Coffee buttercream is a delectable frosting that combines the rich flavors of coffee with the smooth and creamy texture of buttercream. This luscious frosting brings together the beloved essence of coffee in a sweet and balanced concoction, making it a delightful addition to a wide range of baked goods. Whether adorning cakes, cupcakes, or cookies, coffee buttercream offers a harmonious blend of bold coffee notes and the indulgent comfort of a classic buttercream frosting. Its versatility and exquisite flavor profile make it a favorite among coffee enthusiasts and dessert lovers alike, adding a sophisticated twist to traditional treats.


What is Coffee Buttercream?

Coffee buttercream is a type of frosting that incorporates the rich and robust flavor of coffee into a creamy and smooth buttercream base. It’s a popular choice for adding a coffee-infused twist to cakes, cupcakes, cookies, and other baked goods. Coffee buttercream typically consists of butter, powdered sugar, brewed coffee (or coffee extract), and often a touch of vanilla extract for added depth of flavor.

The process of making coffee buttercream involves creaming softened butter with powdered sugar until light and fluffy, then gradually adding brewed and cooled coffee (or coffee extract) along with vanilla extract. The resulting frosting is a balance between the sweetness of the sugar, the richness of the butter, and the boldness of the coffee flavor. The texture is smooth and spreadable, making it suitable for piping, spreading, or even layering between cake layers.

Coffee buttercream can be customized in terms of coffee intensity and sweetness, allowing bakers to adjust the flavor profile to their preferences. It’s a favorite choice for coffee lovers and those who enjoy desserts with a hint of sophistication. The frosting can be used to complement a variety of cake flavors, from chocolate to vanilla and everything in between, creating a harmonious pairing that pleases both the taste buds and the senses.

Why you will love Coffee Buttercream?

  1. Rich Coffee Flavor: Coffee buttercream offers the bold and distinct flavor of coffee, which can be a delightful contrast to the sweetness of baked goods. It adds depth and complexity to the overall taste experience.
  2. Sophisticated Twist: The infusion of coffee flavor elevates the traditional buttercream frosting to a more sophisticated level, appealing to those who enjoy the combination of coffee and dessert.
  3. Versatile Pairing: Coffee buttercream pairs well with a wide range of cake flavors, including chocolate, vanilla, mocha, and more. Its versatility allows you to experiment with various combinations.
  4. Coffee Lover’s Dream: For coffee enthusiasts, this frosting provides a way to incorporate their favorite beverage into a dessert. It’s like enjoying a cup of coffee in a sweet treat.
  5. Balanced Sweetness: The sweetness of the buttercream is balanced by the bitterness and richness of the coffee, creating a well-rounded and pleasing flavor profile.
  6. Visual Appeal: Coffee buttercream can be visually appealing, especially when piped onto cupcakes or cakes. The creamy color with the potential for decorative swirls adds aesthetic appeal to desserts.
  7. Texture: Buttercream has a smooth and creamy texture that contrasts nicely with the crumbly texture of cakes or the softness of cupcakes.
  8. Customizable: You can adjust the strength of the coffee flavor and the sweetness to your liking, giving you control over the final taste.
  9. Complements Desserts: Coffee buttercream can enhance the flavors of a variety of desserts, from breakfast pastries to after-dinner treats, making it suitable for various occasions.
  10. Nostalgia: The aroma and taste of coffee can evoke feelings of comfort and nostalgia for many individuals, making coffee buttercream a comforting and familiar flavor.

Ultimately, whether you love coffee buttercream or not depends on your personal taste preferences. If you enjoy the combination of coffee and dessert, the rich flavor and versatility of coffee buttercream might be just what you’re looking for in a frosting.


Coffee Buttercream Recipe


  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 cups powdered sugar (confectioners’ sugar)
  • 2 tablespoons brewed coffee, cooled
  • 1 teaspoon coffee extract (adjust to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Prepare Ingredients:
    • Ensure that the butter is at room temperature for easy creaming. Brew the coffee and let it cool to room temperature.
  2. Cream the Butter:
    • In a mixing bowl, cream the softened butter using a stand mixer or hand mixer on medium speed. Beat until the butter is smooth and creamy, about 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add Powdered Sugar:
    • Gradually add the powdered sugar, one cup at a time, to the creamed butter. Start the mixer on low speed to prevent the sugar from scattering, then increase the speed to medium. Mix until the sugar is fully incorporated and the mixture is fluffy.
  4. Incorporate Coffee and Extracts:
    • Add the brewed coffee, coffee extract, and vanilla extract to the frosting mixture. Begin mixing on low speed to avoid splattering, then increase the speed to medium. Continue to mix until the coffee and extracts are fully combined.
  5. Taste and Adjust:
    • Taste the coffee buttercream and adjust the coffee extract according to your desired level of coffee flavor. Add a little at a time until you achieve the desired balance.
  6. Mix Until Smooth:
    • Continue to mix the coffee buttercream on medium speed for an additional 2-3 minutes until the frosting is smooth, creamy, and well combined.
  7. Frosting Consistency:
    • Depending on the desired consistency, you can adjust the amount of powdered sugar or coffee used. For a thicker consistency, add more powdered sugar. For a slightly thinner consistency, you can add a small amount of additional brewed coffee.
  8. Frost Your Dessert:
    • Coffee buttercream is now ready to use. Transfer it to a piping bag fitted with a tip of your choice, or spread it onto cakes, cupcakes, or cookies using an offset spatula.
  9. Decoration (Optional):
    • You can decorate the frosting with additional coffee beans, cocoa powder, or a drizzle of chocolate for an extra touch of visual appeal.
  10. Serve and Enjoy:
  • Once your dessert is frosted, it’s ready to be enjoyed. The coffee buttercream will add a rich coffee flavor and a smooth, creamy texture to your treats.

This recipe should yield enough coffee buttercream to generously frost about 12 cupcakes or a single-layer cake. If you’re working with a larger cake or more cupcakes, you might want to adjust the quantities accordingly.


How to serve

Coffee buttercream can add a wonderful depth of flavor and a touch of sophistication to various desserts. Here’s how you can serve coffee buttercream:

  1. Cakes:
    • Spread the coffee buttercream between cake layers to create a delicious filling. You can also frost the entire cake with the coffee buttercream for a consistent coffee flavor throughout. Consider adding a drizzle of chocolate or a sprinkle of cocoa powder on top for an extra visual and flavor contrast.
  2. Cupcakes:
    • Pipe the coffee buttercream onto cupcakes using a piping bag and your preferred tip. Swirls, rosettes, or simple dollops work well. You can also sprinkle a bit of cocoa powder or finely ground coffee on top for decoration.
  3. Cookies:
    • Sandwich coffee buttercream between two cookies to make cookie sandwiches. Alternatively, you can spread a thin layer of coffee buttercream on the surface of cookies for a delightful coffee-infused twist.
  4. Pastries:
    • Fill pastries like éclairs, cream puffs, or Danish pastries with coffee buttercream for a unique and flavorful filling.
  5. Dessert Bars:
    • Frost dessert bars or brownies with coffee buttercream for an indulgent layer of flavor. The buttercream adds a creamy contrast to the dense texture of the bars.
  6. Tarts:
    • Use coffee buttercream as a filling for tart shells, either on its own or combined with other flavors like chocolate or caramel.
  7. Layered Desserts:
    • Create layered desserts by alternating coffee buttercream with other components like cake crumbs, fruit, or whipped cream in glasses or jars.
  8. Dessert Shooters:
    • Layer coffee buttercream with cake cubes, chocolate shavings, or other dessert components in shot glasses for elegant dessert shooters.
  9. Coffee Dessert Pairings:
    • Serve coffee buttercream alongside desserts that are known to pair well with coffee, such as chocolate desserts, tiramisu, or coffee-flavored cakes.
  10. Hot Beverages:
    • For an unconventional twist, you can top hot beverages like coffee, hot chocolate, or even milkshakes with a dollop of coffee buttercream. It will melt slightly and infuse your drink with rich coffee flavor.

Remember that coffee buttercream has a strong coffee flavor, so consider the tastes of your guests and the overall flavor profile of your dessert when serving it. Whether you’re catering to coffee aficionados or simply looking to add a unique flavor to your treats, coffee buttercream is a versatile and delightful addition to your culinary repertoire.


How to store

Storing coffee buttercream properly will help maintain its texture and flavor. Here’s how to store it:

  1. Short-Term Storage:
    • If you plan to use the coffee buttercream within a few hours, you can leave it at room temperature. Cover it with plastic wrap or an airtight lid to prevent it from drying out or forming a skin.
  2. Refrigeration:
    • If you have leftover coffee buttercream that you want to store for a day or two, place it in an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator. Before using it again, allow the frosting to come to room temperature and give it a gentle stir to restore its texture.
  3. Longer Storage:
    • For longer storage, you can freeze coffee buttercream. Place the frosting in an airtight container, leaving some space at the top to account for expansion. It’s a good idea to separate the frosting into smaller portions if you might not use all of it at once. Frozen coffee buttercream can last for several weeks.
  4. Thawing Frozen Buttercream:
    • When you’re ready to use frozen coffee buttercream, transfer it from the freezer to the refrigerator and let it thaw slowly. Once it’s completely thawed, let it come to room temperature and give it a gentle stir to restore its texture.
  5. Avoid Overmixing:
    • When re-stirring or re-whipping coffee buttercream that has been stored, be careful not to overmix it. Overmixing can lead to a grainy texture, so stop mixing as soon as the frosting is smooth and creamy again.
  6. Avoid Excessive Moisture:
    • Moisture can affect the texture of coffee buttercream, so ensure that the container you’re using for storage is completely dry before placing the frosting inside. Moisture can cause the frosting to become sticky or lose its smoothness.
  7. Flavor Intensity:
    • Keep in mind that the coffee flavor in the buttercream might intensify slightly as it’s stored. If the coffee flavor becomes too strong over time, consider diluting it with a small amount of plain buttercream when using it again.

Remember that coffee buttercream contains dairy (butter) and possibly other perishable ingredients, so follow food safety guidelines and handle the frosting properly. If you notice any changes in smell, texture, or appearance, use your judgment to determine if the frosting is still suitable for consumption.

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Tips to make perfect Coffee Buttercream

Making perfect coffee buttercream involves attention to detail and some key techniques. Here are some tips to help you achieve excellent results:

  1. Quality Ingredients:
    • Use high-quality unsalted butter, fresh coffee (brewed and cooled), and pure vanilla extract for the best flavor. Quality ingredients contribute to a superior final product.
  2. Room Temperature Ingredients:
    • Make sure your butter is softened to room temperature before you start. Cold butter can result in a lumpy or uneven texture in the buttercream.
  3. Gradual Sugar Addition:
    • When adding powdered sugar, do so gradually. This prevents a cloud of sugar dust and helps the sugar incorporate smoothly into the butter.
  4. Creaming Butter:
    • Cream the butter thoroughly until it’s light and fluffy. This creates a smooth base for the buttercream and ensures proper incorporation of other ingredients.
  5. Balancing Coffee Flavor:
    • Add brewed coffee and coffee extract gradually. Taste as you go to achieve your desired coffee flavor intensity. Too much coffee can overpower the frosting, so balance is key.
  6. Texture Check:
    • Ensure the buttercream is smooth, creamy, and free of lumps. If the texture seems off, continue mixing until it becomes uniform.
  7. Avoid Overmixing:
    • Once all ingredients are incorporated, avoid overmixing. Overmixing can cause the buttercream to become too thin or develop a greasy texture.
  8. Consistency Control:
    • If the buttercream is too thick, add a small amount of brewed coffee to achieve the desired consistency. If it’s too thin, gradually add more powdered sugar.
  9. Avoid Moisture:
    • Moisture can affect the texture of the buttercream. Make sure your equipment and containers are dry to prevent any water from coming into contact with the frosting.
  10. Taste and Adjust:
    • Always taste the buttercream before finalizing it. Adjust sweetness, coffee flavor, and any other elements to suit your taste preferences.
  11. Use Immediately or Store Properly:
    • If you’re not using the coffee buttercream right away, store it properly to maintain its texture and flavor. Follow the storage tips mentioned earlier.
  12. Experiment and Practice:
    • Don’t be afraid to experiment with different coffee extracts, variations of coffee strength, or other complementary flavors. As with any recipe, practice will help you refine your technique.
  13. Pairing with Desserts:
    • Consider the flavor profile of the desserts you’re pairing with coffee buttercream. Some desserts might benefit from a stronger coffee flavor, while others might require a more subtle touch.

By paying attention to these tips and techniques, you can create a delicious and perfectly balanced coffee buttercream that enhances your baked goods with a rich and delightful coffee flavor.



1. Why is my coffee buttercream too thin?

  • If your coffee buttercream is too thin, it might be due to adding too much liquid (coffee) or not enough powdered sugar. Gradually add more powdered sugar to thicken it, and avoid adding too much liquid at once.

2. My coffee buttercream is too sweet. How can I fix this?

  • If the buttercream is overly sweet, you can balance it by adding a bit more brewed coffee or coffee extract to enhance the coffee flavor. You can also adjust the sweetness by incorporating unsweetened cocoa powder.

3. Can I use instant coffee in place of brewed coffee?

  • Yes, you can use instant coffee granules dissolved in a small amount of water to replace brewed coffee. Dissolve the instant coffee in a small amount of hot water before adding it to the buttercream.

4. Why does my coffee buttercream have a curdled appearance?

  • Curdled buttercream can result from using ingredients that are at significantly different temperatures. To prevent this, ensure that your butter is at room temperature and your coffee is cooled before mixing.

5. Can I use coffee grounds in the buttercream?

  • It’s generally not recommended to use coffee grounds in buttercream, as they can give the frosting a gritty texture. Opt for brewed coffee or coffee extract for a smoother result.

6. How can I intensify the coffee flavor in my buttercream?

  • To intensify the coffee flavor, use strong brewed coffee and slightly increase the amount of coffee extract. Taste and adjust until you achieve your desired level of coffee intensity.

7. Can I use flavored coffee syrups in coffee buttercream?

  • Flavored coffee syrups can add extra flavor to your buttercream, but they might also introduce additional sweetness. Use them sparingly and adjust the amount of sugar accordingly.

8. My coffee buttercream has a bitter taste. What went wrong?

  • A bitter taste could result from using overly strong or darkly roasted coffee. Try using a milder coffee or adjusting the coffee-to-butter ratio to balance the bitterness.

9. Can I make coffee buttercream ahead of time?

  • Yes, you can make coffee buttercream ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator. Let it come to room temperature before using, and give it a gentle stir to restore its texture.

10. My buttercream has air bubbles. How can I fix this? – To minimize air bubbles, avoid over-mixing the buttercream once all the ingredients are incorporated. Mix on low speed until just smooth and creamy.

Remember, practice and experimentation will help you troubleshoot and achieve the desired results. If you encounter issues, don’t hesitate to adjust your technique or ingredients as needed.


Nutrition information

The nutritional content of coffee buttercream can vary based on factors such as portion size, specific ingredients used, and the amount of frosting applied. Below is a general estimate of the nutritional information for a typical serving of coffee buttercream made with the ingredients mentioned earlier (1 cup unsalted butter, 4 cups powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons brewed coffee, 1 teaspoon coffee extract, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract).

Please note that these values are approximate and can vary based on the brand of ingredients and any modifications you make to the recipe:

Nutritional Information for Coffee Buttercream (per serving, about 2 tablespoons):

  • Calories: ~150-200 kcal
  • Carbohydrates: ~20-25 g
  • Sugars: ~20-25 g
  • Fat: ~8-10 g
  • Protein: ~0 g
  • Fiber: 0 g
  • Sodium: ~5-10 mg

Keep in mind that coffee buttercream is primarily composed of butter and powdered sugar, making it a high-calorie and high-sugar frosting. The nutritional values provided are rough estimates and should not be considered exact. If you’re concerned about the nutritional content of your dessert, consider using alternative sweeteners or modifications to reduce the sugar and calorie content.

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