White Chocolate Mocha Cupcakes

I am not much of a coffee drinker, but I definitely do enjoy coffee from time to time.  Of course, I am the kind of coffee drinker that true coffee drinkers roll their eyes at – I just love the sugary, girly coffee concoctions from Starbucks.  Frappuccinos, mochas, lattes, etc. – oooh yeah, yummm.  These cupcakes consist of a mocha cupcake base topped with a white chocolate whipped cream and garnished with dark chocolate swirls to look like rising steam.  I was so happy with the way they turned out!  I drew the inspiration for these cupcakes from many sources, many of which I cannot remember anymore.  A big part of my motivation was my incredible love for this white chocolate whipped cream…I am constantly trying to think of more ways to use it.  The cupcakes were moist, light and just barely sweet.  The whipped cream was just the right counterbalance and reminded me a lot of the whipped cream I always order on my indulgent coffee drinks 🙂

My main issue with these cupcakes is that while they tasted fantastic, I don’t think the coffee flavor came through quite as well as I would have liked.  One possible reason is that I did not use brewed coffee as the recipe recommends, but simply espresso I mixed at home from espresso powder and boiling water (I don’t have a coffee maker or know how to use one, after all!)  If you are not a big fan of coffee flavor then these are perfect as is, but next time I will add an extra scoop of espresso powder to be sure that flavor really comes through.  I would also love to try drizzling these with a raspberry sauce since my Starbucks warm drink of choice is a white chocolate mocha with a shot of raspberry.  I fully intended to try the syrup this time around, but I just didn’t have the time or energy!  Maybe next time.

White Chocolate Mocha Cupcakes
Yield: 24 cupcakes

For the cupcakes:
5 oz. semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 cups cake flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup sour cream
5 tbsp. cocoa powder
2 1/2 tsp. baking soda
4 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups hot coffee
12 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp. brown sugar

For the whipped cream:
6 oz. white chocolate, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups cold heavy cream

For decorating:
4 oz. chocolate (I used bittersweet), finely chopped
chocolate sprinkles

To make the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Line two cupcake pans with paper liners.  In a double boiler, melt the chocolate.  Let cool slightly.  In a medium bowl, sift together the flour and salt.  In another bowl, whisk together the sour cream, cocoa powder and baking soda.  Mix to form a paste and then slowly whisk in the coffee.  In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs and vanilla.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until fluffy.  Slowly add the egg and vanilla mixture and beat until combined.  Add the melted chocolate and beat well.  Add the flour mixture, alternating with the liquid mixture, beating just until all ingredients are incorporated.

Divide the batter evenly between the cupcake liners.  Bake 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Allow to cool in the pans 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the white chocolate whipped cream, place the chopped white chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water.  Melt, stirring occasionally.  When the chocolate is almost melted, bring 1/2 cup of the cream to a boil.  Once the chocolate is fully melted, transfer the bowl to a counter, pour in the hot cream and let it sit for one minute.  Then stir gently with a spatula until the chocolate is smooth.  Let the chocolate sit until it reaches room temperature – the chocolate can’t be the least bit warm when it is added to the whipped cream.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the remaining 1 cup cream only until it holds the softest peaks.  With the mixer on high speed, add the white chocolate all at once and continue to beat just until the mixture holds firm peaks.  Transfer the cream to a bowl, press a piece of plastic wrap gently against the surface and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

While the cream is setting, make the chocolate decorations.  Spread a piece of wax paper on a flat work surface.  Place the chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl and microwave in 30 seconds intervals, stirring in between, until completely melted.  Allow the chocolate to cool for several minutes (I probably waited 10-15 minutes).  Transfer the melted chocolate to a plastic squeeze bottle (a plastic bag with the corner cut off would also work).  Carefully squeeze the melted chocolate onto the wax paper in the desired shape.  Allow to set completely.  Carefully peel off of the wax paper.

Frost the cupcakes with the now set white chocolate whipped cream, top with chocolate sprinkles, and garnish with chocolate decorations.  Store in the refrigerator but serve at room temperature for best flavor. 


Source: cupcakes adapted from Miss Cupcake Face, whipped cream from Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan

26 Responses

  1. They look really impressive!

  2. Mmm…..sound delicious and look BEAUTIFUL as always. I continue to be a faithful Annie’s Eats reader 🙂

  3. One word: “Gorgeous”!

  4. I love the chocolate decorations..yum!!

  5. What a great recipe and I love your suggested changes to bring the coffee flavor out more!!

  6. wow, you’re such a food artist! Thank you for the recipes!

  7. Will you please share which decorating tip you use to make these HUGE lovely swirls? Mine look ever so ordinary and small next to yours. Much thanks!

    • Hi Susan!
      For frosting my cupcakes, I almost always use my mechanical pastry bag from Williams Sonoma. I would highly recommend it. It’s inexpensive ($30) and I’ve used it for years, and it still works wonderfully. It comes with 4-5 large and 4-5 small tips, including a large star tip. Unfortunately the sizes aren’t labeled so I can’t give you an exact dimension. I would just suggest buying a really large star tip and if it’s too small, then buy a larger one. Tips are so cheap it won’t be too much till you find the one you love. Hope that helps!
      🙂 Annie

  8. Wow these look fab. I love how you have decorated them – makes them look so stylish

  9. These cupcakes look SO good!!! I LOVE the chocolate swirls! I’ve been nervous to try chocolate decorations. All of your baked goods always look amazing – you could start a bakery! You know, in all your spare time between being a doctor and a mom 😉

  10. Those look great! You always put such terrific little touches on everything.

  11. Great job – looks wonderful!

  12. I hope you don’t mind that I am going to totally steal your swirl idea! Very cute.

  13. I’m not a huge coffee drinker either but I like it in desserts and sweets. These look great!

  14. Definitely gorgeous!

  15. your presentation is fantastic!

  16. Beautiful cupcakes.

  17. These are absolutely beautiful! I love the chocolate swirls and I am definitely going to try that white chocolate whipped cream!

  18. Either way, they’re so gorgeous! 😀

  19. I have a suggestion if you are a coffee lover. Coffee is used to enhance the flavour of chocolate, so almost any chocolate recipe containing coffee will *not* taste of coffee. Chocolate is a very overpowering flavour.
    If you want to have a coffee flavour (I had to do a Mocha cake for a wedding, and did many tests) you could either do a simple syrup with a coffee base (start with a bit of strong coffee about 2 tbs – be it brewed or instant – and add sugar, about 1/4c) Once the cupcake is cooked, cooled and ready to decorate, brush the simple syrup lightly over each cupcake. Then add your decorating white chocolate swirl.
    Alternately, you could add coffee as your liquid/flavour in the icing, and have the flavour given there.
    Otherwise, you’ll really never taste a coffee flavour amongst chocolate. Just and idea 🙂

  20. My cake batter came out really liquidy…and I followed the recipe as it was. Any suggestions as to why that would be?

  21. I made these tonight and the batter was very liquid but it baked up beautifully. I do not know if my muffin tins are smaller than yours but if I had only made 12 they would have overflowed all over my oven 🙂
    I love the presentation of your cupcakes and one day I hope to make one as perfect looking as yours, I need to learn some more piping skills I think!

  22. i made this cupcake and it was delicious! I just have a question or problem when I made the cream its watery.. as soon as I mix the white choc..

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