playing with flour

Category: Coffee

Espresso Mud Cupcakes


There is nothing wrong with super sweet cakes and cookies but sometimes you need a grown up dessert. Something rich and sexy to share with a loved one or hide away and eat for a few secret minutes of self indulgence. These cupcakes fit that description perfectly.

Full of dark sinful flavours of chocolate and espresso, instead of being overly sweet they have a slight bitterness to them that may not sound appealing but is actually delicious. These are an adults only treat with Kahlua and coffee, so wouldn’t recommend giving these to children!

Initially I had planned to pair these cupcakes with a peanut butter or Nutella frosting but upon doing so found they lost some of their complexity and sexiness (don’t worry I taste tested thoroughly for you to make sure). All they need to be perfect is a light dusting of icing sugar.

I would recommend making these in small sized cupcake liners as they are seriously rich, and be sure not to overcook them to ensure a moist cake. If you wanted to convert into one large cake I would recommend doubling the recipe.

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Espresso Mud Cupcakes

125g unsalted butter
100g quality dark chocolate
½ cup hot water
2 tbsp espresso powder
50ml Kahlua
1 cup brown sugar
150g plain flour
½ tsp baking powder
1 tbsp cocoa
1 egg

Preheat your oven to 160° and prepare your cupcake liners. In a medium saucepan combine the chocolate, butter, water, Kahlua and espresso. Melt over medium heat, stirring until combined. Stir in the brown sugar and allow to cool for a few minutes.

Sift in the flour, cocoa and baking powder and stir through. Add the egg and ensure the mixture is thoroughly combined. I would recommend pouring into a jug with a pouring lip before filling your cupcake liners to save on mess. Fill to 2/3 full and bake for 15-20 minutes or until just cooked through. Allow to cool before dusting with icing sugar.

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Walnut Streusel Mini Cakes

So I owe you all an apology, I had not intended for there to be such a long break between posts. After travelling to Tasmania for my last university placement I had planned to come home and get back to life. Instead, I took a spur of the moment trip to Malta to experience the country my mother’s family is from. For the last week I have been off exploring ancient cities and ruins and meeting relatives I did not know I had. It has been absolutely fantastic and the best part is that I’m not even half way through.

Before I left, in the few days I had at home, I did spend some time in the kitchen and one of the things I made (to give as a thank you present to my wonderful neighbours who looked after my cat while I was away) were these walnut streusel mini cakes. A fragrant and moist coffee cake topped with sweet and crunchy walnut streusel and drizzled with an espresso glaze, these cakes are delicious. They smell fantastic while baking and are the perfect size for afternoon tea. You could make them in a larger loaf pan or even as cupcakes if you prefer, just adjust the cooking time accordingly.

I have a couple of other recipes up my sleeve to share with you while I am away and I promise not to wait as long before the next post! That is, unless I get caught up getting happily lost on this incredible island…

Walnut Streusel Mini Cakes

1 tbsp instant coffee
130g unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
220g caster sugar
2 eggs
2/3 cup buttermilk
180g plain flour
40g self raising flour
¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda

Preheat your oven to 160° and prepare your mini loaf pans. Dissolve the instant coffee in ¼ boiling water and allow to cool. Sift flours and bicarbonate of soda into a small bowl.

Cream butter and sugar in a large bowl, add eggs one at a time until mixed. Stir in vanilla and buttermilk, alternating with flour mixture until combined, do not over mix. Fold in the coffee. Pour into prepared pans and top with streusel.

Walnut Streusel

60g raw sugar
60g brown sugar
130g unsalted butter, chopped
100g self raising flour
1 cup walnuts, chopped

Rub butter into flour with fingertips, then add sugars and walnuts. Stir to combine. Spread over mini cakes before baking. Bake for 20 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out cleanly.

Drizzle cooled cakes with espresso syrup. To make, combine 1 tsp instant espresso with 2 tbsp icing sugar and a few drops of water.

Cappuccino Cupcakes

I absolutely love the smell of coffee but I just don’t enjoy the taste. I could spend all day in a coffee shop but put a cup in front of me I wouldn’t drink it. Baked into something sweet and delicious however, that’s another story. These cupcakes are wonderful. As you bite into them you experience an amazing aroma that pairs perfectly with the sour cream frosting. They’re light but satisfying and have a great crumbly texture.

I was lucky enough to be invited around to a neighbours house for dinner the other night and these were a really quick recipe to bake and bring along for dessert. You can alter the quantities of espresso powder and vanilla to taste but the flavour is quite strong already. The frosting is delicious and creamy and one I will use in the future as it makes a good alternative to buttercream.

I’m not sure what it is about coffee that I don’t enjoy. Possibly the bitterness, but even mild brews don’t get me excited. I think I’m going to have to continue baking coffee flavoured treats to build up my enjoyment so that next year when I’m working ridiculous hours I’ll be able to drink it to keep me going!

For anyone wondering, I got these cupcake moulds from my sister who found them in a market in Melbourne. You can buy them in cake shops and homewares shops too. They’re made of silicon and can be baked in and are just super cute and fun to use!

Cappuccino Cupcakes

125g self raising flour
125g unsalted butter, at room temperature
125g caster sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp instant espresso powder
2 tbsp milk

Preheat the oven to 180° and prepare your baking cases.

Cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl then beat in the eggs one at a time. Add the vanilla, baking powder and espresso powder and mix well. Add the flour in batches until all combined. Stir through the milk.

Pour the mixture into prepared baking cases and bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden and a skewer inserted comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before frosting.

Sour Cream Frosting

170g white chocolate
60g unsalted butter
120g sour cream
300g icing sugar
½ tsp cocoa powder

Melt the butter and chocolate in a large bowl over a pan of simmering water. Allow to cool slightly before adding the sour cream and stirring through. Gradually add the icing sugar and beat well until the frosting is smooth. Sift in the cocoa powder and beat to combine.

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