Coffee Cupcakes

Fluffy espresso cupcakes topped with silky coffee buttercream

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5 from 5 reviews

Light espresso sponge cake, and smooth, silky coffee flavoured buttercream for the ultimate coffee flavoured cupcakes!




  • 120ml Whole milk (1/2 cup)
  • 1 tsp White vinegar
  • 60ml Vegetable oil (1/4 cup)
  • 30g Unsalted butter (2 tbsp 1 tsp), Room temperature
  • 150g White sugar (3/4 cup)
  • 2 Eggs, room temperature
  • 2 tsp Instant espresso powder
  • 165g Plain flour (1 1/3 cup)
  • 1 tsp Baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp Baking soda
  • Pinch of salt

Coffee Buttercream

  • 240g Unsalted butter, room temperature (1 cup)
  • 200g Icing sugar
  • 2 tbsp Hot water
  • 1 tbsp Instant espresso powder, can be adjusted to your liking
  • Cocoa powder, for dusting



  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F
  2. Line a cupcake tray with 12 paper liners
  3. Combine the milk and vinegar in a small bowl, set aside
  4. Add sugar, butter, and oil to the bowl of a stand mixer and beat for 5 minutes on medium-high speed, until light and fluffy
  5. Add the eggs and instant coffee powder to the butter and beat on high for 1 minute, until well combined
  6. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a medium-sized bowl, whisk to combine
  7. Add half the flour mix to the butter mix and beat until just combined
  8. Add the milk, followed by the rest of the flour, beat until just combined
  9. Divide the batter evenly between the cupcake liners
  10. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean
  11. Cool before frosting

Coffee Buttercream

  1. Combine the sugar, hot water, and instant espresso powder together in the bowl of a stand mixer, mix until well combined, cool slightly
  2. Add the room temperature butter and beat on high for 10 mins or until doubled in volume, lightened and fluffy
  3. Transfer the buttercream to a piping bag fitted with a star-shaped tip and pipe swirls of buttercream on top of the cooled cupcakes
  4. Dust with cocoa powder and enjoy!
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