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Learn to make delicious coffee-flavored cupcakes disguised as coffee mugs with vanilla fondant and latte-flavored icing.  Delight both the eyes and the taste buds.

Yield:  8-10 cupcakes like the one in the picture.


What will we be making?

  • Do you like coffee? 
  • Do you like cupcakes?
  • Are you often disappointing that coffee cake does not actually taste like coffee?
  • Do you enjoy making food that is enticing to the eyes and to the taste buds?
If you answered "Yes!" to any of the above questions, then the recipe featured in this Instructable is for you.  Read on and you will learn how to make coffee-flavored cupcakes that look like coffee mugs filled with - you guessed it - coffee. 

How do they taste?

The cupcakes themselves have a subtle, yet detectable, flavor of freshly brewed coffee.  The coffee flavor is noticable, but not overpowering, and is accompanied by nice nutty and caramel-like flavors.  The white fondant used to form the ceramic part of the coffee mug is sweet and vanilla flavored.  The icing is made with coffee and milk, and so it tastes like a sweet dessert latte. 

Eaten together, the cake, fondant, and icing present a tantalizing blend of coffee, milk, vanilla, and caramel.  The cupcakes are sweet, but not too sweet.  The best way to know how they taste though is to make some for yourself!

How difficult are they to make?

The cupcakes themselves are very easy to make; they are no more difficult to make than any other cupcake.  The fondant and icing are also quite simple.  Although, the fondant does require some physical labor if you don't have a stand mixer.  The most difficult part of the entire process is forming the fondant into a mug shape around the soft and fragile cupcakes.  But then again, this part is also the most fun (besides eating them of course).

Step 1: Ingredients for the Cupcakes

Ingredients for the cupcakes:


Ingredient Amount
all-purpose flour 2 cups
baking powder 1 teaspoon
baking soda 1/4 teaspoon
salt 1/4 teaspoon
coffee (chilled) 3/4 cup
whole milk 1/4 cup
unsalted butter 1 stick
sugar 1/2 cup
brown sugar 1/2 cup (packed)
eggs 2

Plus you will need cupcake pans with enough space to hold between 16 and 20 large cupcakes.  Grease the pans well with cooking spray and set them aside until we make the batter.

Ingredients for the fondant:

Ingredient Amount
light corn syrup 1/2 cup
shortening 1/2 cup
vanilla extract 1 teaspoon
confectioners' sugar 1 pound



Ingredients for the icing:

Ingredient Amount
coffee 3 tablespoons
whole milk 1 tablespoon
confectioners' sugar 4-5 cups
vanilla extract 1 tablespoon

Step 2: Mix the Wet Ingredients

With an electric mixer, cream the sugar and butter. Then cream in the eggs one at a time.



The first step to make the cupcakes is to mix together the wet ingredients (except the coffee/milk):  granulated sugar, brown sugar, butter and eggs.
  1. Soften the butter.
  2. Using an electric mixer, cream together the softened butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar until the mixture beings to lighten in color.
  3. Mix in the eggs with the electric mixer one at a time. 
By the end of this step, you should have a creamy, smooth mixture.

Step 3: Mix the Dry Ingredients

In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.



Set the bowl containing the wet ingredients to the side (we will come back to it later).  Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together and mix until thoroughly combined.

Step 4: Mix the Coffee and Milk

Simply mix the whole milk into the chilled coffee. That's it.

Step 5: Mix Everything Together

Mix the flour and coffee mixtures into the wet ingredient mixture in steps, alternating flour and coffee.



It is now time to mix all of the ingredients together to finish the cupcake batter.  In order to do this, we need to add the flour and coffee mixtures to the wet ingredients.  To ensure that the ingredients are well-mixed, we will do this in steps:
  1.  Add 1/3 of the flour mixture to the wet ingredient mixture and blend well using an electric mixture.
  2. Add half of the coffee mixture to the bowl, and blend well.
  3. Add another 1/3 of the flour mixture (half of the remaining amount) and blend well.
  4. Add the remainder of the coffee and ... blend again.
  5. Finally, add the rest of the flour and blend one more time.

Step 6: Bake the Cupcakes

Fill the cupcake pans 1/2 full with batter and bake at 350oF for 22 to 25 minutes.  Then remove the cupcakes to cool to room temperature.



Make sure that your cupcake pans are well greased with cooking spray and fill the wells about 1/2 full with batter.  Then bake the cupcakes at 350oF for 22 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.

Make sure to let the cupcakes cool completely before applying the fondant or icing or it will simply melt.

Step 7: Make the Fondant: Part 1

With an electric mixer, cream together the shortening, vanilla extract, and corn syrup.



Just like we did with the cupcakes, we will start by creaming together the wet ingredients.  So, in a large mixing bowl, cream together the shortening, vanilla extract, and corn syrup until the mixture begins to lighten in color.

Step 8: Make the Fondant: Part 2

Add powdered sugar until the fondant is the consistency of stiff modeling clay.



If you have a stand mixer, fit it with a dough hook and add as much confectioners' sugar as you can (you will need a lot) until the mixture reaches the consistency of stiff modeling clay.  If you squeeze a chunk in your fist, it should hold its shape, even the thin little parts between your fingers.

If you do not have a stand mixer, do the same thing, but mix by hand.  The mixture will quickly become much too thick for a standard hand mixer and you could break yours if you try to use it.  Unless you have awesome forearm strength, you will likely reach a point when you will need to kneed in additional confectioners' sugar on a cutting board.

Step 9: Make the Icing

Simply mix together all of the icing ingredients. Done.

Step 10: Put the Fondant on the Cupcakes

Cut the tops off the cupcakes and stack them in pairs. Then roll out the fondant, cut a rectangular strip, and wrap it around the stacked cupcakes. Finally, form a handle from the fondant and stick it on.



Since single cupcakes would make strange short, fat little mugs, we will stack the cupcakes in pairs to make them taller.  First cut the tops off, then stack them.  If you are getting a sweet-tooth by now, you can eat the tops with some of the icing.  Yum!

Since the fondant gets sticky as it gets warm, if it is particularly warm in your kitchen, you might need to refrigerate the fondant to make working with it easier.  Dust a cutting board with confectioners' sugar and roll out the fondant until it is about 1/4 inch thick.  Dust a sharp knife with confectioners' sugar and cut strips of fondant that are as wide as the cupcake stacks are tall and as long as the circumference of the cupcakes.  It might take some practice to get the size of the strips right.

Then, being careful not to rip the fondant or smash the cupcakes, wrap a strip of fondant around each cupcake stack.  Then, roll a little "snake" of fondant, and form it into a handle of the side of the mug.  If the heat from your fingers has made the fondant sticky, just stick the cupcake in the refrigerator or ten minutes or so to firm it up. 

Step 11: Put the Icing on the Cupcakes

Spread the icing on top of the cupcakes to act as coffee in the mugs.



You have probably figured this out by now, but the icing is supposed to look like coffee in the mugs.  Just spread some icing on the top of each cupcake so that it extends all the way to the fondant on the outside.  Just watch out for cupcake crumbs making their way into the icing. 

Then, let the cupcakes sit for 15 minutes or so and the icing will harden somewhat.

Step 12: Serve and Enjoy

For extra visual appeal, place each cupcake on a saucer with a decorative spoon. Then, serve the cupcakes and enjoy! You can use the spoon to eat them even.

awww you beat me ! i was going to make a tea cup too! only with saucer and decorated :-) ah well...now i have to think of something else
so creative.
Very, very clever and an excellent presentation,too.
That is just crazy creative! I just love it! I love looking at the cupcake cut in half, makes me think of Alice In Wonderland when they cup the tea cups in half and the liquid stays!
Wow, that is one well documented 'ible! These look just fantastic.
Nice, it looks really good!

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Bio: Hello, my name is Toglefritz. That’s obviously not my real name; my real name is Scott, but on the Internet I use the nom ... More »
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