These coffee cupcakes have an intense coffee flavor and toasted marshmallow meringue frosting tops them off. The bold coffee flavor in these cupcakes is from the use of hot brewed coffee in the recipe – one of my favorite ways to make coffee desserts!
This post was sponsored by Hamilton Beach. The recipe and opinions are all mine.
Most coffee cupcakes are made to be eaten while drinking coffee and they don’t actually taste like coffee themselves. That is not the case here! The coffee flavor is so bold that I feel like I’ve had a cup of coffee after eating a single cupcake.
The coffee flavor is so prominent in this cupcake recipe because I use brewed coffee! Serving the cupcakes with a donut is totally optional. 🍩
How to Make the Best Coffee Cupcakes
If you’ve never made cupcakes before, be sure to read my how to make cupcakes guide before getting started.
There are several different techniques that work well for making coffee desserts. For these cupcakes, my preferred method is to dissolve instant coffee into brewed coffee and to use that mixture in the recipe. This yields an extra strong coffee flavor.
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 that for this recipe, it will make the coffee cupcakes even better if you take the time to infuse your butter with coffee!
I suggest frosting these cupcakes with marshmallow frosting, also called meringue frosting. It tastes just like marshmallows!
For the best visual effect, use a culinary torch [paid link] to toast the frosting after you pipe it onto the cupcakes.
I also also like frosting these with sweetened whipped cream (chantilly cream), chocolate cream cheese frosting, caramel frosting, or, if you really want the ultimate coffee experience, coffee frosting.
While these cupcakes have a strong coffee flavor, 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 [paid link] as our household coffee machine for years. It’s super flexible! You can brew a whole pot with it or a single mug or travel bottle of coffee. 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!
Everyone knows that coffee and donuts go hand-in-hand so try topping the cupcakes with mini donuts (as you see here in this post) or with donut holes!
- 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 large egg whites
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 F (175 C).
- In a medium-sized mixing bowl or bowl of a stand mixer, mix together cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- Add the sugar and brown sugar and mix until well combined.
- 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.
- In a small mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, sour cream, oil, and vanilla extract until smooth.
- Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and beat on medium speed until just combined.
- Dissolve instant coffee into hot brewed coffee to make the coffee super crazy strong.
- 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.)
- Fill cupcake liners 3/4 full.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- Whisk by hand for a few minutes until the mixture reaches 110 F on a candy thermometer.
- Place the bowl on a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whisk on medium speed for 10 minutes.
- Increase to high speed and whisk until stiff glossy peaks form, about 5 to 10 minutes more.
- Pipe a swirl of meringue on cooled cupcakes.
- Using a culinary torch, toast the meringue.
- Store at room temperature until ready to eat.
- Be sure the inside of the bowl is completely dry,
- Make sure there are no egg yolks mixed in with the egg whites, and
- Keep on whisking - don't stop early.
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