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Espresso Buttercream

While we are on an espresso kick over here at the Woodruff house, we knew we needed to include an espresso buttercream recipe to our catalogue. And boy, did we do just that! After making espresso brownies and a dark chocolate espresso cake, this seemed like the most logical next step.

A chocolate cake frosted with espresso buttercream on a cake stand with a shot of espresso and a dessert plate nearby.

Our recent purchase of a Breville Barista Express Impress espresso machine has changed our lives when it comes to baking! As we sip our luxurious homemade lattes each morning, we are dreaming up new ways to include freshly brewed shots of espresso into our bakes.

The first result was our dark chocolate espresso cake, which we used as a base for this fabulous buttercream. We just knew it was the perfect cake to test this espresso buttercream recipe on. And we were right! It even led us to create our espresso cupcakes.

Our second triumph was our espresso brownies that are simply drool worthy. And while brownie recipes don’t call for frosting, it would not hurt to enjoy our espresso brownies with a heaping serving of our espresso buttercream or our espresso whipped cream.

You may ask what makes this espresso buttercream different, and better, than the other recipes you will find out there? The answer is that this recipe uses real, freshly brewed shots of espresso instead of instant espresso powder. The result is a much fuller, richer taste that cannot be topped!

Go ahead and read the recipe card down below and find out for yourself. We recommend using this with some of our other bakes like our triple chocolate cake or our holiday cupcakes for a fun switch up!

If you’re on the lookout for more frosting recipes, be sure check out our chocolate chip cookie buttercream or our chocolate fudge cream cheese frosting.

A whisk attachment from the stand mixer with espresso buttercream on it.

Espresso Buttercream

Yield: 4 cups
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

Perfectly potent espresso buttercream made with freshly brewed espresso and finely ground espresso beans,


  • 1 1/2 C (3 sticks) Unsalted Butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1.5 oz (40g) Espresso, freshly brewed
  • 2 Tbsp (10g) Finely Ground Espresso Beans*
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • 6 C (720g) Powdered Sugar, divided
  • 3/4 tsp Kosher Salt*


  1. In a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, beat the softened butter for 1-3 minutes on high speed, or until the butter is creamy and slightly pale.
  2. While the espresso shot is still hot, add the finely ground espresso beans and mix together.
  3. In a small bowl, add the espresso mix, vanilla, and 1 1/2 cups (180g) of powdered sugar. Whisk everything together until a thick mixture forms.
  4. Add the espresso mixture to the butter and mix together.
  5. Add the kosher salt and the remaining powdered sugar, one cup at a time, until fully combined.
  6. Adjustments: If the buttercream is too sweet you can add a pinch of kosher salt to reduce the sweetness. If the buttercream is too thin, you can add more powdered sugar, 1/4 cup at a time. If the buttercream is too thick, you can add heavy cream, one tablespoon at a time.
  7. Frost your cake or cupcakes of choice and enjoy!


  • You will want the espresso beans to be ground as finely as possible to avoid any gritty texture in the buttercream, so we suggest using the finest setting on your grinder.
  • If you are using table salt, use half the amount of kosher salt listed.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 16 Serving Size: 1/4 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 325Total Fat: 17gCarbohydrates: 45gProtein: 0g

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