Thursday, January 25, 2007

Mocha Cupcakes

It's hard to go past the combination of coffee and chocolate so why not bring them together in a cupcake. This creation is for a Cupcake Round-Up being hosted by Vanilla Garlic and Cupcake Bakeshop.

Rather than introduce chocolate in the form of cocoa powder or chocolate buds I've used roasted cocoa nibs. I had yet to use them but quite enjoyed their unadulterated chocolate flavour and felt they shared a true kinship with coffee beans.


Mocha Cupcakes
[Makes 6]

125 grams caster sugar
125 grams softened butter
2 eggs
125 grams self-raising flour, sifted
60ml espresso coffee
25 grams roasted Cocoa nibs

Coffee Cream Cheese Frosting
20 grams butter, softened
60 grams cream cheese, softened
15ml espresso coffee
150 grams pure icing sugar

chocolate coated coffee beans, for decoration

Place the sugar and butter into a mixer and beat until thick and creamy.

Break the eggs into a small bowl and then add one yolk at a time, beating slowly so the mix doesn't curdle. When both yolks are amalgamated then slowly add the whites - increase the speed when all the egg is added to ensure an even mix.

Add half the sifted flour and coffee and beat on a low speed until mixed through then add remaining flour and coffee, beating until until just incorporated.

Stir through the roasted cocoa nibs.

Fill 6 cupcake moulds three-quarters full with the mixture and place in a preheated 180°C/350°F oven for 20 minutes or until golden and cooked through.

Cool on a wire rack.

Make the frosting:
Place the butter and cream cheese into a small bowl and beat until creamy - add the coffee and continue to beat. On a low speed start adding the icing sugar a spoonful at a time, beating well to ensure a smooth and creamy result.

Finish the cakes:
Spread a generous dollop of frosting onto each cooled cupcake and top with a chocolate coated coffee bean. Place in the fridge to set.


Inside you'll see a lovely coffee coloured cake resplendent with speckles of cocoa nibs. It's quite interesting to note the change in the taste of the nibs - the cooking making them easier to eat and eliminating their powdery characteristics. You end up with crunchy hits of pure chocolate amongst the coffee. The perfect mocha experience.

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  1. I am not a big fan of mocha coffee, but I wouldn't mind a mocha cupcake! :) Love your cupcake! I think it will be wonderful with a cup of espresso or latte!

  2. Thanks Anh - I can vouch that it matches very nicely with a latte, the trouble is limiting yourself to just one ;)

  3. Just gorgeous! I've tasted cocoa nibs before but have never contemplated cooking with them! In fact, I've no idea where I'd get them from! :(

  4. Thanks Ellie - I will be posting on the cocoa nibs but you can get them online at
    Couldn't have been simpler - ordered online and delivered really quickly.

  5. Haalo,

    You're an incredible baker.

    Using cocoa nibs is an extra factor - I've never had them so you made me ever more curious! :D

  6. They look just gorgeous! I love anything mocha and I am sure they taste just as good as they look!

  7. Thanks Patricia - you are too kind. This is my first experience with the nibs and I really liked the way they reacted to baking - if you can find them, give them a try!

    Thanks Helene - they certainly seemed to disappear ;)

  8. These looks lovely, Haalo. How did you get your cupcakes to rise so evenly. My cupcakes always tend to one side when I bake them, despite my smoothing out the surface before baking.

  9. Your photos are lovely. And I love the use of cocoa nibs. I have tried them before, but haven't incorporated them into a recipe. Something to try in the future...

  10. Great shots! I love cooking with nibs... and in a cupcake is a fantastic idea!


  11. Thanks Jacelyn - uneven tops can be due to the oven not heating evenly - a good way to lessen that impact is to under-fill the cases so the cupcake doesn't overflow too much and accentuate the unevenness.

    Thanks Chocylit - this was a fun event to take part in. Congrats on organising the whole thing! I'm sure you'll be coming up with lots of wonderful ideas for the nibs.

    Thanks Lara - the nibs have been a revelation, can definitely see more uses for them.

  12. So gorgeous and elegant looking! I'm eager to try this recipe - I love those nibs but haven't used them in baking yet. Where did you find the neat cases? Do they fit into a cupcake pan? I've used the grocery store variety and the pleated portion cups, but haven't seen these, but would love to find a source for them. Thanks for sharing!

  13. Thanks Cheryl - the cases are made by Novacart and are their smallest panettone cases (6cm/2 3/8 inches diameter and 5cm/2 inches high). Try the Novacart USA site for ordering - they are listed as Round Panettone P Series item number P60.
    You don't need to put these in a pan as they are quite rigid and will stand on their own. Hope this helps!

  14. Thanks Sher - they are something I'll make again.

  15. Hi!
    Like everyone else, I'm quite impressed with how these cupcakes look! With the "Mocha" description, I was expecting a chocolate brown cupcake!
    If it's not blasphemous, would you be able to recommend a substitute for the cocoa nibs? I don't have ready access to these at all I'm afraid...

    Thanks muchly! jaye

  16. Hi Jaye - if you don't a problem with buying over the internet than I can highly recommend the cocoa nibs from Tava -
    They are in NSW and you can order nibs from their website.
    If you don't want to go that route, then the closest alternative would be dark chocolate micro chips - which you might find equally difficult to get. They keep their shape and give that intense chocolate hit similar to using nibs.

  17. AnonymousJuly 14, 2008

    This looks yummy yummy!

  18. Hi,
    Thank you very much for this wonderful recipe. I've tried it and it's really yummy! I gave away five of these and my friends love it very much!

  19. Oh that's excellent - thanks!


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