I really loved how these cupcakes turned out. I used a recipe for the cake from Skinny Taste, a blog that I love because the recipes are slightly lighter, but are still so simple to make! Then, I found a fantastic recipe for a mocha buttercream over at Brown Eyed Baker. I adapted the recipes slightly to fit my mom's taste and then finally, I frosted them with my new cupcake decorating tools from my friend Mario. I am going to need to practice this whole "making-things-pretty" thing. Usually, I just slap on the frosting with a knife because it's not about looks, it's about taste. However, now that I have all these cool decorating tools, I'll need to refine my skills! They came out beautifully and tasted even better!
Skinny Mocha Cupcakes with Mocha Buttercream Frosting
For the cupcakes (makes 24):
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 tbsp canola oil
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 egg whites
1 cup hot coffee
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup skim milk
2 cups white whole wheat flour
1 package instant chocolate pudding
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp espresso powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup plain non-fat greek yogurt
For the frosting:
2 cups unsalted butter, softened
4 cups powdered sugar
3 tsp vanilla
3 tsp espresso powder
1. Preheat oven to 325 and prepare 24 cupcake wells.
2. In a large bowl, whisk flour, pudding powder, salt, baking powder, espresso powder, and baking soda. Set aside.
3. In a medium bowl, mix hot coffee with cocoa powder until cocoa powder dissolves. Slowly add in milk and vanilla. Set aside.
4. In a large bowl, combine oil and sugar. Mix well to combine. Add in the applesauce and mix to combine. Then, add egg and egg whites and mix until incorporated.
5. Alternate adding the flour mixture and the coffee mixture to the oil/sugar mixture. Start and end with the dry ingredients. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture, then half of the coffee mixture, then another 1/3 of the flour, 1/2 of the coffee, and finally the last 1/3 of the flour. Mix until just incorporated. Finally, stir in the greek yogurt until just combined.
6. Fill the cupcake wells with the batter about 1/2-2/3 full and bake for 25-30 minutes. Let cool completely.
7. Make the frosting: beat the butter at a high speed for about 5 minutes. Butter should be extremely light at fluffy. In the meantime, combine the vanilla and espresso powder in a small bowl until espresso is dissolved. Then, slowly add the powdered sugar to the butter and beat at a lower speed to combine. I used way less sugar than the original recipe, so just add enough to fit your taste preference and to get the desired consistency. Finally, beat in the vanilla/espresso. Beat on high for another few minutes until frosting is fluffy. Frost your cupcakes!