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Only quantities of ingredients are changed; recipe Directions below will not reflect those changes.


For the Cake:
  • 3/4 cups - Unsalted Butter, softened, cut in 1-inch cubes
  • 2 2/3 cups - All Purpose Flour
  • 3/4 cups - Dark Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • 2/3 cups - Sour Cream
  • 1 1/4 cups - Hot Water
  • 1 teaspoons - Baking Soda
  • 2 teaspoons - Baking Powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons - Salt
  • 1/2 cups - Vegetable Shortening
  • 1 1/2 cups - Granulated Sugar
  • 1 cups - Dark Brown Sugar, firmly packed
  • 3 - Eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoons - Pure Vanilla Extract
  • For the Coffee Buttercream:
  • 1 1/2 cups - Granulated Sugar
  • 1/3 cups - All Purpose Flour
  • 1 1/2 cups - Whole Milk
  • 1/3 cups - Heavy Cream
  • 1 1/2 cups - Unsalted Butter, soft but cool, cut into small pieces
  • 1 teaspoons - Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 3 tablespoons - Coffee Extract
  • For the Chocolate Glaze:
  • 8 ounces - Good-Quality (60-72%) Dark Chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 3/4 cups - Unsalted Butter, softened, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoons - Light Corn Syrup
  • For the Garnish:
  • 12 - Chocolate-covered Espresso Beans
  • Directions:

    1. Make cake: Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease three 8-inch round cake pans, line them with parchment paper and butter the parchment. Dust parchment with flour and knock out excess. In a medium bowl, mix cocoa powder and sour cream with hot water and set aside to cool. In a large bowl, sift flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt together, then set aside.

    2. Using a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat butter and shortening together on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes (mixture should fall back on itself in a flat ribbon when paddle is lifted). Add sugars and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing 10-15 seconds after each addition. Turn mixer to low, add vanilla and beat until incorporated. Scrape down sides of bowl and mix 30 seconds more. With mixer on, add half reserved flour mixture to bowl, then add cocoa-sour cream mixture, followed by remaining flour mixture.

    3. Divide batter among prepared pans. Use an offset spatula to level batter. Bake cakes, rotating pans halfway through baking time, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 35-40 minutes. Transfer pans to a wire rack and cool 30-45 minutes. Turn cakes out onto rack and let cool completely.

    4. Make coffee buttercream: In a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan, whisk sugar and flour together. Add milk and cream and cook over medium heat, whisking occasionally, until mixture comes to a boil and thickens, 10-15 minutes. Transfer mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Beat on high speed until cool, 7-9 minutes. Reduce speed to low, add butter and mix until thoroughly incorporated. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until frosting is light and fluffy, 1-2 minutes. Add vanilla and coffee extracts and continue mixing until combined. If frosting is too soft, put bowl in refrigerator to chill slightly, then beat again. If frosting is too firm, set bowl over a pot of simmering water and beat with a wooden spoon.

    5. Assemble cake: Place one cake layer on a serving platter. Trim top to create a flat surface, and evenly spread 1 cup frosting on top. Add next layer, trim and frost, then add third layer. Spread a very thin layer of frosting over sides and top of cake and chill cake in refrigerator until firm, about 15 minutes. Spread sides and top of cake with remaining frosting. Refrigerate until firm, about 15 minutes.

    6. Make chocolate glaze: Place chocolate, butter and corn syrup in a double boiler or metal bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water. Using a rubber spatula, stir mixture until chocolate and butter are completely melted and smooth.

    7. Glaze cake: Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Place cake on a wire rack over the baking sheet. Slowly pour about 1 cup glaze over cake. Use a small offset spatula to smooth glaze out to edges of cake. Chill cake in refrigerator to set glaze, 5 minutes. Remove from refrigerator and slowly pour remaining glaze over cake. It should run down the edges in thick streams. Garnish with chocolate-covered espresso beans. Chill entire cake until glaze is set, about 20 minutes, then transfer to cake plate. Serve at room temperature. Cake can be stored, covered in a cake dome or cake saver, at room temperature, up to 3 days.

    Brief Description

    For the coffee fiend, this cake is filled with a coffee buttercream

    Main Ingredient:

    Coffee Extract

    Category:  Cakes

    Cuisine:  American

    Prep Time: 3 hour(s) 20 min
    Cook Time: 40 min


    Instead of coffee extract, dissolve 1 tablespoon instant espresso powder in 1 tablespoon of hot water.


    WSJ Off Duty, 2/2/2013, adapted from "Baked Explorations" by Matt Lewis & Renato Poliafito

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    Posted On:

    February 2, 2013

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