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. Can you explain what brewed espresso is exactly? I have a Nespresso Machine. Does this recipe call for a total amount of espresso shots for the 8oz? Or is it 1-2 shots in water to make up 8oz? Thanks.

  2. We followed this recipe for something different and were not impressed, uncertain of our oven is working against us but our result was a dry cake with a brownie like texture or that of a flourless cake. We substituted 2 8″pans for 1 13×9″ pan and baked 30 minutes at 350 degrees (toothpick came out clean). I opted for a different frosting for ease of storing/transport (hence also not making a tiered cake) and this would be better with ice cream than frosting.

    1. I work with iambaker and am happy to help out with questions!
      Hi, Jasmine! I am sorry it didn’t turn out. Inconsistencies in heating is a common issue–no two ovens are the same. It sounds like the cake could have been overbaked. A toothpick should have some crumbs on it, but not wet batter, when checking for doneness.

  3. First of all I love the taste this cake has!! It’s great with or without frosting/icing/ ganache. The only problem I have is that it cracks, I’ve made it twice, the first time a whole chunk fell off (like 1/8 of the cake), the second I ended up putting skewers in it to stabilize it because it was trying to fall. I’m not a novice baker and this is frustrating because I’ve never had this problem before, any thoughts?
    P.S. also my advice is to either use wax paper or parchment in addition to greasing and flourishing so cake comes out of the pan in 1 piece. Thank you!

  4. Some minor changes, due to necessity (read: failing to double check Cocoa reserves before I needed to bake). Ended up using a fancy beetroot cocoa powder as it was the only unsweetened cocoa we had – it ended up adding a bit of cardamom flavor that at first taste seems to overwhelm any coffee flavor. We don’t have an espresso machine, so I made a cup of instant with a Starbucks Via – would probably make at double strength when following this recipe again. Made these as cupcakes, and reduced the time in the oven to 28 minutes, and took out when internal temp was 205°-210°. Not doing the ganache (another time!), but frosting with a whiskey buttercream. The cupcakes themselves have a nice richness from the 4 eggs, and a nice crumb. Thanks for the recipe!

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