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Coffee House Themed Cupcakes

May 2, 2013

A couple of weeks ago, we had a bridal shower for my sister-in-law.  She loves coffee (and Starbucks) so one of our desserts was a cupcake inspired by two Starbucks coffee beverages.

I purchased the cupcake lines from  The store there will print text on the liner as well.  Just a brief note, the liners are not standard cupcake size (they are a little large), but we adjusted the size by taping it to the baking liner and it worked fine.

The recipes are as follows:


Vanilla Cupcake, Espresso Buttercream, Homemade Caramel Drizzle

Vanilla Cupcake

Bake Time: 18-24 minutes.

Yield: 12 cupcakes.


1/2 cup softened butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
2/3 cup cold milk
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

2. Cream butter and sugar using stand or hand mixer

3. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating after each addition.

4. Stir in vanilla.
5. In a separate bowl, stir together all dry ingredients.

6. Alternate adding dry ingredients and milk to butter mixture.  Take care not to overmix.

7. Divide into lined cupcake wells.

8. Bake at 350 degrees for 18-24 minutes (until toothpick comes out clean).

Espresso Buttercream Frosting

Makes enough to frost 12 cupcakes depending on how much frosting you put on each cupcake. I used two batches to frost 3 dozen cupcakes as in pictures below.


1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2½ cups powdered sugar
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1½ teaspoons instant coffee (I used nescafe house blend)


1. Mix the instant coffee into the vanilla until dissolved; set aside.

2. Using the paddle attachment of a stand mixer, whip the butter on medium-high speed for 5 minutes, stopping once to scrape the sides of the bowl.

3. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the powdered sugar a little at a time, waiting until it is mostly incorporated before adding more. Once all of the powdered sugar has been added, scrape the sides of the bowl and increase the speed to medium-high and whip until fluffy, about a minute or two.

4. Add the espresso and vanilla mixture and continue to mix at medium-high until it is completely incorporated, scraping the sides as necessary.

5. I used a gallon sized ziploc bag with a corner snipped off as a piping bag (no decorating tip)

Caramel Sauce


1 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
3/4 cup heavy cream
3 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter


1. In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, gently pour sugar into the water without stirring. Heat over medium-low heat until the sugar dissolves. (Again, do not stir!)

2. Increase the heat and bring to a boil, without stirring. Boil until the syrup is a deep amber color, about 5 to 6 minutes.
3. Remove the sugar from the heat and carefully whisk in the heavy cream quickly. The mixture will bubble. If you do not whisk quickly enough, chunks of caramel will form. These can be strained out when you pour into bowl/mason jar.  Stir in the unsalted butter. Transfer the caramel to a dish or mason jar and cool.

adapted from Kelsey’s Essentials Salted Caramel Sauce Recipe



Chocolate-Chocolate Chip Cupcake, Espresso Buttercream, Homemade Chocolate Sauce Drizzle


Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cupcake

Makes 12 cupcakes


3/4 cup unsalted butter (at room temp)

1 cup sugar

3 eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup buttermilk

3/4 cup flour

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa (I used Hershey’s brand)

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 cup chocolate chips


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line cupcake pan with 12 baking liners.

2. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  While this is going in the mixer:

3. Mix together flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt.

4. To butter and sugar mixture: add eggs (one at a time), beating well after each addition.

5. Alternate adding dry ingredients and buttermilk into butter/sugar mixture.

6. Mix in chocolate chips by hand.

7. Pour mixed batter into the cupcake pan, making each well 2/3-3/4 full.

8. Bake 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean from multiple cupcakes.

9. Cool in pan for 5 minutes then transfer to wire rack.

10. Frost when completely cool.

Espresso Buttercream Frosting

See recipe above

Homemade Chocolate Sauce


1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (We used Hershey’s)
1 cup water
dash of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla


1. In a small saucepan, combine sugar, cocoa and salt gently with a whisk.

2. Add water and bring mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally.

3. Reduce heat to simmer and cook for 1 minute.

4. Remove from heat and add vanilla.

5. Let cool.

6. Store in the refrigerator.

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For the decorating component of these cupcakes:



I used a plain old gallon sized zipper bag with about 1 inch of the corner cut off to pipe the frosting in a circular fashion starting at the outside edge of the cupcake.


I used a squeeze bottle for both the chocolate and caramel sauces.  I found these online at and paid less than $10 for 6 bottles.



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