Chocolate Espresso Cupcakes

Chocolate Espresso Cupcakes with white vanilla morsels.

Cupcakes are so in now. They come all gussied up to all kinds of formal occasions like weddings, fancy parties, graduations, etc… Trendy cafés featuring gourmet cupcakes are all the rage. There are also several new TV shows featuring bakers making all kinds of delicious gourmet cupcakes. Cupcakes have made a high fashion comeback!

This recipe is so easy because it starts out by using a cake mix so here goes:

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees

1 Betty Crocker Milk Chocolate cake mix

1 cup prepared espresso coffee, cooled

¼- cup water

3 eggs

1/3- cup oil

1-12-ounce package of white vanilla morsels, divided

Prepare cake mix as directed on the box, except instead of using 1&1/4 cup water, use 1 cup prepared espresso coffee and ¼ cup water.

Set aside ½ cup white vanilla morsels. Place the remaining morsels in a food processor. Process them until they resemble course crumbs. Add them to your cake mix and blend thoroughly. This step is important because otherwise the morsels will be too heavy and sink to the bottom of the cupcake during baking.

Place cupcake papers into 2 -12 cup muffin tins. Fill the cups about ½ full of cupcake batter. Bake for about 21-23 minuets or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean and cakes spring back lightly when touched. Let the cupcakes cool for a few minuets and then remove them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Once cupcakes have completely cooled, prepare icing.

Place 2 cups of confectioners sugar in a bowl. Add about ¼ cup softened butter, 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder, 1&1/2 teaspoon of vanilla. Use prepared espresso coffee for the liquid. Add enough coffee to give the icing the desired consistency, about 3 tablespoons. Beat with an electric mixer until smooth and fluffy. Frost cupcakes.

To garnish cupcakes, place the remaining ½ cup white morsels and 1&1/2 teaspoon shortening in a zip-lock bag. Boil about 4 cups of water and pour it in a bowl; place the zip lock bag in the hot water until contents are softened. Knead the bag of morsels/shortening until smooth. I also like to squirt a little white Magic Shell in the bag to make the mix a little thinner. Continue to knead this mixture until you have the desired consistency. Cut a tiny hole in one corner of the zip-lock bag and squeeze a swirly design on top of the cupcakes.

*Note: Whenever I prepare espresso coffee, I always sweeten it with sugar. I use 3 heaping teaspoons sugar for a 4-demitasse cup pot of coffee. It’s this sweetened espresso coffee that I use in my recipes. That way I can enjoy drinking a little espresso coffee while I’m making my cupcakes! If you do not own an espresso coffee pot you can use instant espresso coffee prepared as directed for this recipe.

I like these cupcakes because I think that they are kind of fancy. Anything with espresso coffee in it automatically makes it more fancy. Yup, these cupcakes definitely belong in the, “fancy category.” Give them a try. I think that your family, friends, and guests will not only be impressed with your cupcakes, but be impressed with you as well!

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