Indulge in Decadence: Chocolate Espresso Cake Recipe

Hello coffee lovers! I am thrilled to share with you my new recipe for a rich and decadent chocolate espresso layer cake. If you’re a fan of coffee, chocolate, and cake, then this recipe is definitely for you.

This cake is made with silky layers of espresso-infused chocolate cake that will awaken your senses and satisfy your sweet tooth in the most luxurious way possible. Imagine biting into three layers of rich, moist cake with a subtle bitterness of espresso flavor perfectly balanced by the sweetness of chocolate.

The magic of this dessert lies in the combination of high-quality ingredients. The recipe calls for dark chocolate, instant coffee granules, unsweetened cocoa powder, and vanilla extract that complement each other perfectly to create a dark and decadent chocolate espresso flavor.

But don’t let the richness fool you – I have also taken into consideration reducing calorie content without compromising taste. This recipe uses reduced-calorie margarine and skim milk buttermilk to keep the cake moist and tender without adding excessive fat content.

Whether you’re celebrating a special occasion or treating yourself to something indulgent after a long week, this cake is sure to impress anyone who tries it. Trust me; it’s perfect for sharing with family and friends who appreciate the finer things in life.

So grab your apron, preheat your oven, and prepare yourself for a truly heavenly dessert experience with my chocolate espresso layer cake recipe.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Chocolate Espresso Layer Cake
Chocolate Espresso Layer Cake

Are you someone who loves the rich and bold flavors of coffee and chocolate? Look no further! Let me introduce you to my Chocolate Espresso Layer Cake recipe – a true indulgence for any coffee and chocolate lover.

This delectable creation is absolutely sinful, with layers of soft and moist espresso cake sandwiched between rich and creamy chocolate-espresso buttercream. The combination of the two is nothing short of magical.

What’s more, this recipe scatters chocolate curls on top of each layer, which combines the smoothness of cream with the crunchiness of cocoa nibs. It creates an irresistible texture that will have you licking your plate clean.

This sweet delight is perfect for special occasions like birthdays, dinner parties, or just when you want to spoil yourself. Whenever it is present, it always captures attention and admiration alike.

The aroma from freshly baked cakes filled with nutty espresso notes fills our space which transports us to famous bakeries dotted along European streets in search for classic cakes like this.

So why not try making this cake at home? Your house will smell fantastic and your guests will be amazed by your baking skills. Trust me; it’s much easier to make than it looks.

This cake will provide pleasures beyond imagining – rich flavors that linger on your tongue – recalling memories where pure indulgence is shared amongst loved ones.

Ingredient List

 Satisfy your chocolate and coffee cravings with this decadent layer cake
Satisfy your chocolate and coffee cravings with this decadent layer cake

Let’s dive into the ingredient list for our Chocolate Espresso Layer Cake Recipe. We will need a mix of baking essentials and chocolate goodness to create this decadent dessert. Check out the list below and get ready to stock up on some delicious ingredients.

For the cake layers:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons instant coffee granules
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 and 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup skim milk or buttermilk

For the silky espresso buttercream:

  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup skim milk or buttermilk
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 and 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons instant espresso powder

For the chocolate ganache:

  • 10 oz dark chocolate, chopped
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1 tablespoon instant espresso powder

Optional decorations:

  • Chocolate curls
  • Edible gold dust

The Recipe How-To

 Layers upon layers of rich chocolate cake and espresso buttercream
Layers upon layers of rich chocolate cake and espresso buttercream

Now let’s get down to the fun part, how to make this delicious chocolate espresso layer cake!

Ingredients You Need

For the Cake Batter:
– 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
– 2 cups all-purpose flour
– 2 teaspoons baking powder
– 1 teaspoon baking soda
– 1 teaspoon salt
– 2 tablespoons instant coffee granules
– ½ cup skim milk buttermilk (or regular skim milk with a tablespoon of lemon juice)
– 1 cup strong-brewed espresso or coffee, cooled
– 1 cup reduced-calorie margarine, softened
– 1¾ cups sugar
– 2 large eggs
– 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For the Silky Espresso Buttercream:
– 4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
– 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
– 2 tablespoons instant espresso powder, dissolved in a splash of water or milk

For the Chocolate Espresso Ganache:
– 10 ounces dark chocolate, chopped coarsely
– 1 and a half cups heavy cream
2 tablespoons instant espresso powder

Baking Instructions

Baking the cake layers:

  1. Begin by preheating your oven to 350°F/180°C, and lining 3 six-inch round baking pans with parchment paper.
  2. In one bowl, sift together cocoa powder, flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and instant coffee granules.
  3. In another small bowl or measuring cup, combine buttermilk with cooled espresso/coffee.
  4. Next, in a mixing bowl beat margarine and sugar until well-mixed for about 3 minutes, then beat in eggs one at a time. Add in vanilla extract until well combined.
  5. Then add flour/cocoa mixture alternating with buttermilk/espresso mixture for about 4 times. Mix just until everything is combined and the batter is smooth.
  6. Divide the batter evenly amongst the prepared pans (it should yield about 2 cups of batter per pan), tap each pan sharply against your countertop to release any trapped air bubbles, and then bake for around 22-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centers comes out clean.
  7. Once done, let cool in pans for 10mins before transferring to half-sheet lined with parchment.

Making the Espresso Buttercream and Ganache:

  1. While the cakes are cooling, start preparing the espresso buttercream by beating together sifted confectioners’ sugar, softened unsalted butter, and dissolved instant espresso powder using a stand mixer until light and creamy.
  2. Set aside half of it for filling between cake layers, and use the remaining half to frost the cake layers top to bottom.
  3. To prepare the chocolate espresso ganache, heat up heavy cream in a saucepan over medium-high heat until it simmers. Then remove from heat, immediately add chopped dark chocolate and let sit

Substitutions and Variations

 A true chocoholic's dream dessert
A true chocoholic’s dream dessert

Looking to switch things up with your chocolate espresso layer cake? Fear not! There are plenty of substitutions and variations you can try in this recipe.

If you’re looking for a gluten-free option, swap out the all-purpose flour for a gluten-free flour blend. Just make sure to double check that all ingredients are certified gluten-free before using them.

If you prefer a lighter taste and texture, substitute the reduced-calorie margarine for unsalted butter in equal amounts. You could also use buttermilk instead of skim milk buttermilk to give your cake a tangier flavor.

For a boozy twist, try adding two tablespoons of bourbon or whiskey to the espresso buttercream frosting or mix two tablespoons of Kahlúa or Baileys Irish Cream into the chocolate ganache.

Feeling adventurous? Swap out the dark chocolate espresso cake layers for a chocolate chip cake or devil’s food cake layers. Or, if you’re feeling extra fancy, make an additional layer of chocolate cremeux with creamy coffee buttercream sandwiched between each cake layer.

Finally, add some pizzazz to your presentation by topping your cake with homemade chocolate curls or sweet berries.

No matter which substitutions or variations you choose, the beauty of this recipe is that it’s open to interpretation and customization. So go ahead, get creative and make this chocolate espresso layer cake your own.

Serving and Pairing

 A perfect dessert for any occasion, from birthdays to dinner parties
A perfect dessert for any occasion, from birthdays to dinner parties

The chocolate espresso layer cake is a beautiful and decadent dessert that is sure to satisfy all chocolate lovers. Decadent, rich, and full of flavor, this layered cake is perfect for any special occasion or celebration.

To serve this delicious dessert, you can slice the layers into thick pieces and arrange them on small plates. A dusting of confectioners’ sugar adds a nice touch of sweetness to the top of each slice. I recommend serving this cake with a tall glass of skim milk or buttermilk to balance out the richness of the chocolate and espresso flavors.

A great pairing for this cake is a bold and flavorful cup of hot coffee or espresso. The coffee will complement the dark chocolate and espresso flavors in the cake nicely. You can also enjoy this cake with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream or dollop of whipped cream for added indulgence.

For a more elevated pairing, try serving this chocolate espresso layer cake with a glass of sweet red wine like Cabernet Sauvignon or Pinot Noir. The tannins of the wine will help counterbalance the sweetness in the chocolate, while also enhancing the flavors in both the wine and cake.

No matter how you decide to pair this decadent dessert, it’s sure to be a hit at any party or gathering. Enjoy!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 This cake is a coffee lover's paradise
This cake is a coffee lover’s paradise

As a barista, I often recommend making the Chocolate Espresso Layer Cake in advance to allow all the flavors to meld together thoroughly. This recipe is perfect for making ahead and storing in the fridge.

To prep this cake for later, start by baking the cake layers as instructed and let them cool completely. Then, wrap each layer separately with plastic wrap and store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days.

When ready to assemble the cake, take it out from the fridge and let it sit at room temperature for around an hour before you start frosting it. This will make it easier to work with.

If you have leftover cake after the party, don’t throw it away! Wrap each slice securely with plastic wrap or aluminum foil and store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days or in the freezer for a longer period.

Reheating this cake is easy: just pop one slice into the microwave for 10-15 seconds or warm up in a preheated oven at 350°F for about 5-7 minutes. Be careful not to overheat it to avoid dryness.

Pro tip: Instead of reheating leftovers like most people do, try eating them cold straight from the fridge or freezer. Doing so may reveal new flavor profiles you’ve never tasted before!

With these tips for make-ahead, storing and reheating your Chocolate Espresso Layer Cake, you’ll be able enjoy this delicious treat again and again without sacrificing flavor or freshness!

Tips for Perfect Results

 Get ready to indulge in this chocolatey, caffeine-packed treat
Get ready to indulge in this chocolatey, caffeine-packed treat

If you’re aiming for bakery-level perfection with this Chocolate Espresso Layer Cake recipe, then I’ve got some tips that’ll help you get there. Baking can be quite tricky at times, and even the most skilled bakers make mistakes from time to time. That’s where these tips come in handy; they’re designed to help you avoid common mistakes and ensure that your cake turns out moist, rich, and delicious every time.

Tip #1: Get Your Ingredients at Room Temperature

Before you start baking, it’s essential that all of your ingredients are at room temperature. This helps them blend together evenly to create a smooth batter. Take out the eggs, buttermilk, margarine and other refrigerated ingredients at least an hour before getting started.

Tip #2: Measure Accurately

Measuring your ingredients accurately is probably the most important tip I can give you. Use measuring cups and a kitchen scale if necessary, as accurate measurements will give you consistent results every time you make the cake.

Tip #3: Combine Wet and Dry Ingredients Separately

When making a cake batter like this one, it’s best to mix the wet ingredients separately from the dry ones. This helps prevent overmixing which leads to a tough cake. After all the wet ingredients are well-combined and homogenous, slowly mix in the dry ingredients while whisking consistently.

Tip #4: Don’t Overmix

Speaking of overmixing – it’s important to stop once everything is just combined. Overmixing tends to create pockets of air in the batter which causes an uneven bake and a dry crumb.

Tip #5: Test for Doneness

Check for doneness ten minutes before the recommended baking time using the toothpick method. Insert a toothpick in the center of the cake; if residue is present, bake for another 10 minutes or until the toothpick comes out clean.

By following these tips, you’ll be well on your way to perfecting this Chocolate Espresso Layer Cake recipe. If you have any other questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to reach out to me!

Bottom Line

Now that you have read through this recipe article for a decadent Chocolate Espresso Layer Cake, the question isn’t whether you should make it or not, but rather when should you make it? Trust me, once you have tasted this rich and silky cake with its layers of chocolate and espresso flavors, your taste buds will thank you. I hope that these instructions, tips, and recommendations have been helpful in guiding you through the recipe, and if you have any doubts or questions left, refer to the FAQ section.

So go ahead and whip that egg, sift that flour, and brew that espresso. Let the aroma of fresh coffee fill the air as you indulge in each bite. Whether it’s a birthday celebration or just because you feel like spoiling yourself or someone special, this Chocolate Espresso Layer Cake will definitely be the highlight of the occasion.

Remember to take your time with each step and enjoy the process. Baking should be a fun and rewarding experience; not only do you get to enjoy the fruits of your labor, but also delight others with your talent. Share a slice of your creation with your loved ones or colleagues at work; spread some happiness in this world with this tasty treat.

In conclusion, give yourself a pat on the back for taking the time to expand your culinary skills with this Chocolate Espresso Layer Cake recipe. Enjoy every step of the process from preparing ingredients to seeing your masterpiece come out of the oven. The sweet reward is worth every effort!

Chocolate Espresso Layer Cake

Chocolate Espresso Layer Cake Recipe

I love chocolate - so it's much better for me when a serving of cake only has 119 calories as this one does. I suspect, though I haven't tried it, that reduced calorie strawberry or cherry spread would be good (in place of apricot), and give a pretty red color for occasions like Valentine's Day.
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Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine World cuisine
Calories 99.3 kcal


  • 1 cup flour, plus
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon espresso powder or 1 teaspoon instant coffee granules
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup sugar, plus
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons reduced-calorie margarine, plus
  • 2 teaspoons reduced-calorie margarine
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup skim milk buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup reduced-calorie apricot spread
  • 1 tablespoon confectioners' sugar


  • Combine the first six dry ingredients (through salt) and set aside.
  • Beat with a mixer, using high speed, the sugar and margarine until creamy; add the egg and vanilla extract beating until smooth.
  • Gradually beat in the flour mixture (from step one) alternately with the buttermilk until the batter is smooth.
  • Evenly divide the batter between two 8" square pans, sprayed with non-stick spray; then bake at 350*F for 10 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Cool, remove from pans, placing 1 cake on a serving platter flat side up; set aside.
  • In a small pan, heat the fruit spread over low heat about 2-3 minutes, until melted; then brush 1/4 cup of the melted spread on top of the cake on the platter; then brush the rest of the spread on the flat side of the remaining cake and place on the first cake, fruit-spread sides together.
  • Evenly sprinkle the top of the cake with the powdered sugar and cut into 12 pieces.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 49gCalories: 99.3kcalCarbohydrates: 17.8gProtein: 2.8gFat: 2.3gSaturated Fat: 0.7gCholesterol: 18.4mgSodium: 242.4mgFiber: 1.1gSugar: 8g
Keyword < 30 Mins, Brunch, Dessert, Oven
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