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Letter J: Java Cupcakes with Coffee Glaze

Why can’t any of my cupcakes just go smoothly anymore? Well, I’ll get back to that later. So, I actually really like these cupcakes because unlike many other recipes that I’ve done, these have a glaze instead of frosting! They kind of remind me of the french toast/cinnamon sugar muffins at Caribou Coffee (yum!), but sweeter (…obviously). Although, actually, now that I think about it, these cupcakes really probably don’t have that much more sugar than the muffins! Alright let’s just get on to the pictures, recipes, etc. and then I’ll tell you how I somewhat royally screwed up with this recipe… Sounds like fun!

Original recipe from:

Java Cupcakes with a Coffee glaze

Makes: 30

1 cup hot brewed coffee

3 tablespoons instant espresso or coffee powder (preferably instant espresso)

3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for the pan

2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes, plus more for the pan

2 cups superfine sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 large eggs, at room temperature, separated

Preheat the oven to 350°F (176°C) and position a rack in the center of the oven. Prepare cupcake pan with liners.

Combine the brewed coffee and espresso powder in a glass measuring cup and let cool.

Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a bowl. Beat the butter in the bowl of a heavy-duty stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on high speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Gradually beat in the sugar, then add the vanilla and beat, scraping the sides of the bowl occasionally, until the mixture is very light in color and texture, about 4 minutes. Beat in the yolks, 1 at a time.

Reduce the mixer speed to low. Add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with the cooled coffee in two additions, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Beat until smooth after each addition.

Beat the egg whites in a bowl with a handheld electric mixer on high speed or a balloon whisk until soft peaks form. Using a spatula, stir about 1/4 of the egg whites into the batter, then gently fold in the remaining whites. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan. Smooth the top with the spatula.

Bake until the top of the cupcakes spring back when gently pressed with your finger and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 13 to 16 minutes.

Cool the cupcakes in the pan for 10 minutes. Remove and place on a wire rack set over a baking sheet. Cool completely.

Coffee Glaze

2 tablespoons hot brewed coffee

1/2 teaspoon instant espresso or coffee powder (preferably instant espresso)

1 tablespoon whole milk

2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted

Mix the brewed coffee and espresso powder in a small saucepan until the espresso powder is dissolved. Stir in the milk. Add the confectioners’ sugar and whisk until smooth. Place over low heat and heat, whisking constantly, until the glaze is warm to the touch and thins slightly. Use immediately, or else the glaze will thicken and will be too hard to pour (even if remelted).

I like coffee, I really do. I love coffee flavored ice cream, and I walk up to Caribou Coffee all the time. That being said, I’ve never actually made it for myself at home. So when the recipe called for one cup of coffee, I tried brewing it, but I didn’t exactly realize you needed fresh ground beans every time… My dad had brewed some for himself that morning and the used ground coffee was still in the filter thing, so  I just added water to the machine and turned it on. The, I don’t know, diluted coffee looked just as dark and normal as any other time my dad had made it, so I figured that’s all you had to do to make it. Hah. The thing is, though, the cupcakes still tasted java-y, so even though they might have been a little weaker-flavored than usual, they were good! I have yet to try them while using real coffee, but I’m sure they’ll be even better with the actual recipe! As always, let me know how they are (especially if you manage to do them right!), and I’ll write again soon!

Until then,


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