Chocolate Kahlua Cupcakes

I’ve really been on a roll with the booze-flavored cupcakes, huh?  Guinness & Bailey’s cupcakes, chocolate whiskey cupcakes, margarita cupcakes – what can I say, they are everyone’s favorites!  My list of cupcake flavors to try had gotten a bit out of control, with recipes in cookbooks, magazines, on tons of food blogs, and in my own imagination.  I finally took the time to consolidate them all and come up with a cupcake menu for the coworkers to use when making their birthday selections.  These chocolate Kahlua cupcakes were the first flavor chosen from the list.

I opted to use a one-bowl chocolate cupcake recipe for the cupcake base with some espresso powder mixed in to punch up the coffee flavor.  Brushing the cupcakes with Kahlua after baking helps keep them moist and infuses the flavor of the liqueur.  For the frosting I whipped up this Kahlua buttercream, basically a classic boozey buttercream with a bit of whipping cream mixed in to help lighten the texture.  I loved these, as did the coworkers because really, you just can’t go wrong with the combo of coffee, chocolate and alcohol.  Any coffee-flavored liqueur can be substituted for the Kahlua, but that just happens to be what we have on hand.  And because I know someone will ask, the tip I used to frost the cupcakes is a small (unlabeled) star tip.

Chocolate Kahlua Cupcakes
Printer-Friendly Version

Yield: approx. 20-24 cupcakes

For the cupcakes:
¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tbsp. instant espresso powder
1½ cups all-purpose flour
1½ cups sugar
1½ tsp. baking soda
¾ tsp. baking powder
¾ tsp. salt
2 large eggs
¾ cup warm water
¾ cup buttermilk
3 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 tsp. vanilla extract

For brushing the cupcakes:
Kahlua liqueur

For the frosting:
12 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
7-8 tbsp. Kahlua liqueur
2 tbsp. heavy cream

To make the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 350˚ F.   Line standard cupcake pans with paper liners.  In a large mixing bowl combine the cocoa powder, espresso powder, flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt; whisk well to blend.  Add the eggs, warm water, buttermilk, vegetable oil and vanilla extract to the bowl with the dry ingredients and mix on medium-high speed until smooth, 2-3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cupcake liners, filling about 2/3 full.  Bake until the tops spring back when pressed lightly, about 18-20 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through baking.  Let cool in the pan 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack.  Poke a few holes in the top of each cupcake with the tines of a fork and brush with Kahlua while still warm.  Allow to cool completely.

To make the frosting, beat the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer until smooth and fluffy, about 2 minutes.  Mix in the confectioners’ sugar until incorporated.  Add in the Kahlua and beat on medium speed until well blended.  Add in the heavy cream and beat on medium-high speed for about 4 minutes, until light and fluffy.  Frost cooled cupcakes as desired.

Source: cupcakes adapted from Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes, frosting from Annie’s Eats

44 Responses

  1. Wow, I’d love to make a selection from your list. Your cupcakes always look amazing : )

  2. I’m curious…where do you buy your espresso powder? I’ve looked and I can’t seem to find it. I haven’t been to any specialty stores though.

    I really appreciate the kahlua recipe though! I have some that I’ve been wanting to use in a recipe. Just haven’t found the right one yet. Thanks!

    • Andrea,
      At least in my area, I’ve only had luck finding it at specialty stores (Williams Sonoma, Sur La Table, Fresh Market). Unfortunately regular grocery stores never seem to have it!

  3. Chocolate+Kahlua= Marriage made in dessert heaven!!
    BTW, have you checked out the Godiva site yet?:) The Triple Chocolate Kahlua Mousse Cake is to DIE for!

  4. Good grief, these look fantastic!

  5. So beautiful! They sound delicious too!

  6. I found your blog yesterday and I’m absolutely in love. You have great recipes. And these cupcakes sound delicious.

  7. It the ususal superb standard as always and I will definitely be giving these a try. Thanks for sharing x

  8. You make the best cupcakes!!! These look sooo perfect and delicious!! I love the flavor combos on this one, too. YUM!

  9. My friend asked me yesterday if I knew of any great coffee flavoured cup cake recepies so she could bake something for her colleague’s birthday, and now I saw this! I shall be sending a link to her for these cuties and I am sure her colleague will be a very happy birthday girl 🙂 Thanks Annie!

  10. yummy! It looks so chocolate and puffy!

  11. Oh my! These looks sinfully delicious!

  12. These look delicious–you should consider publishing a cupcake cookbook: they are all so good!!

  13. Seriously, can I come live with you?

    I’ll play sous chef!

  14. Yummy, I love Kahlua, I will have make note of this recipe!

  15. I know what you mean about boozy baking! I’ve been doing it so much (and in my regular cooking too), I started a whole food blog about it! It just makes everything taste better, right?

    I can’t decide which I want to try first, these or those margarita cupcakes. Both look absolutely delicious! Thanks!!!

  16. These look just lovely, Annie! I’ve been craving a cupcake for WEEKS but just haven’t gotten around to making – or buying – one! 🙂

  17. Mmmm, you had me at Kahlua. I just made these cupcakes, but with regular whipped cream frosting. I’ve been wanting to try them with marscapone cheese frosting, and now I also want to try them with the kahlua frosting.

  18. It almost looks like the top of the cupcake was dipped in a chocolate glaze – it’s so shiny. But it must just be the Kahlua brushed on top.
    These look great – I have some French Vanilla Kahlua to use up – so I have to try this recipe.

  19. I’m sending this to my mother. She loves Kahlua.

  20. Love the idea of a cupcake list! That’s certainly one menu I’d have fun choosing from.

  21. Another winner. This one looks delicious. Love the idea of a list, I think I’m going to use that too!

  22. I have to tell you the Irish Car Bomb cupcakes were a hit at my party! 🙂 I have been looking for a new cake recipe for my dad. He is a White Russian freak, so this is PERFECT. Gonna have fun unveiling this….maybe father’s day, since his bday isn’t until November! Thanks for the great recipes. I love your site!

  23. These look fantastic! I love the frosting. Most of the Khalua frosting recipes I’ve seen as chocolate based but this sounds like it would be excellent with the chocolate cupcakes! Great recipe:)

  24. I have a Kahlua recipe that I have not made in forever. Looking at this picture makes me want to bake them right now, gosh I wish I had some right now 🙂

  25. Hi Annie

    Your cupcakes look like they have a glaze or ganache on them under the buttercream, or is it just a great photo?!

    • Chloe,
      That is from being brushed with the Kahlua. I took the pic pretty quickly after making them so they were still shiny.

  26. obviously i shouldn’t be here when im trying to lose weight. heh. but these look soooooo good. period.

  27. Annie-
    Ok, I am seriously obsessed with cupcakes now! This is the third weekend in a row I am making them. First were the chocolate peanut butter, last weekend triple chocolate and this weekend Kahlua! I have to tell you as I was making them this morning and was looking at the batter thinking “what the heck, Annie is letting me down on this one”…well thank goodness I am a taste tester…I didn’t add the sugar! Maybe it has something to do with working 11am to 11pm while training in open heart recovery? Anyway, added the sugar, finished the batter and they look delicious! Thanks for another great recipe.

  28. These are gorgeous ! I’ve never tasted Kahlua liquor but you make me wanna try :o)

  29. Let’s say i wanted to make a Kahlua cake instead of the cupcakes, what adjustments would i need to make to the recipe? Because i love Kahlua and these would make an awesome cake :]

    • Amanda,
      Just bake the batter in cake pans instead of cupcake pans and adjust the baking time accordingly.

  30. Well, unfortunately the main sweets lover in my house (Dad, of course) doesnt really like chocolate. So, just for him, I’m gonna attempt to make some Vanilla Kahlua Cupcakes. Using your Vanilla Bean Cupcake recipe and the frosting recipe from this page. Wish me luck!! 🙂

  31. Hi Annie, these look great, and I’m going to make them for a party tomorrow. Do you recommend that I wait to frost them until tomorrow, or can I do the whole shebang today? If so, should I put them in the fridge to keep the frosting set? I don’t make cupcakes very often, any tips appreciated. Great website! =)

  32. Thanks Annie!

  33. Hi Annie,
    In most of your recipes I see you use all purpose flour and you simply state to “mix together” Do you use cake flour? Do you sift?

    I am starting a home based cupcake business and am truly wanting to create a fabulous product.

    Any suggestions you or your readers could provide would be so appreciate!

    My best…Susan

    • I use cake flour when indicated, and I indicate that in my recipes. If it says all-purpose, it means all-purpose. Mixing together well is equivalent to sifting, at least for dry ingredients of cakes.

  34. A friend had some coffee oreo ice cream at a local shop that she loved. I was hoping to duplicate the flavors for her birthday. Do you see a problem with adding chopped up oreos to this batter?

  35. I make A LOT of cupcakes. My brother is kinda my offical taste-tester, he said these are hands down his favorite. I gave him some to take home & he ate THREE for breakfast! Is that evern legal?!?! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: