With strawberry jam swirled into the batter, and freshly brewed coffee in what appears to be ordinary chocolate frosting, these light-as-air chocolate cupcakes are full of fun, surprising flavors. I had a jar of delicious homemade jam on hand, made by a friend who went strawberry picking at a local farm, but the store-bought variety will do. These look beautiful decorated with fresh strawberries.
Mocha Strawberry Cupcakes
Adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened high-quality cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup olive oil or other vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup cup buttermilk
4 1/2 tablespoons strawberry jam (1 teaspoon per cupcake)
Adapted from All Recipes
¼ cup unsweetened high-quality cocoa powder
¼ cup strong brewed coffee (preferably hot or warm)
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
½ teaspoon vanilla
Fresh strawberries, for decorating
Note: If you don’t have store-bought buttermilk, you can prepare it yourself by combining 1/2 cup of milk (I always use whole milk) with 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar. Let sit until milk starts to appear curdled.
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 12-cup cupcake pan with cupcake liners; the recipe makes 14 cupcakes, so either line a second pan with two liners or bake the cupcakes in two batches.
2. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Sift cocoa powder into bowl by pushing it through a fine-meshed strainer with a spoon (if strainer is not available, add cocoa powder without sifting.) Stir until well-combined.
3. In a medium-sized bowl, stir together eggs, sugar, oil, and vanilla until smooth. Add half of egg mixture to flour mixture. Stir until incorporated, then add other half of egg mixture and buttermilk.
5. Pour batter into prepared cupcake pan, filling each liner only halfway. As emphasized in the recipe I adapted: this batter rises significantly, so don’t overfill the liners.
6. Drop a teaspoon of strawberry jam into the center of each batter-filled cupcake liner, and swirl with a fork.
7. Bake for 16-18 minutes, until a fork or cake tester inserted into the center of the cupcakes comes out mostly clean. The cupcakes may initially appear slightly under-baked, but will continue to cook as they cool. Be careful not to over-bake or you will end up with dry cupcakes!
8. While cupcakes cool, prepare the frosting: Sift cocoa powder into a medium bowl. Add coffee, mixing until smooth. Stir in sugar, butter, and vanilla until creamy. (Frosting can also be prepared in advance and refrigerated.)
9. Once fully cool, frost cupcakes as desired, and decorate with fresh strawberry slices. Refrigerate leftover cupcakes. Note: I find a little frosting goes a long way with this recipe, but if you’d prefer loads of frosting on your cupcakes, consider doubling the frosting recipe. Any leftovers can be used for other baking projects.
Yields 14 cupcakes