Espresso Cupcakes with Cherry Frosting


My husband has been on this kick lately where he orders free product samples for us and through this sampling, I have wound up with three packs of espresso in a week and was left wondering how in the world I would use that much jacked-up coffee. Drinking that much just wouldn’t happen at my house, nor would I want to encourage it … surely someone reading this is familiar with “Tweak” from the animated show “South Park” and if you are, then I don’t need to explain what happens when copious amounts of coffee are consumed.

After some pondering over how to use my super-charged java, I remembered I use regular coffee in my chocolate cake recipe. If regular coffee can make a chocolate cake extra-yummy, then adding espresso would  *have* to make it that much yummier… right?! And with Valentine’s Day around the corner, making these as cupcakes instead was the obvious choice for me — as well as a cherry frosting deliciously topping it all off.

My “tried and true” favorite chocolate cake recipe that never disappoints is courtesy of Hershey’s, found on the back of their natural unsweetened cocoa powder. With just a bit of adjusting, this recipe was a perfect foundation from which to build my espresso cupcakes. The frosting is uncomplicated, pretty and delicious … the perfect complement to top these turbo-charged cupcakes.

Just be sure you don’t give too many of these high-octane cupcakes to the little people at your house or you could have your very own “Tweak” on your hands … not that I would have any earthly idea what that sort of scene looks like.


Espresso Cupcakes with Cherry Frosting

Rating: 51

Espresso Cupcakes with Cherry Frosting

Chocolate cake recipe adapted from recipe printed on Hershey's natural unsweetened cocoa powder canister.


    For the cake:
  • 2 c. sugar
  • 1-3/4 c. all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 c. Hershey’s unsweetened cocoa
  • 1-1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1-1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 eggs (room temperature)
  • 1 c. milk
  • 1/2 c. olive oil
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 c. prepared espresso (boiling if possible)
  • For the frosting:
  • 16 oz. plain cream cheese, softened
  • 1.5-2 c. powdered sugar (confectioner’s)
  • 1 tbsp. cherry extract
  • 3 tsp. maraschino cherry juice


    For the cake:
  1. Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla.
  2. Beat with hand mixer until completely mixed, but do not over-beat. Stir in hot espresso (batter will be thin).
  3. Pour into cupcake tins (I use liners) till half to three-quarters full. Bake at 345 degrees for 24-28 min. till an inserted toothpick comes out clean (do not over-bake or they'll dry out!).
  4. Cool completely before frosting.
  5. For the frosting:
  6. Whip cream cheese, cherry extract, cherry juice and 1 c. of powdered sugar.
  7. Slowly add remaining powdered sugar till texture is smooth but not runny.
  8. Chill slightly before piping; store any leftovers in the refrigerator.


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  1. Oh my! These cupcakes are seriously gorgeous! And I’ve never put coffee {or espresso} in my chocolate cake, but now you’ve made me curious. I’m gonna have to try it! 🙂

    • Yes, do try it! A few years ago my BFF told me to put coffee in my chocolate cake to enhance the flavor, but I only ever put a tablespoon of the ground stuff into the cake batter. But putting brewed espresso in it made it amazing! I cannot wait to make these again because they were THAT good. 😀

  2. I
    love anything with espresso or coffee so delicious looking!!!!

  3. Wow! My son loves coffee I bet he would enjoy these. I will have to show him!

  4. Drooling over this recipe. I am a coffee maniac, and would love to keep them all to myself!

  5. I love coffee and espresso! Neither usually lasts long enough to make it into cake — but I think I’ll make sure to set some aside to try this!

  6. G’day! one word? Gorgeous!
    Thanks for sharing as part of Foodie Friends Friday Snack Party!
    Cheers! Joanne


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