Cream Filled Espresso Cupcakes

Are you anything like me? Do you need a huge cup of coffee (AKA caffiene) every morning? Do you get anxiety of a major form if said coffee is not accessible? I know I do. It's not so much that I need it to function, although a healthy dose of caffeine never hurt when it came to getting things done with a smile; it's more that a cup of coffee with cream and sugar is a cherished morning ritual for me. It is comforting and tasty, and I look forward to my daily caffeine dose. I can live without it, but I'd like to chose not to. Everyone needs their guilty pleasures... At least I'm not freebasing anymore. That would be very bad. (NOT)

These cupcakes are a little departure from the norm. I've never been a big fan of coffee flavored anything. It just never appealed to me. I need a healthy dose of cream for that edible factor. Otherwise, it is sorely lacking for me. Which is exactly why I chose to fill these little cupcakes with freshly whipped cream. As if the frosting wasn't enough, this really drives home the coffee and cream combo. These cupcakes have a light and tender crumb. They almost melt in your mouth. They are super espresso flavored. I wouldn't recommend anyone eating these for breakfast, but they would pair perfectly with coffee after a nice dinner. Yum!!

Mocha Cupcakes

1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup dark cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup cooled strong coffee
1 tsp espresso powder
1/2 cup or 1 stick of salted butter at room temp
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar packed
1 large egg room temp
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12 cup muffin tin with cupcake papers.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, and baking soda in a medium bowl and set aside.

Stir the espresso powder into the coffee until dissolved, combine with milk and set aside.

Cream butter and sugars together in an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add the egg and mix until fully combined. Add the vanilla and mix again. Set the mixer speed to low and add the flour mixture and coffee mixture, alternating, starting and ending with the flour mixture. Mix until just combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Mix on medium for about 20-30 seconds more.

Fill cupcake liners 2/3 of the way full. Bake for 15-20 min or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean or the top springs back lightly when touched. Cool in pan for 10 minutes and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before filling and frosting.

Taken from Martha Stewart

Whipped Cream Filling
heavy whipping cream, about 1 cup or more
powdered sugar, about 2 tbl depending on how sweet you like it

Using a handheld mixer beat ingredients, starting on low speed and progressing to high, until stiff peaks form. Be careful nor to overbeat.

To fill cupcakes: cut a small cone-shaped piece from the middle of each cupcake, being careful to only cut down into the cake 2/3-1/2 of the way. Slice the bottom of the cone off and set aside for eating later. This should leave you with 12 cupcakes tops. Spoon a small amount of the whipped cream into the cone-shaped well of the cupcake. Place top on cupcake. Voila!

Espresso Buttercream

1 stick salted butter at room temp
4 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp instant espresso powder
2 tbl milk or half and half

Beat all ingredients except milk in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat at medium-high speed until fluffy. Add milk teaspoon by teaspoon until desired consistency. Frost cupcakes, sprinkle with instant espresso powder, and top with a chocolate covered coffee bean (or regular coffee bean, just don't eat it!).

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