Finger-Licking Good Creamy Espresso Buttercream Recipe

Buttercream icing. Is it just that bit you add to the top of you cake for decoration or is it the best part of any cake? Some people scrape it off entirely. I’m sure many of us have done that. Understandable since, there is just so much bad icing out there! So what makes good icing? Using pure butter for one. Flavour, is of course, another consideration. One of our absolute favourites is Espresso Buttercream. The soft bitterness of the coffee really tones down the sweetness you icing.

Espresso or coffee buttercream is perfect when paired with dense cakes adding a much needed lightness. Check out our recipe for Kopi Hot Chocolate Fudge Cake. If you like lighter chocolate cakes, you can also pair it with a simple vanilla butter cake.

Fluffy with a Kick

While you can use any type of instant espresso powder for this recipe, we recommend you choose a strong and robust coffee. The kick of the coffee shine though beautifully against the sweetness of the icing. A pinch of salt and we call it perfection.


113g (1/2 cup) unsalted butter

150g (1 ¼ cup) icing sugar

1 tsp vanilla

1 tsp espresso powder

1 pinch of sea salt


  • Make sure your butter is softened but still cold to the touch. Beat a mixer until it is light and fluffy. This will take about 2 minutes.
  • Add icing sugar to the butter in three batches. Whip between each addition until it is nice and smooth before adding in the next batch of icing sugar. Once all your icing sugar has been incorporated, continue to whip the buttercream mixture for an additional 2 minutes or until it looks thick and creamy.
  • Add espresso powder to the vanilla and stir until it has dissolved. Add this into your buttercream mixture and beat just until it is an evenly coloured.
  • Lastly, add a pinch of sea salt to you cut the sweetness. Whip it all together for another minute to make sure that everything is evenly incorporated.
  • Now you’re all set to ice your cake! Spread it on top of your cake for a rustic look or pipe flowers. That’s all up to you.

Now that wasn’t too hard. If you want to bring it up a notch and really impress, make a nut brittle. Crush the pieces and line the top of your icing with it. Your life will never be the same again.

Pretty Enough to Eat

We don’t believe in decoration that is just for looks. It’s all about the tastebuds and the tummy. If you’re not a fan of buttercream then try some other types of icing that you’ll enjoy consuming.

If you’re going for all out chocolate, you can choose to ice with yummy chocolate ganache. Now that is chocolate decadence! Another absolute favourite is cream cheese frosting! If you use good cream cheese, you may just find yourself licking the plate clean.

Elina Jasmi

Elina aspires to eat well always, make healthy choices occasionally (hey, what is life without dessert), laugh as often as possible and discover more sinful eats to rave about.

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