Dark Chocolate Cupcakes With Kahlua Cream Cheese Frosting

36 Cupcakes
2 hr 30 min

I am often experimenting in the kitchen. Two of my favorite things to do are 1). trying to make chocolate baked goods MORE richly chocolate and 2). experimenting with variations on cream cheese frosting (because, honestly, cream cheese frosting makes the world a better place).


One of the ways in which you can intensify chocolate flavor is by adding coffee to a recipe - but be forewarned - since baking is chemistry, the addition of coffee absolutely shifts the final product! I've had brownies change from fudge-y to cake-y or become too gooey...so be aware that the where, the when, and the how of adding coffee to a recipe matters! If you are going to try adding coffee into your favorite chocolate baked goods recipes, I'd recommend espresso powder or instant coffee granules as the easiest add-ins...and if the chemistry of the recipe changes, try adding your coffee in at a different moment of the creative process! Happy mixing!


These light and fluffy and intensely chocolate cupcakes topped with spiked, creamy Kahlua cream cheese frosting are one of my favorite creations! Hope you enjoy.


  • 2 ounces of white chocolate (melted)
  • 8 ounces of full-fat cream cheese (softened)
  • ½ cup salted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Kahlua

*I like a LOT of frosting on my cupcakes - so I actually double this recipe for 36 cupcakes



  • Ingredients: Chocolate Cupcakes
  • 2/3 cup freshly brewed hot coffee
  • ¾ cup unsweetened Dutch cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 ¾ cups flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, room temp.
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs – room temp
  • 1 ¼ cups buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 cups semisweet choc chips
  • Ingredients: White Chocolate Kahlua Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 2 ounces of white chocolate (melted)
  • 8 ounces of full-fat cream cheese (softened)
  • ½ cup salted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Kahlua


*I like a LOT of frosting on my cupcakes – so I actually double this recipe for 36 cupcakes



  • Tools and Timing
  • Cupcake pan(s)
  • Mixing bowls (one large, one medium)
  • Small heatproof bowl
  • Whisk (small is preferable)
  • Electric beaters
  • Cooling rack
  • Spatula
  • Tongs
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Piping bags and tip
  • 2 – 2 ½ hours
  • Yield: 36 cupcakes


Background

This chocolate cupcake recipe is a combination of several recipes and my own experimentation.

My white chocolate cream cheese frosting is adapted from The Recipe Critic

Make sure to measure out 2/3 cups of coffee according to baking measurements – not your coffee maker’s measurements!

Step-by-step



  1. Set out eggs and butter at least 30 minutes prior to baking
  2. Preheat oven to 350. Line cupcake pan(s) with cupcake liners.
  3. Once eggs and butter are near room temperature, set out buttermilk and cream cheese (so they can come closer to room temperature as well).
  4. Brew your coffee. Meanwhile, measure your Dutch cocoa powder into your heatproof bowl. Once your coffee is brewed, measure out 2/3 cups (with baking cup measurements) and whisk your coffee into your cocoa powder. Continue whisking until you have a smooth, chocolatey paste – then set this aside to allow it to cool.
  5. In a medium bowl, blend dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, salt). Set aside.
  6. In large mixing bowl, cream butter. This means that you use an electric whisk to blend up the butter until it is smooth – this allows your other ingredients to incorporate better. This should take about 15 -60 seconds, depending on the room temperature.
  7. Whisk in sugar – turn mixer to medium-low to incorporate, then increase the speed to medium-high and mix until fluffy (about 2 minutes). Turn beaters off and let the mixture rest.
  8. Now, add vanilla to your chocolate/coffee paste – whisk until blended.
  9. Begin to add eggs to your sugar/butter mixture – one at a time – mix until blended after each addition.
  10. Using a spatula, pour the chocolate paste mixture into your sugar/butter/egg mixture. Whisk until incorporated.
  11. Now, starting with your dry ingredient mixture, you will alternate blending the dry ingredients and the buttermilk into your butter/sugar base. Start with 1/3 of your dry ingredients – pour them in and mix until blended. Then, pour in half of your buttermilk and mix until blended. Continue this process until all dry ingredients and buttermilk have been added. (This process goes 1/3 dry, ½ buttermilk, 1/3 dry, ½ buttermilk, 1/3 dry.)
  12. Finally, add choc chips. Blend only until the chips are incorporated.
  13. Spoon the mixture into your prepared baking cups – Fill cupcakes 2/3 way only!
  14. Bake at 350 for 8 minutes, then turn down oven and bake at 325 for 10-14 more minutes. *You can test for doneness by inserting a toothpick in the middle – if they are not done after 10 minutes, continue to bake but watch and test as you don’t want them to burn!
  15. NOTE: I always bake one tray at a time – baking multiple trays at once can impact the baking process. Once your first tray of cupcakes is done, turn the oven back up to 350 and prep your second tray of cupcakes by spooning batter into baking cups. Repeat this process for your third tray of cupcakes.
  16. Remove tray(s) from oven and set on cooling racks. Working quickly, use your tongs to remove cupcakes from pans – I place my tongs around the cupcake, and then I twist the tongs around in a circular motion to loosen the edges of the cupcake before lifting it out of the pan and onto a cooling rack.
  17. Let them cool before filling and frosting.


Allow cupcakes to cool for about 15 minutes before you begin your frosting (I use this time to wash the implements that I’ll need for making my frosting).

I’ve topped these cupcakes with a chocolate covered espresso bean – so cute!

Frosting



  1. Melt your white chocolate – I find this works best if I chop the chocolate into dime-sized pieces and microwave for 30 second increments, stirring between so as not to burn the chocolate. Set aside.
  2. In large mixing bowl, cream the butter and cream cheese.
  3. Once blended, add white chocolate.
  4. Then add your vanilla.
  5. Once vanilla is incorporated, add powdered sugar, one cup at a time. Blend between each addition.
  6. Finally, add in the Kahlua.
  7. Using a large spatula, transfer the frosting to your piping bag.
  8. After frosting, transfer to storage container and refrigerate at least 30 minutes before serving to allow the frosting to set.
  9. *Keep these refrigerated! I find they are best served directly from the fridge!


Serve and Enjoy

Check out the base recipe for these cupcakes!

Other Options

Check out my Chocolate Cupcakes with White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting!

Dark Chocolate Cupcakes With Kahlua Cream Cheese Frosting

Recipe details

  • 36  Cupcakes
  • Prep time: 1 Hours Cook time: 90 Minutes Total time: 2 hr 30 min
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Ingredients

Ingredients: Chocolate Cupcakes

  • 2/3 cup freshly brewed hot coffee
  • ¾ cup unsweetened Dutch cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 ¾ cups flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, room temp.
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs – room temp
  • 1 ¼ cups buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 cups semisweet choc chips

te Kahlua Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 2 ounces of white chocolate (melted)
  • 8 ounces of full-fat cream cheese (softened)
  • ½ cup salted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Kahlua
  • *I like a LOT of frosting on my cupcakes - so I actually double this recipe for 36 cupcakes

Jessica
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Comments

  • Colette Hagood Colette Hagood on Aug 14, 2021

    These are AMAZING!! Made them tonight and followed recipe exactly. Even found the Dutch chocolate. My husband said these are his new favorite! Can’t wait to take these to our next friends get together. Make these you won’t be sorry.

    • Jessica Jessica on Aug 14, 2021

      Yay! I’m so glad you loved them!!! I really appreciate your comment - getting feedback is the best 🙂

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