Espresso Cupcakes with Mocha Mascarpone Frosting

It was teacher appreciation week recently at my kids’ school.  I wanted to make the deserving and wonderful staff a sweet something to celebrate all they do for our kids.  Cupcakes are always a good idea…but I wanted to make a sophisticated treat for the teachers.  A coffee-flavoured cupcake is what popped into my head.  I topped the cupcakes with chocolate covered espresso beans and a dash of gold sprinkles…because teachers are the best…and I really don’t know how they make it through their day without a whole lotta coffee!!!!!

 

Ingredients:

  • 2 teaspoons instant espresso powder
  • 1/2 cup espresso, cooled
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs

For the frosting:

  • 1 cup butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup mascarpone, at room temperature
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons instant espresso powder

Method:

    1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a muffin tin with paper liners.
    2. In a small bowl, whisk the espresso powder into the brewed espresso until completely dissolved. Add the milk and vanilla extract. Set aside.
    3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
    4. Using an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugars until light and fluffy.  Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat until combined.
    5. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with the coffee mixture.  Mix until fully combined.
    6. Fill each muffin cup about two-thirds full with batter. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting the cupcakes.
    7. Make the Frosting: In a small bowl, whisk the espresso powder into the vanilla until dissolved; set aside.
    8. Using an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the butter for 3 minutes.  Make sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
    9. Add the mascarpone and mix until combined.
    10. Reduce the mixer speed to low and slowly add the salt and powdered sugar.  Once the sugar is added, increase speed to medium-high and whip until light and fluffy.
    11. Add the espresso mixture and whip at medium-high speed until completely incorporated.  Make sure to taste your icing before frosting the cooled cupcakes.  If it is too soft, you can add more powdered sugar until desired consistency is reached.  If it’s too stiff, you can add a bit of milk to the frosting to thin it out.

     

    *Yield: 12 cupcakes

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