Monday, April 1, 2013

Coffee on coffee: coffee cupcakes with coffee buttercream

I like coffee flavoured things, coffee frosting, coffee lollies, but not coffee itself. It's like when I was 8, I didn't like to eat raw tomatoes, but I loved tomato sauce. Note: tomato sauce is what Australians use for the word ketchup. I know it might be obvious, but I went to McDs in San Francisco on the first day of my Californian trip in '08, and I asked for tomato sauce, and the cashier looked at me, flabbergasted and simply responded "We only have ketchup."

 I absolutely despise coffee at this age. I find it utterly bitter and gross.  My friends try to convince me, saying "Just add sugar!" Uh, I might as well just add 10 tablespoons of sugar to make it sweet. I was even daring to try some 'good at-home coffee', with the Nespresso coffee machine we have at home. Yes, it's supposed to be 3x better than the instant Nescafe whatever thing, but after one mere sip, I nearly choked and spat it out. I'm positive in a few years time though, I will be addicted to coffee, taking double shots for uni exams. But for now, I'm perfectly fine with hot chocolate.

I love coffee cake, especially with a good coffee buttercream. And this is the best coffee buttercream ever. I'm not even kidding. I usually prefer cream cheese over buttercream, but oh my goodness. The cakes were really good, a nice suggestion for these is to put some chopped walnuts in the batter, or grinding up some walnuts and sprinkling on top of the buttercream.
I was a little worried that there would be too much coffee in this batter, but I should never doubt Martha Stewart! Do you basically live on coffee? I try to get my caffeine fix by green tea, but that normally wears off after 4 hours :(

I brought these for my neighbours' potluck (3 families including mine). I chose to make coffee cupcakes, because I didn't want to bring anything too chocolatey or sweet, since I know that the adults wouldn't particularly enjoy anything that is made for a chocoholic. I had such a lovely time at the potluck, the parents chatting about us, children, like hearing my mum speak in Cantonese "She says that I stalk her blog but I have to because I have to make sure of what she writes!", while I talk to my neighbours who are around my own age (lol Jane if you ever read this) about driving and high school teachers.

I am so glad to have such great neighbours, they are quite literally the nicest people I've ever met. I actually don't think you could get any nicer than that. I've been having a really lovely Easter weekend. Hope you an Easter weekend filled with lots of chocolate eggs!

Coffee cupcakes
Yields 12-14 cupcakes
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup boiling water
2 tablespoons instant-espresso powder
1/4 cup milk
1 stick (113 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
2 large eggs

1. Preheat oven to 180 C (350 F).
2. Sift flour, and combine baking powder, baking soda and salt. Pour water over espresso powder and let it cool. Combine espresso with the milk.
3. Beat the butter, white sugar and brown sugar until smooth, using a mixer or by hand. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with the espresso milk mixture, beginning and ending with flour.
4. Fill muffin liners three-quarters full with the batter. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the centres come out clean, about 20-22 minutes. Let it cool in the pan for a few minutes, then transfer to cooling rack.

Coffee buttercream

* I would double this recipe. I nearly ran out after using just one quantity of this.

120 g (1/2 cup) butter, room temperature
1 and 1/2 icing sugar, sifted *
3 tbsp instant coffee mixed with 3 tablespoons of boiling water *
2 tsp vanilla extract

* I made a double batch of this, but only used about 1 and 1/4 cup icing sugar. I usually don't put the quantity of icing sugar that is called in normal butter cream or cream cheese frosting recipes.
* Depending on how much coffee flavour you want, I found that 5-6 tablespoons of the coffee mixture (instant coffee mixed with boiling water) was enough. Taste along as you go.

1. Beat butter and instant coffee mixture with an electric mixer, for about 2 minutes on  medium speed.
2. Reduce speed and add icing sugar, 1/2 cup at a time
3. Beat well after each addition and add vanilla.

I used Wilton 1M to pipe roses.

Adapted from Martha Stewart


  1. I love coffee cupcakes. My mom used to make them for us. I also wanted to learn how to make them. Thanks a lot for sharing the ingredient and procedure to prepare it. I appreciate it.

    Finn Felton

    1. I love anything coffee flavoured, so these definitely hit the spot. You're welcome, if you ever make it, let me know how it goes!

  2. I love anything coffee flavoured too, your cupcakes look so delicious!

    1. Who doesn't? Thank you, the coffee buttercream is the best!

  3. I have GOT to make coffee cupcakes sometime! These look amazing. And the frosting? Even better! I love everything coffee flavored. :) These are gorgeous cupcakes - I love the frosting piping job.

    1. You most definitely should, I bet you could concoct a really good idea with coffee cupcakes! The frosting is to die for, and coffee on coffee is so delicious. Thank you very much :)

  4. Oh my gosh, these look really good! Its so hard to find a good coffee cupcake. I love the texture of the top on that unfrosted cupcake. Would definitely try this out soon!

    1. Thank you! I had been searching all over the net for a COFFEE cupcake, not one of those American coffee cakes and finally found the perfect one. The icing is also pretty remarkable too :) You should definitely try them, they're really delicious. If you do, let me know!

  5. Do you have to use espresso powder for the cake or can you use instant coffee?

    1. Basically the espresso powder is added with boiling water and also the milk, so it's the same instant coffee! You're just making regular coffee, just indicating the strength of it you need. Let me know if that helps :)

  6. Hi! I just finished making these and they are just perfect. Thanks for the recipe and it was the lovely photo that temped me to try it in the first place.

    1. Thank you, I'm glad that you like them :) they are certainly most delicious!

  7. Lovely recipe, the topping looks really beautiful too :)


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