Easy Chocolate and Espresso Buttercream Cake – Italian Recipe

This chocolate and espresso buttercream cake are perfect for all chocolate and coffee lovers – just like my husband! It goes ideally with a cup of coffee or tea. Here is the recipe:

Easy Chocolate and Espresso Buttercream Cake


For the cake:

  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract (or rum extract)
  • 6 tablespoons canola oil
  • 3/4 cup very hot water (or orange juice)

For the Buttercream:

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon hot water
  • 2 teaspoons instant espresso powder
  • 12 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped (I used semisweet)
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened and diced
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon sugar



To make the cake:

  • Preheat oven to 375°F/ 190°C/ Gas Mark 5. Line a 15 1/2″ x 10 1/2″ jelly-roll pan with parchment paper and spray it with non-stick cooking spray.
  • In the bowl of a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, mix sugar, cocoa, flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda, at medium speed until blended.
  • In another bowl, whisk eggs, vanilla, oil, and milk. Gradually beat egg mixture into flour mixture, around 5 minutes. Shift mixer to low speed; add hot water (or orange juice, cold) until blended. Pour batter into the pan.
  • Bake until toothpick comes out of the center clean, around 20-25 minutes. Cool cake completely.
  • Invert cake onto a large wire rack; peel off parchment paper. Invert cake again onto a large cutting board. With a serrated knife, cut the cake into equal thirds.
  • Set a large wire rack over a sheet of waxed paper. Arrange one cake layer on rack; spread half of buttercream evenly over top. Add another cake layer; spread top with remaining buttercream. Place remaining cake layer on top.
  • Pour ganache over top of cake, spreading with a spatula in order to coat the sides. If ganache doesn’t cover sides entirely, pour any excess that has collected on the waxed paper back into the bowl and spread again. Leave it in the fridge until ganache sets, around 1 hour. Use 2 large spatulas to transfer the cake onto a serving plate.

To make the buttercream:

  • In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat egg yolks at medium speed until they become lemon colored and ribbon-like when beaters are lifted, around 5 minutes.
  • In the meantime, in a small saucepan, mix sugar and 1/4 cup water. Cook over medium-low heat, swirling the pan occasionally until sugar completely dissolves and syrup just comes to a boil.
  • Increase heat to high; boil syrup until it registers 238°F/ 121°C on a candy thermometer. With the mixer on medium speed, immediately add syrup to beaten egg yolks in a steady stream.
  • Beat mixture until it cools to room temperature and is light and fluffy around 10 minutes. Gradually add butter, one tablespoon at a time, until completely incorporated.
  • In a cup, dissolve espresso powder in hot water; beat into the buttercream.
  • In a large bowl, combine chocolate and butter. In a small saucepan, heat cream and sugar over medium-high flame, stirring occasionally, until small bubbles appear around edge of the pan.
  • Pour hot cream over chocolate; stir until chocolate and butter melt and mixture is completely smooth. Cool, stirring occasionally, until thickened but not pasty, around 15 minutes.

Buon Appetito!
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