Do you hear that? It is the sound of applause from coffee lovers everywhere after trying The Best Coffee Buttercream Frosting (6-ingredient recipe).
Ok - I'm only joking. But IF they did try this delicious frosting, they would all love it. It's really that good!
Because this easy coffee buttercream uses espresso powder to really pump up the flavor, it is the perfect way to add a hint of coffee flavoring to a vanilla cake, dress up a chocolate cupcake, or compliment your favorite brownie recipe.
Whip It Good! A Little About American Buttercream
Buttercream starts with whipped butter as one of its primary ingredients because it is essential for achieving the desired texture and consistency of the frosting.
Whipping or creaming butter (usually at room temperature) creates air bubbles in the butter. This process causes the butter to become light, fluffy, and airy. This trapped air contributes to the overall perfect consistency of the buttercream.
The whipping of butter also helps give the buttercream structure and stiffness. This is important for the frosting's ability to hold its shape when piped onto cakes or cupcakes and to maintain a smooth texture.
Butter acts as a binding agent in buttercream, helping to hold the confectioner's sugar and other ingredients together. It creates a stable base for the frosting.
Butter is a primary flavor component of buttercream, contributing a rich, buttery taste characteristic of this type of frosting.
Why You'll Love This Recipe
- Rich Coffee Flavor - This coffee buttercream recipe provides a robust and authentic coffee flavor. The use of instant espresso powder is the easiest way to infuse the frosting with a delicious coffee taste. This rich flavor is perfect for complementing various desserts, such as chocolate cakes, brownies, or coffee-flavored cupcakes.
- Only 6 Ingredients - With a flavor profile this impressive, it's shocking that this amazing frosting can be made with just a handful of ingredients.
- Decorative Appeal - Use this coffee buttercream for decorating cakes and cupcakes with elegance and style. Its smooth and creamy texture makes it ideal for piping swirls or rosettes. Additionally, the coffee frosting's natural color can also add an attractive touch to your baked creations without the need for artificial food coloring.
- Unsalted Butter
- Powdered Sugar
- Instant Espresso Powder
- Vanilla Extract
- Heavy Cream
- Kosher Salt
*For specific ingredient amounts, please scroll down to the recipe card.
- Use instant coffee granules in place of the espresso powder. However, using them as-is will result in a grainy texture due to their coarseness. There are a couple of methods you can use to remedy this problem. Grind them in a coffee grinder to make them into a fine powder, or dissolve them in a small amount of hot water or milk before adding them to the frosting. This will help incorporate the coffee mixture more evenly.
- For a second option, use coffee extract in place of the espresso powder. Start by adding a small amount of coffee extract to the frosting, usually about 1 to 2 teaspoons for every cup of frosting. You can adjust the quantity based on your preference for the strength of the coffee flavor. Taste the frosting as you go and add more extract if needed. Blend thoroughly. Mix the frosting well to evenly distribute the coffee extract throughout. Ensure that the extract is fully incorporated to achieve a consistent coffee flavor. You may need to add some more powdered sugar to achieve the right consistency.
Step 1. Add butter to a large mixing bowl. Mix with an electric mixer with a whisk attachment for 4 minutes.
Step 2. Slowly add powdered sugar and mix on low speed until incorporated.
Step 3. Add espresso powder, vanilla, cream, and salt. Mix on medium-high speed for 2 minutes.
Step 4. Scrape the sides of the bowl and mix for an additional minute on high speed.
Step 5. Transfer the frosting to a piping bag and decorate!
Storage and Freezing
Transfer the buttercream frosting to an airtight container. A plastic or glass container with a tight-fitting lid works well. Make sure the container is clean and dry before adding the frosting.
Press plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the buttercream before sealing the container. This helps prevent the frosting from coming into contact with air, which can cause it to dry out or develop a crust.
Buttercream frosting contains butter and milk, which are perishable ingredients. Store the container in the refrigerator and use it within five days.
When you're ready to use the frosting, take it out of the refrigerator and allow it to come to room temperature. This will make it easier to work with and ensure a smoother texture when frosting cakes or cupcakes.
If the frosting appears stiff or separated after being refrigerated, bring it back to its desired consistency by re-whipping it with a mixer. Add a little bit of room-temperature milk or cream, a tablespoon at a time, to achieve the desired texture.
Place the frosting in an airtight container or freezer bag and make sure it's well-sealed to prevent freezer burn. When ready to use it, allow it to thaw in the refrigerator overnight, then re-whip as necessary.
Using a whisk instead of a paddle attachment whips air into the buttercream and results in a more light and airy frosting.
The butter for this recipe should be room temperature but on the cool side. You should be able to touch the stick of butter and leave a slight indentation. However, your finger should not be able to press all the way into the butter. Using butter that's warmer than recommended can result in a frosting that doesn't hold its form.
Did you try this recipe and love it? I would love to know. Please give this recipe a star rating.
Absolutely! High-quality butter has a richer, creamier, and more pronounced buttery flavor. This flavor is a fundamental component of many frosting recipes, and using top-quality butter will enhance the overall taste of your frosting.
Good quality butter is also consistent in moisture content and fat composition. This consistency is important for achieving the desired texture and stability in your frosting. Lower-quality butter may have uneven moisture levels, leading to frosting that is too soft or prone to separating.
High-quality butter is generally made from fresher cream, is free from off-flavors or odors, and is less likely to contain impurities. These factors contribute to a better-tasting and higher-quality frosting.
Yes, powdered sugar and icing sugar are the same. They are two different names for the same finely ground sugar product commonly used in baking and making various types of frosting and icing.
Powdered sugar is made by grinding granulated sugar into a fine powder and then adding a small amount of cornstarch to prevent clumping. It is called "powdered sugar" in the United States and some other countries, while it is referred to as "icing sugar" in the United Kingdom and many other parts of the world.
The Best Coffee Buttercream Frosting (6-ingredient recipe)
- Large Mixing Bowl
- Hand mixer or stand mixer
- Whisk attachment
- Pastry Bag
- 1 cup unsalted butter room temperature
- 2 ½ cups powdered sugar
- 1 ½ Tablespoon instant espresso powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 Tablespoons heavy cream
- ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
- Add butter to a large mixing bowl. Mix with an electric mixer with a whisk attachment for 4 minutes.
- Slowly add powdered sugar and mix on low speed until incorporated.
- Add espresso powder, vanilla, cream, and salt. Mix on medium-high speed for 2 minutes.
- Scrape the sides of the bowl and mix for an additional minute on high speed.
- Transfer the frosting to a piping bag and decorate!