A close up of a coffee cupcake topped with a swirl of coffee buttercream on a cooling rack with more cupcakes behind.

Coffee Buttercream

How to make perfect coffee buttercream icing. Ideal for cupcakes, macarons and layer cakes – especially coffee & walnut cake. Recipe VIDEO below.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 12 servings
Calories 316kcal


  • 250 g softened butter
  • 500 g icing sugar
  • ¼ tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 tbsp instant coffee granules
  • 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!).



Take a look at my cupcake index for a selection of cakes to spread this buttercream on to. It goes particularly well with the coffee, vanilla and caramel cakes drizzled with a little caramel sauce.


Calories: 316kcal | Carbohydrates: 42g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 44mg | Sodium: 150mg | Potassium: 49mg | Sugar: 40g | Vitamin A: 10.4% | Calcium: 0.7% | Iron: 0.4%