Desserts, Food

Mocha Cupcakes

Gluten-free, Reduced Sugar

plate of mocha (chocolate-coffee) cupcakes with mocha frosting

I made these cupcakes recently for a family birthday celebration and I can’t believe how many raving reviews I got about them afterwards! My original intention was to simply use the recipe on the back of the box of the Hershey’s unsweetened cocoa that I was using. But…I can never follow a recipe exactly, so I made some substitutions.

The first thing I did was swap out the regular flour for Bob’s Red Mills Gluten-Free All-Purpose Baking Flour since I knew I would be serving some folks with gluten sensitivities. Then I looked at the amount of sugar the recipe was calling for, and I noticed that it called for more sugar than flour! Two cups of sugar for thirty cupcakes seemed excessive to me, so I cut it down by half.

The recipe also called for canola oil and milk, both of which we didn’t have. I don’t like to use canola oil for cooking, so I swapped it out for some coconut oil, which gave the cupcakes a nice, subtle coconut flavor. But we still didn’t have any milk so I had to run to the store. (I actually literally ran to the store, too. Packed the baby in the stroller and off we went).

Since we don’t typically drink cow’s milk, I didn’t want to buy any more than we actually needed. I spied a small container of coffee milk, debated with myself for a moment, and decided to go for it. Turns out everybody loved the hint of coffee flavor in the cupcakes, so I’m glad I tried it!

Everybody loved the frosting, too. I made a basic buttercream with hints of cinnamon, chocolate, and vanilla. Unfortunately though, when I first made the frosting I didn’t write down the ingredients or measure anything (which is typical for me), so I had to take some time to recreate it. But fortunately I figured it out, so you will find the frosting directions below as well.

I hope you enjoy my adaptation of Hershey’s “Perfectly Chocolate” Chocolate Cake. (You can find the original Hershey’s recipe here, if you are interested.)

This recipe makes roughly thirty 2 to 2 1/2 inch cupcakes.

Below is my basic recipe for buttercream frosting. For the Cocoa frosting, add 1/2 cup of cocoa powder (or to taste) after you beat in the sugar. For additional tips, check out my post on how to make buttercream frosting.

Did you make these cupcakes? Share your creation with us on Instagram with the hashtag #asimplefamilykitchen

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