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Coffee & Cream Cupcakes

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I’m terrible about using recipes from cookbooks.  I own quite a few but hardly ever go to them when I need a recipe, instead I go to blogs and Pinterest and Google searches.  But I vowed I would make at least one recipe from the Pioneer Woman’s Food From My Frontier cookbook.  It’s the only cookbook I own that I paid more than $15 for (I get them used or as gifts) and even though it’s cool to have as a memento since she signed it, it still felt like wasting money if I never used it.

Being a coffee and cake lover, the first thing that called to me was her Coffee Cream Cake.  Two layers of coffee-flavored cake with a cream filling and a coffee frosting.  Yum.  I decided to turn it into cupcakes, putting the cream filling in the center of each.  Her recipe has a drippy frosting that is more like a glaze that thickens as it cools, but I wanted a fluffy buttercream frosting on the cupcakes so I made up my own coffee buttercream recipe for these.

The cupcakes are great, mostly because of the cream filling and frosting.  I could tell from how thin the cake batter was that it would make sturdy cupcakes, not the light and fluffy ones that a thicker batter will make.  While the cake part isn’t my favorite (I’m pretty picky when it comes to cake), it does work well overall.  I always state my honest opinion on recipes so that you’re fully informed, but I want to assure you that you will like these cupcakes as is.  I doubt any one besides a cake connoisseur would notice the crumb.  There isn’t anything really wrong with it because it is nice and moist, but it’s just not as light and tender as I like my cake to be.  The taste is fabulous, so fabulous that my coffee-hating husband couldn’t get enough of them.

So make these, you will love them if you love coffee, and perhaps even if you don’t.  Or, if you’re like me and prefer a lighter cake, you might try a different recipe for the cupcakes.  Personally, I’m either going to use chocolate cake next time, making them into mocha cream cupcakes, or sub really strong coffee for the water in a white or yellow cake mix recipe to get the texture I like.

To get this white streak effect, I used the same piping bag for the frosting that I used for the filling.  The residual white filling lined the bag and made a streaky look when I piped the buttercream onto the cupcakes.

Coffee & Cream Cupcakes

Printable recipe
Printable recipe with picture

Cupcakes
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
3 tablespoons instant coffee crystals
1 cup boiling water
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup buttermilk
2 eggs
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Cream filling
4 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
½ cup powdered sugar
½ cup heavy cream

Coffee Buttercream
¼ cup Kahlua (here is a recipe to make your own)
1 tablespoon instant coffee crystals
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 lb. powdered sugar
Dash of salt

For the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 350F. Line 24 cupcake tins with paper liners; set aside.

Melt the butter in a saucepan, then stir in the instant coffee and boiling water. Let the mixture bubble up for a few seconds, then turn off the heat. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, and salt. Pour the hot butter/coffee mixture over the top and stir to combine. Mix together the buttermilk, eggs, baking soda, and vanilla and add it to the bowl. Whisk until smooth (batter will be very thin). Using a levered ice cream scoop, fill the cupcake tins half full. You will have extra batter, which you can bake more cupcakes with or a small cake if you have a 6” cake pan. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Allow cupcakes to cool for a few minutes in the tins, then remove to a cooling rack to cool completely.

While the cupcakes cool, prepare the filling. Beat the cream cheese until smooth, then add the powdered sugar and heavy cream and beat on low until sugar is moistened, then on high until light and fluffy. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a round tip (or a squeeze bottle) with the filling. Push the tip or nozzle into each cupcake and squeeze filling into the center, pulling back once the top starts to rise, and stopping when the filling bursts through the top of the cupcake. Repeat with remaining cupcakes.

For the buttercream, bring the Kahlua to a boil and stir in the coffee crystals. Set aside to cool completely. Once cooled, beat the butter in a large bowl until creamy, then add the sugar, Kahlua mixture, and salt. Beat on low until sugar is moistened, then beat on high until smooth and creamy

To complete cupcakes, pipe swirls of coffee buttercream on top of the filled cupcakes. Serve at room temperature.

Adapted from the Coffee Cream Cake in Food From My Frontier by Ree Drummond

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About Veronica

I have a kitchen addiction and love to collect & share recipes. My passion is baking but I love to cook as well. The only thing I don't like to do in the kitchen is wash dishes, but my husband generally does them for me in exchange for his dinner.

46 responses »

  1. I will make I will make!!! These look like heaven in mini :)

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

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  2. Mmm! Coffee + Kahlua sounds divine. If only there was a bottle of Kahlua here at the office, heh heh . . .

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  3. These look so delicious, sometimes I do wish I liked sweet stuff. I know I miss out on a lot…boo! Glad to see you back :)

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    • Well, I guess you can at least appreciate desserts as works of art. i think dessert is probably the prettiest of all the courses! :) Thanks, glad to be back. Not sure how regular I’ll be but I’m trying.

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  4. These sound delicious. The ingredients you have used here pair wonderfully, so I know these will be fabulous. Have a great day. Blessings…Mary

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  5. I love these. Your pictures are almost perfection, too. I think this might be a cupcake to welcome back the staff next August! We will all need the most caffeine that we can get!

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    • Almost perfection! hahaha, I love you, thank you for your honesty if you said “perfection” I know it would be a lie. :) These would be great to share, and be sure to drink coffee with them for full caffeine effect! lol

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  6. LOVE LOVE LOVE yor posts.. Thank you

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    • You are so welcome and thank you for giving me a huge smile! :)

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      • I look forward to your posts everyday. FYI – I use your pie crust recipe ALWAYS and love it. Cuddos to you for helping in my Best Of Show at last years county fair.

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        • That is the most exciting comment I’ve ever gotten! I’m so tickled that you won best of show with my pie crust! So fun! What kind of pie did you make? I enter the state fair but so far have never placed with pie-not fair! lol

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          • Triple Berry. Notice, I said county fair. Apparently, we are both in the same boat when it comes to the State Fair. It continues to elude me :).The Ohio State Fair pie competition is 31 July and you know where I’ll be. This could be the year! Love it and the competition. I look forward to it every year. For the love of Pie !

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            • Yeah, I have placed in every category I’ve entered so far except pie! But that is the big competition, there are sooo many entries it’s ridonkulous. So that keeps me humble, at least, losing in that one every year-lol. Yes, I agree it’s so fun to compete. Let me know how you do this year!!

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  7. I’m really bad at making recipes from cookbooks, too! For some reason they are just leisure read, not practical…well, cookbooks.

    These look lovely; love the cream filling inside!

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  8. These sound wonderful-I think I’ll make them for a church potluck tomorrow. I’m thinking chocolate mocha cake with coffee/buttercream frosting. What chocolate recipe would you recommend?

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  9. Gorgeous! and very yummy sounding too!

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  10. I’m guilty of the same thing.. going and printing out a recipe rather than rumbling through my cookbooks. I have a gazillion cookbooks and I keep buying. I like reading recommendations for recipes that I don’t get from a cookbook.

    Your cupcakes look smashing!

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  11. Those are beautiful – you are a talented baker!

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  12. Those look so good! I am the same way about using stuff from online, but I have been much better about using my cookbooks since I started blogging.

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  13. I’ve become really bad about using my cookbooks also…and I have way more than a few! I love the idea of these cupcakes but I’m sorry they didn’t come out quite to your liking!

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  14. I feel you about not using my cookbooks! I have so many but always go to blogs and the internet. Your cupcakes are gorg! I love that first photo. Beautiful! Glad to hear that your coffee-hating Dennis liked these… I hope my coffee-hating fiancee would like them too! And look at you making up your own coffee buttercream recipe. This is what I’m talking about! So adventurous! I wish I could just whip up my own recipes but I’m a not a recipe maker, I’m a recipe copier :)

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    • I copy plenty of recipes too! I think it comes naturally after a while to start tweaking recipes to suit you, and then eventually come up with your own. It took me a long time to be able to do it successfully!

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  15. Ok, I think i am being redundant, but I just had to tell you that I made your chickpea/mock tuna salad AGAIN. I didn’t have any soy sauce so I used some Sriracha! I loved it before but it now has an extra little kick. Eating it on some lavash with a few pieces of Malabar spinach. Seriously, I think I could eat this stuff 24/7! Thank you for sharing that recipe! Everyone should book mark it! https://veronicascornucopia.com/2012/03/21/chickpea-salad-wraps-mock-tuna-salad/

    (And, btw, I really meant to say that your pictures WERE perfection!) :)

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  16. drooling! I like a moist dense cake so this would probably be up my alley. Your photos are fab and I love the streaking in the frosting! After reading your comments sounds like I need to make the chickpea salad wraps, I’m bookmarking it now!

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  17. Wow, great cupcakes…they are perfect…flavor and decoration!
    Hope you are enjoying your week Veronica :)

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  18. If I were your neighbor I would demand you bring me over cupcakes….ok maybe not demand. I would give you delicious grown vegetables and herbs in hopes you would bring me over some cupcakes :)

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  19. Pingback: Safety First « theepiccupcakeproject

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  21. YUMS! I LOVE coffee cakes!! However the topping looks a little like dog turds lol (no offense!!) Its probably just me and my dirty mind :)

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  22. Phyllis Giroud

    I found Mrs. Drummand’s recipe while staying with my aunt. I copied it from her cookbook. After I made it, I kept thinking of a way to be able to transport this cake to a family gathering. No way. So then I thought of cupcakes ! I went on the internet. Ok, so someone thought of it before I. That’s ok. Now, I’ll make these. They look great.

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  23. Phyllis Giroud

    I can’t wait to make these cupcakes. I made the cake last night and after we all had some, (so delicious), I left it on the counter . After a bit, I found that the whole top started to slide off. Geez.. “cake slide”. Nothing worse. I had to insert long wooden skewers into it to hold it together. It was worth it, but if you want to take it to parties…. you need to make the cupcakes. Great idea Veronica.

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