These simple coffee cupcakes are perfect for coffee lovers! These moist espresso cupcakes are topped with a creamy coffee buttercream. This is like a cup of coffee in a cupcake!
Is there anything better than a hot cup of coffee early in the morning? How about a delicious and fluffy coffee cupcake?? These moist coffee cupcakes are made with both coffee and instant espresso powder, while the espresso American buttercream is loaded up with espresso powder.
Based on my chocolate and vanilla cupcakes, these espresso cupcakes have a base of oil and butter. The butter gives you that buttery flavor (obviously!) while the oil keeps the cupcakes super moist and soft. I've then topped it with a really simple American buttercream frosting which uses espresso powder.
If you're looking for a mocha version of this cupcake, check out my mocha cupcakes with espresso buttercream!
Why you'll love these coffee cupcakes!
- These espresso cupcakes use simple ingredients, the only thing you might need to find at the grocery store is instant espresso powder.
- You get tons of rich coffee flavor thanks to using both coffee and espresso powder!
- These cupcakes are super moist because they have oil and butter.
- It is truly the perfect cupcake recipe for coffee lovers!
- Instant Espresso Powder: you want to use espresso powder and not granules. I'm using Nescafe Gold Blend Espresso powder but I've also heard good things about King Arthur's Espresso Powder! You want to make sure it is a fine powder that you're using as that is going to give a more intense flavor.
- Coffee: I'm taking out some of the buttermilk from these cupcakes and swapping it with coffee. I just mixed some instant coffee with hot water. If you don't have any coffee you can just use an equal amount of buttermilk.
- Oil: make sure to use a neutral oil like vegetable oil, canola oil or sunflower oil. You don't want anything with a strong taste.
- Buttermilk: this is going to make these coffees super moist.
- Flour: I've only tested this recipe with all purpose flour.
Step by Step Instructions
Step 1: Place cupcake liners in a cupcake pan and preheat the oven to 350ºFahrenheit. In a large bowl with a handheld electric mixer, or in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter with the oil and sugar until light and fluffy.
Step 2: Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla extract.
Step 3: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and instant espresso powder.
Step 4: Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and beat on low speed until combined. Pour in the coffee and use a rubber spatula to mix everything until smooth.
Step 5: Pour the batter into your prepared cupcake pan so they're ¾ full. Bake in the preheated oven for 22-25 minutes. Let them cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then remove and let cool completely on a wire cooling rack.
Step 6: Make the frosting by combining the confectioners' sugar and butter in a large bowl with a hand mixer or in a stand mixer. Mix on medium-high speed until it becomes very thick. Add the vanilla extract, salt and espresso powder and mix again. Finally, pour in the heavy cream until the frosting is creamy and spreadable.
Tips & Tricks
- Kitchen Scale - I always recommend using a kitchen scale to weigh out your ingredients since it is the most accurate way to bake! It is super easy to add too much flour when you use measuring cups, leading to dry cupcakes.
- Cooling - let the cupcakes cool completely before adding the frosting, otherwise the frosting will melt right off!
- Room Temperature - make sure your ingredients are at room temperature before starting!
- Over-mixing - don't overmix the cupcake batter. Once you've added in your dry ingredients, you'll want to use a rubber spatula to mix everything together. Over-mixing can lead to dense and dry cupcakes!
- Espresso Powder - make sure you're using espresso powder and not coffee granules, you want the powder as that is going to give you a more intense espresso taste.
- Mocha Cupcakes - want to make a chocolate mocha version of these cupcakes? Check out my recipe here!
Frequently Asked Questions
Instant coffee powder won't have the same intense coffee flavour
Instant espresso powder is espresso that has been brewed and then dehydrated.
Yes, double the recipe to get 24 cupcakes!
Keep the frosted cupcakes in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Let them come to room temperature before enjoying!
Try these cupcakes next!
Coffee Cupcakes with Espresso Buttercream
- cupcake pan
- 2 ½ tablespoons unsalted butter room temperature
- 2 tablespoons neutral oil
- ¾ cup white sugar
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- ¼ cup buttermilk room temperature
- 1 ⅛ cup all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon espresso powder
- ¼ cup coffee
- 2 sticks unsalted butter room temperature
- 3 cups confectioners' sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 teaspoons espresso powder
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- Preheat oven to 350°Fahrenheit/175°Celsius and line a cupcake pan with 10-12 liners.
- In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl with hand mixer, beat the butter with the oil and sugar until fluffy. It takes about 2-3 minutes.2 ½ tablespoons unsalted butter, 2 tablespoons neutral oil, ¾ cup white sugar
- Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.2 large eggs
- Mix in the vanilla extract and buttermilk.1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract, ¼ cup buttermilk
- In a separate bowl, whisk the flour with the baking powder, salt and espresso powder.1 ⅛ cup all purpose flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, ¾ teaspoon kosher salt, 1 tablespoon espresso powder
- Add the flour to the wet ingredients and mix on low speed. As soon as it's combined, stop mixing. Pour in the coffee and stir using a rubber spatula until the cupcake batter is smooth.¼ cup coffee
- Pour the cupcake batter into the prepared pan until they're ¾ full. Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes. Let them cool for 10 minutes in the pan before removing to cool completely on a wire cooling rack.
- In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, beat the butter and confectioners' sugar together on low speed until well combined.2 sticks unsalted butter, 3 cups confectioners' sugar
- Increase the speed to medium-high and beat for 2 minutes until it becomes very thick.
- Stop the mixer and add the salt, vanilla, and espresso powder into the bowl. Beat on medium-high speed for another 2 minutes.1 teaspoon vanilla extract, ¼ teaspoon kosher salt, 3 teaspoons espresso powder
- Turn the mixer to your lowest speed and pour in the heavy cream. Beat until it becomes very creamy and spreadable. Frost your cooled cupcakes!¼ cup heavy cream