These White Russian Cupcakes with Kahlúa Buttercream are simple cupcakes with Kahlúa and vodka and topped with a creamy Kahlúa buttercream that tastes exactly like the classic White Russian cocktail.
We cooked the alcohol out of the Kahlúa for the icing, but you can leave it in if you want the cupcakes to be spiked. You can also add a shot (or two) of vodka to the Kahlúa buttercream while you’re mixing it if you really feel like getting wild.
White Russian Cupcakes with Kahlúa Buttercream
- Cupcake tin
White Russian cupcakes:
- 3 cups flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 ¾ cups sugar
- 2 sticks unsalted butter room temperature
- 4 eggs room temperature
- ½ cup buttermilk
- ¼ cup vodka
- ¼ cup Kahlúa
- 2 teaspoons good quality vanilla extract
- 2 sticks unsalted butter
- 16 ounces powdered sugar
- ¼ cup Kahlúa
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Prepare the cupcake batter:
- Preheat oven to 350ºF and line two cupcake tins with paper liners. (If you only have 1 cupcake tin, bake them in batches.)
- Sift the flour into a medium bowl and add the baking powder and salt and stir to combine. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine the sugar and butter. Mix with a hand mixer for 6-8 minutes on medium until the mixture turns pale yellow.
- Next, add the eggs, mixing after each addition until completely combined.
- After the eggs are combined, add the buttermilk, vodka, and Kahlúa and continue mixing until combined.
- Add half the flour mixture and beat until it is combined, scraping the edges of the bowl as necessary.
- Finally, add the remaining flour mixture and continue mixing until completely combined.
Bake the cupcakes:
- Spoon the cupcake mixture into the cupcake tin, filling each liner about 3/4 of the way full.
- Transfer to the oven and bake for 24-28 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Transfer the cupcakes to a wire rack and allow them to cool completely before preparing the Kahlúa buttercream.
Cook the alcohol out of the Kahlúa (Optional):
- Transfer the Kahlúa to a small saucepan and turn the heat to medium. Bring the Kahlúa to a very low boil and cook for 4-5 minutes or until the Kahlúa has reduced by about half. Pour the Kahlúa into a heat-proof bowl and transfer to the fridge or freezer to cool off for about 5-10 minutes.
Prepare the Kahlúa buttercream:
- Place the butter and vanilla extract in a large bowl and mix with a hand-mixer until creamy. Sift half the powdered sugar into the mixture and beat until combined. Sift the remaining powdered sugar into the bowl and continue mixing until combined. Add the Kahlúa and continue mixing until well-combine.
- If the buttercream seems too stiff, add a splash or two of milk to loosen it up and mix well.
Ice the cupcakes:
- Spoon or pipe the icing on to the cupcakes. If desired, sprinkle a bit more Kahlúa on top or sift instant espresso on top of the cupcakes for an espresso martini flavored icing! Enjoy!