1ozbrewed espressomust be cooled to room temperature, can replace with strong brewed coffee
Preheat the oven to 350ºF and line a 12 cup muffin pan with paper liners.
In a large bowl, whisk together the milk, vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla.
Add the sugar and whisk to combine.
Next, add the flour, instant espresso powder, and baking powder. Mix just until no large lumps remain.
Divide the cake batter between the muffin tins, filling each one with about ¼ cup of batter.
Bake for 15-17 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Move the cupcakes to a wire rack and cool completely before frosting.
Add the softened butter to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium speed until the butter is smooth, about 60 seconds.
With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the powdered sugar.
Once all of the powdered sugar has been incorporated, slowly add the cooled espresso.
Turn the mixer to medium-high speed and beat for 1-2 minutes, or until the frosting is light and fluffy.
Transfer the buttercream to a piping bag and frost the cooled cupcakes as desired.
Fresh espresso helps thin the buttercream so it’s light and smooth. It also adds more espresso flavor. Just make sure the espresso is room temperature– if it’s hot, it will melt the butter. If you don’t have fresh espresso, strongly brewed coffee will work too. Make gluten free: I recommend King Arthur’s Gluten Free Measure for Measure Flour. Use it as a one for one substitute for regular flour.