These cupcakes pretty much have it all! Chocolate. Coffee. Cream Cheese Icing. Pralines. Bourbon. I can’t decide my favorite flavor, but luckily I don’t have to. These cupcakes combine all those flavors for one perfectly New Orleans inspired treat! I made these cupcakes for this year’s Picnic with the Pops: A Night on Bourbon Street. They will definitely be added to this upcoming year’s Mardi Gras menu, too!
This chocolate cupcake is moist and rich. The addition of the chicory coffee really deepens the flavor. If you’ve never had chicory coffee, it’s a traditional New Orleans flavor typically served with warm milk, as a café au lait. Adding chicory to the coffee adds body and a stronger flavor. It really works paired with the chocolate for a decadent chocolate and coffee flavor.
Adding some good quality bourbon to the frosting adds another layer of flavor to the cupcakes. I chose to add some Basil Hayden’s, because it is a fantastic Kentucky bourbon. But, any bourbon could be substituted. As with any alcohol you are adding to a recipe, use something that you would drink! To top off the cupcake, I added one small pecan praline.
Chocolate & Chicory Coffee Cupcakes with Bourbon Vanilla Buttercream (adapted from Relishing It)
For the Cupcakes:
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 ounces 60% cacao semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup hot chicory coffee (or very strong brewed regular coffee)
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup cake flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2/3 cup (packed) light brown sugar
1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the Frosting:
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, room temperature
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 vanilla bean, insides scraped out
3-4 cups confectioners’ sugar
4 tablespoons bourbon
Candied pecans (homemade or store bought)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 18 muffins tins with cupcake liners.
In a small bowl, combine cocoa powder and chocolate. Pour hot coffee over and whisk until chocolate is melted. Whisk in sour cream. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine cake flour, baking soda, and salt. In a mixing bowl, beat together brown sugar, oil, granulated sugar, eggs, and vanilla until creamy. Add flour mixture to the mixture, alternating with the chocolate mixture. Beat just until combined. Divide batter equally between cupcake tins. Bake for about 16-18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of one of the cupcakes comes out clean. Cool in pan for about 10 minutes before removing Cool completely before frosting.
For the frosting:
Beat butter and cream cheese until completely smooth, about 5 minutes. Add inside of vanilla bean to mixture. Slowly add confectioner’s sugar, 1 cup at a time, alternating with 1 tablespoon of bourbon, until desired sweetness is achieved. Pipe frosting onto cooled cupcakes. Top with one candied pecan.