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Caramel Espresso Cupcakes

The Scran Line

Enjoy strong coffee the sweet way by baking it into cupcakes with Kahlúa-laced frosting.



  • 50 grams cocoa powder
  • 175 grams plain flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 225 grams caster sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 175 grams unsalted butter, softened
  • 175 milliliters hot water
  • 2 teaspoons instant coffee powder (alternatively you can add 1 shot of espresso to your water.)
  • 1 cup salted caramel
  • Frosting
  • 1 batch of fluffy vanilla buttercream frosting
  • 2 teaspoons Kahlua

Let's get Cooking...

  1. Preheat your oven to 180C (356F) or 160C (320F) for a fan forced oven. Line a cupcake tin with cupcake liners.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the cocoa powder, plain flour, salt, bicarb soda and sugar. Turn mixer on low speed and allow it to mix for a couple minutes to help everything combine well (alternatively you may do this by sifting the ingredients together). Add the softened butter there is no butter visible and it's well incorporated into the dry.
  3. Next, add water, instant coffee powder and eggs in a jug and whisk until well combined.
  4. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients in a slow and steady stream until no dry ingredients are visible. Scrape down the bowl and mix for another 20 seconds.
  5. Fill each paper 3/4 of the way (using an ice cream scoop to transfer the batter into the cupcake liners makes this a quick and easy process otherwise you can use two tablespoons). Bake for 20-25 min or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Allow them to cool completely on a wire cooling rack before frosting.
  6. While your cupcakes are baking and cooling prepare your buttercream frosting by adding Kahlua (or 1 teaspoon of instant coffee powder if you don't want to use alcohol) and mix until well combined.
  7. Core the center of each cupcake and fill with salted caramel sauce. Fit the end of your piping bag with a round tip and frost in a high swirl. Lightly dust with instant coffee powder and drizzle with salted caramel.