Chocolate Espresso Layer Cake

Products Used


Chocolate Cake

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour*
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups Imperial Sugar Extra Fine Granulated Sugar
  • 5 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs

Espresso Buttercream

  • *Spoon & Sweep method: Use a spoon to fill measuring cup with flour until required amount is obtained. Scooping measuring cup directly into flour bag will firmly pack flour resulting in too much flour required for recipe.


  1. To make chocolate cake, preheat oven to 350°F. Butter three, 8-inch round cake pans and line bottom with a round piece of parchment paper cut to fit bottom of your cake pans. (This ensures your cake does not stick.) Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, instant espresso powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  3. In a medium saucepan over medium high heat, combine water and sugar. Bring to a boil and stir until sugar dissolves, about 1 minute. Remove from heat and add chocolate and butter, stirring occasionally, until melted.
  4. Whisk in vegetable oil and vanilla extract. Quickly beat in eggs (do this quickly so they don’t cook) into chocolate mixture until combined. Whisk in dry ingredients, until smooth.
  5. Divide batter evenly between prepared pans and bake for 20 to 23 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  6. Let cakes cool in pans until cool to touch – then frost as desired.
  7. For espresso buttercream, in a small bowl, whisk together espresso powder and water. Set aside.
  8. Beat butter on medium high, for 3 minutes. Slowly add in powdered sugar, about a half a cup at a time, until you have added 5 cups of powdered sugar.
  9. Carefully add vanilla extract, pinch of salt, and espresso powder/water mixture, beating till well combined.
  10. At this point check consistency of buttercream. You should be able to lift beaters and have buttercream hold its shape. If it is too loose, add more powdered sugar, again 1/2 cup at a time.
  11. Assemble three cake layers with a thick layer of frosting in between layers. Then apply a thin crumb coat on top and sides. Pop cake in freezer to harden crumb coat for about 10 minutes.
  12. Apply one final thick and even layer around outside of cake and decorate as desired.
  13. Cake can be stored on counter at room temperature for up to 3 days.
Imperial Sugar Insight

Recipe developed for Imperial Sugar by Jessica Segarra @TheNoviceChef.

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