What's The Buzz About This Buttercream? It's Caffeinated!

Coffee lovers, rejoice! Here's the ultimate coffee buttercream recipe you didn’t know you needed. Learn how to make a bold, robust coffee buttercream that's flavorful and will stimulate the taste buds like a strong cup of joe.


Dessert with coffee is an optimal way to end a meal, don't you think? How about dessert plus coffee all in one? The flavor of this buttercream is distinct, strong and unmistakable. Meet your new favorite buttercream: coffee.

To flavor your buttercream, you'll make a coffee syrup using instant coffee granules.

There are two reasons for using instant granules versus freshly brewed coffee:

  • We can only add a little bit of liquid — typically about a tablespoon — to buttercream without compromising composition.
  • The second reason is flavor. The flavor of a tablespoon of the strongest brewed coffee pales in comparison to a tablespoon of instant coffee; which, essentially is a cup of coffee per teaspoon. 

Coffee buttercream recipe

Makes enough to cover up to a 10" cake or 1 dozen standard cupcakes.


  • 3 tablespoons instant coffee granules
  • 2 teaspoons water
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2¼ cups (about 250 grams) powdered sugar

Step 1:

Place instant coffee granules in a small bowl. Add water and stir until it’s completely smooth and free of any small lumps. The consistency should be like syrup. Set aside for now.

Step 2:

Place softened butter in the bowl of a stand mixer. Sift powdered sugar into the bowl. Using the paddle attachment, mix on low speed until the butter and sugar have clumped together, then turn the speed up to medium. This prevents the powdered sugar from flying out of the bowl when the mixer is turned on.

Beat for about 2 minutes.

Step 3:

Add the coffee syrup to the bowl and give the bowl a good scraping. We want to encase all the delicious coffee syrup in our creamed sugar and butter before beating it all together. It's less likely to splash as well.

Step 4:

Beat on medium-high for 2 minutes. Scrape the bowl and paddle and beat again for another 2 minutes or until the color evens out and all streaks are gone.

Delicious ideas for your coffee buttercream

Other than eating it with a spoon, here are some other ideas for using this coffee buttercream:

  • Spread it over cookies or decadent pound cake. The dense texture of pound cake with the taste of coffee buttercream is scrumptious.
  • Cookie towers have become increasingly popular, and this buttercream is such a tasty treat when paired with simple sugar cookies, but definitely puts cookies with nutty bits over the top.
  • Use it to sandwich macarons or whoopie pies.
  • And of course, definitely, use this recipe for frosting cakes and cupcakes.

There's no shortage of flavors that coffee pairs with well. Here are a few of my recommended cake flavors to pair with our coffee buttercream:

How will you enjoy coffee buttercream?

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March 18, 2018
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What's The Buzz About This Buttercream? It's Caffeinated!