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5 from 4 votes

Espresso Frosting Made with Real Espresso for Chocolate Cupcakes

A truly flavorful espresso frosting, using a freshly pulled shot or two, and a little cream cheese to bring to bring extra richness.
Servings: 12 -18 cupcakes


  • 4 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 sticks butter softened
  • 4 tablespoons cream cheese at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla paste or vanilla extract
  • 2-4 tablespoons espresso made very cold


  • Sift sugar and salt together. Set aside.
  • Cream the cream cheese for a minute or two to make sure it is soft enough. Add in butter and cream for another minute or two until fully incorporated.
  • Refrigerate for 5-10 minutes. This helps ensure a proper texture for the frosting.
  • Cream again for a minute, add in two tablespoons of espresso and vanilla paste.
  • Slowly add in the confectioner's sugar one cup at a time.
  • You may find you like the texture at 3 1/2 cups. Taste the frosting and add in the last two espresso tablespoons as needed. I like it very strong.
  • Add in the last cup of confectioner's sugar 1/4 cup at a time.
  • Refrigerate for 30 minutes before piping.
  • Keep refrigerated for up to three days before using.
  • You can freeze for several weeks. Take out and let it come down to cool, not room temperature, if you want to pipe.


If you look closely, you can see the vanilla specks from the vanilla paste. I think the vanilla adds another layer of flavor and complexity.