Luscious, creamy, coffee buttercream frosting is my new love. With just 4 ingredients, it’s super simple to make and tastes like the most perfect creamy coffee.

Making this buttercream takes under 15 minutes and, using instant coffee granules, it’s ridiculously simple. Of course it’s great on top of a coffee cake and these coffee walnut cupcakes, but it’s also wonderful on a good chocolate cake or vanilla cake.

The coffee lovers in your love will love you for this one.

If you love this, you’ll also love Swiss meringue buttercream recipe.

Coffee buttercream being piped onto a cupcake.

Ingredients you’ll need

Ingredients for coffee buttercream on a marble worktop.

Jump to the recipe for full ingredients and instructions.

  • Instant coffee granules: Stick to coffee granules if you can. Coffee beans won’t dissolve and will leave your buttercream with gritty bits. If you can only get instant coffee powder or instant espresso powder, cut the quantity down to 1 ½ tablespoons.
  • Icing sugar: This is a basic buttercream frosting, also known as American buttercream frosting, so it just requires icing sugar (aka powdered sugar / confectioners sugar).
  • Butter: Stick to unsalted butter.
  • Vanilla extract: Vanilla extract adds balance – I recommend you don’t skip it. Make sure to use extract, not vanilla essence.

How to make coffee buttercream (step-by-step)

You can make this coffee frosting in under 15 minutes but you also don’t want to rush the steps too much. It’s important to really whip it up to get it as smooth as possible.

Jump to the recipe for full ingredients and instructions.

Some butter and sugar in a mixing bowl.
  1. Butter and a part of the sugar: Start by beating the butter and ⅓ of the icing sugar until fully combined – about 1 minute. I use my stand mixer with a whisk attachment but you can also use a paddle attachment. I recommend using a stand mixer if you can to save your arm muscles.
Whipped butter in a stand mixer bowl.
  1. Add the remaining sugar and whip it for 5 full minutes. Make sure to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl a couple of times during this process.
A stand mixer with whipped butter and coffee added.
  1. Add the flavour – coffee and vanilla – and beat for another 5 minutes. This is so the buttercream frosting gets nice and fluffy and whipped.
A hand holding a whisk with coffee buttercream.

All done. Now you’re ready to pipe or spread the coffee buttercream frosting all over your cupcakes or cakes.

You can adjust the consistency of your coffee frosting by adding more sugar to make it thicker or a little milk to make it thinner.

A cupcake topped with coffee buttercream.

Yield and storage

This coffee buttercream recipe makes enough to pipe onto 12 cupcakes or an 8 inch, 2 layer cake. A loaf cake would use half this recipe.

Your buttercream can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 days before using. Let it come to room temperature before giving it another whip, then use as needed.

You can also freeze this buttercream in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Let it thaw in the fridge overnight before re-whipping for a few minutes, then use as needed.

Coffee buttercream piped into a coffee glass.

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Coffee buttercream on a balloon whisk.
5 from 1 rating
This coffee buttercream is a basic buttercream frosting taken to a whole new level. Loaded with coffee flavour, it’s easy to make, just 4 ingredients and will elevate any cake.


  • 2 tablespoons instant coffee granules (notes 1)
  • 390 g icing sugar (3 cups / 14oz)
  • 226 g butter (1 cup / 2 sticks / 8oz)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For best results, always weigh ingredients where a weight is provided



  • In a small bowl or jug, mix the coffee granules with hot water to completely dissolve, then set aside to cool. If it’s not fully dissolving, just heat in the microwave for 10 seconds and give it another stir.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer with whisk attachment, beat together 1 cup of the icing sugar and all the butter, on low until combined. Beat for 1 minute.
  • Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula. Add the remaining sugar and beat for 5 full minutes until creamy, light and fluffy. Scrape the sides and bottom of bowl regularly.
  • Add the prepared coffee mixture and vanilla and whip for another 4 minutes.
  • Spread over cakes at will.
  • Please take a moment to leave a comment & rating. It's appreciated and so helpful.


  1. Tablespoons: I use a standard Australian 20ml tablespoon (equal to 4 teaspoons). Check yours before measuring.
  2. For best results you should always weigh ingredients like flour and sugar. Kitchen scales are relatively cheap but if you can’t weigh the ingredients, use the spoon and level method (don’t scoop).
Have you tried this recipe?Don’t forget to leave a rating and comment below and let me know how it was! I love hearing from you. Nutrition information is approximate and derived from an online calculator. The brands you use may cause variations.
Nutrition Facts
Coffee Buttercream
Amount Per Serving
Calories 265 Calories from Fat 135
% Daily Value*
Fat 15g23%
Saturated Fat 10g63%
Trans Fat 1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 4g
Cholesterol 40mg13%
Sodium 122mg5%
Potassium 35mg1%
Carbohydrates 33g11%
Sugar 32g36%
Protein 0.3g1%
Vitamin A 471IU9%
Calcium 6mg1%
Iron 0.1mg1%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.