Espresso Buttercream

Is that a fluffy frosting or what?

Chocolate Espresso Buttercream / Mia / Katie Workman /

People who love both chocolate and coffee (and there are legions of them) are going to kiss you on the mouth when they taste this.  So serve it thoughtfully.

This is excellent on the Rich Yellow Cake, but also perfect on chocolate cake.

There are a number of small things that divide people into two groups.  Putting the toilet paper in the holder so that it unfurls up or down, for instance.  Folding or rolling t-shirts.

We won’t even get into politics here.  Not a small thing.

And there are a ton of food preferences that cause people to fall into one of two camps.  Some are slightly polarizing, like whether your like cilantro or mayonnaise…or not.  Black licorice, blue cheese, olives, anchovies, white chocolate….most of these foods generate pretty strong yay or nay responses in people.

Which brings us to the cake vs. frosting contingencies.  Most people are happy to have a piece of cake with frosting, and just sit back and enjoy the combo.  But then there are smaller groups of Cake People, and Frosting/Icing People.

Rich Vanilla Cake with Chocolate Espresso Buttercream / Mia / Katie Workman /

Take my mom, for example.  She will happily eat a piece of cake with frosting…though you can tell her predisposition because she will save the end of the cake piece, the part with most of the frosting for the end, and eat those last few bites with relish.

And then, after the cake eating part of the party is over, she will offer to take the rest back into the kitchen.  Where, if she is left to her own devices, she will slowly and methodically start “cleaning” the bits of excess frosting from the cake platter, and if nothing stops her, at the end, there will be a naked cake.

For when you can’t decide between chocolate and coffee for your frosting. (Meaning for every day.)

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Chocolate Espresso Buttercream / Mia / Katie Workman /

Which not even the Cake People would want at that point.

Anyway, she would love this frosting.

If you want to make this up to three days ahead of time, go right ahead, but bring it to room temperature before using  — you should also give it a whip with a whisk or an electric mixer if you really want to fluff it up again.

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Chocolate Espresso Buttercream

For when you can't decide between chocolate and coffee for your frosting. (Meaning for every day.)
Yield: 12 Servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegetarian


  • ¼ cup semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips
  • 1 stick unsalted butter softened
  • 4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Pinch kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon espresso powder
  • 6 to 7 tablespoons cream half and half, or milk (preferably whole)


  • Melt the chocolate in the microwave, or in a double boiler. Cool.
  • In a medium bowl, cream the butter. Blend in half of the sugar, then the cooled melted chocolate, vanilla, salt and the espresso powder. Alternate the remaining two cups confectioners sugar with the cream, until it reaches the desired sweetness and consistency.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 205kcal | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 11mg | Sodium: 4mg | Potassium: 30mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 41g | Vitamin A: 110IU | Calcium: 7mg | Iron: 1mg

The nutrition values are provided as an estimate. It is not intended as a substitute for the advice of a qualified healthcare professional.

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