a sweet cup of joe

My husband works with a group of men who have graciously taken on the part time job of taste-testers and sweet-eaters. They also love their coffee, so when I got a request for a chocolate coffee cupcake combo via a cut out magazine picture of one that got passed from hand to hand until it reached me, I wanted to do it right. I had Starbucks Via Italian roast (a bold flavor) I had been keeping around for such an occasion as I always see reviews for coffee cupcakes followed by comments about how the coffee taste could have been stronger. This recipe has coffee in both the cupcake and the icing, and I opted for dark chocolate covered espresso beans to top them off which we found if you ate first–which almost everyone does because how can you not–left a lingering coffee taste that adds to the overall flavor of the cupcake.

coffee coffee cupcakes
(adapted from Paula Dean’s chocolate cupcakes with coffee cream filling)


cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup strong brewed coffee, cooled
3 large eggs
1 container sour cream (8 oz)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Preheat the oven to 350° and line your cupcake pan with paper liners.
  • In a large bowl whisk the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  • Next, add the oil, coffee, and eggs to the dry mixture. Beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth.
  • Mix in the sour cream and vanilla.
  • Fill the liners 2/3 full and  bake for 16 to 18 minutes. Allow to cool.


½ cup butter, softened
3 cups confectioners’ sugar
¼ cup strong brewed coffee
chocolate covered espresso beans to garnish
  • In a medium bowl, beat the butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add the confectioners’ sugar, beating until smooth, then beat in the coffee.

*Note: Unfortunately, this icing was very thin and I had to add a ton more confectioner’s sugar to make it stiff enough to pipe. I would recommend adding small amounts of the coffee until it’s a consistency you like.

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