Rating: 5.00
(1)

Coffee Cupcakes with Espresso Buttercream Frosting

By Rachel
November 21, 2023

These coffee cupcakes with espresso buttercream frosting are extra decadent and delicious. Light and airy cupcakes made with cooled brewed coffee, topped with a creamy espresso buttercream. For a fun holiday look I added mini gingerbread men and some gingerbread crumbs on top. You could also top with crushed biscoff cookies or a dusting of cinnamon!

Coffee Cupcakes with Espresso Buttercream Frosting

Highlights of these coffee cupcakes:

  • Moist, tender cake
  • Perfect rich coffee taste
  • Buttercream is light and creamy with hints of espresso
  • Can be decorated for any occasion
  • Oil based, no mixer needed
  • Great for parties or gatherings
  • Simple ingredients
  • Cupcake batter comes together quickly and easily
cupcake with a bite take out

Grocery Store List & Substitutions:

  • Vegetable oil, can substitute olive oil or canola oil
  • Large whole eggs
  • Vanilla extract
  • Granulated sugar
  • Milk, can substitute heavy cream, half and half or a non-dairy milk like oat milk
  • Strong brewed coffee or espresso
  • All-purpose flour
  • Baking soda
  • Kosher salt
  • Instant Espresso powder
  • Powdered sugar
  • Unsalted butter, softened
  • Heavy whipping cream

Pro tips for this fail-proof cupcake recipe:

  • Fill each cupcake 2/3rds full, do not over fill or they will bake over
  • Start on the short end of baking and add time as needed so the cupcakes stay moist
  • Allow cupcakes to cool completely before frosting
  • When making the buttercream make sure to cream butter for long enough, you want a light and fluffy consistency. Adjust cream as needed.
  • Store leftover in the fridge for best results!

First steps:

  • Combine oil, sugar, vanilla, and egg
  • Whisk well to combine
  • Mix in milk and coffee
  • In a separate bowl combine dry ingredients

If you like these Coffee Cupcakes with Espresso Buttercream Frosting, try these other easy cake recipes…

One Bowl Fluffy Vanilla Cupcake Recipe with Oil

Chocolate Loaf Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream

Easy Salted Caramel Cupcakes From Scratch

Cinnamon Snacking Cake with Maple Frosting

Coffee Cupcakes with Espresso Buttercream Frosting

These cupcakes are perfect for a special occasion or for the coffee lovers in your life.

Tools I used for this coffee cupcake recipe:

Second steps:

  • Mix dry ingredients into the wet until smooth
  • Fill prepared cupcake pan 2/3rds full
  • Bake cupcakes until tender

Can I make my coffee cupcakes ahead of time?

Yes, these cupcakes can be made in advance. Simple allow them to cool completely and store in and airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days in advance if needed. It can help to brush the cupcakes with simple syrup to get them extra moist.

What makes these cupcakes moist?

These cupcakes turn out moist, light, and airy, due to no overmixing and the addition of milk. It can also help to start baking with less time and add more time as needed.

Do I have to use cupcake liners?

No, you do not have to. If you do not want to use liners, make sure you are using a non-stick pan and grease well with butter or cooking oil.

Coffee Cupcakes with Espresso Buttercream Frosting

Instructions for the espresso cupcakes:

For the cupcake recipe:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, line a 12-cup cupcake pan. In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking soda, and salt. Whisk to combine. Set aside.  
  • In a large bowl combine the oil, sugar, egg, and vanilla. Whisk to combine until light and creamy. Slowly mix in milk and cooled coffee.
  • Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, mix well until completely combined. Use a portion scoop to fill each cupcake liner 2/3rd’s full. Bake at 350 for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack before frosting. 

For the frosting recipe:

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle or whisk attachment or using an electric hand mixer, cream butter until light and fluffy, 3-4 minutes on medium-high speed. Add in the confectioners’ sugar, one cup at a time and espresso powder. Mix thoroughly each time. Mix in the vanilla extract and the heavy cream, 1 tbsp at a time until desired consistency is reached.
  • Frost cooled cupcakes and top with desired toppings.
fresh cupcake cut in half
Coffee Cupcakes with Espresso Buttercream Frosting

Coffee Cupcakes with Espresso Buttercream Frosting

5 from 1 vote
Moist coffee cupcakes topped with espresso buttercream frosting
Servings 12 cupcakes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Cooling time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes

Equipment

  • Cupcake tin and liners

Ingredients
 
 

For the cupcakes:

  • 1/3 cup Vegetable oil
  • 1 cup Granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp Vanilla extract
  • 1 large Whole egg, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup Milk or cream, can substitute a non-dairy alternative
  • 1/2 cup Brewed coffee, cooled
  • 1 3/4 cups All-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp Baking soda
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt

For the buttercream:

  • 1 cup Unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 4-5 cups Powdered sugar
  • 1 tbsp Vanilla extract
  • 2-3 tbsps Heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tsp Espresso powder

Instructions
 

For the cupcakes:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, line a 12-cup cupcake pan. In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking soda, and salt. Whisk to combine. Set aside.  
  • In a large bowl combine the oil, sugar, egg, and vanilla. Whisk to combine until light and creamy. Slowly mix in milk and cooled coffee.
  • Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, mix well until completely combined. Use a portion scoop to fill each cupcake liner 2/3rd's full. Bake at 350 for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before frosting. 

For the buttercream:

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or using an electric hand mixer, cream butter until light and fluffy, 3-4 minutes. Add in the powdered sugar, one cup at a time and espresso powder. Mix thoroughly each time. Mix in the vanilla extract and the heavy cream, 1 tbsp at a time until desired consistency is reached.
  • Frost cooled cupcakes and top with desired toppings.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cupcakeCalories: 349kcalCarbohydrates: 73gProtein: 4gFat: 24gSaturated Fat: 12gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 61mgSodium: 303mgPotassium: 100mgFiber: 1gSugar: 18gVitamin A: 565IUVitamin C: 0.01mgCalcium: 39mgIron: 1mg
Author: The Hearty Life
Calories: 349kcal
Cost: $$
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Cake, Chocoalte Cake, Cupcakes, Dessert Recipes, Vanilla buttercream

Did you make this recipe?

Please let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and tag @theheartylife on Instagram and hashtag it #theheartylife.

coffee cupcake topped with mini gingerbread men
5 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)

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