Chocolate and Coffee Cupcakes with Coconut Frosting

A couple of months ago, I asked Julie of The Little Kitchen for recipes involving coffee and she responded with a very enthusiastic, “YOU MUST MAKE THESE CUPCAKES!”  As if her insistence wasn’t enough to convince me, her recipe was titled, “Best Homemade Chocolate Cake Ever!

The cake is made with brewed coffee, something I’ve never tried before. Since I’ve been in kitchen limbo the past few weeks due to the move, I asked Joanne and Adam to help out and try out the recipe.  Not only did they love it, but they also made a version that uses cake mix to make it simpler. Enjoy! ~Jaden


For the recipe, you will need one box of chocolate cake mix, such as Devil’s Food, as well as any ingredients called for on the box, these will usually be eggs, oil or butter and water. Replace one cup of the water called for by the cake mix with strong coffee. The coffee gives a nice boost, resulting in a more chocolate-flavored cake rather than a coffee-flavored cake.

Bake the cake according to the package directions and allow to cool. Once the cake has cooled, you can toast the coconut and make the cream cheese frosting.

Toast the coconut just as you would nuts. You can do this in a saute pan over low heat or in the oven. To toast in the oven, preheat to 350 degrees F, evenly spread the coconut flakes onto a baking sheet then bake for 2 minutes, toss and bake another two minutes, repeat this process until the coconut is lightly toasted. When toasting, stay close to the oven, coconut can go from lightly toasted to burnt quickly.

For the frosting you will need cream cheese, butter, confectioners or powdered sugar, vanilla extract and coconut extract. If you have a fine mesh sieve on hand, sift the sugar to remove any lumps. Use a stand or hand mixer to beat the cream cheese, butter and extracts at a medium-high speed for one-to-two minutes or until everything is nice and creamy. (Make sure you are working with room temperature cream cheese and butter for this).

Next, reduce the speed of your mixer and slowly add in the sugar until incorporated. Decorate the cupcakes with frosting and a sprinkle or two of the toasted coconut.


Chocolate Coffee Cupcakes with Coconut Frosting

Servings: Yields 24 cupcakes Prep Time: 20 minutes Cook Time: 30 minutes

Make Ahead: Undecorated cupcakes, if tightly wrapped, can be kept in the freezer for two-three months.


1 box Devil’s Food cake mix + ingredients needed to make the cake according to package instructions
1 cup strong coffee, cooled
1 pound (two 8-ounce packages) cream cheese at room temperature
3/4 pound (3 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon coconut extract
1 1/2 pounds powdered sugar, sifted
¾ cup shredded coconut


Before mixing cake batter, replace one cup of the water called for in the cake mix instructions with the coffee.

Mix the cake batter according to package instructions. Pour batter into a cupcake pan and bake as directed; allow to cool.

Toast the coconut in the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spread the coconut onto a baking sheet, bake in the oven for 2 minutes, check and toss the coconut then bake another 2 minutes or until all the coconut is slightly toasted.

To make the frosting, use a stand or hand mixer to cream together the cream cheese, butter, vanilla and coconut extracts. For this, medium-low speed is best; beat for about 2 minutes.

Slowly add the powdered sugar while the mixer is on low and mix until smooth.

Frost the cupcakes and sprinkle with the toasted coconut.

More tasty looking coffee cupcake recipes

The Little Kitchen – The Best Homemade Chocolate Cake Ever

Cupcake Project – Coffee Cupcakes: The Magic of Meringue

Cupcake Bakeshop – Doughnuts and Coffee Cupcakes

MunatyCooking – Coffee Cupcakes


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Comments 27

  1. Kim Beaulieu

    These look delicious. The downside for me is I do not like coffee. I know it`s odd, but not a fan. I wonder if there`s something else I could use. As always you`ve made me hungry.

    1. kissme

      The recipe says the added coffee serves to boost the chocolate flavor rather than change the flavor to one of coffee. I don’t drink coffee either, but I am going to take a leap of faith and try this recipe. I just wonder if I can substitute some strongly prepared instant coffee for brewed coffee.

  2. Jessica @ Sushi and Sit-Ups

    Looks delicious! I’ve always wanted to try adding coffee to a chocolate recipe as I’ve heard it really amplifies the chocolate flavor. Plus, then I have a nice something to sip on while baking 🙂

  3. Amy

    Very delicious chocolate coffee cake.. looks mouth watering.. Yeah.. Next month , i will make on upcoming birth day….

  4. love cooking

    Not baking often, because it’s always turn out not well. This cake seem a bit difficult for me too. But it seem so delicious. Must try it. 🙂

  5. Kim in MD

    YUM! I really shouldn’t visit your blog this early in the morning…now I want these for breakfast! They DO contain coffee and cream (as in cream cheese!), so it wouldn’t be totally wrong to eat one for breakfast! 🙂

  6. [email protected] Free Nutrtional Calculator

    I like the coconut frosting looks so creamy.

  7. [email protected]

    Hey Jaden, Coffee and chocolate were meant-to-be. Add the coconut and I don’t know if I can contain myself! 😉

  8. kate blue

    I’m not much of a chocolate person (gasp!) but I do LOVE coconut and coffee so I am tempted…my aunt used to make cookies and add coffee so it must be a good thing cause they were yummy!

  9. Lenore

    Yum! I love adding coffee to chocolate recipes…somehow it just brings out the chocolate-y-ness so much more 🙂 Adding coconut is a genius idea, too, and the photos look SO yummy.

  10. Jonha | FriendsEat

    I’m such a chocolate lover but I guess adding coffee would make it even more yummy! I gotta agree with Lenore, the coconut is indeed a genius addition. Looks like something the foodies in our community would love to see and do for themselves! 🙂

  11. Hanna Köln

    wow. I think i will try this recipe tomorrow. Got an asian touch, but isn’t really asian.. perhaps i will put some pistachios on top of the cupcake.

  12. Pingback: Chocolate Cupcakes with Coconut « Feeding Philosophers

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  14. kale

    Made these tonight and they turned out perfect! I even used a cake mix (Betty Crocker) which I’ve never tried and they came out light and fluffy! The coffee, as you said, really brought out the chocolate flavor. Thank you!

  15. Leila

    I would like to thank you for the efforts you’ve put in writing this blog. I am hoping to view the same high-grade blog posts from you later on as well. In truth, your creative writing abilities has motivated me to get my own blog now 😉

  16. brittany

    Made them but also replaced the regular vegetable oil with coconut oil… delicious!!!

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