I do not recommend eating three of these cupcakes after dinner unless you too have blog posts you need to write at 3 a.m.
Their innocent flower-topped, chocolate look-a-like demeanor is deceptive, but these cupcakes have a caffeinated kick! Per cupcake the caffeine load isn’t too crazy in these Caramel Espresso Cupcakes, just maybe don’t eat as many at one time as I did or they might become Keep You Up All Night Cupcakes. Consider it built in portion control.
the espresso flavor
To get that lovely rich espresso flavor I used both brewed coffee and espresso powder. The strength of your coffee and quality of your espresso powder will have quite a big effect on the flavor of your cupcakes. So adjust based on what you are using and your preferences…
– To tone down the flavor (especially if you are using a strong high quality espresso powder), replace the 1/2 cup of brewed coffee with 1/2 cup more water.
– If you are using the low quality grocery store espresso powder like I did, then I would suggest leaving the coffee in for extra flavor or even use a full cup of coffee and no water.
– Or if you don’t want a caffeine-free option, then use 1 cup of brewed Teeccino (an herbal coffee replacement) in place of the brewed coffee and water called for in the recipe and leave out the espresso powder.
The caramel frosting you see in the photos is made with full fat coconut milk, dates, and a little espresso powder. It is incredibly rich and will become firmer and thicker if you chill it for a few hours or even chill the cupcakes after frosting.
For a low fat frosting, you can use almond milk or another light non-dairy milk to make an espresso date paste. It’s not as thick and creamy, but still a very sweet cupcake topper. I included the exact measurements for that in the recipe as well.
Caramel-frosted cupcakes with a caffeinated espresso kick! #Vegan, gluten-free, fruit-sweetened...Click To Tweet
Vegan Caramel Espresso Cupcakes
Cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350F.
Blend the dates, water, and coffee.
Spoon out into a bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients. Stir to combine.
Divide into 6 cupcake tins that have been lightly oiled. Fill them so the batter is almost to the top of the muffin cup for a tall domed top.
Bake for 25 minutes at 350F.
Let them cool completely before frosting.
Frosting: Scoop out the thick coconut cream from the can of coconut milk leaving the liquid behind.
Blend all the ingredients till smooth. Add a tablespoon of liquid if needed to blend. Don't over blend, it will get less fluffy and light.
Refrigerate for 3-4 hours for a thicker consistency.
Frost your cupcakes, garnish with a few espresso beans, and enjoy!
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