Rich malted chocolate cupcakes topped with kahlua buttercream and a boozy chocolate ganache. These kahlua cupcakes are great for parties and coffee lovers!
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taste and texture
These cupcakes are super soft and moist with an impossibly rich chocolate flavor. The malted milk adds a slight malt flavor and the brewed coffee enhances the chocolate taste.
The kahlua buttercream is super sweet and fluffy with a boozy coffee flavor – don’t worry, it’s not enough to get you drunk! And the chocolate ganache also has a little bit of kahlua added for flavor. All of it comes together for uniquely boozy, coffee chocolate cupcakes.
tools used in this recipe
In my opinion, when it comes to baking prep work is just as important – if not more – than baking itself. You’ll need to set yourself up with the proper tools to get the most out of this recipe. If you have a stand mixer, that’s awesome. If not, a hand mixer will work just fine. Obtain either one before attempting a buttercream – it will save your arms from falling off.
Definitely use cupcake liners (I imagine this goes without saying). This cake is moist and will most definitely stick to the edges of your pan. Black and white liners look super classy, but use whatever color you’d like. I used these.
And finally, my OG kitchen tool, the condiment bottle. I use this sucker in so many different recipes. Anytime you want a controlled drizzle, use a condiment bottle. They’re really cheap, easy to clean, and good for storing homemade sauces. This is how I get nice clean drips on recipes like this one and everything from nachos to poached pears to a mint julep cake.
Oh! And in case you love fancy sprinkles as much as I do, these are the ones I used.
tips for better cupcakes
So you’ve got your tools. Now it’s time to bake. This recipe is pretty straightforward – mix the wet ingredients, then mix the dry, then mix them together. Once the cupcakes come out of the oven it’s important that they cool completely before frosting – hot cupcakes will make your buttercream melt.
It’s also important to make sure the butter in your buttercream is properly softened. Cold butter will make the frosting chunky and uneven. I suggest taking it out of the fridge 30 – 60 minutes before starting. Also avoid using any butter substitutes – real, high quality unsalted butter makes the best American buttercream.
If you’re not confident yet when it comes to frosting, watch a few videos for techniques, like this one, and practice on a piece of parchment. So long as you don’t leave the frosting exposed to the air for too long, you can always return the frosting to the bag to decorate the cupcakes. Watch how they hold the pastry bag. I use my left hand to guide the tip for decorating and my right hand to hold the bag, apply even pressure and gently squeeze the frosting towards the tip.
can i make these in advance?
The cupcakes themselves can be made ahead of time and frozen, if needed. Just wrap each of them up individually in plastic wrap after they have totally cooled and store in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months.
The buttercream can be made ahead of time too, but it’s important that it’s stored correctly. It has to be airtight. This can be done by freezing directly in an uncut pastry bag that’s been sealed with a rubber band. Or if it’s only a couple days out it can be stored in a bowl with plastic wrap pressed to the surface.
Buttercream can be stored, away from fragrant foods, in the fridge for up to one week and the freezer for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to use it, place it on the counter to come up to room temp if it was stored in the fridge. If frozen, place it in the fridge for 1-2 days, then transfer to the counter to come up to temp.
I do not recommend making the ganache in advance. You technically can, but I’ve found it’s easiest to use the same day.
You can also make and fully assemble these up to two days in advance and store them in the fridge. A crust will form on the frosting, which is normal. Let them sit at room temp 1 hour before serving.
In all, these kahlua cupcakes are super delicious and a total crowd pleaser – I sent a batch to Kevin’s coworkers and they were still talking about them a week later. I think you’ll really like them too.
Until Next time. XPrint
- 1.5 oz high quality baking chocolate, chopped
- 3/4 cup brewed coffee or espresso, hot
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed
- 1 c. All Purpose flour
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup malted milk
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 egg + 1 yolk
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 6 cups confectioner’s sugar
- 1 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1/4 cup kahlua
- 2 oz chocolate, chopped
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 tsp kahlua
- Preheat the oven to 350F and line a 24 cup muffin tin with cupcake liners.
- Place the chopped chocolate in a small bowl and pour the hot coffee over it, let sit for about 30 seconds, then slowly stir to combine. Set aside.
- In a mixing bowl combine the flour, both sugars, cocoa powder, malted milk, salt, baking soda and baking powder. Stir until fully combined.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (or using a hand mixer), beat the egg + yolk on medium-high speed until pale, about 2 minutes. Add the melted chocolate and coffee, heavy cream, oil and vanilla and beat for 30 seconds. Add the flour mixture 1 c. at a time and mix until fully combined.
- Divide the mixture among the cupcake liners, filling each no more than 2/3 to 3/4 of the way full.
- Bake for 17-22 minutes. Let the cupcakes cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then remove them to a wire rack to cool completely.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and kahlua. Add the confectioner’s sugar 1 cup at a time and mix on low until combined. Once combined, turn the speed up to medium-high and continue beating for 3-4 minutes, until the frosting is smooth and fluffy. If it appears too stiff and dry, add kahlua 1 TB at a time until reaching your desired consistency.
- Place the chopped chocolate in a small bowl. In a small saucepan, heat the heavy cream and kahlua until it begins to steam. Pour it over the chopped chocolate and wait 1 minute, then stir gently to combine.
- Fill your piping bag fitted with a 2A tip with the buttercream and pipe one dollop in the center of the cupcake, then pipe a swirl around it while keeping even pressure on the bag. Pull straight up and away once you get to the top. Repeat for each cupcake.
- To drizzle the ganache, use a small spoon to pour a teaspoon or two on top, or use my favorite method – the condiment bottle. Top with sprinkles as desired.
- Store refrigerated and let sit at room temperature 1 hour before serving.
- stand or hand mixer
- medium and large mixing bowl
- 24 cup muffin tin (or 2 12 cups)
- cupcake liners
- piping bag + 2A tip
See post for product recommendations, links to the sprinkles and cupcake liners I used, and in-depth tips for making this recipe.
- Prep Time: 25 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Oven
- Cuisine: American
- Diet: Vegetarian
Keywords: kahlua cupcakes, mudslide cupcakes, malted chocolate cupcakes