Mini Chocolate Cupcakes w/Espresso Buttercream

1 cup cocoa powder
3 cups AP flour
1 tbsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
3 cups white sugar
1 cup warm water
1 ½ cups buttermilk
room temp
6 oz canola/corn oil
3/4 cup
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
10 tbsp unsalted butter
1 cup confectioners' sugar
(5 ounces)
1 ½ teaspoons instant espresso powder
table salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp heavy cream
For the Cupcakes
Preheat oven to 350
Sift together cocoa powder, flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
Measure sugar into the small mixer bowl, add the remaining dry ingredients and whisk to combine.
Combine eggs, water, buttermilk, vanilla and oil.
Add wet ingredients slowly to the dry, with the mixer on low. Whisk until smooth, 1-2 minutes.
Use small ice cream scoop to measure into cupcake pans. Bake about 15-18 minutes. Use a skewer to check for doneness, there should be no crumbs on it! Cake should spring-back when touched with a fingertip. Remove from cupcakes pan and cool completely before frosting.
For the Buttercream
In standing mixer fitted with whisk attachment, beat butter at medium-high speed until smooth, about 20 seconds. Add confectioners' sugar and salt; beat at medium-low speed until most of the sugar is moistened, about 45 seconds. Scrape down bowl and beat at medium speed until mixture is fully combined, about 15 seconds; scrape bowl. Dissolve instant espresso in vanilla and cream, and beat at medium speed until incorporated, about 10 seconds, then increase speed to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes, scraping down bowl once or twice.
To Serve
Frost with espresso buttercream. Enjoy!