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Espresso martini cupcakes, a boozy, grown-up cupcake based on the popular cocktail.

Espresso Martini Cupcakes

Servings 8
Author Domestic Gothess



  • 75 g (1/4 cup + 1tbsp) softened butter
  • 100 g (1/2 cup + 1tbsp) light brown soft sugar
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 110 g (scant 1 cup) self-raising flour
  • (rounded 1/4 tsp) baking powder
  • 50 ml (3 tbsp) Kahlua or Tia Maria
  • 15 ml (1 tbsp) vodka (or more Kahlua)
  • 1 tsp coffee extract I used Nielsen Massey


  • 1 Tbsp strong hot coffee
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp Kahlua/Tia Maria
  • 1 tsp vodka


  • 1.5 tbsp plain flour
  • 40 ml (scant 3 tbsp) full fat milk
  • 30 ml (2 tbsp) Kahlua/Tia Maria
  • 65 g (generous 1/4 cup) softened butter
  • 65 g (1/3 cup) caster (superfine) sugar


  1. Heat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4 and line a muffin tray with about 8 cupcake liners.
  2. Whisk together the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time whisking extremely well after each addition. Sift in the flour and baking powder and whisk until just combined then finally mix in the Kahlua/Tia Maria, vodka and coffee extract.
  3. Divide the batter between the cupcake cases, filling them 2/3rds full. Bake for 20-25 minutes until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Turn the cupcakes out onto a wire rack and leave to cool completely.
  4. To make the syrup, dissolve the sugar in the hot coffee then stir in the Kahlua/Tia Maria and vodka. Brush each of the cupcakes with a little of the syrup.
  5. To make the icing, whisk together the flour, milk and Kahlua/Tia Maria in a small pan until smooth. Place over a medium-low heat and whisk constantly until the mixture has thickened into a very thick paste; scrape it into a small bowl, cover with clingfilm directly on the surface and refrigerate until completely cold.
  6. Whisk together the butter and sugar for several minutes until extremely light and fluffy and the sugar has dissolved. Whisk in the chilled paste a little at a time, whisking well after each addition, until it is all incorporated. Don't be tempted to add any extra liquid to the icing or it may split.
  7. Transfer the icing into a piping bag fitted with a large open star nozzle and pipe dollops or swirls onto the top of each cupcake, garnish with coffee beans (preferably chocolate covered ones if you can find them).