Cocoa Coffee Cupcakes with Chocolate Espresso Icing


This enticing recipe for vegan cocoa coffee cupcakes with a creamy and caffeinated espresso icing is a java-lover’s dream. Created by Krys Kagan, it was an official entry in one of our prior So Delicious Dairy Free Recipe Contests. Enjoy the recipe below and see more previous dairy-free recipe entries on the Contest Pinterest Board!

This recipe is a java lover's dream! The Cocoa Coffee Cupcakes are topped with a Chocolate Espresso Icing. Plus they're naturally dairy-free, nut-free, soy-free and vegan!

Go Dairy Free - The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance and Casein-Free LivingSpecial Diet Notes: Coffee Cupcakes with Espresso Icing

By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, nut-free, peanut-free, soy-free, vegan / plant-based, and vegetarian.

Not a Fan of Coconut? You can easily make the coffee cupcakes coconut-free by omitting the coconut and using your milk beverage of choice. In the espresso icing, sub in almond milk creamer or use your milk beverage of choice, starting with just 1 tablespoon, and adding as needed.

Cocoa Coffee Cupcakes with Chocolate Espresso Icing
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 15 cupcakes
Coffee Cupcakes:
  • ½ cup dairy-free vanilla milk beverage
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ⅓ cup cocoa powder
  • ¼ cup coconut flakes, lightly toasted
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup fresh prepared coffee, cooled
  • ¼ cup oil (canola or grapeseed oil work well)
Espresso Icing:
For the Cupcakes:
  1. Preheat your oven to 350ºF.
  2. In a small cup, combine the milk alternative and vinegar. Set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Add the wet ingredients, including the coconut milk and vinegar. Gently stir until incorporated, making sure not to over stir.
  4. Pour the batter into 15 paper lined muffin pans.
  5. Bake for 23-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the cupcake comes out clean.
  6. Place on a rack, and let cool completely.
For the Icing:
  1. In a bowl, cream together the margarine and shortening until creamy.
  2. Add the powdered sugar a cup at a time, beating until creamy after each addition. Add the coffee, and cocoa powder. Add the creamer. Cream together until combined.
  3. Smooth onto cooled cupcakes, or use a bag to pipe the icing. Place an espresso bean on top of each iced cupcake.
*If severe milk allergies are a concern, you may have trouble locating "safe" chocolate espresso beans. If so, simply top with allergen-safe chocolate chips or a chocolate square.

About Author

Alisa is the founder of, Food Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living, and the new cookbook, Eat Dairy Free: Your Essential Cookbook for Everyday Meals, Snacks, and Sweets. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.


    • Hi Erica, no I haven’t. Since they are egg-free, too, good gluten-free results could be tricky. If you opt to keep them vegan, then you will need binder in your flour mix. With cupcakes, I prefer to use no gum binders (I don’t like the gummy texture they take on due to the delicate nature) and add eggs with the gluten-free flour, if needed instead.

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