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Coffee Cupcakes

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These coffee cupcakes have a strong coffee flavor and are topped with a toasted meringue frosting. Serving with a donut is totally optional. 🍩

Coffee Cupcakes

This post was sponsored by Hamilton Beach. The recipe and opinions are all mine.

Most coffee cupcakes are made to be eaten with coffee and they don’t actually taste like coffee themselves.

My coffee cupcakes have an intense coffee flavor. I feel like I’ve had a cup of coffee after eating one.

Coffee Cupcakes

That being said, there is nothing stopping you from having a cup of coffee with your coffee cupcakes. In fact, I recommend it.

I’ve been using Hamilton Beach’s FlexBrew coffee maker as our household coffee machine for years.

I love it because it is just what the name says – super flexible!

Coffee Pot

You can brew a whole pot with it, as shown above. Or, you can brew a single mug or travel bottle of coffee, as shown below.


If you are brewing the single cup or travel bottle, you can use ground coffee or a K-Cup! The versatility (and ease of use with the simple buttons) is fantastic!

Stef and FlexBrew

If you want one (or want to gift one), use code 10FLEXBREW for 10% off with your FlexBrew purchase on Amazon

Which Coffee To Use In Coffee Cupcakes?

I use brewed coffee with instant coffee dissolved in it. This makes an extra strong coffee flavor.

Coffee Butter

Steep coffee beans in butter to create coffee butter.

If you want to make them even stronger, you can replace the butter in the cupcakes with coffee butter like I do in my coffee cookies. While I don’t typically do this step for this recipe, if you take the time to do it, it will make the coffee cupcakes even better!

How to Make Meringue Frosting

Merrignue Frosting

Making meringue is a slow process, but it is so much fun. There is one point in the recipe where you whip the eggs and sugar for 10 minutes. I leave them alone with the mixer running. When I return, the eggs and sugar have turned into a big poofy white substance. To me, this is just like being able to create a cloud. It brings me back to when I was a kid and I used to watch shrinky dinks turn from big sheets of plastic-like paper to tiny glass-like figurines.

To ensure you have the best results with your meringue:

  • make sure the inside of the bowl is totally dry,
  • make sure there are no egg yolks mixed in with the egg whites, and
  • keep on whisking – don’t stop early.

Coffee Cupcakes

As if the wonder of eggs turning to a complete different substance isn’t enough, you then get to put that substance onto each cupcake and paint them with fire using a culinary torch. How cool is that?!

Coffee Cupcakes

What is a Double Boiler?

Meringue Frosting

Before you get to the fun cloud-making part of meringue frosting, you’ll need to set up a double boiler. A doubler boiler is made by setting a heat-safe bowl (like the metal bowl from a stand mixer) over a pot of boiling water.

In this recipe, the double boiler helps the sugar dissolve into the egg whites without the egg whites getting so hot that they cook.

What Does Meringue Frosting Taste Like?

You may have heard meringue frosting called marshmallow frosting. That’s because meringue frosting tastes just like marshmallows!

Coffee Cupcake Recipe

Coffee Cupcakes Inside

If you've tried this recipe, please RATE THE RECIPE and leave a comment below!

Coffee Cupcakes
5 from 7 votes

Coffee Cupcakes

Intense coffee cupcakes with a meringue frosting

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword coffee, coffee cupcakes, cupcakes
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 14 minutes
Total Time 29 minutes
Servings 12 cupcakes
Calories 389 kcal


Cupcake Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cups cake flour, not self-rising
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter room temperature
  • 2 large eggs room temperature
  • 1/3 cup full-fat sour cream
  • 1/4 cup canola oil you can also use vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract use pure, not imitation
  • 2/3 cup brewed coffee
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons instant coffee powder

Meringue Frosting Ingredients

  • 7 egg whites
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract


Cupcake Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F (175 C).
  2. In a medium-sized mixing bowl or bowl of a stand mixer, mix together cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  3. Add the sugar and brown sugar and mix until well combined.

  4. Add butter and mix on medium-low speed for three minutes. Because there is so little butter, you'll end up with a very fine crumb texture.
  5. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, sour cream, oil, and vanilla extract until smooth.
  6. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and beat on medium speed until just combined.
  7. Dissolve instant coffee into hot brewed coffee to make the coffee super crazy strong.

  8. Slowly add hot coffee to the batter and mix on low speed until just combined. The batter will be liquid. (Don't worry, you didn't do anything wrong. It's supposed to be that way.)

  9. Fill cupcake liners 3/4 full.

  10. Bake for 14 minutes and then test to see if they are done. They are done when a toothpick comes out without wet batter stuck to it. If they are not done, test again in two minutes. If they are still not done, test again in another two minutes.

  11. When the cupcakes are done, remove them immediately from the tins and leave them on a cooling rack (or just on your counter if you don't own a cooling rack) to cool.

Meringue Frosting Instructions

  1. Combine the ingredients in the metal mixing bowl of your stand mixer and set over a pot filled with boiling water on a range, creating a double boiler.

  2. Whisk by hand for a few minutes until the mixture reaches 110 F on a candy thermometer.

  3. Place the bowl on a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whisk on medium speed for 10 minutes.

  4. Increase to high speed and whisk until stiff glossy peaks form, about 5 to 10 minutes more.

  5. Pipe a swirl of meringue on cooled cupcakes. 

  6. Using a culinary torch, toast the meringue.

  7. Store at room temperature until ready to eat.

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

Tips: Because everyone's oven is just a bit different and your liners may be a slightly different size than mine, I highly recommend that if you have time, you bake a test cupcake before baking your whole batch of vanilla cupcakes. Read my FAQ on filling cupcake liners to learn how to do a test cupcake and why it's useful.

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