Baking Goodness! / Dairy Free / Desserts / For the Holidays! / Sweet Treats!

Mocha Cupcakes {can be made dairy free!}

20130212-082103.jpgWith Valentines day just a couple of days away, why not make a special treat that adults will love? Who said cupcakes are just for kids these days? These Mocha Cupcakes just might be the ticket to add a grown-up flare to a classic treat. I promise you that whoever eats these special treats will feel {and taste!} the love!

I adapted my recipe from’s “Mocha Cupcakes with Espresso Buttercream Frosting” found at the following link:

I only changed a couple of things for this cupcake recipe…to make it dairy free. Instead of butter in the cupcake batter, I used Butter Flavored Crisco {I know, I know…it isn’t the healthiest thing to cook with…but cupcakes really aren’t healthy for us to eat anyway, right?!}. I also left out the extra espresso powder packet that she added to the already strongly brewed coffee that was added to the batter.

I have to say, the espresso frosting is amazing!! It definitely makes the {cup}cake!

I do admit, I made the cupcakes dairy-less to accommodate the people in my life that can’t have milk, and could have just as easily made the Espresso Buttercream dairy-free as well, but I didn’t. I figured that my 4-year old was going to bounce off of the walls from the sugar/coffee in the cupcake already, so why add to the drama by letting her have even more caffeine in the frosting? So, I made an alternate Peanut Butter Icing that was dairy-free and really just as amazing.

The pictures that I took show a doubled recipe, so take that into account when you are baking…don’t freak out when you see two eggs in the picture…instead of the 1 that is listed in the ingredients list, etc.! So, without further ado…

Mocha Cupcakes

1-1/3 all-purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup coconut milk {or whatever type of milk you want to use}
½ cup strong brewed coffee
1½ teaspoons instant coffee powder, if desired {optional}
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup {1 stick} unsalted butter, at room temperature {or for dairy-free use 1/2 c Butter Flavored + 1 T water}
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup light brown sugar
1 egg, at room temperature

Mix the instant coffee powder {if using} into the brewed coffee until dissolved; add vanilla and set aside to cool to room temperature.


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a standard-size muffin tin with paper liners.

In a mixing bowl whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt.



Beat the butter and both sugars together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.



Add the egg and beat until combined.



In a measuring cup, add the milk to the brewed coffee and vanilla mixture.


Slowly add the flour mixture, alternating with the coffee mixture, ending with the flour mixture.





Divide the batter evenly between the 12 liners. {I did have extra batter and if this is the case for you please don’t try to overfill the liners or you will have a mess in the oven to clean up from the cupcakes overflowing. If you have more batter than for 12 cupcakes, by all means, make more cupcakes and do not waste the batter!} Ideally, you are shooting for filling up the cupcake liners about 2/3 of the way up.




Bake for 17-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean.


Cool on wire rack completely before frosting cupcakes.


Espresso Buttercream Frosting

Makes enough to frost 12 cupcakes

1 cup {2 sticks} unsalted butter, at room temperature {or Butter Flavored Crisco if making dairy-free}
2½ cups powdered sugar
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1½ teaspoons instant coffee

Mix the espresso powder into the vanilla until dissolved; set aside.


In a large mixing bowl, whip the butter, powdered sugar and vanilla/coffee mixture starting off on low and working up to a high speed for 5 minutes, stopping once or twice to scrape the sides of the bowl. It will be light and fluffy!




If you aren’t ready to frost right away, make sure to store the frosting in an air-tight container to keep from hardening. Refrigerate if it will be much later {as in the next day} that you will be frosting and make sure to bring to room temperature and re-whip well before icing if you do this.


When the cupcakes are cooked and ready to frost, pipe on generously, and if desired sprinkle with cocoa powder…or mini chocolate chips…or chocolate shavings…whatever sounds good!


I know the lighting isn’t always the greatest/consistent in all of my pictures and so I do apologize! In this next picture the front plate is the Mocha Cupcakes and the back plate is the Peanut Butter Chocolate Cupcakes. I will have to post the Peanut Butter Frosting in a different post and make a link for it.

For now though, enjoy these sweet treats and give a little love in the process by sharing these Mocha Cupcakes with friends and family! Enjoy! -Shelley.


If you enjoyed this post you may also like…

Chocolate Pound Cake with Chocolate Mousse

Peanut Butter Icing {dairy free}

3 thoughts on “Mocha Cupcakes {can be made dairy free!}

  1. Pingback: Peanut Butter Icing {dairy free!} |

  2. Pingback: Lemon Cream Cake with Raspberry Sauce |

  3. Pingback: Chocolate Chip Skillet Cookie |

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