I am so glad and excited that Taylor asked me to do a little guest post while she’s frolicking on the beaches of Hawaii. In the light of vacation, I decided to make my own little escape in the form of chocolate and coffee. These little beauties are the perfect pick-me-up, and are a snap to throw together too. I hope july is finding you well, and wishing you all a happy summer from Tender Turning Quiet!
please click through for full recipe 

  Chocolate Espresso Cupcakes
Yields 24 

 2 cups flour 
2 cups sugar
1 tsp. baking soda 
1 tsp salt
1 cup coffee 
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 stick butter, melted 
2/3 cup cocoa powder
2 tsp. vanilla 
2 eggs 
1/2 cup sour cream or yogurt 

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the hot coffee, vegetable oil, melted butter, cocoa powder and vanilla. Pour the wet into the dry and mix well with a rubber spatula. Beat until very smooth. In a separate bowl, whip together the eggs and sour cream, and fold it into the batter. Pour into lined cupcake tins about 2/3 full. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes-ish, til the cakes bounce back when you touch them and a toothpick comes out clean. When cool enough to handle, remove the little cakes from the tins and let them completely cool. 

Espresso Icing

2 sticks butter, softened 
6 to 8 powdered sugar 
1/4 cup cocoa powder
 1/2 cup milk 
2 tsp. vanilla 
2 Tblsp. espresso powder (finely ground)

 Place the butter in a large mixing bowl. Add 4 cups of the sugar, cocoa powder, espresso powder, and then the milk and vanilla. On the medium speed of an electric mixer, beat until smooth and creamy, about 3-5 minutes. Gradually add the remaining sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating well after each addition (about 2 minutes), until the icing is thick enough to be of good spreading consistency. You may not need to add all of the sugar. Pipe or spread onto your cooled cupcakes, and sprinkle with any decor you please (I used cocoa nibs, but a coffee bean or chocolate jimmies would be cute too!) They’ll keep for three days at room temperature in a tightly sealed container, or even longer in the fridge. Though I would let them come to room temperature before devouring, if you can wait that long!
 Cake recipe based on chocolate sheet cake from I Like You by Amy Sedaris. Icing based on Magnolia Bakery's buttercream.