Coffee Buttercream Frosting Recipe

coffee buttercream recipe by sugar and sparrow
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It’s my first blog post of the new year (Happy 2022!) and I don’t think there’s a better way to kick it off than with this delicious Coffee Buttercream recipe. After frosting my Peppermint Mocha Cake and Gingerbread Latte Cake with this glorious buttercream I decided it needed its very own recipe post. Chances are that if you’re reading this you’re already a big fan of coffee. If that’s the case, get ready to crave this frosting. It’ll blow your mind! 

coffee buttercream recipe for cakes

This Coffee Buttercream is so silky smooth, bursting with coffee flavor, and pairs well with almost any kind of cake. You could use it to transform your favorite coffee drink into cake form (for example: chocolate cake + this coffee buttercream = chocolate mocha cake. Boom!). Just imagine the possibilities. You could also do what I did and spread some on a leftover graham cracker from your toddler’s snack (you won’t regret it!). 

coffee frosting recipe
coffee buttercream recipe for cupcakes

To add the perfect coffee flavor, I dissolved a few teaspoons of instant coffee into the whole milk in this recipe before pouring it in. I used these Starbucks packets, but any instant coffee will do. You could use espresso powder as an alternative as well. Just be sure to use an instant coffee or espresso powder that you like the taste of in cup-of-coffee form since it plays such a huge role in the overall flavor. 

coffee buttercream frosting recipe
holiday cake recipes: gingerbread latte cake

This Coffee Buttercream ends up being the perfect consistency for filling and frosting cakes or piping onto cupcakes (shown above on my Gingerbread Latte Cake). It yields about 3 Cups of frosting, which is enough to frost 12-16 cupcakes or fill and frost a two layer cake. I always like to make triple layer cakes, and if you’re wanting to use this buttercream on a cake of that size I recommend making 1.5x the recipe to ensure you’ll have enough. 

coffee buttercream frosting recipe by sugar and sparrow

One of my goals this year is to make more videos, so I filmed the process for whipping up this Coffee Buttercream to show you every step:

If you’re into recipe videos like this, head over to my YouTube page. There, you’ll find a collection of recipe videos, cake decorating tutorials, my Cake Basics series, and more! Be sure to hit the subscribe button so you never miss a new one!

coffee buttercream recipe by sugar and sparrow
5 from 1 vote

Coffee Buttercream

Silky smooth and bursting with rich coffee flavor, this coffee buttercream is perfect for frosting cakes, cupcakes, and any dessert you want to take to the next level.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Servings 3 Cups


  • 1 1/2 tsp instant coffee or espresso powder
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp whole milk, room temperature
  • 1 Cup (227g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3 1/2 Cups (420g) powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt, or to taste


  1. Combine the instant espresso/coffee with the whole milk and set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter on med-high until light and fluffy (about 5 minutes), scraping down the bowl and paddle a few times in between.

  2. Add the powdered sugar a few cups at a time, scraping down the bowl and paddle between intervals. Then add the vanilla, the coffee/espresso milk mixture, and salt. Mix on low until fully incorporated, about one minute.

Recipe Notes

To Make Ahead: store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. When you’re ready to use it, bring it back to room temperature and re-whip in your stand mixer to bring back to smooth buttercream consistency. 

Quantity: this recipe makes enough to frost 12-16 cupcakes, or fill and frost one 2-layer cake. If using for filling and frosting a 3-layer cake, I recommend making 1.5x the recipe (multiply each ingredient by 1.5).

Did you make this recipe? I want to know what you think! Let me know in the comments below or tag me on Instagram. I love to see what you’re caking!


  1. 5 stars
    Just made this beautiful buttercream today. Getting ready to pair it with chocolate and vanilla cake layers, and homemade caramel!! Thank you Whitney! So pretty and tasty!

  2. I want to make this to go with a 3 layer 6” cake… crumb coat, filling and frosting and rosettes… should I double the recipe? I’m pairing it with your chocolate cake.

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