This Chocolate Coffee Cake is moist, rich, and creamy. It's a delicious layered cake made up of coffee-infused chocolate cake layers filled with mascarpone coffee cream frosting and topped with chocolate ganache. This cake is a huge crowd pleaser and perfect for any occasion. By the way, have you tried my tiramisu cake yet?
Step-by-step video tutorial
Mix flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder, salt and espresso powder. In another bowl, combine oil, eggs, vanilla, and buttermilk. Stir in the dry ingredients and slowly add hot coffee. Then divide evenly into two cake pans and bake.
Beat the mascarpone until creamy. Then sift in the powdered sugar and mix until well combined and smooth. Add coffee and stir until incorporated and creamy. Stir in the whipped cream and mix until creamy.
Finely chop the chocolate and place in a heatproof bowl. In another heatproof bowl, combine heavy cream and light corn syrup and microwave until very hot, almost boiling. Then pour the hot cream mixture over the chocolate and let stand for 2 minutes. Stir until everything is combined and smooth.
Notes on coffee
- I usually pick up espresso at my favorite coffee shop as I can't replicate the taste of a professional coffee machine at home. However, if you have an awesome coffee machine at home, you can absolutely use your favorite strong-brewed coffee instead.
- Also, coffee granules or instant coffee dissolved in hot water work. Actually every type of coffee works for this recipe. Since coffee is such an integral part of this dessert, only use coffee that you like the taste of.
- If you want to serve this dessert to kids or people that are sensitive to caffeine, use de-caffeinated coffee instead.
How to successfully make mascarpone frosting
Mascarpone may curdle and looks like cottage cheese within a couple of seconds after starting mixing. It can be very quickly overmixed because of its high-fat content. This can happen to everybody and is not related to this recipe, particularly. Here are my recommendations to successfully make mascarpone frosting:
- Mascarpone should be used cold and straight out of the fridge.
- Use a large mixing bowl that you have enough place to mix the mascarpone.
- Mix the frosting on medium speed and just long enough until smooth and combined.
- Make sure all frosting ingredients are cold.
Tips for applying the chocolate ganache
- Let the chocolate ganache sit for about 10-15 minutes to cool before spooning over the cake. The longer the glaze stands, the firmer it becomes and the thicker it drips.
- Test the consistency of the chocolate ganache on the sides of a bowl and spoon it onto the cake when it reaches your desired consistency. If it's already too firm, reheat it in the microwave for a few seconds.
- Take the cake out of the fridge and spoon the glaze over the cold cake. Starting with the sides, spoon the chocolate ganache around the edges so it drips down the sides. Do one drop after the other.
- Then pour the rest of the icing over the cake and smooth it out with an offset spatula.
Note: Please use good quality chocolate bars for the ganache. The taste of the chocolate has a big impact on the taste. The better the chocolate, the better the ganache. I do not recommend using chocolate chips as the ganache could become gritty.
Can I use natural cocoa powder?
Yes. If you want to use natural unsweetened cocoa powder, replace the Dutch-processed cocoa powder 1:1. Instead of 1 tablespoon of baking powder, use 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder and ½ teaspoon of baking soda.
Make ahead and freezing instructions
- Only the cake layers: After baking, let cool completely. Then tightly wrap each cake layer in plastic wrap twice. Place in freezer bags and freeze for up to 1 month. To thaw, unwrap the cake layers and let sit on the counter for about 1-2 hours. Once it is at room temperature, make the frosting and ganache and assemble the cake as instructed.
- Whole cake: After chilling, place the cake in the freezer until it is firm, for about 2 hours. Remove the cake from the freezer and tightly wrap in plastic wrap twice. Make sure that everything is covered. Then wrap in aluminum foil twice. It freezes well for up to 2 months. To thaw, unwrap the cake and thaw in an airtight container the fridge overnight.
- Single slices: Place single slices in the freezer for about 1 hour. Then remove from the freezer, tightly wrap in plastic wrap twice, and place in freezer bags. It freezes well for up to 2 months. To thaw, unwrap the cake and place on the kitchen counter for 1 hour.
More cake recipes to try
- Chocolate Cake
- Chocolate Coconut Cake
- Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake
- Lemon Blueberry Cake
- S'mores Cake
- Cherry Cake
Chocolate Coffee Cake Recipe
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
- ¾ cup dutch-processed cocoa powder, spooned and leveled
- 1 ½ cups granulated white sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoon espresso powder
- ½ cup canola or vegetable oil
- 2 large eggs
- ½ cup buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup strong brewed coffee - espresso preferred, hot
- 2 ¼ cups full-fat mascarpone, cold
- 1 ¼ cups powdered sugar, sifted
- ¼ cup strong brewed coffee - espresso preferred, chilled
- ¼ cup heavy cream, cold
- 6 oz semi-sweet chocolate bars, finely chopped
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoon light corn syrup
- Preheat oven to 350°F / 175°C. Line the bottom and the sides of two 8" (20cm) baking pans with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Cake: In a medium bowl combine flour, cocoa, sugar, baking powder, salt, and espresso powder and stir to combine. Set aside. In a large mixing bowl, using an electric mixer fitted with a whisk or paddle attachment, beat oil, eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla just until combined. Stir in dry ingredients to combine. Slowly mix in hot coffee until combined. The batter will be very thin. Divide the batter into the two prepared baking pans equally. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick in the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for about 20 minutes. Then remove from pan and transfer to a cooling rack. Let cool to room temperature.
- Frosting: In a large mixing bowl, using an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat mascarpone on medium-high speed until creamy, about 1 minute. Sift in powdered sugar and mix until combined and smooth, about 1 minute. Add chilled coffee and mix until incorporated and smooth, about 1 minute. Add heavy cream and mix until creamy, about 1 minute.
- Assemble the cake: Cut a thin layer off the tops of your cakes to create a flat surface. Then cut each cake in half horizontally. Place one cake layer on a cake stand. Spread ¼ of the frosting over the cake. Repeat two more times. Place last cake layer on top and lightly frost the outside and the sides of the cake with the remaining frosting. Chill at least 4 hours in the fridge or overnight.
- Ganache: Place chopped chocolate in a large heatproof bowl. Place heavy cream and corn syrup in another heatproof bowl and microwave until very hot, almost boiling for about 1-2 minutes. Pour over chocolate and let stand 1-2 minutes. Whisk until smooth, and the chocolate is completely melted. Let stand for about 10-15 minutes. Test the consistency of the glaze down the side of the bowl. It should drip. The longer it stands, the thicker it gets. If it is too firm, reheat it for a few seconds in the microwave. Once it has the desired consistency, it's ready to spoon on top of the cake.
- Remove cake from the fridge and spoon the glaze little by little around the edges and let it drip down the sided. Do this with a small spoon and do one drip at a time. Then spoon or pour the rest of the glaze on top of the cake (maybe you don't need all of it) and level with an offset spatula. Place cake in the fridge for 15 minutes so that the ganache sets. Then serve. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
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