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

Make Ahead: Undecorated cupcakes, if tightly wrapped, can be kept in the freezer for two-three months.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings 24 cupcakes


  • 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
  • 3/4 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.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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