Coffee Liqueur Infused Devil’s Food Cupcakes with Hot Cocoa Frosting

Adding some instant coffee and coffee liqueur is an easy and decadent way to jazz up a devil’s food cake mix. I like how light and fluffy a boxed mix turns out. If you like a firmer cake you can add an additional egg to the mix.

I’m generally not a huge frosting lover…specifically buttercream. It can just be overly sweet and grainy…but my whipped frosting recipe that I use on almost all of my cupcakes is another story. It’s light, fluffy, and not too sweet. I mix cream cheese, heavy whipping cream, and sugar to make a basic whipped frosting, and the cream cheese helps keep it sturdy. I just add in different flavors depending on the cupcake. This version gets a splash of coffee liqueur and unsweetened cocoa powder, and it’s DELICIOUS!

Check out this other light and fluffy version using the same frosting base:
Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes

These will definitely please any chocolate or coffee lover in your life! Perfect to serve at a party, or enjoyed with a cup of coffee!

Coffee Liqueur Infused Devil's Food Cupcakes with Hot Cocoa Frosting

Servings 24 cupcakes
Author Laura Doerr


  • 1 box Devil's Food cake mix
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup coffee liqueur
  • 2 tbsp instant coffee granules
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 24 cupcake liners

For the frosting

  • 6 oz cream cheese room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp coffee liqueur
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream


  1. Line a 24 cupcake baking pan with cupcake liners. Preheat oven to 350 degree. Dissolve the instant coffee into the 1/4 cup coffee liqueur.
  2. In a large mixing bowl combine the cake mix, water, oil, eggs, vanilla, and coffee liqueur mixture. Using a hand mixer, mix on low until combined for about 30 seconds, then increase to medium speed and beat for 2 minutes. Scoop the batter evenly into the lined cupcake pan. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Remove from pans onto a cooling rack, cool completely before frosting.

For the frosting

  1. In a stand mixer (or hand mixer), combine cream cheese, sugar, vanilla, and coffee liqueur. Beat together until smooth, scraping sides as needed. Gently add in the cocoa powder while on low speed. Once all combined add in the 2 cups of heavy whipping cream. Mix on med-high for about 2-3 minutes or until thick and fluffy (stiff peaks).
  2. Top each cooled cupcake with frosting and dust with cocoa powder if desired. I like to use a plastic zip top bag for piping, or you can use a knife. Store cupcakes in refrigerator.

Recipe Notes

Additional topping idea: chocolate covered coffee beans!

For a more dense cake texture add an additional egg.

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