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Chocolate Espresso Cake

Prep Time:30 Minutes
Cook Time:40 Minutes

Nutritional Information

Take your time with the buttercream it can be a challenge for some.


  • Chocolate Cake
  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray
  • 2.5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cup sugar
  • 1.75 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoon baking soda
  • .5 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup finely chopped semisweet or bittersweet chocolate
  • 2.75 cups water
  • Espresso Swiss Buttercream:
  • 6 large egg whites (about 3/4 cup)
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • 2 cups unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons, softened
  • ⅛ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2.5 teaspoon instant espresso powder


  • 1. Preheat Egg to 350° with platesetter and stainless steel rack. Coat bottom and sides of 8x8x2-inch pan with nonstick spray; line bottom of pan with parchment paper. Whisk flour and next 4 ingredients in a large bowl. Add oil, vanilla, and 1 1/4 cups water; whisk until smooth. Fold in chopped chocolate. Scrape into prepared pan; smooth top. Bake until a tester comes out clean when inserted into center, 35–40 minutes. Let cool completely in pan on a wire rack.
  • 2. Espresso Swiss Buttercream In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together egg whites and sugar. Place bowl of a pot of simmer water to create a double boiler. Make sure simmering water does not touch the bowl. Heat sugar egg mixture until it reaches a temperature of 160ºF, whisking often to ensure even heating. Alternatively, if you don't have a thermometer, heat until all the sugar has melted. You can test this by rubbing mixture between your fingers. The mixture should be smooth. You should not be able to feel the granules of sugar.
  • 3. Return bowl to stand mixer. Using a whisk attachment, beat mixture at medium speed until it has cooled to 75ºF (about room temperature). Add in espresso powder and salt. Reduce speed to low and add butter one tablespoon at a time. Once all the butter has been added, increase speed to medium-high and continue to beat until buttercream is light and fluffy.
  • 4. Assembly Once cake is cooled, slice each cake into two equal layers. To build the cake, place one layer on a serving platter or cake turntable. Spread a layer of espresso buttercream. Place another cake layer on top and repeat until you have the fourth cake layer on top. Spread a thin layer of buttercream around the sides of the cake to seal in the crumbs (crumb coat). Place in the fridge and allow to chill for 15 minutes to set the buttercream. If desired, coat cake with another layer of buttercream. Drizzle melted chocolate along sides of the cake. Place remaining buttercream in a pipping bag fitted with a large star tip. Pipe large stars on top surface of cake. Decorate with coffee beans. Keep cake chilled until ready to serve. Allow cake to warm to room temperature before eating.

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Chef JJ’s is a unique, personal and hands-on culinary experience with a focus on kamado style cooking, corporate team building, private events and grilling classes. Indy's large party restaurant. Indianapolis, Indiana 317.602.3828