Monday, August 23, 2010

Espresso Chocolate Jam Birthday Cupcakes

Hubby’s birthday was last week! Sadly he was on the road an unable to be here on his big day but we celebrated over the past weekend. Hubby loves peanut butter cups. Something about the combination of chocolate and peanut butter puts him in a heavenly place. For the past several years I’ve tried to incorporate his love of peanut butter and chocolate into his birthday cake. Last year’s attempt was very good but the cake was so heavy and rich. I had to swig down a whole glass of milk to cut the richness of just a small slice. Maybe it was a little too rich! This year I wanted a lighter airier version!

Espresso Chocolate Jam Cupcakes w/Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting

Time with hubby is precious since we only spend a few days together every two weeks so I cheated! I used a box mix and store bought frosting to jump start the baking process but I added my own twist. You can easily use a few of my tricks to add a little extra umph to your baked goodies regardless if you use store bought mix or if you make it from scratch!

  • Duncan Hines Dark Chocolate cake mix
  • Betty Crocker Whipped Cream Cheese frosting
  • Strawberry jam or preserves

Prepare cupcakes per package directions EXCEPT substitute water for super concentrated brewed coffee (cooled) or simply dissolve 2 tablespoons of instant coffee into the water. All the cupcakes to cool completely!

Using a knife or small circular cookie cutter, cut a circle shape in the top of the cupcakes. Using a fork, gently insert into the side of a circle and pop out the middle section of the cupcake and set aside. Drop at least a teaspoon of jam or preserves in the middle of each cupcake replacing the the cupcake centers on top of the jam.

Pipe whipped cream cheese frosting on top allow to set and serve. You can also mix 1 part of creamy peanut butter with 2 or 3 parts whipped cream cheese frosting and pipe onto cupcakes. (Tip: I used a simple plastic sandwich bag with the corner snipped off to pipe the frosting.)

Espresso Chocolate Cupcakes with a suprise inside peanut butter frosting + jam centers taste like a chocolate PB&J

The coffee flavor offers a nice subtle complimentary flavor to the chocolate cake. Of course, if you wanted a stronger coffee taste to the cake, you can always make the coffee stronger before adding it to your cake mix. Ultimately, the cupcakes were a hit. I made several with jam filled centers, some with just plain cream cheese frosting, and others with a peanut butter cream cheese frosting. This is on the “definitely to repeat” list!

frugal front porchJenn is a stay at home southern mom raising her kids in Northwestern Minnesota with her trucker hubby. She loves to cook, craft and blog. Soon she’ll be going back to school for a new adventure in Graphic Design. You can find recipes, crafts, parenting strategies, budget tips, product reviews and fabulous giveaways on her blog, Frugal Front Porch.


  1. Jen, these look perfect! Just enough sweet to be good but not so much that it overwhelms. Happy birthday to your hubbie! I hope you have a wonderful celebration.

  2. Great job! You can also always stick a mini reeses peanut butter cup in the cupcake hole and bake it! Delicious! - Karen

  3. Thanks Julie!

    Karen-Great idea! I've used milk duds and caramel squares in the past but for some reason using mini Reese's never crossed my mind! ;D


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