Cupcakes with espresso buttercream and pecan praline

12 servings


  • 225 g plain flour
  • 175 g sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 125 g butter, melted
  • 125 ml milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

Caramel syrup

  • 200 g sugar
  • 50 g butter
  • 125 ml whipping cream

Pecan praline

  • 350 g sugar
  • 50 ml water
  • 120 g pecans, roughly chopped

Espresso buttercream

  • 250 g butter, room temperature
  • 400 g icing sugar
  • 80 ml cold espresso coffee
Cupcakes with espresso buttercream and pecan praline


Preheat the oven to 160°C.


  1. Mix flour, sugar and baking powder in a bowl. Add butter, milk, eggs and vanilla to the dry ingredients and stir until well incorporated.
  2. Divide batter into a 12-piece cupcake pan lined with paper cups of your choice.
  3. Bake the cupcakes approx. 25 minutes or until golden brown, and a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  4. Transfer the cupcakes to a baking rack and let them cool before decorating with buttercream.

Caramel syrup

  1. Melt the sugar in a heavy-based pan over medium heat until golden. Don´t stir, just gently swirl the pan to help dissolve the sugar.
  2. Add the butter while stirring.
  3. Add the cream, bring to a boil again and reduce slightly.
  4. Remove from heat and cool completely before using it on top of buttercream.

Pecan praline

  1. Place sugar and water in a large heavy-based pan over high heat and cook 8-10 minutes until the sugar turns into a golden caramel.
  2. Pour onto a baking tray lined with baking paper and tilt the tray so you get a thin and even layer.
  3. Sprinkle immediately with pecans and leave to set. Chop the praline roughly.

Espresso buttercream

  1. Beat the butter on medium-speed until light and creamy. Gradually sift in the icing sugar and beat until completely smooth. Add the cooled espresso and beat on high-speed until fluffy.
  2. Place the buttercream in a piping bag fitted with a 1 cm star nozzle. Pipe out a generous rosette of buttercream on each cupcake.
  3. Drizzle with caramel syrup and sprinkle with pecan praline.

TIP: Stir 25 ml of dark rum into the syrup if serving for grown-ups.


Whether you drink coffee or not, we suspect that you will love these perfectly fluffy and bold cupcakes with caramel frosting and espresso buttercream. This easy espresso, pecan praline and caramel cupcakes recipe has all the perfect ingredients for a fantastically flavoury experience that will fill your kitchen with a sweet and tempting aroma.

The crowning touch is the espresso buttercream topped with sweet caramel syrup and the sprinkle of pecan praline. Pecans go well with several savoury and sweet ingredients like the ones in these espresso buttercream cupcakes with caramel frosting. The pecan praline is easy to make and adds that perfect crunch to your otherwise soft and moist cupcakes.

Make these pecan praline cupcakes with espresso buttercream frosting and caramel syrup for a rainy day or as a refreshing yet sweet dessert.



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Make it your own!

Are you as much in love with these cupcakes with caramel frosting and a rich, bold espresso buttercream as we are? The flavours are perfect together and you will want to make them again and again – but why not spice it up to make them maybe even sweeter, the coffee bolder or the texture completely different with a sweet surprise in the middle?

Try experimenting with the recipe for the pecan, espresso, and caramel cupcakes to get even more out of it and make the ideal espresso cupcake recipe filled with your favourite flavours.

Indulge your tastebuds with a moist and fluffy cupcake

If you feel like playing around a bit with these delicious cupcakes with espresso buttercream, you can change how you use the caramel syrup, what goes into the batter, and how much of each ingredient you use. Just make sure not to change too much in the dry and wet ingredients – to get those moist and fluffy cupcakes, you need the perfect balance between ingredients.

Another tip is to not over-mix the batter, which will take away all the air bubbles that make the cupcakes rise. Also make sure to use room temperature butter as this is better to hold air, which guarantees those desirable light and moist cupcakes. For the espresso frosting, we recommend Lurpak® unsalted butter as this will go better with the delicate coffee taste.

For the love of all things chocolaty

Who does not love chocolate? We add the sweet, bitter, creamy or rich chocolate flavour to almost everything and this espresso cupcake recipe is no exception. Espresso and chocolate are the perfect pair and adding a bit of cocoa powder to the batter makes a world of difference.

A rule of thumb is to replace an equal amount of flour with cocoa powder to avoid dry cupcakes – and a dry cupcake is no fun! Try replacing 50-75 g of flour with cocoa powder. You can always add more or less. It is all about your personal preferences and love for that rich and delicious chocolaty flavour.

How do I get a richer coffee flavour?

You might love a strong, bitter coffee, or maybe you are more than happy to just get the subtle notes of a full-bodied coffee flavour. You can easily adjust the strength of the coffee flavour in this espresso cupcake recipe. We do not recommend adding more or less cold espresso coffee than the 80 ml, but simply making the brew either stronger and bolder or thinner and more subtle. Adjusting the amount of espresso powder in your espresso buttercream can change the cupcakes entirely.

Can I use this recipe to make cupcakes with caramel filling?

Filling your cupcakes will take the flavours and the eating experience to a whole new level. These espresso and pecan praline cupcakes go perfectly with a sweet or salty caramel, and you can do even more than the caramel syrup drizzled on top. Make these cupcakes with caramel filling by scooping out a small bit of the cupcake before adding the espresso buttercream frosting and fill the hole with caramel syrup.

You can also add a bit of salt to the caramel to play with the taste. Add the frosting on top and experience the sensation of rich espresso buttercream frosting, crunchy pecan praline, and soft sweet or salty caramel flowing into your mouth – all in one bite! If you go for the cupcakes with caramel filling and add salt to the syrup, you can use Lurpak® slightly salted butter for the batter – this will complement the caramel filling’s slightly salted taste.

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