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These cake mix Kahlua cupcakes are extra chocolatey, loaded with Kahlua and topped with an espresso infused frosting.
I’ll spare you guys my weekly reality show rant, although you know I really want to talk about it. Is anyone else watching the Bachelorette? Let’s chat.
Cupcakes always help the week go by faster, although I am a firm believer in eating cupcakes with days that end in “y”. Today we’re making easy Kahlua Cupcakes with a silky chocolate frosting.
I made these cupcakes 5 different times, experimenting with recipes from scratch and with a cake mix. In the end, I decided on a recipe that uses cake mix.
Alcohol can really change the texture and crumb of a cupcake, at least the way I use it (which is a lot of it!). Recipes made from scratch tend to make the cake more dense like a pound cake. When it comes to cupcakes, I want something lighter in texture with more air bubbles and a softer crumb. That is exactly why I chose a cake mix for this recipe.
I wanted this cupcake to be extra chocolaty, so I’ve added some extra cocoa powder. To offset the added dry ingredients, I also added some light sour cream. The sour cream is what keeps these cupcakes nice and moist for a couple days after you make them. It’s not your standard cake mix cupcake.
For the frosting, I’ve adapted my Best Chocolate Frosting recipe. I’ve added a little bit of espresso to bring out the chocolate and Kahlua flavor. And of course the frosting needed a touch of Kahlua as well. This frosting has been whipped to perfection. It’s super airy. You can do this too if you just spend a few extra minutes beating the frosting once all the ingredients have been added.
There’s one thing you have to know about me. I like my cupcakes with a LOT of frosting, so there’s plenty to go around here. Growing up, I wasn’t even interested in the frosting at all. It’s all about the frosting. Then I learned how to make frosting and it was a totally game changer for me. I hope you feel the same way. Then we can be friends. Mmmkay? Cool.
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- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Total Time: 45 minutes
- Yield: 24 cupcakes
These cake mix Kahlua cupcakes are extra chocolatey, loaded with Kahlua, and topped with an espresso-infused frosting.
For the Cupcakes:
- 1 box Chocolate Cake Mix
- 1/4 cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
- 8 ounces Light Sour Cream
- 3/4 cup Kahlua
- 1/2 cup Vegetable Oil
- 3 Eggs
- 1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
For the Frosting:
- 2 tablespoons Boiling Water
- 1 teaspoon Instant Espresso Powder
- 1 1/2 cups Unsalted Butter, At room temperature
- 6 cups Powdered Sugar
- 1 tablespoon Kahlua
- 3 tablespoons Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
For the Cupcakes:
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the cake mix, cocoa powder, sour cream, Kahlua, vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla and mix until the batter is thoroughly combined. I suggest using a spatula and turning the batter over from the bottom to the top to make sure the oils are well mixed.
- Line two 12-cavity muffin pans with liners. Divide the cupcake batter evenly for each cupcake.
- Bake the cupcakes at 350°F for 15-18 minutes. To see if your cupcakes are done, insert a toothpick into the center of the cupcake. If the toothpick comes out clean, your cupcakes are done.
- Allow the cupcakes to cool in the pan for 10-15 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.
For the Frosting:
- In a small bowl, mix the boiling water and the instant espresso powder. If you don’t want to make the instant espresso, then you can use a strong brewed coffee.
- In a large mixing bowl, whip the butter for 3-4 minutes until it is fluffy and well-whipped.
- Slowly add the powdered sugar 2 cups at a time. I suggest reducing the mixer speed so the powdered sugar does not fly everywhere. Once incorporated, increase the mixing speed to medium-high and beat for 30 seconds.
- As you are adding powdered sugar, the frosting will become thick and crumbly. Alternate adding the brewed espresso and Kahlua in between the cups of powdered sugar. At this point, you should also be alternating in the cocoa powder.
- Once all of the ingredients have been added, beat at a high speed for 60 seconds until the frosting becomes nice and light.
- Pipe the frosting onto the cooled cupcakes.
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Baked
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: coffee cupcakes, coffee buttercream, espresso cupcakes
This recipe originally appeared on Food Fanatic.
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Do the Kahlua cupcakes stand up to freezing… I want to make them ahead of time for an event.
I sure hope they do!
Hi Rose, I’ve never froze them myself. But for freezing I recommend cooling completely and freezing in an airtight container. When thawing, thaw with the lid off to prevent excess moisture
I made these for super bowl Sunday. They were so good! I made them mini, and everyone loved them. I added a little more espresso to the frosting and a tab but more kahlua. My favorite part was the cocoa powder and espresso powder dusted over the top. Yummy!
Holy wow! This looks so amazing. Kahlua cupcakes sounds like heaven in a cake! I cannot wait to try this recipe for myself, it seems like you are always outdoing yourself! Thanks so very much for providing such delicious recipes!
Hi Larissa! Thank you so much!
These are so cute and look absolutely delicious! Can’t wait to try these! All of your deserts look marvelous. Thanks so much for sharing your recipes!
Double the chocolate is always better! I’ve been craving a cupcake all week and would love one of these right now.
Gosh when am I NOT craving a cupcake these days LOL
You pretty much had me at Kahlua. It’s the best drink ever, and I’ve made it in chocolate cake before. So dang good. The frosting looks incredible too!
Thanks Mir! The airy frosting is a nice compliment to the cupcake for sure!
Really really want one right now! I can almost imagine the depth of their deliciousness.
I even saved a little bit of Kahlua for a cocktail, hehe