espresso buttercream frosting, homemade chocolate cupcakes, how long to bake cupcakes, how to make chocolate cupcakes
Servings: 2 dozen
Calories: 273kcal
Author: ari | well seasoned


For the chocolate cupcakes

  • ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder*
  • 3 extra large eggs (room temperature (or 4 large eggs))
  • 1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 ¼ cups cake flour
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 ½ tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ¾ cup 1 ½ sticks unsalted butter, (melted)
  • ¾ cup whole milk (room temperature)
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable or canola oil

For the espresso buttercream

  • 1 cup unsalted butter (room temperature)
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar (sifted)
  • 2 Tbsp whole milk
  • 2 tsp instant espresso powder**


To make the chocolate cupcakes

  • Preheat oven to 350 F and place rack in the middle position. Line a standard muffin tin with cupcake liners.
  • Whisk cocoa powder with ¾ cup hot water. When smooth, whisk in eggs and vanilla extract.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, mix together flour, sugars, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add butter, milk, and oil, then continue whisking until smooth. Carefully add cocoa powder mixture, then whisk again until just incorporated.
  • Pour prepared batter into cupcake liners about ⅔ full, then bake about 22-24 minutes, or until cake tester or toothpick inserted in the center of the cupcake comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely before frosting. Bake remaining cupcakes.

To make espresso buttercream

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream butter on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk the espresso powder in the milk until dissolved.
  • Reduce speed of mixer to low and slowly add sifted confectioner’s sugar to the butter. When fully incorporated, increase speed to medium-high and continue beating for another 2 minutes, scraping down the sides as needed. Add espresso-milk mixture, and beat until well mixed.
  • Pipe buttercream on top of cooled cupcakes and serve immediately.


*My favorite cocoa powder is the dutch cocoa packaged at Whole Foods by the specialty chocolates.
**Note that you can NOT substitute ground coffee for the instant espresso powder. Ground coffee will make the espresso buttercream gritty.


Serving: 1cupcake | Sodium: 310mg | Sugar: 21g | Fiber: 1.2g | Cholesterol: 66mg | Calories: 273kcal | Saturated Fat: 9.3g | Fat: 15.9g | Protein: 3g | Carbohydrates: 31.8g
Did you make this recipe?Tag @wellseasonedstudio and hashtag it #wellseasonedstudio!