Vanilla Cupcakes with Coffee Buttercream

PERFECT Vanilla Cupcakes with Coffee Buttercream

Simply the best Vanilla Cupcakes with Coffee Buttercream!

I love cupcakes…and I love coffee… so this Vanilla Coffee Cupcake combo just needed to happen!

The recipe starts with my Perfect Vanilla Cupcakes Recipe (a long time reader favorite!) and I’ve added a creamy, coffee infused buttercream frosting.

The result is a sweet, flavorful cupcake, with just the right amount of coffee flavor… not too strong or too subtle.

Top the cupcakes with chocolate sprinkles or some chocolate covered espresso beans (as I have) and you have a beautiful and delicious treat!

PIN IT NOW to save for later!

The best Vanilla Cupcakes with Coffee Buttercream!

Now, as with most any baking project… there are lots of options for variations!

Feel free to use the Coffee Buttercream recipe below with my favorite Chocolate Cupcake Recipe in place of the vanilla cupcakes.

If you’d like to make a Mocha Buttercream, read all the way to the bottom of the recipe for that simple variation (I’ve made it that way as well, and it’s delicious!).

If you really love coffee and want to increase the coffee flavor, I’d suggest using a pastry brush to brush a bit of coffee on top of the baked cupcakes, while they are still warm.

Delicious Vanilla & Coffee Cupcakes!


PIN IT NOW to save for later!


Somehow these Vanilla Cupcakes with Coffee Buttercream seem like the perfect back-to-school cupcakes… for the teachers!

Happy baking!

Vanilla Cupcakes with Coffee Buttercream

PERFECT Vanilla Cupcakes with Coffee Buttercream

Vanilla Cupcakes with Coffee Buttercream

Simply delicious vanilla cupcakes are topped with creamy and flavorful coffee frosting.
Prep Time 1 hr
Cook Time 15 mins
Cool 1 hr
Total Time 2 hrs 15 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 15
Calories 390 kcal


Vanilla Cupcakes

  • 1 1/4 cups cake flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
  • 1/2 cup oil vegetable, canola or extra light olive oil
  • 1/3 cup milk whole or low fat, but avoid fat free
  • 1/3 cup sour cream full fat or light, but avoid fat free

Coffee Buttercream

  • 2 packets single serve instant coffee or 2 rounded teaspoons
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream milk or half & half
  • 1/2 cup Challenge unsalted butter 1 stick
  • 4 oz Challenge cream cheese 1/2 block
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt only if using unsalted butter
  • optional - chocolate covered espresso beans, as garnish


Make the cupcakes

  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • In a medium bowl, add cake flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Stir together with a whisk, and set aside.
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer, add eggs and beat 10-20 seconds.  Add sugar and continue to beat on medium speed about 30 seconds.  Add vanilla and oil, beat.
  • Reduce mixer speed to low and slowly add about half of the flour mixture.  Add the milk, then the rest of the flour and the sour cream.  Beat until just combined.  Scrap down the side of the bowl.
  • The batter will be thin.   Pour batter into a muffin pan prepared with paper liners.  Fill liners about 2/3 full.
  • Bake cupcakes in pre-heated oven for 12-15 minutes, or until they are just slightly golden brown on the edges and a toothpick inserted in the center of a cake comes out clean.
  • Cool in the pan 1-2 minutes, then remove cupcakes from pan (carefully) and finish cooling on a wire rack.
  • Cool fully (about an hour) before frosting.

Make the frosting

  • In a small bowl, add the instant coffee and the milk or cream.  Stir together to dissolve the coffee, then set aside.
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment, beat butter (on medium speed) until completely smooth (30 seconds to a minute).
  • Add cream cheese,  and then continue to beat until smooth.
  • One cup at time, add 2 cups of powdered sugar, beating after each addition.
  • Add the vanilla, salt, and the bowl of dissolved coffee.
  • Add the remaining 2 cups powdered sugar, one at a time.
  • Continue to blend until all ingredients are fully incorporated and the mixture is smooth and fluffy.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  • Fill a pastry bag with the frosting and pipe onto fully cooled cupcakes.
  • Top frosted cupcakes with sprinkles or a few chocolate covered espresso beans, if desired.


Calories: 390kcalCarbohydrates: 54gProtein: 3gFat: 19gSaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 52mgSodium: 216mgPotassium: 48mgFiber: 1gSugar: 45gVitamin A: 392IUCalcium: 39mgIron: 1mg
Keyword coffee buttercream, vanilla cupcakes
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

PERFECT Vanilla Cupcakes with Coffee Buttercream


  1. Hi. A great recipe. Want to try for my son’s b’day. I have no sour cream. What can I substitute it with. Thank you.

    • Hi Sarah,
      You can swap out the sour cream for plain yogurt, or you can replace both the milk and sour cream with buttermilk (so you’d use 2/3 total cup buttermilk).
      Happy baking!

  2. I’m searching for a good vanilla cupcake!! Is it possible to double this recipe (or even triple, I need 36 cupcakes.)

    • Yes, for sure you can double it. I would maybe not do more than double at a time because it’s not great for the batter to sit around too long before baking. So, I’d do a double batch to start, and as you’re measuring ingredients go ahead and measure out (in individual bowls) your ingredients for the third set. Then, when some of the baking has been done, go ahead and mix up the third batch. I hope that makes sense =)
      Happy baking!

  3. Cake flpur and selfrising flour is the same thing?

    • No, cake flour and self rising are not the same. Self rising flour has added leavening ingredients (baking powder) and cake flour is just 100% wheat (flour).

  4. Hi, your recipes are always lovely. I’d want to know if I can use another ingredient to replace the cream cheese in the frosting.

  5. Hi, all your recipes are yummy and photography is just awesome…whenever I see your posts I feel like eating ☺ I am from India…very hot and humid here throughout the year…can you please suggest me som
    e ways by which I can make my whipped cream frosting stable for 1-2 hours?

  6. I love the combination of vanilla and coffee 🙂 so good! Thanks for sharing the tip about brushing the tops of the cupcakes with coffee – that thought never even crossed my mind and now I’m itching to try it!! Gorgeous photos by the way!

  7. What a desire to eat these cupcakes, ideal for the baby shower that I’m preparing.

  8. These are so pretty Glory! Very tempting! 🙂

  9. Yum yum! ! !  Coffe and chocolate . . . what more does a girl need? ? ? 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.