Vanilla Cupcakes With Espresso Buttercream Frosting

Recipes / Tuesday, March 27th, 2018

These vanilla cupcakes with espresso buttercream frosting are some of my FAVORITES! These cupcakes combine two different recipes to make an addictive dessert that any coffee-lover will crave. I’ve sent these into work with my husband before and he came back with some money and a request to make more for one of his coworkers! I happily obliged. 

The recipe for the cupcakes come from The Kitchen Is My Playground. I love her recipes because she will spend time finding the perfect combination for the most delicious desserts. If she says something is the best, it’s because it is!

The recipe for the espresso buttercream comes from Brown Eyed Baker. Even though she doesn’t drink coffee, she has some seriously amazing coffee-related recipes and I can’t wait to try more!

If you make these cupcakes once, it’s only a matter of time before you make them again…and again…and again…

Vanilla Cupcakes With Espresso Buttercream Frosting
Yields 12
The most delicious, light, and fluffy vanilla cupcakes with a silky espresso buttercream on top.
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Total Time
35 min
Total Time
35 min
  1. 1 C all-purpose flour, sifted
  2. 3/4 C granulated sugar
  3. 3/4 t baking powder
  4. Pinch of salt
  5. 3 T butter, softened
  6. 1/2 C 2% milk
  7. 1 egg
  8. 1 t vanilla extract
  1. 1 C unsalted butter, at room temperature
  2. 2 1/2 C powdered sugar
  3. 1 1/2 t vanilla extract
  4. 1 1/2 t espresso powder
For the cupcakes
  1. Add sifted flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and softened butter in a mixing bowl. Combine at low speed until you have a sandy crumb mixture.
  2. Add ¼ C milk and combine until the milk just mixed.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk remaining ¼ C milk with the egg and vanilla. Add this combination to the mixing bowl and beat until everything is just incorporated.
  4. Beat for another 30 seconds or so until the batter is smooth. Careful not to over mix!
  5. Divide batter between 12 lined baking cups. Each cup should be about ½ full.
  6. Bake at 325 degrees for about 22 minutes, or until they are golden and springy.
  7. While cupcakes are cooling, prepare buttercream.
For the frosting
  1. In a small prep bowl, whisk the espresso powder and vanilla until the powder is completely dissolved.
  2. In the mixing bowl, whip butter for about five minutes on medium-high, stopping to scrape the sides if necessary.
  3. Reduce speed to low and slowly add powdered sugar. Once all powdered sugar is added, scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl and whisk until light and fluffy, about 3-5 more minutes.
  4. Slowly add the vanilla/espresso mixture and whip until thoroughly combined.
  5. Frost cupcakes using a Wilton 1M frosting tip.
  1. This cupcake recipe makes 12 and only 12 cupcakes. It may not look like enough, but it will be the perfect amount!
  2. I’ve tried the full recipes on both of the blogs I reference in this post, but this combination of the two is my favorite.
  3. I like to top the cupcakes with black sprinkles. It kind of looks like coffee grounds, which helps explain the flavor, but you don’t get any of the bitterness that would come with that.
The Fox Den Blog
Check out my recipe page for more great treats!

Hello! I am a work-at-home mom to twin girls and a canine. I’m learning what life looks like when you surrender to God. Passionate about parenthood, marriage, and all things coffee!


2 Replies to “Vanilla Cupcakes With Espresso Buttercream Frosting”

  1. I don’t care for coffee, but these are gorgeous, Bethany, and I can see how coffee lovers would love to try them.

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