Chocolate Kahlua Cupcakes

Chocolate is delicious, coffee is wonderful…. add some rum and you have a flavor combo that is bound to have adults clamoring for seconds!  These Chocolate Kahlua Cupcakes are rich, flavorful and delicious!  If you’d prefer not to include alcohol, feel free to adjust the recipe (as described below) into Chocolate Espresso Cupcakes.

To make these cupcakes, you’ll first need a batch of my favorite Chocolate Cupcakes.

Prepare the cupcakes as directed (in the recipe linked above), bake and then transfer to a cooling rack.

While the cupcakes are cooling (but still warm), use a toothpick to poke 5-6 holes in each cupcake.  Use a pastry brush to brush Kahlua onto the tops of each cupcake.  Once you have brushed each cupcake with Kahlua, go back and do one more “coat” on each cupcake.  As an alternative, you could brush the cupcakes with espresso coffee.

Once cupcakes are fully cool, and the Kahlua (or espresso) has had time to soak in, frost the cupcakes using the recipe below.


Props and details~

I used a Wilton 1M tip to frost the cupcakes.  If you need any help with frosting cupcakes, I have a full post (with a video) on How to Frost Cupcakes.

As a decorative (and delicious) topping, I added a few Valhrona Chocolate Pearls.  I found these at Whole Foods Market.

Happy Baking!

How to Make Chocolate Kahlua Cupcakes

Chocolate Kahlua Cupcakes

Kahlua (coffee liqueur) adds a wonderful dimension to delicious chocolate frosting
Prep Time 40 mins
Cook Time 22 mins
Total Time 1 hr 2 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 20
Calories 316 kcal



  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa best quality available
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract best quality available
  • 1 cup boiling water


  • 12 tablespoons butter 1 1/2 sticks
  • 4 oz cream cheese 1/2 block
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2-3 tablespoons Kahlua/coffee liqueur adjust to your tastes, in place of Kahlua, use 1-2 tablespoons espresso coffee, cooled
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream or milk as a second choice



  • Line muffin tin with paper liners. Heat oven to 350*F.
  • In a large mixing bowl, stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  • Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla. Beat on medium speed for one minute.
  • Stir in boiling water (the batter will be thin, don’t worry, this is right).
  • Fill liners 2/3 full with batter. (I usually put the batter into a large measuring cup with a pour spout, and then pour the batter into the liners.)
  • Bake cupcakes for approximately 18-22 minutes.
  • Cool completely on wire rack before frosting.


  • In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter until fully smooth.
  • Add cream cheese, and continue to beat until fully incorporated and smooth.
  • Add cocoa powder, and beat until well combined.
  • Add powdered sugar, one cup at a time, while the mixer is running.
  • Add vanilla, then 2 tablespoons of Kahlua (or espresso) and 1 tablespoon heavy cream. Add additional Kahlua if desired.
  • Beat until all liquid is fully incorporated and frosting is smooth and fluffy.


If you don't have cream cheese on hand, feel free to replace it with an additional 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) of butter. The cream cheese adds a nice dimmension, but the frosting is still delicious without it.
It is important that your butter and cream cheese are cool or cold, or the frosting may be too soft. If the frosting is too soft, put the entire bowl of finished frosting in the fridge for 20 minutes or so, and it will firm up quite a bit.


Calories: 316kcalCarbohydrates: 57gProtein: 4gFat: 10gSaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 26mgSodium: 272mgPotassium: 125mgFiber: 2gSugar: 46gVitamin A: 146IUCalcium: 57mgIron: 1mg
Keyword chocolate kahlua cupcakes, chocolate kahlua frosting
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!


  1. hello,

    do the cupcakes need to refrigerated or is it OK at room temperature?

  2. These were fabulous and I will definitely make them again. Good quality cocoa makes a difference! My skinny husband ate five of them, tonight, so I guess he liked them too.. Thanks for sharing!!

  3. Hi! I just made these and I’m wondering what’s the best way to store them? Should they be refrigerated since the frosting has cream cheese in it or does it matter?

  4. gorgeous cupcakes and fantastic website! thank you for the fantastic tips and ideas!

  5. I can’t wait to go shopping for supplies to make the painted pumpkin cookies. My son’s class will absolutely love these. What a great way to showcase each child’s artistic talent! I have a ton of molds for every holiday, but I am always on the lookout for new ones, as well as new ways to decorate sweets. Thanks for the great ideas!

  6. I made these this weekend and they were awesome! Thank you for all your great ideas and recipes.

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