Coffee and chocolate are a known culinary pair, so bringing that flavor profile to many types of desserts is a fun way to try new things. Layer cakes are usually saved for birthday parties, so why not have a coffee and chocolate-flavored birthday cake? It’s the perfect adult-minded cake to celebrate any occasion.
Easy Chocolate and Espresso Layer Cake with Espresso Fudge Buttercream is an outrageously chocolatey cake with notes of espresso and vanilla. The cake itself is tender and light, made with buttermilk and two kinds of chocolate. The buttercream uses high-quality fudge, espresso powder, and cream cheese for creamy, sweet, and caffeinated frosting.
This layer cake and frosting use three chocolate elements; Dutch-process cocoa powder, chocolate chips, and prepared fudge topping. Be sure to use a high-quality fudge topping for the best flavor and texture in the buttercream. The many types of chocolate are highlighted by the liberal use of both hot espresso and espresso powder.
Make this cake for the chocolate or coffee lover in your life. It holds up well when traveling, especially if you have a cake carrier. Treat your loved ones to something special with this Chocolate and Espresso Layer Cake with Espresso-Fudge Buttercream!
For the Cake:
For the Espresso-Fudge Buttercream:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray two 8-inch round cake pans with nonstick spray. Line the bottom of the pan with round pieces of parchment that match the bottom of the cake pan. Spray the tops of the parchment with cooking spray. Set aside.
Add the cocoa powder and the chocolate chips to a bowl. Pour the hot espresso over the chocolate and stir together to melt. The mixture should melt to a silky consistency.
To a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, add the sugar, eggs, buttermilk, vegetable oil, and vanilla extract. Also, add the cooled chocolate mixture from earlier. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula to ensure everything is mixed well.
In a separate bowl, add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix with your hands.
Gradually add the dry ingredients into the wet, making sure to not overmix. Divide evenly among the two cake pans and bake in a preheated oven for 30-35 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. Remove from the oven.
Allow the cakes to cool for 10 minutes before turning them out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Once cooled, remove the parchment from the bottom of the cake.
Once the cakes are totally cooled, it’s time to make the buttercream. Add the cream cheese, butter, fudge topping, vanilla, and sifted powdered sugar into a bowl and mix with a hand mixer on low. Gradually increase the speed and mix until everything is homogenous. You may need to scrape down the sides of the bowl periodically with a spatula to incorporate everything.
To frost, lay one cake layer down on a plate. Frost the top with a thick, even layer of frosting. Top the second cake carefully on top of the frosting and frost the top layer, adding much more than needed. Slowly push some frosting little by little over the top edge of the cake, spreading the frosting downward. Do this until the whole cake is covered in a thick, even layer of frosting.
Using more fudge topping, drizzle it with a fork over the top of the cake to decorate. Place in the fridge until ready to serve.