Mocha Buttercream With A Vegan Option

Buttercream is an absolute essential! You can cover a cake, style a cupcake in multiple ways, fill a macaron, pipe a flower, it goes on..

It is so easy to add flavour to whatever you’re making with buttercream and I love the flavour of drinks in mine, be that alcoholic or not. You’ll have no problem staying awake with this combination of coffee and sugar!

I like to use this recipe with chocolate cupcakes topped with chocolate covered coffee beans and a dash of cocoa.

If you want to make this vegan it is easy to substitute a vegetable shortening, just check that the cocoa you are using is also vegan.

Using a vegan spread like Vitalite will make your buttercream softer, so use less liquid adding it gradually until you get the right consistency. If you are using a vegetable shortening like Trex this has less water content to fat, so you can use 20% less.

I often use Vitalite or Trex but be careful as some vegans may not eat Trex as it contains palm oil.

This should be enough for 12 cupcakes, generously covered.

You will need:

  • Stand or hand held mixer


  • 100g (½ cup) Butter or vegetable alternative
  • 300g (3 cups) Icing/confectioners’ sugar
  • 40g (½ cup) Cocoa powder
  • ¼ tsp Vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp Instant coffee
  • ½ tbsp Boiled water

Step 1

Mix the boiled water with instant coffee and let cool. I use instant rather than from a coffee machine as it allows you to make the coffee extra strong, so you get more flavour without making your buttercream sloppy. I recommend Nescafé Azera Americano or Intenso, partly as I think it’s the nicest instant you can get but mainly because the granules are very fine, which dissolve well. You don’t want lumpy buttercream!

Step 2

Cream the butter or alternative and sugar together until light and fluffy.

Step 3

Sift half the icing sugar and all the cocoa into the creamed mixture, and beat until incorporated on a slow speed to prevent icing sugar coating your kitchen. If your bowl is full it may also pay you to mix in the initial icing sugar by hand before using a mixer. Scrape down the sides then beat on full speed.

Step 4

Add the rest of the icing sugar a bit at a time on a medium speed, scraping down the sides between adding the sugar.

Step 5

Stir the vanilla extract into the cooled coffee and pour a little at a time into the buttercream. This should soften and become smoother as you beat it. Taste the buttercream before you add more to make sure the strength of the flavour suits you as I don’t know your tastes, I like my coffee buttercream like I like my coffee, strong! If the flavour is to your taste but the mixture is not soft enough, add a dash of milk or milk alternative of your choice.

Step 6

Turn up to full speed and beat for 5 minutes. Your buttercream should be done! Transfer to a piping bag if you are piping or use as you desire, even if that is piping straight into your mouth, no judgement here 😉

Thanks for reading 😊


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Published by The Bakery At Home

Amateur baker based in the UK with a sugar addiction and gluten intolerance. Inclusive of as many dietary requirements as possible, because everyone deserves to taste the delicious.

3 thoughts on “Mocha Buttercream With A Vegan Option

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