Thursday, September 15, 2011

Vanilla Latte Cupcakes

Without a doubt, my biggest pregnancy craving has been iced vanilla lattes.  I could probably drink 2-3 a day, though I limit myself to one (decaf) a few times a week.  And then I started making my own, and it was all over.  So one afternoon I had a hankering to make cupcakes, and it seemed like an obvious choice to recreate my favorite drink as a dessert.

The cake portion of the cupcake was so good that I ate two naked ones.  And I'm totally a frosting girl, so that just goes to show you how delicious it was!  And then the icing... oh the icing.  I debated between doing a buttercream and a flavored whipped cream, and I ended up going with a vanilla bean and coffee flavored Swiss Meringue Buttercream.  One of the things I love the most about Swiss meringue is that despite the crazy amount of butter in it, it always tastes so light.  American buttercream can be cloyingly sweet, and can overpower the other flavors.  But Swiss Meringue is a great base frosting that allows your flavors to shine.

Joey called these "breakfast cupcakes" because he said they tasted like morning.  I just called them my favorite cupcakes ever.

Vanilla Latte Cupcakes
adapted from Cook Like a Champion, originally from  Cupcake Bakeshop

makes about 18 cupcakes

Coffee Cupcakes
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbs dark roast coffee grounds
  • 1/2 cup strong brewed coffee
  • 1/4 cup milk or buttermilk
  • 2 Tbs Coffee Liqueur or milk if non alcoholic
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line cupcake pans with liners.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter at medium speed for about 30 seconds.  Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.

Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and coffee grounds.  In a liquid measuring cup, combine the brewed coffee, milk, and liqueur.

Starting and ending with the flour, in a few additions alternately add the flour and milk mixture to the mixer, mixing on low speed until just incorporated.

Divide the batter between 18 cupcake liners, filling each cup about 2/3 to 3/4 full. 

Bake 18-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.

Vanilla Espresso Swiss Meringue Buttercream
adapted from Sweetapolita

  • 3 large egg whites
  • 1/2 cup  granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup1  (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened but cool, cut into cubes
  • 1/2 teaspoon  pure vanilla extract
  • 1 vanilla bean, split & scraped OR 1 tablespoon  vanilla bean paste
  • 1 tablespoon instant espresso powder (or to taste) dissolved into 2 teaspoons boiling water
  • Pinch of salt
 Combine the egg whites and sugar in the clean, dry bowl of a stand mixer.  Place over a pot of simmering water, and heat, whisking constantly, until the sugar dissolves and the mixture reaches 160 degrees.

Attach the bowl to the mixer (fitted with the whisk attachment).  Starting at low speed and gradually increasing to medium-high, beat the mixture until the bottom of the bowl cools to room temperature and the egg whites are thick and glossy and form soft peaks.

While mixing, add the butter, a few tablespoons at a time, until it has all been incorporated.  Continue mixing until the frosting comes together.  Switch to the paddle attachment and over medium speed, add in the vanilla extract, vanilla bean, coffee mixture, and salt.  Beat until well combined and taste and adjust flavorings as necessary.

Frost cupcakes as desired

*Note - this frosting recipe makes just  enough to frost the 18 cupcakes as shown, so if you like to pile it on, I would make 1.5 times the recipe.


Karla said...

Oh, man....THESE cupcakes will be my undoing. I have been a vanilla latte girl ever since high school and never change it up no matter what the name of the coffeeshop is....

Can't wait to make these....and I'm still debating whether or not I will share them with my family.... :)

Rachel said...

These look and sound amazing! I am making these soon. :)

Nikki said...

Josie! I loved you before, but I love you even more now! Iced Vanilla Lattes are my drinks, as well. And, in cupcake form? OH my!!

Michelle said...

These sound incredible. Coffee makes [almost] everything better!

Made in Sonoma said...

mm I could go for one of these right now!

notyet100 said...

Such cute cupcakes :)

Lindsay @ Pinch of Yum said...

Seriously - SO pretty. And I love the idea of a light latte vanilla flavor!

Anonymous said...

Yum! These are a dream come true for me.

Laura said...

Oh, yes please! Heaven!

Kelsey said...

Love this idea, Josie. Thank you for sharing. It won't be long now before you're holding a baby in one hand (okay, arm would probably be safer) and one of these great cupcakes in the other!

Annie said...

I am SO making these.

Sashquatch said...

I may not be pregnant but my goodness im craving these! GORGEOUS recipe!

Krissy said...

Beautiful pictures, they look amazing!

myfudo said...

Frosting looks good and nicely done and the flavor seems okay for my daily latte in the morning.

Anonymous said...


You have got me wanting to try some of these beautiful cupcakes!

Pam said...

Interesting notion to turn your coffee drink into cupcakes. Wonderful idea. They're probably just as addictive as the drinks if they taste as good as I think they do.

Michelle Eging said...

Wow, these look amazing.

Marjorie said...

OMG this meringue buttercream looks amazing!!! I will totally try these! Beautiful picture!

Leianea said...

Just finished making these and I have to say: I am never making an american buttercream again. This frosting is absolutely divine!

Michele said...

may i ask if the temperature is in F or C?

Josie said...

Michele, it is F.

Anonymous said...

Can you use freshly brewed espresso in the frosting instead of instant espresso in the buttercream?

Josie said...

sure! I just don't have an espresso machine, so instant it is for me. Any espresso or strongly-brewed coffee will be fine though.

Miss Abi said...

Oh man! These are amazing! Im a nurse and made these for the girls at work to 'boost' our energy and now i have orders from some drs! I only did vanilla frosting as put an extra shot of coffee i the cupcake! Thanks so much!!

Josie said...

So glad you liked them, Abi! Glad they were a hit!

Linda W. said...

Thank you for sharing your recipe. I made them last night just because. The batter was so delicious but after baked it was lacking in flavor. I was surprised that Vanilla was not called for in the cake part. I used a K-Cup of Extra Bold Coffee for the coffee grounds. It should also be noted NOT to substitute carton "egg whites" for the real thing in the frosting. Opps! I remade the frosting with the real thing and at the end of mixing I added 2 tablespoons of powdered sugar as it seemed really runny. It came together nice and very smooth. The frosting melts in the mouth. Thank you again for sharing a good recipe.

Dan and Selena said...

So, I just made these and wanted to healthily these for my family. So I swapped out the AP flour with whole wheat pastry flour and the sugar for evaporated cane juice.

These tasted like pancakes soaked in maple syrup and with the Swiss meringue, it tasted like pancakes and coffee.....such an amazing combo! Loved it.

Anonymous said...

i'm so glad i found this recipe!! i am allergic to gluten so i used a cup for cup GF flour replacement. the only difference was that it took longer to bake. it was sooo delicious! everyone loved it!! next time i'll do decaf coffee because they're so yummy!

Post a Comment