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Espresso cupcakes topped with espresso frosting.
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5 from 1 vote

Espresso Cupcakes

These espresso cupcakes are rich, moist and loaded with espresso flavor. Topped with a gorgeous espresso buttercream frosting. A treat for coffee lovers everywhere!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course: Cupcakes, Dessert
Cuisine: American
Diet: Vegetarian
Servings: 12
Calories: 543kcal
Author: Alison


Espresso Buttercream Frosting


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C) and line a cupcake tray with 12 cupcake liners.
  • Sift all purpose flour into a mixing bowl and add white granulated sugar, baking soda, salt and instant espresso powder. Mix together.
  • Prepare your homemade buttermilk by adding 1 tablespoon of lemon juice (or distilled white vinegar) to a measuring jug and adding room temperature milk up to the 1 cup (240ml) line. Leave it for a few minutes to curdle.
  • Add buttermilk, oil, egg and vanilla extract to the mixing bowl and mix into a batter. Don't overmix.
  • Divide the batter evenly between the 12 cupcake liners.
  • Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into one of the cupcakes comes out clean.
  • Let the cupcakes cool for a few minutes in the cupcake tray before transferring them to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
  • When the cupcakes are completely cool, frost them with espresso buttercream frosting.


  1. Flour. The most accurate way to measure flour is actually to weigh it out on a food scale. If you have a food scale then click 'metric' below the list of ingredients to get the weight in grams. If you don't have a food scale then the next best way to measure it is to use the spoon and level method. Spoon the flour into your measuring cup and then level off the top with a knife. Don't scoop the flour and don't pack it into the cup.
  2. Instant espresso powder. This creates the perfect espresso flavor for these cupcakes, however instant coffee powder also works great.
  3. Buttermilk. We used a homemade buttermilk substitute made up by mixing lemon juice (or vinegar) with room temperature milk. You can do the same or you can use real buttermilk if you happen to have it on hand. Either option will work great in this recipe. 
  4. Don't overmix the batter. Mix the batter until just mixed and then stop mixing. 
  5. Storing and Freezing. Store them covered at room temperature for 2-3 days or covered in the fridge for up to a week. You can freeze these cupcakes frosted or unfrosted for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge and bring to room temperature before serving.
  6. Nutritional information includes both the cupcakes and the frosting. 


Serving: 1Cupcake | Calories: 543kcal | Carbohydrates: 75g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 59mg | Sodium: 354mg | Potassium: 113mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 57g | Vitamin A: 537IU | Calcium: 41mg | Iron: 2mg