OK, I’ll admit… I totally didn’t understand the “scented” cupcake thing until now.

You always hear those fancy bakers from posh cupcakeries talk about pistachio-scented this and almond-scented that. And you know what? It used to sound silly to me.

But now I totally get it. In my Google quest to figure out what makes a really moist chocolate cake, I added a little secret ingredient to these cupcakes (the ones I baked into mason jars with my leftover batter). It imparts a mouthwatering coffee scent without making you feel like you’re eating a coffee-flavored cupcake.

Want to know the secret?

Instant coffee.

I bought a box of eight of these little Nescafé Clasico packets, used one to stir up a cup of coffee (J and I don’t have a coffee maker at home—sacrilege, I know!) and added that java-licious mug straight into the batter before baking.

The results were moist, mouthwatering and quite delicious when paired with a vanilla coffee buttercream frosting that features the same instant coffee powder mixed right in.

Now, the frosting’s not coffee-scented, that thing just tastes like a straight up vanilla latté.

No joke. A moist chocolate cupcake with a whipped latté on top.

Ready to chow down? Check out the recipe below: