Mocha Nutella Cupcakes

mocha Nutella cupcakes with Nutella frosting and chocolate sprinkles

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???

mocha Nutella cupcakes on a silver plate with Nutella frosting and chocolate sprinkles

Truth is, we can never have too many cookbooks to sift through for inspiration. While regular people read novels on the beach, we read cookbooks for pleasure and inspiration.

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 cookbook


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

Coffee? Good.

Nutella? Good.

Together? Goooooooood.

2 images of instant espresso mixed with water and cupcake batter in a mixing bowl

I’ve 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.

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.

jar of Nutella

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. If you’re interested, I have a completely separate post for my beloved Nutella frosting. You can use it on anything and everything!

Sprinkles for good measure and a raspberry for color. These cupcakes are all set!

mocha Nutella cupcakes on a silver plate with Nutella frosting and chocolate sprinkles

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!

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mocha Nutella cupcakes on a silver plate with Nutella frosting and chocolate sprinkles

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
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 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 paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until smooth, about 2 minutes. Stop the mixer and add confectioners’ sugar, Nutella, heavy cream, and vanilla extract. Beat on low speed for 30 seconds, then increase to medium-high speed and beat for 2 full minutes. Add up to 1/2 cup more confectioners’ sugar if frosting is too thin or another Tablespoon of cream if frosting is too thick. Add a pinch of salt if frosting is too sweet. (I always add 1/8 teaspoon salt.)
  8. Frost and decorate cooled cupcakes. I used a Wilton 1M tip for these photos. (Another favorite is this Wilton #12 round tip.)
  9. Serve immediately. Store leftover cupcakes in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.


  1. Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: Plain cupcakes can be made ahead 1 day in advance, covered and stored in the refrigerator overnight. Frosting can also be made 1 day in advance, covered, and stored in the refrigerator until ready to use. Bring cupcakes and buttercream to room temperature before frosting. Freeze frosted or unfrosted cupcakes for up to 2-3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
  2. Room Temperature Ingredients: It really makes a difference!
  3. Special Tools (affiliate links): KitchenAid Hand Mixer | KitchenAid Stand Mixer (aqua sky, my favorite!) | 5-qt Tilt Head Glass Measuring Bowl | Flex Edge Beater | Instant Espresso Coffee or King Arthur Flour Espresso Powder1M 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

mocha Nutella cupcakes with Nutella frosting and chocolate sprinkles

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


Comments are closed.

  1. Andrea @ Cooking with a Wallflower says:

    These cupcakes look soo good. How could I pass up Nutella and mocha? I may have to get this cookbook. I so terrible at decorating cakes and cupcakes. I need all the help I can get!

    1. So do I! Her book has so many helpful details and tips for perfect decorating, which is rare in cookbooks.

  2. heather (delicious not gorgeous) says:

    coffee is so good in cakes, no matter if it’s a coffee flavored cake or a chocolate one (ina garten’s one, HELLO). and having sour cream in the batter is such a nice security blanket to make sure it stays moist!

  3. Hi Sally!
    This post reminds me why I love you! A ginormous amount of Nutella frosting atop coffee cupcakes? An Eat Cake For Breakfast mug?! (That is most definitely going to be bought! ) I use instant espresso a lot in chocolate recipes. You don’t taste the espresso, just chocolatey goodness. I pick it up at my local Wegmans. ❤️

    1. Laura ~ Raise Your Garden says:

      I shop and love Wegmans too! I can’t believe how they are branching out all over the country now. Their desserts are incredible, it’s sometimes hard for me to make anything when I can just buy there’s quick, but then I don’t get that sense of satisfaction of making something really tasty myself!!! 

      1. All hail Wegmans bakery!

  4. Love the Friends reference @ the Goooooooood!!
    Okay this looks absolutely divine. I’ve recently started adding a teaspoon of instant expresso powder to ALL chocolate based recipes, makes such a difference. I bought a jar of it for a tiramisu cake and have been loving it.
    I wish my frosting skills were up to making this lovely swirl, but I’ll probably end up globbing it on!!
    I don’t typically have whole milk or sour cream on hand though. Do you think I could use 2% milk and greek yogurt instead?

    1. You’re doing it right by adding the powder to all your chocolate goodies. I LOVE the enhanced flavor. 2% would be ok, as well as greek yogurt. I find sour cream makes a fluffier (still moist) cake crumb, so keep that in mind.

  5. What’s not to like? custard, goood. jam, goood. meat, goooood!!
    one of my favorite episodes!

    just wondering, is there a strong coffee flavor? or does it enhance the nutella flavor like some of your other recipes (if i recall)?

    1. It’s not too strong. You know it’s there, but it is not at all overpowering. Kevin does not like coffee and enjoyed these lol.

  6. Tori//Gringalicious says:

    Wow! Firstly, these photos are gorgeous! I think some of your best ever. Also, the cupcakes themselves sound so incredible, I can hardly contain my excitement!!!

    1. Thank you so much for the compliment on my photography Tori, it means the world to me!!!

  7. Oh my gosh Sally!!! This mocha-licious little cupcakes get me up this morning!!! So happy wake up way! 🙂
    Thanks for share a few of your favourite cookbooks! Christmas ideas for my cookbook obsession 😉 I love the coffe & nutella combination, Do somebody get enough nutella frosting? Never.

    Last week I made your Sea Salt Vanilla Caramels and…I loved it! Now I’m a fearless home made candy lover, Thanks you Sally!
    Have a nice day!

    1. See?? Candy isn’t so difficult. I’m so glad you tried them!

  8. Sophie Stewart says:

    Wow! These look so tasty! Sophie x

  9. Marina @ A Dancer's Live-It says:

    No words for these cupcakes. Except maybe one…..NUTELLAAAAA.

  10. Patricia @sweet and Strong says:

    I made Nutella cupcakes a few years ago and they were amazing, now these with coffee YUM!  I like the frosting to cupcake ratio too, the frosting is always my favorite part 😉

  11. Dawn - Girl Heart Food says:

    Yes! Can never have too many cook books, right?! This combination sounds awesome with the espresso and Nutella. And you know what, I have Nutella just sitting in my pantry so this would be a perfect use 😉

  12. Jessica @ Citrus Blossom Bliss says:

    I’m making mocha cupcakes soon and these look absolutely fabulous! I’ve been using my instant espresso powder to make coffee drinks but might have to reserve a little extra to make some of these mocha beauties as well!

    1. Highly recommended that you do 🙂

  13. Lindsay @ Life, Love and Sugar says:

    Thank you so much for sharing these Sally! They look AMAZING! I’m so glad you liked them! 🙂 🙂 And I have got to get that mug! So perfect!

    1. Congratulations again! I’m itching to try the lemon raspberry cake. It’s so beautiful!

  14. The Mocha and Nutella combo got me so excited! These pics are gorgeous, wish I could grab a cupcake from the screen 🙂

  15. OMG I cannot believe that Nutella frosting, it looks like a dream! Agree about the extra sprinkles and raspberries… decorations are just for creative flair. And I feel you about the too-many-cookbooks thing. The only thing I am ever sure about wanting for Christmas or my birthday is… another cookbook. People always ask me if I don’t have too many already, and no I don’t. I love looking at cookbooks, especially ones full of gorgeous pictures like yours or this new book. Some people collect stamps, or pins or post cards, we collect cookbooks 😉

  16. I read cookbooks like a novel. Does that count? These are simply divine…can’t wait to try the espresso/Nutella combo!

    1. That 100% counts!! Definitely try these!

  17. Sharon K (The Farm Chick Bakes) says:

    Seriously?????????? Nutella? OMG…so I’m on a peanut butter craze right now (well, always but more so now in the fall)….and literally today, I have mixed my peanut butter with…what else? NUTELLA…’s as every bit as good as a peanut butter cup…maybe better! This spread is so addicting and yes….I read the label but it does no good because I still with every excuse take a teaspoon, go into my cabinet and sneak a scoop several times during the day. These cupcakes are making my mouth water again. Another MUST TRY on my list. Okay, back to my Peanut Butter and Nutella spread over my banana! :). Thanks for making my day, Sally!

    1. Coffee and nutella is magical, but nothing beats pb & nutella. You’re SO right!

  18. Michelle @ Modern Acupuncture says:

    That frosting! Holy heaven… so fluffy! Love the site redesign, btw!

    1. Michelle, yes that frosting is beyond amazing! Glad you are enjoying the site! 🙂

  19. Stella @ Stellicious Life says:

    Sally, I’m your soul sister when it comes to cookbooks! I have such a collection, and my Boyfriend always jokes that wherever we go, I always come home with a cookbook/cooking magazine/kitchenware, etc. for my collection 🙂

    Love the addition of raspberry to these cupcakes, they look dreamy!

    1. So you get me!! 🙂 Never ever too many, right?!

  20. shaikh Samiuddin says:

    I love your baking 

    1. Thanks, Shaikh!

  21. Ok two things: 1. You totally sounded like Joey on Friends when he was eating the trifle that Rachel ruined. “Custard, good. Jam, good. Meat, gooooood!” 2. Can I use brewed espresso instead of instant? I have an espresso machine so I don’t mind making a shot or two if that means buying one less ingredient. Thanks, Sally! Love all your posts and recipes 🙂

    1. Sharon, the Friends quote was 100% intentional! 🙂 If you use brewed espresso it will not be as strong, since here we are mixing the powder with only 2 TBS of water to make a super concentrated liquid.

  22. Sara @ Last Night's Feast says:

    Ahhh! I don’t think these could get any better! Thank you so much for sharing =)

  23. These cupcakes are beautiful, and I bet they taste as good as they look. I mean who doesn’t love Nutella?! Lovely photos too!

    1. Thanks Natasha!

  24. Michelle @ Brown Butter and Biscuits says:

    I SO agree–one can never have too many cookbooks!! These cupcakes sound AMAZING, I adore mocha and Nutella but never yet thought to put them together! I have some espresso powder in my pantry so I’ll have to make these soon! Thanks for sharing! Really beautiful pictures as well!

    1. Thanks so much Michelle! Put that espresso powder to good use 🙂

  25. Blogtastic Food says:

    Omg yum!!, I love a good coffee flavored dessert!

  26. Sally- you give me cookies and candy. Lindsay gives me cake. You both my go-to blogs. Can’t wait to get her cake book and your cookie book for Christmas!

    1. LOVE her blog 🙂

  27. These are the absolute most beautiful photos! Your photography skills are insane! ❤️️

    1. Thank you so much, Jillian!

  28. Your post today started with the comment that we have a lot in common. Well, we sure do though not in the way you were speaking about. Today was really snowy and wet. I live in the Catskills Mtns- about an hour north of Lake Wallenpaupak. I know you’ve been there so you have an idea of where I am. Any way, I have a triple decker turntable for my spices. It was a bit messy so I reorganized it. Cooking spices on bottom, less used on middle tier and baking things on top. I can JUST reach the top shelf so it was the messiest. I started emptying the shelf, removing bottles of sprinkles. And tubs of sprinkles. Gold, silver, oranges, yellows,red, green,pink,purple …..then Gingerbread men, autumn leaves,hearts,snowflakes. Glitter, silver balls, colored balls,rainbow…..SPRINKLE HOARDER!!! I remember you saying that you loved sprinkles. Well, I guess I do too. 31 containers worth. I couldn’t believe that there are that many! So, I baked a cake and used 2 different kinds of sprinkles on top. I need to do a lot of baking to use 31 containers of sprinkles!! Thought you might get a laugh out of my story. I’m laughing at myself too.

    1. 31?!? Sprinkles for every occasion should be our motto 🙂

  29. There’s no such thing as self control when talking about Nutella… Just sayin’… 

  30. 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.

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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