Olallieberry Extra Dark Mocha Cupcakes with Candied Cacao Nibs

makes ~15-18 regular-sized cupcakes

for extra dark mocha cupcakes:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup flour
  • 3 Tbspn black cocoa powder (you may substitute Dutch-processed cocoa powder here)
  • 1/3 cup (5 Tbpsn) Dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • 2 Tbspn espresso powder
  • 1/2 tspn salt
  • 1 tspn baking powder
  • 1 tspn baking soda
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 heaping Tbspn instant coffee
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Line the cupcake molds with cupcake liners and set aside.
  2. In a mixer bowl, combine sugar, flour, black and Dutch-processed cocoa powders, espresso powder, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Mix to combine.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the beaten egg, vegetable oil, and milk. Stir to mix. Then, with the mixer on low, pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Mix on low until evenly distributed.
  4. Combine the boiling water and the instant coffee. Pour the hot coffee into the cake batter and mix on medium low until smooth, making sure to occasionally scrape the bottom of the bowl.
  5. Fill the cupcake liners 2/3 full.
  6. Bake for 15-20 minutes. When a toothpick inserted at the center of the cupcake comes out cleanly, the cakes are done. Remove from the oven and let cool completely.

for olallieberry buttercream:

  • 1/2 cup olallieberry puree, from about 3/4 – 1 cup fresh or thawed frozen berries
  • 1 Tbspn creme de cassis
  • 1 tspn freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 11 oz. sugar (~310 grams)
  • 5 oz. water (~140 grams)
  • 150 grams egg whites (~5 egg whites)
  • pinch of cream of tartar, optional
  • 50 grams sugar
  • 4 sticks (1 lb) butter, at room temperature


  1. In a small bowl, mix together the olallieberry puree, creme de cassis, and lemon juice. Set aside.
  2. Combine water and 11 oz (310 gr) sugar in a small pot over medium-high heat. Without stirring, bring to a boil and let cook until the temperature reaches 240 degrees F.
  3. Meanwhile, place the egg whites and cream of tartar in a mixer bowl. With the whisk attachment, begin whisking the egg whites when the syrup begins to bubble on the stove. Start whisking on medium low until the whites begin to foam all over, then increase speed to high and gradually add the remainder of the sugar. Whip until soft peaks form and stop.
  4. Once the syrup has reached 240 degrees F (soft ball stage) and the whites have been whipped to soft peaks, gradually pour the syrup in a small stream into the egg whites, whisking on medium high continuously. Be careful not to allow the sugar syrup to fall on the beaters.
  5. Continue whisking until the bowl of the mixer is at body temperature and not warm to the touch anymore.
  6. Slowly begin to add the butter, about a half tablespoon at a time.
  7. Once all of the butter is incorporated, continue whisking while adding the olallieberry puree. Beat until incorporated. Use to pipe immediately.

for candied cacao nibs:

  • 3 Tbspn sugar
  • 3 heaping Tbspn cacao nibs


  1. Prepare a baking tray lined with a silpat or parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. In a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat, melt the sugar.
  3. Once the sugar has completely melted, quickly add the cacao nibs. Stir and cook until the sugar turns a deep golden color (there might be a little bit of smoking–don’t be alarmed!). Remove from heat immediately before the sugar burns and let the cacao nibs cool completely on the silpat, trying to separate them out as best as you can.
  4. Once cool, crush the candied cacao nibs into small pieces. Use to top the cupcakes.

One thought on “Olallieberry Extra Dark Mocha Cupcakes with Candied Cacao Nibs

  1. Pingback: Fluffy Boiled Frosting | familyrecipebooks

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