These coffee cupcakes have an intense coffee flavor and toasted marshmallow meringue frosting tops them off. The bold coffee flavor is from the use of hot brewed coffee in the cupcake 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 with coffee and they don’t actually taste like coffee themselves. That is not the case with this cupcake recipe! The flavor is so bold that I feel like I’ve had a cup of coffee after eating a single cupcake.
I get the same feeling from my café au lait mini Bundt cakes, and it’s because of the same reason.
Why is the coffee flavor so prominent in this cupcake recipe? I use brewed coffee!
Serving the cupcakes with a donut is totally optional. 🍩
Which Coffee To Use In Coffee Cupcakes?
I use brewed coffee with instant coffee dissolved in it. This makes 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 this step for this recipe, if you take the time to do it, it will make the coffee cupcakes even better!
How to Make Marshmallow Frosting
Marshmallow frosting, also called meringue frosting, tastes just like marshmallows. Making it is a slow process, but it is so much fun.
There is one point in this 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:
- 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.
As if the wonder of eggs turning to a complete different substance isn’t enough, there is FIRE! You top each coffee cupcake with marshmallow frosting and paint them with fire using a culinary torch. How cool is that?!
What is a Double Boiler?
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 meringue recipe, the double boiler helps the sugar dissolve into the egg whites without the egg whites getting so hot that they cook.
How to Serve Coffee Cupcakes
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 as our household coffee machine for years.
I love it because it is just what the name says – super flexible!
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!
Coffee Cupcake Recipe
- 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.
If You Liked This Recipe, You’ll Also Like…
- Baked mocha donut holes (I LOVE the glaze on these!)
- Homemade Baileys Irish Cream (It’s one of the most popular recipes on this site!)
- Hazelnut coffee cupcakes (Because you don’t always want just plain coffee.)
- Chocolate mocha mug cake from Lemon Tree Dwelling (It is a 5 minute recipe and sometimes we need those in our lives.)