Celebrate this year's Cupcake Day by making this delicious Chocolate Cupcake and Coffee Buttercream recipe from MasterChef Champion Louisa Ellis.



Our friend, collaborator and MasterChef winner Louisa Ellis has created another recipe for Difference Coffee, and it’s a terrific treat! Few can resist a cupcake (or two), especially when they’re homemade chocolate cupcakes crowned with a swirl of coffee buttercream. Chef Ellis uses Difference Coffee, freshly brewed as a ristretto, or “short shot”, in both the cakes and topping. In the cake, the coffee complements chocolate and rich, creamy coconut cream, and in the buttercream, it’s the star of the show.

This recipe has quite a few ingredients — and it’s best to choose top-quality versions for all of them — but the method is quite straightforward, and familiar to anyone with a bit of baking experience. Simply blend the wet and dry ingredients for the cakes separately, then bring them together before plopping the mixture in the cake pan. The cupcakes bake for just enough time to whip up the buttercream, but Ellis advises letting them cool before piping the buttercream on top. We promise that these delicious confections will be worth the wait!



60g of plain flour
20g cocoa powder
1.5g of salt
3g of bicarb
2.5g baking powder
115g of caster sugar
1 large egg
65g of premium coconut cream (I use KTC, rich and creamy)
60ml of ristretto Difference Coffee
30g of sunflower oil


150g unsalted butter
300g of icing sugar
Pinch of salt
50ml of double cream
60ml of cold ristretto Difference coffee



Preheat the oven to 160°c.
Place all dry ingredients into a bowl and mix together until combined.
Add coconut cream, oil, coffee and egg into the dry mix and whisk until all lumps disappear.
Line a muffin tray with cupcake cases and evenly top up with the chocolate cupcake mix.
Bake in the oven for 13 minutes and do NOT open the oven door during the cooking process!
Double check the cakes are cooked by inserting a skewer into the centre of the cupcake. When you remove the skewer, it should be clean from raw cake mix.
Remove the cupcakes from the muffin tray and onto a cooling rack.


Using an electric whisk, beat the butter, icing sugar and salt until pale and smooth.
Add the coffee and continue to mix in.
Fold in the double cream which will make the mix lighter but do not over mix!
Use a piping bag and nozzle to decorate the cooled cupcakes with the buttercream. Enjoy straight away or store in the fridge for best results.


Louisa Ellis, currently a private chef based in Nottingham, rose to fame with two successful stints on the hit television programme MasterChef. At just 22 years old, Ellis finished in the final three on 2017’s MasterChef: The Professionals. She returned to MasterChef in 2020, this time winning the competition. Ellis calls that victory her “biggest achievement to date”, but the chef’s career prior to television fame is also very impressive.

Born in Luton, Louisa Ellis loved to cook throughout her childhood, and that passion led her to attend culinary college. Her professional career began in multi-Rosette hotel kitchens and soon moved on to Michelin-starred restaurants. A few CV highlights include the elite Adam’s Restaurant and The Wilderness, both in Birmingham. In addition to being a sought-after private chef, Ellis often hosts restaurant takeovers and creates menus for major nationwide events.



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