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4 from 3 votes

Mocha Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Buttercream Frosting

The easiest cupcakes you will ever make--these Mocha Cupcakes secretly start with a boxed cake mix, but no one will ever guess! Adding in extra cocoa, sour cream and a few more ingredients makes these just like fresh from the bakery!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American, Italian
Servings: 30 cupcakes
Calories: 269kcal
Author: Lorie Yarro


For Mocha Cupcakes

  • 1 chocolate cake mix (15.25 oz.) I used Betty Crocker Super Moist Chocolate Fudge
  • 4 large eggs
  • ½ c canola oil
  • 1 ¼ c whole milk
  • ¾ c sour cream
  • 1 box instant chocolate pudding
  • 1 T espresso powder
  • ¼ c cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For Salted Caramel Buttercream Frosting

  • 1 c unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 c powdered sugar
  • 1 ½ tsp vanilla
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt (more to taste)
  • ½ c caramel sauce


  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • In a medium bowl, lightly beat the eggs. Add in the milk, sour cream, oil and vanilla and whisk to combine. Add in cocoa powder, cake mix, espresso powder and using an electric mixer on medium, mix the ingredients together. You can opt to beat by hand for about 2 minutes.
  • Pour batter into lined cupcake pan filling each cup about half way. Bake for 14-17 minutes or until a toothpick just comes out clean. Allow to cool completely.
  • While cupcakes cool, using an electric mixer (handheld or standing), beat softened butter on medium until light and fluffy. (2-4 minutes. Slowly add in the powdered sugar, one cup at a time until all is used. Add in caramel, vanilla and sea salt. Beat until combined. Frost your cupcakes using a knife or your favorite icing piping. ***If you prefer cupcakes with lots of icing that is piped high, you will more than likely want to double the frosting recipe.***


Calories: 269kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 42mg | Sodium: 160mg | Potassium: 101mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 22g | Vitamin A: 279IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 49mg | Iron: 1mg