Heavenly Mocha Buttercream Frosting for Perfect Cupcakes

Do you want to take your chocolate cake to the next level with a rich, indulgent frosting? Look no further than this recipe for mocha buttercream frosting. Made with instant coffee and cocoa powder, this frosting is the perfect blend of sweet and bitter flavors – just like a good espresso.

As a barista, I know my coffee and I know my frostings. Trust me when I say that this mocha buttercream is the perfect complement to any chocolate cake or cupcake recipe. Whether you’re making a birthday cake or just looking for a decadent treat, this recipe is sure to impress.

So put on your apron and get ready to whip up the best mocha frosting you’ve ever tasted. With a few simple ingredients and some basic kitchen tools, you’ll be on your way to dessert perfection in no time. It’s time to take your baking game up a notch with this truly delicious mocha buttercream frosting recipe.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Mocha Buttercream Frosting
Mocha Buttercream Frosting

If you love chocolate and coffee, then you’re in for a treat! This mocha buttercream frosting recipe is perfect for your next cake or cupcake creation. Here are a few reasons why you’ll love this recipe:

Firstly, the combination of espresso powder and cocoa powder gives the frosting a rich, deep flavor that can only be described as heavenly. The bitterness of the coffee perfectly balances the sweetness of the powdered sugar, making it the ideal choice for those who like their desserts with a touch of sophistication.

Secondly, this recipe is incredibly easy to make – you only need a handful of ingredients and about 10 minutes of your time. Simply mix all the ingredients together until they are smooth and creamy. It’s perfect for when you need to whip up a dessert at short notice or when you want to impress your guests with minimal effort.

Lastly, this mocha buttercream frosting is endlessly versatile! Whether you’re making a chocolate cake, vanilla cupcakes or even mocha cake, this frosting will pair perfectly. You can even add some whipping cream to the mixture if you want to create a mocha cream that can top your morning coffee – talk about decadence!

So what are you waiting for? Give this mocha buttercream frosting recipe a try and experience the ultimate indulgence!

Ingredient List

 A sweet and creamy Mocha Buttercream Frosting is the perfect way to top your favorite baked goods.
A sweet and creamy Mocha Buttercream Frosting is the perfect way to top your favorite baked goods.

Ingredients you’ll need

Here is what you will need to make this Mocha Buttercream Frosting Recipe:

  • Unsalted Butter (3 cups, room temperature)
  • Icing Sugar (4 cups, powdered)
  • Unsweetened Cocoa Powder (1 cup)
  • Instant Coffee or Espresso Powder (2 tablespoons)
  • Boiling Water (1/2 cup or 4 oz)
  • Whipping Cream (1/4 cup or 2 oz)
  • Vanilla Extract (2 teaspoons)
  • Salt

Note: If a stronger coffee flavor is desired, additional instant coffee or espresso powder can be added in small increments until the desired level of coffee flavor is achieved.

The Recipe How-To

 Elevate your cupcakes to the next level with this decadent frosting recipe.
Elevate your cupcakes to the next level with this decadent frosting recipe.

Step 1: Gather and measure your ingredients

Before starting to make the mocha buttercream frosting, measure out all of your ingredients. This will help ensure you have everything you need on hand and ready to go.

Step 2: Dissolve instant coffee in boiling water

Take your instant coffee and dissolve it in boiling water. You can do this step ahead of time or simultaneously while making the frosting. Stir the mixture until everything has dissolved as much as possible.

Step 3: Combine butter, salt, and vanilla

In a mixing bowl, combine butter, salt, and vanilla extract. Use an electric mixer to beat these ingredients together until they’re smooth and creamy.

Step 4: Add cocoa powder and espresso powder

Next, slowly mix in the cocoa powder and the espresso powder into the bowl with the butter mixture until well-combined.

Step 5: Pour in dissolved coffee mixture

Gradually pour in the cooled, dissolved coffee mixture, continuing to beat with an electric mixer until everything is well combined.

Step 6: Mix in powdered sugar

With the mixer on low speed, gradually add in one cup of powdered sugar at a time, until everything is completely mixed together.

Continue to mix for an additional 2-3 minutes until the frosting is fluffy and light.

If you find that your mocha buttercream frosting is too thick, you can always add a few tablespoons of whipping cream to thin it out.

That’s it – your delicious mocha buttercream frosting is now ready! Spread it over your favorite dessert such as cupcakes, cakes or brownies!


Substitutions and Variations

 Coffee lovers rejoice! This frosting has a rich mocha flavor that will satisfy your cravings.
Coffee lovers rejoice! This frosting has a rich mocha flavor that will satisfy your cravings.

Now that you have the basics of the mocha buttercream frosting down, let’s talk about how you can make this recipe your own. There are numerous ways to vary and substitute different ingredients in the recipe to suit your taste preferences or dietary restrictions.

Firstly, if you are looking for a dairy-free alternative, you can use vegetable shortening in place of butter. This will change the texture and flavor slightly but will still give you a delicious mocha frosting.

If you don’t have cocoa powder on hand, or if you want a richer chocolate flavor, you can substitute it with melted dark chocolate. Just make sure to cool the chocolate before incorporating it into the frosting.

For a more intense coffee flavor, you can increase the amount of instant coffee or espresso powder in the recipe. You could also use whipped cream instead of buttercream frosting for a lighter version of the frosting.

If you find that the frosting is too sweet for your taste, reduce the amount of icing sugar in the recipe by ½ cup or to taste. On the other hand, if it’s not sweet enough, add more powdered sugar until desired sweetness is achieved.

To create different flavors and colors in this frosting, substitute vanilla extract with other flavored extracts like almond or peppermint. You can also add food coloring to achieve desired color.

Lastly, try pairing this mocha buttercream frosting with different cakes such as chocolate cake or vanilla cake. It also works well on cupcakes and as a filling between layers of a cake.

With these substitutions and variations at your disposal, you can have fun experimenting to create your own unique version of this classic mocha buttercream frosting recipe.

Serving and Pairing

 This frosting is so silky smooth, it will melt in your mouth like butter.
This frosting is so silky smooth, it will melt in your mouth like butter.

Now that you’ve made this scrumptious mocha buttercream frosting, it’s time to serve it! You can use this frosting to top off any cake or cupcake recipe of your choice, and it will undoubtedly take the flavor profile up a notch.

Mocha buttercream pairs incredibly well with chocolate or vanilla cake, making it a versatile option for any occasion. The chocolatey notes of the frosting complement the sweetness of the cake, resulting in a delectable treat that will leave your taste buds wanting for more.

Besides pairing it with cakes and cupcakes, try using mocha buttercream frosting as a filling for macarons or sandwiched between two cookies for an indulgent dessert experience.

If you’re looking for a caffeine boost after dinner, spread this mocha buttercream onto some warm toast, and enjoy with a steaming mug of coffee. Trust me; this is an upgrade from your everyday piece of toast!

In conclusion, mocha buttercream frosting is a must-try recipe that you’ll fall in love with. It’s versatile and pairs well with various desserts and beverages, so you can get as creative as you want. Serve it on top of chocolate cupcakes, sandwiched between cookies, or spread onto warm toast; whatever way you choose to serve it, I guarantee it will be delicious!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Make any dessert a little more special with a dollop of this drool-worthy frosting.
Make any dessert a little more special with a dollop of this drool-worthy frosting.

One of the great things about this mocha buttercream frosting recipe is that you can prepare it ahead of time. Perfect for busy schedules, this recipe can be stored in the fridge for up to a week, or in the freezer for up to two months.

To prepare ahead, make sure to let the frosting cool down to room temperature before transferring it to an airtight container. When you want to use it, simply take the frosting out of the fridge and let it come back to room temperature before using it on your favorite cake, cupcake or pastry.

When storing, make sure to place a piece of parchment paper or plastic wrap directly over the surface of the frosting before sealing the container. This will prevent any air or moisture from entering and causing the frosting to dry out or develop ice crystals.

For reheating, transfer your frosting into a microwave-safe bowl and heat it on low power for 10-15 seconds intervals until it softens. Mix well between intervals and avoid overheating as this can cause the buttercream frosting to separate or lose its texture.

As with any frosting, make sure to give it a good mix with a hand mixer or stand mixer before using it again after storage. By following these simple steps, you can ensure that your mocha buttercream frosting will taste just as delicious as when you first made it!

Tips for Perfect Results

 You won't be able to resist licking the bowl clean after making this Mocha Buttercream Frosting.
You won’t be able to resist licking the bowl clean after making this Mocha Buttercream Frosting.

Now that you have the recipe for this delicious Mocha Buttercream Frosting, let’s discuss some tips to help achieve perfect results.

First, make sure that the butter is softened before starting. This will allow the butter to mix together with the other ingredients more easily and result in a smooth texture. It is important to note that “room temperature” for unsalted butter means it should be soft but still cool to the touch.

Secondly, when adding the boiling water to your instant coffee, make sure to stir it thoroughly until fully dissolved. This step is crucial to ensure that all of the coffee flavor is fully incorporated into the frosting.

Next, when combining the cocoa powder and powdered sugar, use a sifter or fine mesh strainer to ensure that there are no lumps in the mixture. This will prevent any clumps from forming in the frosting and result in a smooth texture.

When whipping up the frosting, start on low speed and gradually increase speed until you reach medium-high. Be sure not to overmix as this can cause the frosting to become too thin and not hold its shape.

If the frosting becomes too soft or runny, place it in the fridge for 10-15 minutes and then whip it again until it is smooth and fluffy.

Finally, always use fresh ingredients for best results. The quality of your butter, cocoa powder, and coffee will greatly impact the taste of your frosting.

With these tips in mind, you’ll be able to make a perfectly smooth and flavorful Mocha Buttercream Frosting!


Now let’s move on to answering some frequently asked questions about this mocha buttercream frosting recipe. I understand that when trying a new recipe, there may be questions or doubts. Therefore, I have compiled some of the most common inquiries that people might have about making this delicious frosting. Make sure to read carefully to avoid confusion and achieve the best results possible!

What is mocha frosting made of?

To craft some mocha frosting, combine butter, powdered sugar, cocoa powder, espresso powder, heavy cream, salt, and vanilla extract.

What is the difference between icing frosting and buttercream?

When comparing frosting and buttercream, it’s important to take note of the ingredients used in each. Although both typically use powdered sugar, flavorings, and liquid components like milk or water, the absence of butter sets frosting apart from buttercream. In place of butter, you’ll often find shortening or cream cheese being used in frosting recipes.

What is the secret to buttercream frosting?

For the smoothest and creamiest buttercream, it’s important to use finely ground powdered sugar. Look for the type that is marked with the notation of how fine it is. The most finely ground option, which is marked as 10x, is what you should use in all kinds of frostings to achieve the desired texture.

How to make moka cream?

To create a delicious and refreshing mocha cream, start by whipping some heavy cream and sugar together in a mixing bowl until it’s nice and stiff. Next, dissolve some coffee granules in boiling water and let it cool before adding it to the whipped cream. Beat the mixture until it’s well combined and smooth. Finally, keep the mocha cream refrigerated to preserve its rich and creamy texture.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, this mocha buttercream frosting recipe is an excellent addition to any baker’s collection. Its rich and intense flavor will make your cupcakes, cakes, and other desserts unforgettable. With just a few ingredients and straightforward instructions, you can make this frosting in no time.

Furthermore, this recipe allows for substitutions and variations, making it ideal for those with dietary restrictions or looking to experiment with different flavors. Pair it with a chocolate cake or mocha cupcakes for the ultimate dessert experience.

In summary, whether you’re a seasoned baker or just starting out, this mocha buttercream frosting recipe is sure to impress. Don’t hesitate to give it a try and let us know what you think! Your taste buds won’t regret it.

Mocha Buttercream Frosting

Mocha Buttercream Frosting Recipe

A nice combination of chocolate and coffee. Yum!
No ratings yet
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 0 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 3 cups
Calories 267.8 kcal


  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 4 cups icing sugar, sifted
  • 4 teaspoons instant coffee, dissolved in 1/4 cup boiling water (I use an instant espresso)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla


  • Cream butter until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes and beat in 1/3 cup of icing sugar, coffee mixture, salt, half the remaining icing sugar, the cocoa and vanilla.
  • Beat in remaining icing sugar slowly and beat buttercream at high speed until it is light and fluffy.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 63gCalories: 267.8kcalCarbohydrates: 42.2gProtein: 0.9gFat: 12gSaturated Fat: 7.6gCholesterol: 30.5mgSodium: 200.1mgFiber: 1.2gSugar: 39.3g
Keyword < 15 Mins, Dessert, Easy, Low Protein
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