The Most Amazing Coffee Cake Cupcakes Recipe

If you are looking for a delicious, easy-to-make dessert recipe that will impress your guests at any party then look no further. The most amazing coffee cake cupcakes recipe is here and it will not disappoint!

Mini Coffee cake cupcakes

These moist, fluffy delights are sure to please everyone’s sweet tooth with their incredible flavor. So what are you waiting for? Get out your oven mitts and start baking up some of these awesome treats today!

The Most Amazing Coffee Cake Cupcakes Recipe

Who doesn’t love a great coffee cake? How about cupcakes? The best of both worlds in one delicious recipe! These delectable, moist and fluffy Coffee Cake Cupcakes are the perfect treats for any occasion. Get your ingredients ready to whip up these scrumptious treats today!

Coffee cake cupcakes easy

History of coffee cake

Coffee cake is a type of sweet yeast bread that originated in Europe, particularly Hungary. Some people beg to differ and say Germany, or Austria specifically. With its dense and moist texture, it can be eaten as an alternative to dessert or served for breakfast with coffee.

The dough contains baking powder and/or baking soda (to provide the typical cakes’ lightness) butter and eggs which give the crumb softness, sweetness, and richness.

Other ingredients usually include sugar, vanilla extract (though sometimes replaced by cinnamon), lemon zest, or citron peel garnish; raisins are often used once they have been soaked in water as well additional flavorings like rum-soaked cherries.

coffee cake cupcakes

It is called coffee cake as it is served WITH coffee – not that it usually contains coffee. While it MAY contain coffee – that isn’t very common in any coffee cake recipe.

My Coffee Cake Recipe

When we had our restaurant, we whipped up a coffee cake that had a streusel topping and a cinnamon swirl inside. It was basically a yellow cake – that helped make it a bit sweeter.

These cupcakes are a fresh take on that treat that we always sold out of.

Coffee cake cupcakes with cake mix

Yes, these cupcakes are based on a boxed cake mix. If you want to make your yellow cupcake bases from scratch – feel free to use our recipe: Best Yellow Cupcake Recipe from Scratch.

Just remember, you need to pop a layer of the cinnamon swirl crumb mix in the middle of them – you can see more below on how to do that.

How do you store Coffee Cake Cupcakes?

Here is the thing – with the more futzy designs, I like to make them in advance of an event or get-together. The bases of these can be made WEEKS in advance and popped into your freezer.

When you are ready to finish them off, you take out the night before and leave at room temperature to thaw out.

The best way to usually store your finished creations? Room Temperature.

Granted, these are so freaking delicious that they aren’t going to be safe that long. You can learn more about that in our article How To Frost A Cupcake.

Cinnamon Coffee cake cupcakes

Why is cinnamon so great? Why is it so popular in coffee cake recipes?

Cinnamon is a popular ingredient not only because of its flavor but also because it has been shown to help regulate blood sugar.

Add that to the health benefits of a cuppa in the morning and you are starting your day of well.

If it makes you feel any better, you can simply refer to these as coffee cake muffins.

coffeecake cupcakes recipe

How to make Coffee cake cupcakes

While these coffee cake cupcakes start with a yellow cake mix, there are a few steps involved to make the swirl in the cupcakes, then the crumb topping, and finally to drizzle the glaze over them.

Trust me – they are soooo worth it.

Coffee Cake Cupcakes With Cake Mix

Yes, we are using a yellow cake mix to base these off of – my favorite brand? Sale. What ever is on sale.

You can usually get a boxed name brand cake mix for a buck – at your local grocery store. If the local stores aren’t accommodating you with their sales fliers, then you might want to hit your local dollar store. The Dollar Tree ALWAYS has cake mixes for a buck.

Coffee cake cupcakes recipe Ingredients:

Recipe for Coffee cake cupcakes ingredients

Recipe for Coffee cake cupcakes Cinnamon Swirl Middle:

  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon

Recipe for Coffee cake cupcakes Frosting:

  • Store bought vanilla frosting
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon

Recipe for Coffee cake cupcakes Crumb Topping:

  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon no salt butter, room temperature

Recipe for Coffee cake cupcakes Icing Drizzle:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2-4 tablespoons of milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Recipe for Coffee cake cupcakes:

In a small bowl combine cinnamon swirl ingredients and then set it aside.

Line your cupcake pan with cupcake liners and preset your oven temperature.

Whip up the batter for the yellow cake mix, according to the package.

Create the cinnamon swirl in the cupcake by layering the cake mix, swirl mix, and cake mix.

Bake cupcakes per the box recipe, and let them cool completely.

Recipe for Coffee cake cupcakes crumb topping

Stir crumb topping ingredients until well combined, set aside.

coffeecake cupcakes recipe

Stir cinnamon into the vanilla frosting.

coffeecake cupcakes recipe with cinnamon frosting

Lightly frost each cupcake, just enough to hold crumb topping in place. Trust me on this – that layer adds SO MUCH flavor to your finished cupcakes. Do NOT skip the cinnamon.

the best coffeecake cupcakes recipe

Sprinkle on or dip cupcake into crumb topping. Dipping is easier and fun for the kids to help you with.

coffeecake cupcakes recipe

Mix icing drizzle ingredients together, adding milk one tablespoon at a time until desired consistency is reached.

ready to eat coffeecake cupcakes

Drizzle that fantastic icing over your crumb-topped cupcakes.

Now, call a friend, put on a pot of coffee, and have a visit.

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How to Make Elf Cupcakes: Elf Pet Saint Bernard

There is no doubt that the Elf on the Shelf craze has taken over around the holidays over the last ten years or so. with articles like Easy Elf on the Shelf Ideas Guide for Parents floating around, don’t we need to talk about Elf Cupcakes?

How to Make Elf Cupcakes: Elf Pet Saint Bernard article cover image with a saint bernard elf cupcake

OK, maybe not actual elf cupcakes, but I have a fun take on the elf pets – that lovable Saint Bernard! Its story is so sweet – thanks to the magic barrels around their necks, the Elf Pets Saint Bernard stores the Christmas cheer children create when they show love to others.

That Christmas cheer is then used to help keep Santa and his team going strong – this heartwarming tale encourages children to perform acts of kindness throughout the Christmas season alongside the Saint Bernard pup included in the boxed set.

With all of that love and kindness going around, how could we NOT make a special cupcake for it?

“Pups at the Window” from Santa’s St. Bernards Save Christmas music video – too cute!

Elf Cupcakes: Elf Pet Saint Bernard

Why did we i pick the Saint Bernard for our first elf cupcake?

About Saint Bernards

Saint Bernards are gentle giants. They’re calm and patient, with an eagerness to please. This easy-going temperament makes the dog a great choice for a family pet. They’re very intelligent, so training is easy, but it’s important to start at a young age while they’re still small and easy to control.

As cuddly as a teddy bear but the size of a real bear, Saint Bernards love everyone they come into contact with. They just make a poor lap dog coming in at about 180 pounds.

This originally was very large working dog from the western Alps in Italy and Switzerland. They were originally bred for rescue work by the hospice of the Great St Bernard Pass on the Italian-Swiss border.

We can see how they were pulled into Elf Pets as they have all the characteristics of the holiday season AND are meant for a rescue! Both elves and children alike should adore them.

A quick video talking about the basics of Saint Bernard Dogs from Animal Planet

Since the barrel is such an important part of the story, I knew we had to include that in our creation. We even added a little heart, for all the love we are showing it. Once I figured that out, the rest was easy!

While this uses a boxed cake mix, you can easily use my chocolate cupcake recipe and make them from scratch. Or – as I have talked about before – pulling cupcake bases out of your freezer (If you are like me and make them ahead of time). This is our Best Chocolate Cupcake Recipe.

This recipe is set up to make 22 Cupcakes — wouldn’t it be fun to say “for taking to school”? If only kids were able to attend school right now… (sigh)

Elf Cupcakes: Elf Pet Saint Bernard

You will need:

  • 1 box of Triple chocolate cake mix
  • 3 large eggs room temp
  • 1/2 C of softened unsalted sweet cream butter
  • 1 C whole milk
  • 1TBSP pure vanilla extract
  • black holiday cupcake liners
  • cupcake pan


Preheat oven to 350 and line cupcake pan with the black cupcake liners.
In a medium bowl, add the cake mix, butter, milk, and vanilla extract and stir until combined.
Fill cupcake liners 3/4 of the way full.
Bake in the oven for about 2o minutes.
Pull out the cupcakes and allow them to cool before frosting.

For the Frosting

You will need:

  • 1 C unsalted sweet cream butter, softened
  • 2 1/2 C powder sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3-5 TBSP heavy whipping cream
  • 1 large round ice cream scooper
  • 1 mini angled spatula


Using a stand mixer, combine all ingredients and mix on medium speed. Mix until stiff, but creamy frosting forms.

For the Chocolate Ganache

You will need:

  • 1 C semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/3 C Heavy Whipping cream
  • 1 Small pot
  • 1 Squeeze bottle

Chocolate Ganache Directions

Using a small pot, pour the heavy whipping cream into it and place it on medium heat. Pour the chocolate chips into a medium heat-safe bowl. Once the heavy whipping cream starts to simmer, remove from heat and pour onto the chocolate chips. Allow to sit for 1 minute before whisking until smooth, then pour the chocolate ganache into the squeeze bottle.

Decoration Supplies needed:

  • 2 packages of Pepperidge Farm Milano Cookies
  • 1 package of mini edible eyes
  • 1 bag of Rolo chocolate caramel candy
  • 22 brown M&M’s
  • 1 container of mini pink heart sprinkles

Directions to make the St Bernard cupcakes

Using the ice cream scoop, scoop a dollop of frosting onto the cupcake. Use the angled spatula to lightly smooth the frosting but still keep the dome shape. Using the ganache, pipe out the brown part for the eyes. Place two eyes onto the center of the brown for the eyes of the Saint Bernard. Place an M&M into the center for the nose. Pipe out the mouth detail.

Remove two cookies from the packages and place one on each of the cupcakes for the ears.

For the barrel:

Unwrap two Rolo candies. Pipe a dollop of ganache onto the bottom flat part of the Rolo. Place the other on top. Allow chocolate to harden. Pipe a small dollop in the center of the Rolo and place a heart sprinkle onto the center.

Place the “barrel” onto the bottom center of the cupcake, on the frosting.

How to Make Elf Cupcakes: Elf Pet Saint Bernard with elf on the shelf

Other fun Christmas Themed cupcakes you may like:

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Tree Shaped Fondant Christmas Cupcake Toppers

Doesn’t that sound like a mouthful? Tree Shaped Fondant Christmas Cupcake Toppers. All it really means is harnessing your inner child and playing with fondant as you played with Play-Doh years ago. You are going to create mini Christmas Trees so you are all ready with those handmade Christmas cupcake toppers to rock out a festive treat!

Tree Shaped Fondant Christmas Cupcake Toppers article cover image of cupcakes topped with fondant trees

Tree Shaped Fondant Christmas Cupcake Toppers

Looking at Edible Christmas Cupcake Toppers

There are several different kinds of edible Christmas cupcake toppers as they can be made from fondant, royal icing, or even chocolate. Today, we are going to work with fondant!

I love how the Food Network puts it:

Rolled fondant is versatile. It can be tinted, flavored, modeled, formed, twisted, imprinted, and shaped into numerous of decorative pieces.

Can you put fondant on cupcakes?

Even if you just want to roll out fondant, cut strips, and put it directly onto a cupcake, you need to add a little buttercream under it to become the “glue”. We are going to frost the cupcakes before adding our little “clay” creations and buttercream will be the “sticky” that holds it all together.

Can I make fondant cake decorations in advance?

Yes, but ideally, you don’t want to make them more than 2-3 days ahead of when you want to use them. It isn’t like cupcakes – that you can make a month in advance and then pop into the freezer, to pull out and thaw before frosting. They get harder and will be harder to eat.

If you do want to make the cupcakes in advance, you don’t want to frost and pop the fondant on top. Fondant is sugar-based and it will start to break down – the opposite of the getting hard problem. Bottom line: think of melted Play-doh.

This recipe will make a dozen treats so you can double or triple the recipe accordingly to the size of the crowd you wish to treat. That being said, you need to start with 12 of your favorite chocolate cupcakes. You can either use a boxed cake mix or use our chocolate cupcake recipe.

You always want to make sure your cupcakes are completely cool before starting to decorate them.

Now, let’s make those Tree Shaped Fondant Christmas Cupcake Toppers

You will need:

6-8 oz. green fondant

Line a baking sheet with wax paper and roll out a dozen 2-inch fondant spheres.

Start shaping each fondant sphere into cones so that they take the shape of Christmas trees. Use scissors to cut little indents all around the fondant tree (this will give it texture). Set lightly on the lined baking sheet.

This is a GREAT cupcake to make with the littles – after all, they are at the top of the Play-Doh skills right now. Have them help you shape the little fondant trees and your junior baker will swell with pride as people compliment them!

For the Buttercream you will need:

  • ¾ cup softened butter (1 ½ sticks)
  • 3 cups icing sugar
  • 3-5 tbsp milk
  • 1 cup sweetened coconut flakes
  • Red gel food coloring
  • Yellow gel food coloring
  • Blue gel food coloring

To make the buttercream, use an electric mixer and beat butter, icing sugar, and milk on medium speed. Gradually increase speed to high and beat until completely smooth.

Frost each cupcake with an offset spatula and add shredded coconut on top.

Add some buttercream to the bottom of each tree and place on in the center of each cupcake.

Separate the remainder of your frosting into three different bowls. Color each one with your gel food coloring.

Now let’s add some holiday lights to your tree-shaped fondant Christmas cupcakes toppers! Add each buttercream color into a sandwich bag, cut a small hole in one and corner, and pipe out little dots on your fondant Christmas trees. We kept the yellow for the top part of the tree – this will act as your fondant tree’s “star.”

Tree Shaped Fondant Christmas Cupcake Toppers article cover image close up

Other Christmas Cupcakes You May Enjoy:

Vanilla Snowflake Cupcakes Scream Winter Refreshment

Even though the coating probably isn’t 70 percent dark chocolate, York Peppermint Patties are still a safe way to satisfy a sweet tooth without going the whole hog. For 150 calories or less, you can enjoy one regular-size pattie or three of the miniatures. That is the real star of these Vanilla Snowflake Cupcakes, the refreshing cool hit of mint that tops these gems after we make them pretty.

vanilla snowflake cupcakes article cover image

We start out with a box of French Vanilla Cake mix for these – if you keep your eyes out, they are on sale all the time for a buck or less. If you want to make them from scratch, try our favorite recipe here:

Check out how to make the perfect vanilla cupcakes – we love this video here!

A boxed mix is ok too – we dress it up a bit. Do NOT follow the instructions on the cake box, but use our bonus ingredients to transform them into delicious gems that could surprise the most distinguished palate. Do make sure y u eggs and milk are at room temperature, when added to the soft butter, you will create a bit of heaven.

Vanilla Snowflake Cupcakes

You will need:

  • 1 box of French vanilla cake mix
  • 3 large eggs room temp
  • 1/2 C of unsalted sweet cream butter, softened
  • 1 C whole milk
  • 1 C Blue Jimmie Sprinkles


Preheat the oven to 350 and line a cupcake pan with the cupcake liners. In a medium bowl, beat the cake mix, eggs, butter, and milk until they are smooth and combined. Be careful to not over mix as you create air tunnels in the final baked product.

You know you’ve overmixed when you see “tunneling” in cakes and muffins because often if you slice into a cake baked from an overmixed batter, you will see tunnels where air bubbles were trapped and therefore pushed through the crumb, basically tunneling through your cake.

Now, fold in the sprinkles. Fill cupcake liners 3/4 of the way full. Bake in the oven for about 21 minutes. Pull out the cupcakes and allow to cool before frosting.

Before you start frosting these gems, you might want to check out our article in How To Frost A Cupcake, there are a few tips and tricks that we share.

Vanilla Frosting Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 C unsalted sweet cream butter, softened
  • 4 1/2 C powdered sugar
  • 5-7 tbsp. heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tsp. Pure vanilla extract
  • 1 large piping bag with large star tip
  • 2 containers of Wilton Christmas wonderland sprinkles (Found at Michaels Craft Stores)
  • 24 unwrapped York Peppermint patties
  • 1 tube of white frosting with a number 2 tip

Frosting Snowflake Cupcakes Directions

Place the York Peppermint Patties onto a cookie sheet. Pipe a snowflake onto the center of the peppermint patties. Allow to dry. One option is to sprinkle edible glitter over the fresh snowflakes right away. It adds a gorgeous sheen to the finished project.

Using a standing mixer combine the butter, powdered sugar, heavy whipping cream, vanilla and mix on medium speed until combined and smooth. Scoop the frosting into the piping bag

Pour the Christmas sprinkles into a medium bowl.

Vanilla snowflake cupcake finished product

Decorating directions

Using the piping bag, pipe a thick wall of frosting around the edge of
the cupcakes. Coat the frosting in the Christmas sprinkles but dipping them into the bowl of sprinkles. Pipe a dollop of frosting into the middle of the sprinkle coated frosting. Carefully place the decorated York Peppermint Pattie in the frosting dollop.

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