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!

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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!


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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.. I am allergic to egg. What can I use in place of egg in this recipe. ?

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