Easy Coffee Buttercream Frosting

Mary and Brenda Maher

By Brenda & Mary

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Trust me, coffee cake icing is not our average guy; it all comes down to how much coffee you throw in and how you brew it! You can go from a subtle coffee hint to a full-blown flavor explosion. 

Coffee Buttercream Frosting

Funny thing is, I first made this delicious frosting just for my caffeine-loving uncle, but now? Well, let’s just say I’ve become a head-turner at my bakery!

Why Do We Love This Coffee Buttercream Frosting

Coffee Buttercream Frosting
  • The marriage of coffee and butter creates a flavor richness that gives every baked treat a whole new dimension, perfectly balanced by the sweetness of powdered sugar. 
  • Buttercream coffee frosting is a taste chameleon. From a subtle coffee hint to a bold and intense burst, it always plays well with others, harmonizing easily with chocolate cakes, vanilla or Guinness chocolate cupcakes, and even spice-infused cookies. 
  • Imagine its beautiful light brown shade adorned with swirls, drizzles, or a dusting of cocoa powder; truly a feast for the eyes! Your baking dishes will look as good as they taste.
  • Planning a get-together for coffee lovers? Then, a coffee-frosted cake will speak directly to their souls. Plus, those warm and comforting coffee notes will make your favorite desserts perfect companions for fall and winter flavors. I mean, who can resist a sprinkle of their magic on a pumpkin spice cake, gingerbread cupcakes, or a pecan pie? 

The Best Coffee Icing Recipe

Coffee Buttercream Frosting Ingredient

Step 1.

Coffee Frosting Step 1, 2, 3

Grab a bowl and toss in 3 teaspoons of vanilla extract. Now, add instant coffee and give it a good stir until your coffee dissolves into the vanilla completely. Let these buddies steep and mingle for about 15 minutes.

Step 2.

Time to meet the stars of the show: the butter!

It should be in that sweet spot I call “softened slightly” – think, not too fridge-cold but not room temperature either. 

If it’s too cold, it plays hard to blend. If it’s too soft, it might get melty during the dance, and who even wants that? Balance is the key!

Step 3.

Let your mixer do its job at medium speed, allowing the coffee-vanilla blend and butter to waltz together for a solid  2 minutes. 

Grab a trusty spatula and gently scrape down that delightful coffee-butter mixture from the sides of the bowl. We want every bit to join the coffee party!

Step 4

Coffee Frosting Step 4

Now, let’s bring in our sweet sensation: powdered sugar! We’re talking a hearty 1.5 pound here, but what if you are not in the mood for a food scale? No worries, ‘cause 6 cups will do the trick.

And forget the sift; you should let the mixer do the heavy lifting. Just pour that snowy sugar into the coffee-butter dance in your mixing bowl. 

A quick tip: Drape a kitchen towel over your electric mixer. Mixing is an art, and we’re keeping it tidy – no sugar storms allowed!

Step 5

Now, let your electric beater or mixer work its magic at the lowest setting. Give it about 30 seconds until your sugar and butter become best friends. Pause the mixer, grab your spatula, and make sure no sugary rebels are sticking to the sides of the bowl. 

Next, kick the mixer up a notch to medium-high speed and let it swirl for another 30 to 45 seconds. We’re aiming for an airy and fluffy texture here, everyone!

(Ảnh sp hoàn thiện) 

Step 6

Get ready for the best part – the taste test! Is the consistency on point, or does it need a sprinkle of vanilla extract or a dash more milk?

If it tastes amazing but feels a bit too thick for the party, no worries! Add some milk (a teaspoon at a time), and give it a good mix. Check the consistency after each teaspoon until you hit that Goldilocks perfection!

And I must say our milk situation is sometimes a bit of a weather whisperer. On hot and humid days, for example, you might need less of it.


1. Fancy a mocha twist? Toss in 4 ½ tablespoons of natural cocoa powder when adding powdered sugar. Otherwise, consider this chocolate buttercream frosting for a more nuanced chocolate kick.

2. Once your homemade frosting hits the scene, it’ll hold its own at room temperature for about 2 days. Need a longer encore? Tuck it into the fridge, and it’ll keep its sweetness going for about a week.

3. If there are any leftover survivors, no worries. Just seal them up tight in an airtight container, then chill them out in the fridge, and they’ll keep it up for 5 days! 

4. Just a heads up: give them a little time at room temperature out of the fridge and a gentle stir before using them. 

Uh-oh, is your frosting feeling a bit thin? Throw it in the fridge for about an hour for a cool-down session! 

If that doesn’t do the trick, bring in your backup crew – toss in 1 cup of powdered sugar or 1 tablespoon of cornstarch at a time, and see how it fares. Mix, double-check, and repeat until you nail that perfect thickness. Easy peasy!


1. How can I make sure my coffee buttercream frosting isn’t grainy?

Make sure your coffee, whether instant granules or brewed espresso, is fully dissolved in warm water before mixing it into the frosting. Any stubborn coffee lumps hanging around might mess with the texture!

2. Can I adjust the strong coffee flavor intensity?

Absolutely! The beauty of coffee buttercream frosting is its flexibility. Feel free to play around with various coffees – espresso, dark roast, or even some flavored ones.

3. Is coffee buttercream frosting suitable for people with dietary restrictions?

Absolutely! Coffee buttercream frosting can be quite accommodating for dietary needs.

For a dairy-free version, simply swap regular butter with vegan butter or a dairy-free alternative like coconut oil. Just make sure all your ingredients, especially the powdered sugar, are dairy-free too.

Even better, coffee frosting doesn’t play with gluten; it’s mostly a blend of butter, sugar, and coffee. Still, to be safe, double-check that your powdered sugar and any extras, like vanilla extract, are certified gluten-free.

Have a blast with your coffee buttercream frosting!

More Unique Frosting Recipes:

Coffee Buttercream Frosting

Coffee Buttercream Frosting

Here comes the timeless combination of regular coffee mixture and chocolate, a match made in heaven that adds unique twists to classic layer cakes or chocolate cupcakes!
5 from 1 vote
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Course: Frosting
Cuisine: American
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Extra time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 23
Calories: 186kcal
Author: Brenda Maher


  • 3 tpsp of instant coffee
  • 3 tps vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cups butter (should be slightly softened)
  • 1.5 pound or 6 cups of powdered sugar
  • 1 ½ to 3 tps milk (if needed)


  • Blend 3 teaspoons of vanilla extract with instant coffee in a bowl; let them mingle for 15 minutes.
  • Throw slightly softened butter into the coffee-vanilla blend. Mix them for 1-2 minutes at medium speed. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula.
  • Pour in 1.5 pounds or 6 cups of powdered sugar. Cover the mixer with a towel to keep it tidy.
  • Set the mixer to low for about 30 seconds, then increase to medium-high for 30 to 45 seconds. Taste test and adjust with vanilla or milk as needed.


  • Craving a mocha twist? Add 4 ½ tablespoons of cocoa powder with powdered sugar.
  • Once frosted, they’re room-ready for 2 days and fridge-friendly for a week.
  • For leftovers, airtight in the fridge for 5 days. Give them some room temp and a gentle stir before usage.
  • If your frosting is too thin, let it chill in the fridge for an hour. If necessary, add 1 cup powdered sugar or 1 tablespoon cornstarch, mix, and repeat for that perfect thickness.


Calories: 186kcal | Fat: 5.3g | Saturated Fat: 3.4g | Cholesterol: 14mg | Sodium: 39mg | Potassium: 28mg | Sugar: 27.2g | Calcium: 4mg
Did you make this recipe?Mention @cakegirls or tag #cakegirls!

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Mary and Brenda Maher

Mary & Brenda Maher

Mary & Brenda Maher, are the founders of Cake Girls, a Chicago-based online baking shop specializing in cake supplies, party decor, and DIY cake tutorials. They are known for their elaborate and artistic cake creations, which have been featured on the Food Network Challenge and in a reality show, Amazing Wedding Cakes.

1 thought on “Easy Coffee Buttercream Frosting”

  1. 5 stars
    My mom and I with my new Spanish Cuban boyfriend from Cuba 🇨🇺 would love to make a chocolate coffee ☕️ cupcakes with coffee ☕️ buttercream on top. This is for 54 people.
    From: muruna Shaman.

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