How to make perfect coffee buttercream icing. Ideal for cupcakes, macarons and layer cakes – especially coffee & walnut cake.
One of my all-time favourite cakes is coffee and walnut. If I spot it in the cake cabinet in a cafe it takes a serious amount of willpower not to sneak it onto my tray. In my opinion, the key to a great coffee and walnut cake is a really good coffee buttercream, so I’ve been busy in the kitchen getting mine just right.
To get the coffee flavour into my buttercream I prefer to use instant coffee rather than stuff made in a proper coffee machine. The simple reason for this is that it’s the easiest way to get a really intense flavour into your buttercream. You dissolve it in the minimum amount of water possible to get as much coffee in as you can without making your buttercream too runny.
- Make sure you leave your butter out of the fridge to soften before attempting to make buttercream, otherwise it’ll be tricky to get it really smooth. I usually take mine out a couple of hours before I’m planning on using it.
- Make sure you let your coffee cool completely before adding it to the buttercream (otherwise it’ll melt the butter).
- Add the coffee very gradually and beat each addition in before adding more. This will help ensure that you get a nice smooth buttercream.
- Beat your buttercream on a low-medium speed. It’s tempting to turn the speed up high to get it made quicker but you’ll end up with lots of air bubbles. If you can, try and mix it by hand for a really smooth consistency.
- If your buttercream is still a little too thick once you’ve added all your coffee, add a little milk to get it to the right consistency.
What You’ll Need
Before you start, make sure you have all of the equipment needed.
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- Weighing Scales
- Measuring Spoons
- Knife – to cut the butter
- A small bowl or cup – to mix the coffee and water in
- Electric Mixer (or a bowl and hand mixer or wooden spoon)
- Piping Bags – if you’re planning on piping the cupcakes
- Piping Nozzle – To pipe the cupcakes as shown in the pictures and video you’ll need a JEM 1B nozzle.
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- 250 g softened butter
- 500 g icing sugar
- ¼ tsp vanilla extract
- 3 tbsp instant coffee granules
- 1½ tbsp boiling water
- Mix the instant coffee granules (3 tbsp) with the boiling water (1½ tbsp) and then set aside to cool.
- Cut the butter (250g) into cubes and then beat on a low-medium speed until soft. Gradually add the icing sugar (you add it gradually to stop it flying everywhere) and beat until fully combined.
- Add the vanilla extract (¼tsp) and add the coffee a teaspoon at a time, beating in each addition before adding more.
- Check the consistency of your buttercream. It should be soft and perfect for piping at this point. If it’s still a little stiff then beat in a little milk.
- Decorate your cakes (or just eat if off the spoon because it’s yummy!).
Any nutritional information provided is the estimated nutritional information per serving. Please refer to my guide to Charlotte’s Lively Kitchen nutritional information if you would like to learn more about how this is calculated.
Free From/Suitable For…
- Suitable for Vegetarians
The ingredients for this recipe are commonly available free from all these allergens. However, please ensure you double-check allergen information for all ingredients.