Espresso Buttercream Frosting

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This Espresso Buttercream Frosting is so decadent and lusciously creamy. Coffee lovers rejoice, this is definitely going to become your favorite frosting recipe. 

>> Coffee fan? You might like this Dalgona Whipped Coffee Recipe.

I came across a recipe for espresso buttercream frosting a few years ago and it has been a favorite with my family ever since. My mom and I are both huge coffee drinkers. We take any excuse to try more coffee desserts.

When we find a recipe that satisfies both of our tastes, it’s like hitting the jackpot, and that’s what this recipe is!

Admittedly, any coffee dessert makes me curious. I’ve tried a lot of recipes that have coffee in them, but they just don’t deliver on flavor or it isn’t pronounced enough. This recipe is certainly not like the others.

When I started experimenting with this recipe, I made it with a chocolate cupcake. While it was good, the chocolate overpowered the coffee in the frosting. Also, I’m not a super big fan of chocolate cake to begin with. Vanilla cupcakes give the espresso frosting a chance to really shine.

These cupcakes use instant espresso powder as their secret weapon. It’s concentrated enough that even when put into a batch of frosting it still packs a punch. Once you dissolve it in vanilla extract, it’s a recipe for delicious espresso flavored frosting. 

The best part about this recipe is that it’s pretty easy! It starts with a classic white cake recipe. You can make it with yellow cake if you don’t want to go through the hassle of separating eggs.

How To Make Buttercream Frosting

At first it may seem like buttercream is complicated or hard to make because it’s regarded as somewhat fancy frosting. Let me tell you, I was intimidated the first time I made it. But it’s not that difficult, I promise. The electric mixer does most of the work! 

  • The first step is to add the espresso to the vanilla and stir it well until it’s smooth, with no lumps. Set this aside for later.
  • Next, beat the butter on high using the whisk attachment of a stand mixer or a regular electric mixer. Then reduce speed, and add in the powdered sugar a little at a time, waiting until it’s incorporated each time before adding more.
  • Whip for a minute or two to make sure everything is fully combined and it’s light and fluffy.
  • Now you add in the espresso-vanilla mixture and stir that in with a spatula until it’s fully combined. You don’t want to use the mixer for this step, as it can lead to over mixing.
  • When the frosting is mixed, you can use it right away to frost your cupcakes or cake. I use a silicon reusable piping bag and tips. I think it’s the easiest way to frost cupcakes and they look beautiful. You can sprinkle on a bit of espresso powder to add extra contrast.

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Vanilla Cupcake with Espresso Buttercream

Espresso Buttercream Frosting

This Espresso Buttercream Frosting is so decadent and lusciously creamy. Coffee lovers rejoice, this is definitely going to become your favorite frosting recipe. 
4.58 from 28 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Butter, Sugar
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 12 Servings
Calories: 235kcal
Author: Jillian Morris


  • 1 1/2 teaspoons espresso powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup unsalted butter softened
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar


  • Dissolve the espresso powder in the vanilla in a bowl or cup and set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer add in the butter and beat with a whisk attachment on high for five minutes. Reduce the speed to low and slowly add the powdered sugar- ½ cup increments are good- and let each addition completely combine.
  • Once all of the powdered sugar is in, scrape the bowl and then whip for a minute or two until fluffy and light.
  • After that add in the espresso-vanilla mixture and mix on low until combined.


This recipe makes about 1 1/2 cups of frosting, enough to frost a dozen cupcakes.


Calories: 235kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 41mg | Sodium: 3mg | Potassium: 10mg | Sugar: 25g | Vitamin A: 473IU | Calcium: 5mg | Iron: 1mg


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espresso buttercream frosting

14 thoughts on “Espresso Buttercream Frosting

    • William Mosler says:

      What makes these cupcakes so desirable is the liners and the frosting. Can you tell me where you bought these. Thanks.

      • Laura says:

        Yes it’s all about that delicious frosting! The lines we bought at Walmart. You can get similar Wilton ones on Amazon (

  1. Cheryl says:

    5 stars
    Made it this morning and said I’d probably not make it again because I don’t use big mixers that much. Changed my mind immediately upon tasting it! So good!!!!

  2. Rachel says:

    5 stars
    Made this last night for my daughter’s (adult) birthday today. Came out beautifully and I had a hard time not eating all of it as I was frosting her cake! Yum!!!

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