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Halloween Witch Mocha Cupcakes

Updated: Nov 22, 2021

As part of the Halloween cupcakes I have planned this October, I thought I'd start with these delicious Halloween Witch Mocha Cupcakes, as it was International Coffee Day last week.

This recipe is probably one of the scrummiest and most delicious ones I've baked yet. It's fantastic.

It's a combination of my ultimate chocolate cake recipe, with lots of rich coffee flavour. I combine it with a milk chocolate ganache and a coffee buttercream that is to die for.

The witch hats - asides from being super cute - are also incredibly simple to make. Melt chocolate and spread it thinly on a baking sheet, lightly sprinkle instant coffee granules on top, and let set. Then cut into triangles which become cute witches hats!

If you're in the need of a caffeine kick head straight to Grandad's Coffee & Walnut Cupcakes, or if you need a chocolate fix you can get it from any one of my seven chocolate cupcake combos;

Do you have any Halloween plans? Stay on the lookout for more Halloween bakes to complete your events and parties!

Happy Halloween and let's get Caking It!



180C (170C fan)

Yield: 12 cupcakes

Prep: 20 mins

Bake: 20 mins

Assemble: 10 mins



100g gluten free self-raising flour

50g cocoa powder

1/2 tsp gluten free baking powder

1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1/4 tsp xanthan gum

75g caster sugar

40g light brown sugar

50ml vegetable oil (I use sunflower)

3 medium eggs

1/2 tsp vanilla

50 ml boiling water with 2 tbsp instant coffee

2 tbsp sour cream


80ml double cream

100g dark chocolate


150g unsalted butter

400g icing sugar

1 1/2 tbsp coffee & 1/2 tsbp cocoa powder to 2 tbsp boiling water

Witches Hats

Dark chocolate

Instant coffee


Method: Sponge

You've seen this recipe enough to know the drill! This time however, it has a key difference to add a wonderful rich coffee flavour. As usual, don't forget to wait until all the ingredients are at room temperature before starting.

  1. Preheat oven to 180C. Fill 12 muffin holes with cases.

  2. Start with the dry ingredients. Add the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and xanthan gum to a bowl and whisk to fully incorporate.

  3. In a separate bowl, mix the oil, sugars and vanilla extract. Then, add the eggs one at a time, whisking with an electric whisk between each addition until slightly frothy.

  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix with a fork to incorporate. Don’t overmix but ensure that all the ingredients are fully mixed, and the batter is smooth. At this point the batter should be thick.

  5. Boil the water and add the instant coffee to it. Slowly pour it into the batter while mixing until it is glossy. This will take some welly but keep persevering because the batter will become smooth, glossy and a delicious brown shiny colour.

  6. Add the sour cream to the cake batter and give it a final quick mix to incorporate.

  7. Spoon the batter into the cupcake cases, adding 1 and 1/2 tbsp to each case and let sit for 20 minutes, then bake for 20 minutes. A skewer inserted into the sponge will come out clean.

Method: Buttercream

This completely glorious coffee buttercream compliments the mocha sponge so fantastically.

  1. While they are cooling, move onto the coffee buttercream. Boil water and mix 1 1/2 tbsp instant coffee and 1/2 tbsp cocoa powder with 2 tbsp boiling water. Let sit until room temperature.

  2. Cream the butter until pale, and gradually add in the icing sugar until it is all incorporated. You can do this either with a standing mixer, an electric hand whisk, or a fork. At this point the mixture should be a little stiff.

  3. Slowly pour in the coffee while beating until a rich pipeable mixture is formed.

Method: Ganache

Ganache is an easy and delicious filling for cupcakes but is often considered too difficult! Have no fear, it's a simple method with great results!

  1. Chop the dark chocolate into small chunks and place in a glass bowl.

  2. Pour the double cream into a glass jug and heat in the microwave in 30 second increments until bubbling and steaming.

  3. Pour over the chocolate and let sit for 2 minutes.

  4. Stir the mixture until the chocolate is fully incorporated.

  5. If there are still chunks of chocolate left then place in the microwave in 5 second increments until fully smooth and glossy.

  6. If the consistency is too thick, pour another 10ml of cream into the glass jug and heat in the microwave until bubbling and steaming, then pour into the ganache and mix until fully incorporated.

Method: Witches hats

  1. Place baking paper on a baking tray.

  2. Chop the dark chocolate into chunks and place in a microwave safe bowl and heat in 30 second increments until melted and glossy.

  3. Pour the melted chocolate onto the baking tray and spread out till thin with the back of a spoon.

  4. Lightly sprinkle instant coffee granules on top for a caffeine kick.

  5. Place in the fridge for 30 minutes and when set chop into rectangular shards with a sharp knife. Keep in the fridge until ready to decorate.


  1. Making sure the sponges are completely cool, scoop out the middle of the cupcake with an apple corer, taking care not to go right down to the bottom.

  2. Spoon a little ganache into each cupcake hole.

  3. Pipe on a good layer of the coffee buttercream and finish with a dark chocolate witches hat.

  4. Enjoy!

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