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Turkish coffee is very finely ground coffee that’s brewed in a special pot (traditionally a copper pot with a narrow neck) called an ibrik or cezve.  The finely ground coffee is typically spiced with cardamom before brewing, which gives it a very unique flavor.  Sugar can be added to the coffee (depending on personal preference) but milk is never added.  Once the coffee is brewed it’s poured into small cups called fincans, which are similar to espresso or demitasse cups; the dregs settle to the bottom and are left in the cup when the coffee is drunk.  Turkish coffee is almost magical…it’s smooth and velvety and the different flavor notes of the coffee really come through.  (I won’t say anything else about Turkish coffee…it’s actually fabulous enough to warrant its own post!)

img_4741-smallWhat does Turkish coffee have to do with these cupcakes?  One Sunday morning Mike and I were drinking Turkish coffee and I was wishing for a little something sweet to go with my coffee, and these cute little cupcakes were born.  The flavors in these cupcakes echo the flavors in Turkish coffee, but they would pair well with any kind of coffee.

img_4729-smallI originally wanted to make caramel buttercream to frost these little beauties.  I attempted making Martha Stewart’s recipe for caramel buttercream but it just wasn’t meant to be; somewhere along the way I really massacred the recipe.  When I started to whip the caramel into the buttercream, the caramel hardened right onto the paddle of my mixer…it was not a pretty sight to say the least.  It turned out okay in the end though because these cupcakes are moist enough that they don’t need any frosting.


Flavor of Cardamom:  Cardamom has a very complex flavor and strong aroma; the best way I can describe it is that it’s floral and a little sweet with notes of pepper and lemon.

img_4889-smallSpiced Coffee Cupcakes


(Yield:  12 cupcakes)


1 c white sugar

1 TB molasses

1/2 c canola oil

2 large eggs

1/2 c milk

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1 TB good quality Turkish-ground coffee

1 1/3 c flour (all-purpose or whole wheat)

1 1/4 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp ground allspice

1/8 tsp ground cardamom

Cooking spray

Powdered sugar (optional, to dust the tops)


Cupcake baking tray

12 cupcake liners (if using)


Preheat the oven to 350F.  Line a cupcake baking tray with 12 liners and lightly spray the inside of each liner with cooking spray.  Beat together the sugar, molasses, oil, eggs, milk, vanilla, and coffee.  In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, salt, allspice, and cardamom.  Gradually stir the dry ingredients into the wet, stirring just enough to combine.  Transfer the batter to the prepared baking tray and bake for about 16-19 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with just a crumb or two.  Dust the tops with powdered sugar if using.


Turkish Ground Coffee
Turkish Ground Coffee
Faith, author of An Edible Mosaic.
About Faith

I’m the writer, recipe developer, photographer, and food stylist behind this blog. I love finding the human connection through something we all do every day: eat! Food is a common ground that we can all relate to, and our tables tell a story. It’s my goal to inspire you to get in the kitchen, try something new, and find a favorite you didn’t know you had.

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  1. I simply love this recipe! It contains two of my favorites of all time, coffee and cupcakes! In the past, I have troubles in making cupcakes because I always end up with the wrong recipe. But upon trying you recipe, it was simply perfect. It also tastes really well if paired with a glass of iced coffee Great post! Thanks for sharing.

  2. Those cupcakes must be lovely! Nice pot!



  3. Those look cute! I am a huge coffee fan.Those cupcakes sound delicious.

  4. Hi!

    Those look FABULOUS! I want to try making them – I’ve never had Turkish coffee, and I’m not sure what cardamon tastes like…

    Do you think I can make them with finely ground regular coffee?

    And do you think they would go well with a butterscotch frosting?

    [email protected]

    1. Mollie, Any kind of super finely ground coffee should work (sometimes you can find “Turkish ground” coffee, which isn’t a special bean, just ultra finely ground coffee). I think butterscotch frosting would be FANTASTIC on these cupcakes! ;) If you make them, let me know how you like them!

  5. Your cupcakes look so pretty with their powdered sugar hearts. I never think of those small touches that make the dessert extra special.

    I love cardamom and have only just been using it this past year.

  6. ooh I really want to make these! I love coffee flavored cakes and spice cakes, so I’m sure I would love them together!

  7. These look great. Here in Greece they drink their coffee in a similar manner. I’ll have to give these a try.

  8. Beautiful frosting! So simple but to elegant. I love the aroma of cardamon too!

  9. I dont think you massacred the Martha Stewart recipe, it saddens me to say I have had more disappointments than winners when it comes to her recipes. But this cupcake recipe sounds fantastic.

    I actually drink turkish coffee from time to time and if these cupcakes are anywhere near as satisfying, then I’m in!

  10. Cardamom is one of our favorite spices! And I would totally love these coffee cupcakes – they sound delicious and look so adorable with the hearts!

  11. Can a cupcake get any cuter? These would be the perfect ‘wake me up’ breakfast.

  12. Wow they look so cute!! You did a great job at substituting the caramel buttercream.

  13. Turkish coffee and spices – perfect cupcakes! Your photos are amazing! I could go for a coffee break right now!

  14. These cupcakes look fabulous – I love the pretty idea of the heart icing sugar stencils. Totally delicious!

  15. Yumm! I am a sucker for all things coffee! I may be making these after I make your turkey bolognese!! Thanks for another great recipe :)

  16. I’ve never had Turkish coffee. It sounds lovely. I can see how thses cupcakes would go well with a cup.

  17. Oh my gosh! I can’t believe it! Turkish coffee! I was all set to make some of this today but then I remembered that I used up all of my cardamom on my last recipe. Darn! I had to just drink regular old coffee for today.

    Your cupcakes are adorable! I love the sweet hearts on top. :)

  18. Thanks for linking this at my new feature, Meatless Mondays. This is unique and I can only imagine how it tastes. Coffee flavoring is delicious.

  19. Those are so cute… They wouldn’t have been as cute with the frosting on them! They also sound really delicious. I’ll have to find some turkish coffee and try them, although it might prove difficult in this town!

  20. A very adult cupcake. I love anything with coffee so I may just have to try these!

  21. i really enjoy cardamom (although not nearly as much as i enjoy cinnamon), and these little cakelets sound delicious! oh, and i LOVE the stenciled hearts–so cute. note to self: try turkish coffee!

  22. I love the new blog chica! Looks fantastic.

    As do these cupcakes. Cardamom is one of my favorite things to put in baked goods. It is one of those secret ingredients that, when you eat it the first time, you’re not quite sure why you like it so much or why it’s so intriguing. Thanks for the lesson on Turkish coffee! I need to try it.

  23. Aww how sweet is the heart! And I agree Turksih coffee is amazingly good stuff. It’s probably the only coffee I will break my coffee ban for :D

  24. You are clever and creative and a darn good cook and baker. Another tribute to you in the form of a cupcake. This is on my list.

  25. Faith, nice coffee cakes…and not only look so cute with the heart look yummie! Would love to have a bite of it :-)

  26. These sound so good with the rich coffee flavor and the spices. What a wonderful breakfast treat. And they look so pretty!

  27. Wow! Coffee flavored cupcakes! I think I’m in love :)

  28. These photos are awesome!! Your photography is getting more fab by the day. Did u submit these to Tastespotting, I hope so. I love Cardamom, such a complex & elegant spice. Love the powdered sugar hearts you added…..more interesting than the caramel frosting :) Can I come over for Turkish Coffee now….love that stuff.

  29. these are sooo lovely! I really want to try these spiced muffins…sound like a great companion to a coffee! perfect snack for a cold day :D

  30. mmm….I love how you stenciled that heart in…so sweet! But quite a shot with the coffeee…Wouldn’t I love this to jolt me up in the morningS!

  31. Karyn Bernard (French Charming) says:

    Hello my dear sweet friend! I can’t wait to try this, I love my coffee and the richer the better, this recipe sounds amazing and the perfect compliment to a rich cup of coffee!

    Your photos are fabulous as always. I hope things are going well for you my friend! Please drop me a line when you can and let me know how things are going for you.

    Love and big hugs,

  32. Coffee cakes are always my family’s favourite. Yours look very good. With the heart on top, it would be perfect for Valentine’s Day!

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