Mocha Nutella Cupcakes

Soft, fluffy, and moist mocha nutella cupcakes! This frosting is unreal. So good! Recipe on

I figure we have a lot in common, you and I. And this means you’ve got a bookshelf… or FIVE… full of cookbooks. You may even have it alphabetically organized or arranged by color. You can clean out your closet like a champ, but would never even dream about going through your cookbook collection. (Gasp!) Your husband/loved one/concerned family member may ask if it’s really necessary you add “just one more” to your Amazon cart and the answer is always: Yes. Duh.

Seriously why do they even ask???

Also adding to your cart: this major cute eat cake for breakfast mug. 

Soft, fluffy, and moist mocha nutella cupcakes! This frosting is unreal. So good! Recipe on

Truth is, we can never have too many cookbooks to sift through for inspiration. While regular people read novels on the beach, we read chewy gooey crispy crunchy.  Get that one! And great news I’ve got another cookbook for you to check out this fall.

Simply Beautiful Homemade Cakes. This is the most beautiful cookbook I own from the pastel pinks and blues to the magically towering cakes, stunning food styling, and endlessly tested recipes by Lindsay Conchar herself. Lindsay is the blogger over at Life, Love, and Sugar. If you ever need an inspiring (not to mention delicious) cake or cupcake idea– she’s your gal. Her cookbook was released yesterday and I had the pleasure of receiving an early copy. I giddily turned each page, my stomach grumbling louder and louder, and finally decided on a flavor combination that was too epic to pass up.

Simply Beautiful Homemade Cakes by Lindsay Conchar


I feel like Lindsay was channeling us directly with this recipe.

Coffee? Good.

Nutella? Good.

Together? Goooooooood.

How to make mocha nutella cupcakes on

I’ve personally never made a coffee flavored cupcake before. Have you? I was especially thrilled because I had all of the items on hand. Nothing too tricky here as far as ingredients go: butter, sugar, flour, eggs, milk, the usual gang. Lindsay uses only egg whites in a lot of her cupcake recipes, something I’ve picked up on in the past few years. They create a super fluffy cupcake while egg yolks typically weigh things down. You’ll need 3 egg whites for today’s recipe. One ingredient you may not have on hand, but is worth a trip to the store: instant espresso.

Instant espresso is what gives these coffee cupcakes their spot-on flavor; it’s typically in the coffee aisle of major grocery stores. Instant coffee– a dark roast– could be used, but keep in mind that it tends to taste a little sour. Instant espresso powder is your best bet and you can add a teaspoon or two to any batch of brownies, chocolate cake batter, or cupcake batter to intensify the chocolate flavor. I’ve bought it off Amazon before and will give you a few more online options at the bottom of this post.

You’ll mix the instant espresso powder with a little hot water to make an ultra concentrated liquid, which will go directly into the batter. And the batter is a beautiful coffee color (pictured above!). The aroma will remind you of your favorite cafe and bakery. Definitely taste test-worthy. You won’t regret it.


Lindsay’s nutella frosting looked incredible, but I used the last of my shortening in about 17 pie crusts I prepped for November. (Just you wait!!!) So I simply used butter instead. This stuff is unbelievably creamy and while you may have resisted tasting the cupcake batter, you’ll have zero self control up in this business:

Creamy nutella frosting on

Just give me a spoon!

A garnish isn’t even necessary since there is so much flavor in both the coffee cupcakes and nutella frosting, but you know the drill: always sprinkles.

A raspberry for color and we’re all set.

Soft, fluffy, and moist mocha nutella cupcakes! This frosting is unreal. So good! Recipe on

I’m a fan of this frosting to cupcake ratio. 

I’m also unbelievably excited to find a cupcake that is the perfect combination of fluffy + soft + moist + flavorful. Typically you sacrifice here and there, but these mocha nutella cupcakes are completely spot-on. And so is the rest of Lindsay’s book!


Mocha Nutella Cupcakes

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours
  • Yield: 12-14 cupakes
  • Category: Cupcakes
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


These easy mocha Nutella cupcakes have it all! They’re moist and fluffy topped with creamy Nutella frosting.


  • 1 and 1/4 cups (160g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 Tablespoons (84g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3/4 cup (150g) granulated sugar
  • 3 large egg whites, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 6 Tablespoons (85g) full-fat sour cream, room temperature
  • 3 Tablespoons (15g) instant espresso coffee powder
  • 2 Tablespoons (30ml) hot water
  • 6 Tablespoons (90ml) whole milk, room temperature

Nutella Frosting

  • 1 cup (230g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 4 cups (460g) confectioners’ sugar
  • 3/4 cup (225g) Nutella
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) heavy cream or whole milk
  • pinch salt
  • optional: chocolate sprinkles and raspberries


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Line a 12-cup muffin pan with cupcake liners. Line a second pan with 2 liners – this recipe makes about 14 cupcakes. Set aside.
  2. Make the cupcakes: Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together. Set aside.
  3. Using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on high speed until smooth and creamy – about 1 minute. Add the granulated sugar and beat on high speed for 2 minutes until creamed together. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Add the egg whites and vanilla extract. Beat on high speed until combined, then beat in the sour cream. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl as needed so everything is incorporated.
  4. Stir the espresso powder and hot water together until smooth, then stir this into the milk. Set aside for a second.
  5. With the mixer running on low speed, add the dry ingredients until just incorporated. With the mixer still running on low, slowly pour in the espresso/milk mixture until combined. Do not overmix. You may need to whisk it all by hand to make sure there are no lumps at the bottom of the bowl. The batter will be on the thin side.
  6. Pour/spoon the batter into the liners – fill only halfway with batter to avoid spilling over the sides. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before frosting.
  7. Make the frosting: In a large bowl using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a whisk or paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until smooth, about 2 minutes. On medium speed, beat in 2 cups of confectioners’ sugar. Add the nutella, then increase to high speed and beat until combined. Add the remaining confectioners’ sugar, cream, and a pinch of salt. Beat for 3 minutes until combined and creamy. Taste. Add an extra pinch of salt if needed.
  8. Frost and decorate cooled cupcakes. I used a Wilton 1M tip for these photos. (Another favorite is this Wilton #12 round tip.)


  1. Make Ahead Instructions: Cupcakes can be made ahead 1 day in advance, covered, and stored at room temperature. Frosting can also be made 1 day in advance, covered, and stored in the refrigerator until ready to use. Leftover cupcakes keep well covered tightly in the refrigerator for 3 days. Frosted or unfrosted cupcakes can be frozen up to 2-3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
  2. Room Temperature Ingredients: It really makes a difference!
  3. Special Tools: KitchenAid Hand Mixer | KitchenAid Stand Mixer (aqua sky, my favorite!) | 5-qt Tilt Head Glass Measuring Bowl | Flex Edge BeaterMedaglia D’Oro Instant Espresso Coffee | King Arthur Flour Espresso PowderNescafe Espresso Instant Coffee | 1M Swirl Frosting Tip | Piping Bag | Cupcake Liners | Cupcake PanEat Cake for Breakfast Mug
  4. Excerpted from Simply Beautiful Homemade Cakes: Extraordinary Recipes and Easy Decorating Techniques by Lindsay Conchar. Copyright © 2016. Reprinted with permission from Page Street Publishing Co. All rights reserved.

Keywords: mocha cupcakes, mocha nutella cupcakes

Soft, fluffy, and moist mocha nutella cupcakes! This frosting is unreal. So good! Recipe on

Soft, fluffy, and moist mocha nutella cupcakes with nutella frosting from Simply Beautiful Homemade Cakes! Recipe on
Soft, fluffy, and moist mocha nutella cupcakes with nutella frosting from Simply Beautiful Homemade Cakes! Recipe on


  1. Love the look of the cupcakes, and the recipe book – definitely one to add to the ever growing collection! The Nutella and mocha combination sounds totally delicious too.

  2. Sally, I would love to make these, but I don’t have espresso powder. Can I use instant coffee crystals instead?

    By the way I love your recipes!

  3. These cupcakes look absolutely delicious. Yes, I started using egg whites few months ago, after reading your tip on how they make cakes and cupcakes fluffy. Your photos of these cupcakes are tempting me to give these a try on the weekend. yummm!

  4. These look amazing! I have always wanted to try a little espresso in my chocolate goods (your chewy fudgy brownies!), but with a hubby who doesn’t like coffee, I have stayed away…

    I made your white chocolate chip pumpkin snickerdoodles over the weekend and they were inhaled, as usual. That may be my favorite recipe of yours. Also, I saw a watch that made me think of you… it has sprinkles on it. 🙂

    1. The espresso really makes the chocolate taste rich, and lends to a moist cake, it doesn’t really taste like coffee. Try it and see if he can taste it!

  5. I can’t wait to try these…. JMHO – these cupcakes MIGHT be better than S-X… just sayin’ 🙂

    Have been reading your blog for a long time, but this is the first time I’ve commented. Have used many of your wonderful recipes, always w/good results. Thank you Sally!

    San Pedro, CA

  6. If I wanted to make these as a cake rather than cupcakes, would I have to change the recipe at all? And what size pan(s) should I use? Thank you! 🙂

  7. Can any of the recipes on your site go wrong??? 
    Within 2 weeks, I tried 3 of your recipes and my family and friends are so overwhelmed by them

  8. Sally, Ive made your chocolate cupcakes and everyone I know loves those. Thanks for the tip about using only egg whites. I didnt know yellows weight things down. I had a request.. Do you have any experience with eggless baking. Some family members are allergic to eggPia

    1. The cakes would be quite thin and I’m unsure of the bake time. Or you could make this batter twice so 1 batch goes into the 9 inch pan. (For a thicker cake)

  9. Another fabulous recipe! FYI – I made this in a 9 x 9 inch pan and it took roughly 20 minutes to bake and be perfectly brown. I also halved the frosting, which made a perfect amount to cover the small cake. I made a small amount of overly strong hot coffee and used 2 tbsp of that instead of the hot water/expresso powder. Very tasty and got compliments!

  10. I tend to shy away from recipes without whole eggs. It seems that I throw the other part of the egg in the fridge and it sits there until someone throws it out! Have you ever had success with store-bought egg whites, or do you prefer to separate whole eggs on your own?

  11. I couldn’t find instant espresso coffee at the store. Is there anyway I can just use espresso coffee? Maybe if I brew it first and let it cool? Thanks! 

  12. Thanks Saaly for the yummy receipe. I tried this and comes out really well. But when i add the espresso mix at the end the batter looks curdled. Any idea why? 


  13. I am making these this week but wanted to add a hint of chocolate flavor to the batter, what would you suggest!? Thank you so much for all your amazing recipes, my family LOVES them!

    1. I’m completely unsure without testing myself– and I’d hate to give you wrong advice! Let me know what you try.

  14. Hi Sally. Once iced, can these and your super moist chocolate cupcakes be left at room temp? Or do they need to be refrigerated? How long can they sit at room temp? Also can they be iced the day before? Thanks so much, Natalie

  15. These were a hit! The coffee flavor was not overwhelming and the Nutella frosting was DELICIOUS! They are a little bit complicated to bake and required things I don’t normally have, like sour cream, heavy whipping cream, and of course the espresso powder. But it seemed worth it!

    I did notice a few things though during the baking process. Maybe my oven is too hot, but my cupcakes only needed about 12-15 minutes instead of 18-20. I used a regular sized muffin tin and filled half-way as instructed! It also ended up making 16 cupcakes; maybe my idea of half-way is less than yours, Sally! Also, when I stored the unfrosted cupcakes in a Tupperware overnight, I noticed they were a bit sticky on the tops the next day even though I cooled them completely so it probably wasn’t condensation. Maybe the cupcake really is just THAT moist! Lastly, I had lots of leftover frosting even though I probably had a 1:1 cupcake to frosting ratio, so maybe next time I’d cut down the recipe by 1/3 to 1/2!

    Thanks for all the hard work you put into your recipes!

    1. Hey Kristina! Thank you so much for reporting back about this cupcake recipe. They’re one of my favorites. I appreciate your review!

  16. Hi Sally,
    love this recipe! Love all your cupcake recipes actually 🙂
    When I made the large cupcakes they were perfect but when I made mini-cupcakes, they were very hard to get of the liners. I’ve tried buying other liners but it was the same. I had the same problem with another recipe. Could it be I didn’t bake them enough or too lang? Any notes/tips would be helpful! Thank you!

    1. Hi Jelle, I have the most success with grease-proof liners no matter what size. How was the taste and texture of the mini cupcakes after baking?

      1. Hi Sally,

        thanks for your quick response!
        The texture and taste were perfect, that’s why it was such a shame 🙂
        Any brands or websites wehre i can find these liners?
        I live in Belgium and everything is available here 🙂

  17. Love your recipes.
    I have made your super moist chocolate cupcakes and chocolate cake pops. Loved them.

    Will these cupcakes taste of chocolate or coffee? Also, will they hold their shape if I core them and put some nutella panache in the middle? And then top with nutella frosting?

    1. Hi Rabia! They taste like coffee more than anything. You can certainly core and fill them before topping with nutella frosting, they’ll stay intact.

  18. I’m new to your page and love your recipes and thanks for sharing:) I was wondering where coukd I buy the espresso coffee powder? I never heard of it! But thank you so much

  19. I used this recipe to make cake pops. I baked the batter in a 9 inch cake pan for 28 minutes. For a binder I used the Nutella frosting but cut the recipe in half, using 6 Tbs total. I used ghiradelli chocolate melting wafers to coat the pops and overall, I was pretty happy with the results. I may cut back a little on the espresso powder next time though. It seemed a little strong tho I do love coffee

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I’m Sally, a cookbook author, photographer, and blogger. My goal is to give you the confidence and knowledge to cook and bake from scratch while providing quality recipes and plenty of pictures. Grab a cookie, take a seat, and have fun exploring! more about Sally