This Espresso Chocolate Cake has 4 thin layers of chocolate cake with a rich chocolate fudge frosting sandwiched in between each layer.
Espresso Chocolate Cake Tips:
- I prefer making cakes like this over a span of 2 days. I’ll usually make the cake layers on Friday and on Saturday morning make the Espresso Syrup and Fudge Frosting.
- The Fudge Frosting needs about 1 1/2 hours to chill so plan accordingly.
- The frosting in the recipe is thick. To help spread the frosting over the cake I start with dumping all the remaining frosting on the top of the cake. With a hot cake spatula (see next tip for how to heat a cake spatula), gently smooth frosting on the top and sides of the cake.
- To heat a cake spatula, place the spatula under hot running water and wipe dry. Repeat this process until your cake is completely covered with frosting.
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Adapted from Bon Appetit Desserts by Barbara Fairchild
- 2 8-inch round cake pans
- Hand mixer
- ½ cup water
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon instant espresso power
- 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon table salt
- 1 ½ cups whole milk
- 2 teaspoons instant espresso powder
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- ½ cups unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ¾ cup unsalted butter
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- ¾ cup half and half
- 4 teaspoons instant espresso powder
- 6 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
- 4 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate (do not exceed 61% cocoa), chopped
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 ½ cups powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- Loacker Wafers
- Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan and stir over low heat until sugar and espresso powder have dissolved. Set aside to cool.
- Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat 2 8-inch round cake pans with nonstick baking spray and set aside. Place chocolate in top of a double boiler set over simmering water and stir until melted and smooth. Remove from the water and set aside.
- Whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt in a medium-sized bowl. Stir milk and espresso powder in 2 cup measuring cup until espresso dissolves. In a large bowl, with an electric mixer beat together sugar and butter until light and fluffy, about 3 to 4 minutes. Beat in eggs 1 at a time. Mix in melted chocolate and vanilla. Beat in dry ingredients alternating with the milk mixture in 3 additions each. Evenly divide batter among prepared cake pans.
- Bake cakes for about 30 to 35 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached. Cool cakes in their pans on wire racks for 10 minutes. Invert cakes on wire racks to cool completely.
- Combine butter, ¾ cup sugar, half and half, and espresso powder in a large pan. Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves and mixture comes to a simmer. Remove from the heat. Add both chocolates and whisk until completely melted and smooth. Whisk in vanilla. Transfer chocolate to a large bowl and sift in powdered sugar and cinnamon and whisk to blend together. Chill in the refrigerator for about 1 ½ hours just until firm enough to spread, stirring occasionally.
- Cut each cake horizontally creating 2 layers from each cake. Place 1 cake layer on a platter or cake pedestal and brush cake layer with espresso syrup with a pastry brush. Spread about ¾ cup fudge frosting on top of the cake layer. Repeat this process with the remaining cake layers, syrup and frosting. Place the last cake layer on top cut side down and spread remaining frosting over the top and sides of the cake.
- Crush a few Loacker Wafers in a zip top bag. Place crumbs on the bottom edge of the cake. Sprinkle a few crumbs on top of the cake in the center, and place a few wafers on top.
Espresso Syrup: Can be made 2 days ahead. Cover and chill.
Cake Layers: Can be made 1 day ahead. Wrap in plastic wrap and seal in an air tight container and stored on the counter at room temperature.
Frosting: Can be made 1 day ahead. Press plastic wrap onto surface of frosting and keep chilled. Let stand and room temperature until soft enough to spread before using.
Cake storage: Decorated cake can be stored in an air tight cake container in the refrigerator for up to 1 day. Bring to room temperature before serving.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1 slice
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 819Total Fat: 40gSaturated Fat: 24gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 99mgSodium: 181mgCarbohydrates: 110gFiber: 5gSugar: 84gProtein: 9g
Nutrition information is an estimate and will vary.