These cake mix Kahlua cupcakes are extra chocolatey, loaded with Kahlua and topped with an espresso infused with frosting. A few of them are lined up in this image.

Kahlua Cupcakes

  • Author: Julianne Dell
  • 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:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. 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.
  3. Line two 12-cavity muffin pans with liners. Divide the cupcake batter evenly for each cupcake.
  4. 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.
  5. 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:

  1. 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.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whip the butter for 3-4 minutes until it is fluffy and well-whipped.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Once all of the ingredients have been added, beat at a high speed for 60 seconds until the frosting becomes nice and light.
  6. Pipe the frosting onto the cooled cupcakes.
Nutrition Information:
1 cupcake
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: coffee cupcakes, coffee buttercream, espresso cupcakes