I love what coffee does to chocolate. I decided to kick it up a notch and create a Chocolate Espresso Cake recipe. As you can imagine, it is a magical experience!

Seriously decadent and delicious cake!

Chocolate Espresso Cake

This cake gets the intense chocolate flavor from real chocolate and cocoa. The combination of those two is a chocolate lovers dream come true! Coffee is known to compliment and enhance the chocolate. This is especially true when you use a good quality chocolate with a higher percentage of cacao.

And even if a chocolatey recipe you’re working with does not explicitly call for brewed coffee, a touch of brewed coffee or a tablespoon of espresso powder will definitely enhance the chocolate flavor.

Next time you bake a cake, brownies, chocolate sauce, frosting, soufflés, or ganache, try swapping a tablespoon or two of coffee in place of a portion of one of the liquid ingredients.

Seriously decadent and delicious cake!

Chocolate Curls

One of the easiest ways to get chocolate curls is to use your vegetable peeler and run it against the side of the chocolate bar. I have found that by heating the bar for about 10-30 seconds (in 10-second increments) so that it is warm but not melted is the best consistency to work with.

You can also use this method for how to make chocolate curls, just make sure you are using clean tools! 😂

Seriously decadent and delicious cake!

Chocolate Ganache

Ganache has loads of uses. It can be whipped to use as a filling or icing, or simply poured over any cake you like. We will be pouring it over our cake for this recipe.

You can make as much ganache (or as little) as you need, it is simply a 1:1 ratio of chocolate to heavy cream. With this cake, you can use as little as 4-ounces or as much as 12-ounces. (Cake will be very saturated and completely covered with 12-ounces. Make sure you have a cake stand or a plate that can hold the excess ganache.) You can also use milk chocolate or bittersweet chocolate, whatever your preference.

If substituting white chocolate for the dark chocolate in ganache you will need to drastically adjust the ratio of cream to white chocolate, either by reducing the amount of cream or increasing the amount of white chocolate. The ratio should be about 4:1, chocolate to cream. It’s best to get a good quality white chocolate with a white chocolate ganache, as the chips have more wax and are more prone to seizing.

ously decadent and delicious cake!

Be sure to give Chocolate Espresso Cake a chance… I have a feeling you are going to love it.

espresso cake
5 from 7 votes

Chocolate Espresso Cake

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 38 minutes
Total Time 58 minutes
I love what coffee does to chocolate. I decided to kick it up a notch and create a Chocolate Espresso Cake recipe. As you can imagine, it is a magical experience!


Chocolate Espresso Cake

  • 4 oz semi-sweet chocolate chopped
  • 2 cups (256g) all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup (50g) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ cups (300g) packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup (226g) unsalted butter softened
  • 4 large eggs
  • 8 oz freshly brewed espresso
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup (180g) buttermilk


  • 6 oz semi-sweet chocolate chopped
  • 6 oz heavy cream


Chocolate Espresso Cake

  • Preheat oven to 350º F. Prepare two 8-inch round baking pans.
  • Chop chocolate and melt in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
  • Sift flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt in small bowl.
  • Whisk brown sugar, butter, eggs, espresso, and vanilla extract for 3 minutes. (Or about a minute with a hand-held mixer or stand mixer)
  • Gradually add melted chocolate and continue whisking for an additional minute.
  • Stir flour mixture into creamed mixture and then add buttermilk.
  • Pour into prepared pans.
  • Bake for 33 to 38 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out somewhat clean(not wet). Cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes. Run a knife around edges of cakes.
  • Invert onto wire racks; cool completely.


  • Place the chopped chocolate in a medium bowl.
  • Heat the cream in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a low boil, watching very carefully because if it boils for a few seconds, it will boil out of the pot.
  • Pour hot cream over the chopped chocolate.
  • Let sit for a few minutes, then whisk until smooth.
  • Allow the ganache to cool slightly before pouring over a cake.

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Want a recipe that does NOT have coffee in it? Try this CHOCOLATE CRAVING CAKE!

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Meet Amanda Rettke

Amanda Rettke is the creator of I Am Baker, and the bestselling author of Surprise Inside Cakes: Amazing Cakes for Every Occasion – With a Little Something Extra Inside.Over the course of her 15+ year blogging adventure, she has been featured in and collaborated with the Food Network, New York Times, LA Times, Country Living Magazine, People Magazine, Epicurious, Brides, Romantic Homes, life:beautiful, Publishers Weekly, The Daily Mail, Star Tribune, The Globe and Mail, DailyCandy, YumSugar, The Knot, The Kitchn, and Parade, to name a few.

Reader Comments

  1. Amanda, I will need to bake a larger cake for a birthday dinner.
    If I double the recipe and use (2) 10″ round cake pans, how long should I bake them?

  2. hi for the semi-sweet chocolate chopped would it be possible to switch for semi-sweet chocolate chips?

  3. Best chocolate cake!! Moist and flavorful , I added the coffee 🤌🤌🥰
    It did not last a day in my house🤣🤣😍
    Have been baking a lot of your recipies and LOVE them all.
    Thank you Amanda 🤎🤎🤎💜

  4. I want to try this recipe right away (birthday party next week). You advise to “use a good quality chocolate with a higher percentage of cacao.” Is there a particular brand and percentage you could recommend? Thanks!

  5. This got a 10 out of 10 at Christmas dinner. People loved the flavor, the texture. They said it was perfect! I added some butter and salt to the ganache, and I also topped it with gold leaf to make it festive!

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