Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Coffee Muffins with Mocha Glaze

I have been craving coffee flavored sweets lately. Now, I am not one to go buy a frappuccino and I am also not one to make some coffee and put more than 2 teaspoons of sugar into it, but I really felt that some coffee-flavored cake or bread or muffin would be fantastic. The idea is not prominent in the baking world. Search "coffee cake" or even "coffee-flavored cake" and you mostly end up with coffee cake. Coffee cake to me does not deserve to be called that unless it's coffee-flavored! Also, I think coffee cake is way too sweet for breakfast, maybe even more oily and sweet than donuts. But I suppose that is why you eat it with coffee, because the bitter coffee will become palatable due to the lingering sweetness of the coffee cake (and vice versa).

After searching for a while and evaluating the various recipes available to me online, I came across this coffee cake muffin recipe at The ingredients in the muffin base sounded like an easy thing to put together and didn't have too much oil, sugar, or eggs (I'm stingy with my eggs and try to be healthy by baking with less fats and sugar). But, the recipe was filled with jam and had that same sugary topping seen on coffee cakes. I wanted just a pure coffee-flavored muffin, no other flavors or sugars to mask it. So, I borrowed her muffin base, excluded the filling and topping, and put my own mocha glaze on top. I have to say the results came out very well.
The batter only produced 10 muffins in my case, but they were soft, moist, spongy. They have a crumb that stays together relatively well, but still is tender and breaks away when you bite into it. I added 1/2 teaspoon of ground coffee (Cafe du Monde) to boost the coffee flavor, but I will have to add more next time. I also used leftover coffee from the morning, which was made just regular , not strong. Due to this and the predominant sugar and flour base, the coffee flavor was not as strong as I wanted it to be. So, next time, I will brew extra strong coffee (probably do Vietnamese drip coffee using my phin and Cafe du Monde coffee), and add a full teaspoon to the batter to boost the flavor.

In making the icing. I had too small an amount of powdered sugar and added too much coffee. It was runny and definitely not suitable for icing. So I melted some bits of a dark chocolate baking bar in the microwave and stirred it in until I achieved a consistency I thought would be good.
After the muffins cooled down, I iced them. First, I tried covering the tops, but that did not look that nice. So next I went with zigzags. Much better. Still, displeased with the ugly muffins, I sprinkles some of the Cafe du Monde coffee on top, and voila! I was finally pleased.
Hope you enjoyed my journey to achieve a good-lookin' coffee muffin. Now, to the spoils! The recipe!

Coffee Muffins with Mocha Glaze (makes 10 muffins)
Muffin Ingredients
1.5 cups of flour (I use Ultra-Grain Flour)
1/4 cups of brown sugar
1/4 cup of granulated (white) sugar
1.5 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
less than 1/4 tsp of salt
1 tsp of good quality, finely ground coffee (Cafe du Monde, Starbucks, Illy, etc.)
1/2 cup of brewed coffee, cooled to room temperaure (next time, I'll brew it extra strong)
1/4 cup of milk
1 egg
1/3 cup of vegetable oil

Glaze Ingredients
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 to 2 Tbs brewed coffee
1/2 oz to 1 oz dark baking chocolate
Extra coffee grounds for decoration (optional)


  1. Sift the flour, brown sugar, white sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl.
  2. Beat the coffee, milk, egg, and oil in a small bowl or large glass measuring cup.
  3. Make a well in center of your dry ingredients and pour the wet ingredients into the dry. Stir just until combined. Do not overmix. Set aside.
  4. Pre-heat oven to 350 deg Fahrenheit.
  5. Line a muffin tin symmetrically with 10 muffin liners. 
  6. Pour the batter evenly into the muffin liners (if you have enough to fill 12 muffin cups about 2/3 full, go ahead)
  7. Fill the remaining 2 unlined muffin cups with water about 1/3 full.
  8. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 18-22 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the middle-most muffin comes out clean. Let cool in the pan or 5 minutes, then cool completely on a wire rack.
  9. While the muffins are cooling, prepare the glaze: In a small cup, beat the powdered sugar and brewed coffee until the powdered sugar has dissolved. Heat the baking chocolate in 15 second intervals, stirring in between, until melted and smooth. Mix into the powdered sugar mix. Continue to melt and add chocolate until you achieve the desired frosting consistency.
  10. Once the muffins have cooled to room temperature, ice/glaze/frost/decorate. If desired, sprinkle coffee grounds on top of the glaze.