Mocha Frosting – or Coffee (Naturally Gluten Free)

In earlier years I was never a fan of buttercream frosting. However with age we our taste buds change. Actually, I believe we lose some. Since I have experimented with different flavors of frosting, I have come to appreciate them. This mocha frosting is one of my new favorites, especially on a rich chocolate cake. You can easily adjust the recipe to make coffee frosting with the tips provided. The key to a good buttercream frosting is how long you beat it. You want it to be airy and light, similar to mousse. What will you make to give this mocha frosting a try? If you’re eyeing that chocolate cake, see the link below for the recipe.

Fluffy Coffee or Mocha Frosting


Yield: Make 3 3/4 cups, enough to frost one 3-layer cake.

Fluffy Coffee or Mocha Frosting

A fluffy and airy mocha frosting made to order. Make it creamy or stiff for your favorite dessert.


  • 5 cups powdered sugar (Trader Joe's make one that's organic and corn-free)
  • 3 - 6 Tablespoons pure unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, almost at room temperature (or 1/2 c Earth Balance spread + 1/2 cup shortening, for dairy-free)
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 6 - 8 Tablespoons (up to 1/2 cup) hot strong coffee
  • 1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract


  1. Sift together the powdered sugar and cocoa powder together; set aside. (If making mocha frosting, use 6 tablespoons. For coffee frosting use 0 - 3 tablespoons.)
  2. Cream the butter in the large bowl of your mixer. Add the powdered sugar mixture in, a cup at a time, beating on low speed until it mixes in. Then increase speed to medium. (You can sift it right into the bowl if you are not using cocoa powder.)
  3. Add the salt and slowly add about 6 tablespoons hot coffee and beat until fluffy or according to your desired consistency, about 2 to 3 minutes, depending upon the power of your mixer. Place bowl in the refrigerator to chill.
  4. Add vanilla and whip again.
  5. Refrigerate until chilled and frost your cake as desired.


Depending how soft or stiff you desire your frosting, you may use 3/4 to 1 1/2 cups of butter.

Adjust the amount of coffee to your liking for taste and color.

You may also be interested in:

Gluten Free Frosting Recipes

Gluten Free Chocolate Cake Recipe

4 Replies to “Mocha Frosting – or Coffee (Naturally Gluten Free)”

    1. Susan,

      Due to all of the cancer causing chemicals in Splenda, I do not recommend using it. I suggest using something like Pyure Stevia Bakebale Blend, as you can use it to replace sugar. I hope it works for you.

      If you insist upon using Splenda, I would check the Splenda website. Here’s one of their frosting recipes Just be sure use gluten free ingredients. Philadelphia cream cheese, Smart Balance Margarine, Baker’s baking chocolate, and omit the flavored coffee and use regular.

      Good luck!


  1. I’m having a birthday party for my 2 boys and a friend of theirs is gluten, dairy, egg and nut intolerant and I want to make cupcakes that he can eat so he’s not left out. I really want to try this recipe, do you think I could exchange the butter for a vegan variety or possibly vegetable shortening like Crisco?

    1. LeaRae,

      When substituting dairy-free products for butter, if you’re going to use a buttery spread like the suggested Earth Balance brand, be sure to one that is high in protein. Because spreads contain a lot of water, the baking time may be lengthened. In addition, sometimes shortening is the best way to go. I believe Earth Balance makes shortening sticks. No matter what you use, it will have a different flavor and texture, though.


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