Chocolate Kahlua Cupcakes

This was our (belated) Valentine’s Day dessert. Often times the biggest dilemma in our household is what I should make for dinner/dessert. Such problems, huh? :) I always want to make something new (so I can experiment with new recipes and post them to my neglected blog) but my husband always requests old favorites. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE our old favorites as well but I like trying new recipes. So, when I came across this amazing recipe for Chocolate Kahlua Cupcakes I knew we would both be satisfied.

The cupcake base is a simple one-bowl recipe with a little espresso powder added in to amp up the flavor. Then they are brushed with Kahlua and topped with Kahlua buttercream frosting. Yes, they do taste as heavenly as they sound. They were very easy to whip up, I was able to make the cupcakes during Audrey’s morning nap and the frosting during her afternoon nap. I love being so productive during her naps. Even though Valentine’s Day is over this is definitely a treat that can be made anytime for your special someone.

Chocolate Kahlua Cupcakes



For the cupcakes:

  • ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 Tablespoon instant espresso powder
  • cups all-purpose flour
  • cups sugar
  • teaspoons baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¾ cup warm water
  • ¾ cup buttermilk
  • 3 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For brushing the cupcakes:

  • Kahlua liqueur

For the frosting:

  • 12 Tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 4 cups confectioners’ sugar sifted
  • 7-8 Tablespoons Kahlua liqueur
  • 2 Tablespoons 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.
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