Coffee buttercream is a rich, sweet and creamy coffee flavored frosting that’s perfect for cakes, cupcakes or just to enjoy by the spoonful. Make this easy coffee frosting in about 5 minutes or using 5 simple ingredients.
Why Should You Make This Recipe
I have several frosting recipes on the blog that I absolutely adore. My Mascarpone Frosting, Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting, Oreo Frosting and Brown Butter Cream Cheese Frosting are just some of my favorite frosting recipes. I am so excited to add this decadent coffee buttercream frosting to the blog because:
- Super simple to make. From start to finish, you can make this wonderfully easy espresso buttercream in about 5 - 10 minutes. Then, just top your cakes, cupcakes or even brownies and enjoy!
- Tons of flavor with little effort. This homemade coffee buttercream frosting adds an instant boost of complex coffee flavor to any dessert. It pairs particularly well with anything chocolate.
This buttercream coffee frosting needs only a handful of ingredients to make and you probably already have them in your pantry and fridge! Here’s what you will need to make this creamy and decadent coffee cake frosting.
Gather freshly brewed espresso, unsalted butter, powdered sugar, heavy cream, vanilla extract and salt.
Here are my recommended substitutions to make this coffee buttercream frosting recipe if you need them.
- Instant Espresso Powder: I love using espresso powder over instant coffee powder because the coffee taste is a bit more pronounce. However, feel free to use any good quality instant coffee powder in this recipe or reserve a few tablespoons from your morning espresso.
- Unsalted Butter: Feel free to use an equal amount of salted butter, but omit the added salt.
- Powdered Sugar: I like using Wholesome Organic powdered sugar. If you need a lower sugar powdered sugar alternative, I recommend Swerve or Lakanto.
- Heavy Cream: This is helps to create a light and fluffy texture to the frosting, more like a whipped cream frosting. If needed, use milk in place of the heavy cream.
- Vanilla Extract: This provides a lovely background flavor for the coffee buttercream icing.
Chocolate Coffee Buttercream Frosting: To make this coffee buttercream frosting recipe into one with chocolate, cream 2 -3 tablespoons (10 - 15 g) unsweetened or Dutch processed cocoa powder into the butter at the same time as the vanilla extract, salt and heavy cream. Then follow the rest of the recipe as written.
How To Make
Learn how to make coffee buttercream in a few easy steps.
- In a small bowl, prepare the espresso by mixing 2 tablespoons (30 ml) instant espresso powder with 1 tablespoon (15 ml) warm water until well combined. Cool to room temperature before mixing the heavy cream into the espresso.
- Cream the softened butter until smooth. This takes about 1 -2 minutes on low speed. Stop and scrape down sides of bowl as needed. Mix in the vanilla extract, salt, espresso with heavy cream. Cream the mixture on low until well combined.
3. Mix in the sifted powdered sugar ½ cup (60 g) at a time, beating each addition of powdered sugar until incorporated. Scrape down sides of mixing bowl as needed. Once all the sugar has been added, beat the buttercream on medium - high for 30 - 60 seconds or until the coffee butter cream is to your desired consistency. Prepare the frosting for topping cakes or cupcakes or to store until you are ready to use.
How To Store, Freeze, Thaw and Serve
- Store: The coffee buttercream in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. When you are ready to use the espresso buttercream frosting, bring it to room temperature and beat again for a few minutes until it is light and fluffy again.
- Freeze: Transfer the coffee icing to an airtight and freezer safe container to store in the freezer for up to 2 -3 months.
- Thaw: Transfer the frosting to the fridge to thaw overnight. When you are ready to use the coffee buttercream frosting, bring it to room temperature and beat again for a few minutes until it is light and fluffy again.
- Serve: This decadent coffee frosting is the perfect way to top just about any baked good. I highly recommend the old fashioned flavor pairing of chocolate and coffee. My Triple Chocolate Cake, Ganache Chocolate Cake, Matilda’s Chocolate Cake, Mini Cupcakes, or even Brownie Bites are all perfect choices.
M’s Expert Tips
- Use room temperature butter. Using cold butter can cause the frosting to have little bumps. The coffee butter cream will be much smoother, easier to work with the fluffier if the butter is room temperature prior to mixing. Make sure the espresso has cooled to room temperature as well.
- Scrape down the bowl. This is often an overlooked step when making buttercream frosting. However, it is an important step to ensure all the ingredients are fully and evenly mixed.
- Serve at room temperature. This coffee frosting tastes best when it is served at room temperature. If the environment isn’t hot or overly warm, the cake or cupcakes with this frosting can be left at room temperature.
This recipe makes about 3 cups of coffee buttercream frosting. This is enough frosting for 12 - 16 cupcakes with a normal amount of frosting, a 9 x 13 cake, 3 layer 6 inch cake or a 2 layer 8-inch cake without decorative piping. For taller piping on 24 cupcakes or to add decorative piping to a cake, make at least 1 ½ times the recipe.
This can happen when the brewed espresso is too hot. To help with this, make the espresso with instant espresso powder mixed with warm water rather than hot. Once the espresso is warm to room temperature, mix it with the cool heavy cream.
An easy way to thicken the buttercream is to add ¼ cup (30 g) powdered sugar at a time until the desired consistency is reached. Alternatively, add 1 teaspoon (5 ml) up to 1 tablespoon (15 ml) milk, heavy cream or cooled espresso until the desired consistency is reached.
Other Espresso Recipes to Try
If you try this Coffee Buttercream recipe please rate the recipe and leave a comment below. Doing so helps other readers decide if this is a great recipe to bake. Don’t forget to tag me on Instagram using @olivesnthyme so I can see what you’re baking! Happy Baking! - M
Coffee Buttercream Recipe
- 1 stand mixer with paddle attachment or electric hand mixer with beaters
- 1 bowl or cup
- 2 tablespoons espresso
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml) heavy cream
- 1 cup (226 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 4 - 5 cups (480 - 600 g) powdered sugar
- In a small bowl, prepare the espresso by mixing 2 tablespoons (30 ml) instant espresso powder with 1 tablespoon (15 ml) warm water until well combined. Cool to room temperature before mixing the heavy cream into the espresso.2 tablespoons espresso, 1 tablespoon (15 ml) heavy cream
- Cream the softened butter until smooth. This takes about 1 -2 minutes on low speed. Stop and scrape down sides of bowl as needed.1 cup (226 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
- Mix in the vanilla extract, salt and espresso with heavy cream. Cream the mixture on low until well combined.½ teaspoon vanilla extract, ¼ teaspoon salt
- Mix in the sifted powdered sugar ½ cup (60 g) at a time, beating each addition of powdered sugar until incorporated. Scrape down sides of mixing bowl as needed.4 - 5 cups (480 - 600 g) powdered sugar
- Once all the sugar has been added, beat the buttercream on medium - high for 30 - 60 seconds or until the coffee butter cream is to your desired consistency.
- Prepare the frosting for topping cakes or cupcakes or to store until you are ready to use.