Kicking off the weekend with a cupcake that’s definitely a party waiting to happen! Spiced Kahlua cupcakes are making life bright right now and they are one of those bakes, I truly wish I could hand you through the screen. We need an app for that! Spiced chocolate cupcakes made with Kahlua, the most lush cream cheese frosting and a drizzle of caramel sauce because why not!
Whether you’re looking to bake yourself a little joy this weekend, or how to win Thanksgiving, these Spiced Kahlua cupcakes are the answer!
I originally made these little gems a few weeks ago and as soon as I made them I knew I had to share them with you. Actually, as soon as I posted them on Instagram, I got so many messages asking for the recipe, that there was no way I was going to get away not posting them!
I was looking to change up my chocolate cupcake game and as soon as I spotted the Kahlua sitting pretty on the bar cart, I knew it was the answer. A generous pour of the coffee liqueur went right into my go-to cupcake batter and after a quick taste (batter queen for life!) I knew this was going to be good! I also added a dash of cinnamon to the batter and I have to tell you, I think it’s the ingredient that really takes these cupcakes up a notch.
About 10 minutes into baking, the chocolate and Kahlua were floating through the air, and while this season might be all about sugarplums, it was espresso martinis and chocolate cakes floating around in my head!
Once baked, the flavors blended together beautifully. The cupcakes are light with a tender crumb, and I knew a cream cheese frosting would be the perfect accompaniment. I dolled up my favorite cream cheese frosting with espresso powder, another dose of cinnamon, and freshly grated nutmeg. In addition to creating a full on flavor parade, the spices also cut the sweetness in the frosting beautifully.
Another splash of Kahlua sealed the deal, and I’m just going to warn you right now that it’s pretty much impossible to not “taste” it a million times.
It’s definitely one of those put the spoon down, or there’s not going to be any frosting left for the cupcakes kind of situation…
In the recipe you’ll notice it says 3-4 cups of powdered sugar for the frosting. As a general rule of thumb, I prefer to start with 3 and go from there. You can always add more, but you can’t take it out!
If you’re simply frosting the cupcakes with a spatula, 3 to 3¼ cups may work best, as the frosting doesn’t need to be too stiff. If you’re going to pipe the frosting, I usually end up around 3½ cups. If you tend to like your cream cheese frosting sweeter, you may want to inch closer to 4 cups. It’s all about personal preference and frosting method.
Also, I used a large star tip for piping and if you haven’t checked out How-to Fill a Piping Bag over on YouTube, make sure to check it out!
At this point I thought it was a done deal, but then I spotted the caramel sauce in the fridge. On a side note, if you’ve never made homemade caramel sauce, it’s much easier than most expect. I have a fantastic recipe that I use when making the beloved apple caramel dream cake so make sure to check it out!
A drizzle of caramel sauce and a sprinkle of toasted pecans, and I don’t even know what to tell you! Best decision of the year!
If you’re not up to making homemade caramel sauce, buy a jar and spoon it right on! This is a no judgement zone and there are no rules! Not feeling the pecans? Skip them. You can top also these with mini chocolate chips or chocolate covered espresso beans if you really want to enhance the coffee notes!
I might have to go that route next round 🙂
You have the option to doll these boozy little gems up as much or as little as you want, and I couldn’t love that more!
I hope you guys give these try. I know you’re going to love them!
Happy baking! xo
- 1 & 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
- 1t. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 4 ounces unsalted butter, room temp.
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 1 tsp. espresso powder
- 1 egg
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla bean paste, or extract
- 1/2 cup Kahlua
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 7 ounces unsalted butter
- 8 ounces cream cheese
- 1/2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
- 3/4 tsp. cinnamon
- 1 Tbsp. light brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp. espresso powder
- 3-4 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tbsp. Kahlua
- Caramel Sauce
- Toasted pecans
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line cupcake tins with paper liners and set aside.
- In a medium size mixing bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, cinnamon, baking soda and salt.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter, sugars and espresso powder until light and fluffy.
- Add egg and vanilla, mixing until fully combined.
- Alternate adding the dry ingredients with the Kahlua and buttermilk, starting and ending with dries.
- Fill cupcake pans 3/4 of the way and bake for 18-20 minutes rotating once halfway through.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter and cream cheese together.
- Add nutmeg, cinnamon, espresso powder and light brown sugar.
- Add powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time so you don not have a sugar shower. Start with 3 cups and then see if you need more. If you are going to spread the frosting on with a spatula, 3 cups may be fine. If you want it stiff so you can pipe it, you will probably need 3½ - 4 cups.
- Frost cupcakes once they have completely cooled. I used a large star tip #825.
- Garnish with caramel sauce and toasted pecans.