Espresso Chocolate Ganache Cake

espresso cake

We had an amazing summer! A lot of good memories to tag along when we were getting ready for the new school year. So here we are. All getting back to school and work. Well, I know, it sucks! But when you realize that your kids are staying up late for too many nights, watching too much television, making too much trouble, being too annoying to their parents, it’s time to look forward to school.

And here I am. Back to the blogging mode. Now this cake. THIS CAKE!!! Yes! All the capital letters and exclamation points. Because this cake was unbelievably amazing. If you are a coffee fan, you should get your cake pans ready and bake this cake NOW! I adapted this recipe from Pastry Affair, one of my favourite food bloggers. This coffee-infused chocolate cake was fluffy and moist. I was all caffeine-high and mixed up a tiny batch of espresso buttercream to go with the cake, instead of the white chocolate buttercream from the original recipe. What do I say? Amazing, addictive, SO FREAKING DELICIOUS!

espresso cake espresso cake

You don’t have to add the macarons. You don’t even have to bother about decorating the cake.¬†I did because it was a birthday cake for one of my special friends, who shares the same birthday as me. We kind of celebrated it together last weekend. And of course it had to be extraordinary!

Ingredients (5-inch 3-layer cake):
Espresso Cake
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1/2 cup sour cream, room temperature
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups cake flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons espresso powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup cooled espresso or very strong coffee
Espresso Buttercream
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons cooled espresso or very strong coffee
Chocolate Ganache
100 grams dark chocolate, cut into small chunks
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/2 tablespoon corn syrup
Espresso macarons
Fresh berries

To prepare the cake, preheat oven to 350F. Grease three 5-inch cake pan, and line bottoms with parchment paper.
In a standing mixer with a paddle attachment, mix butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Mix in sour cream, oil and vanilla.
In a separate bowl, mix flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture and mix until just blended.
Stir in espresso or coffee until smooth.
Pour the cake batter evenly between cake pans, and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. Let cool completely.
To prepare buttercream frosting, place butter and powdered sugar in a mixing bowl. Beat until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add espresso and continue beating until well combined.
To assembcakele the cake, sandwich each cake layer with a thick layer of buttercream. Top with a final layer of buttercream. Use an offset spatula to smear the buttercream squeezed out between the cake layers along the sides of the cake to create the naked cake effect.
Chill the cake in refrigerate for 30 minutes.
To prepare ganache, place chocolate, heavy cream and corn syrup in a medium heatproof bowl over a pot of simmering water. Stir the mixture using a wooden spoon until melted and smooth, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
Pour the ganache over the chilled cake. Use a spatula to quickly push the ganache over the edges of the cake and let it drip down to create the drip effect.
Garnish with macarons, sprinkles or fresh fruits as desired.
Cover and refrigerate the cake. Leave cake in room temperature for at least an hour before serving.


  1. Hello! Can’t wait to try this cake for my daughter’s birthday! But I might need more cake! If I double the recipe, do you think any adjustments would be needed in any of the ingredients? Thanks!

  2. Hello Jen! Lovely coffe cake!
    What’s the deifrerences between heavy cream and whipping cream, can I substitute?
    Also, I can’t find corn syrup,
    can I subtitute something else?
    Thank you so much

    1. I think you meant Fanny, cos I’m not Jen! :) You can use either heavy or whipping cream. Simply skip the corn syrup or substitute with same amount of unsalted butter.

  3. Can you use regular all purpose flour instead of cake flour ? Will it make a difference or effect the cake ?

      1. Hi Gaby, cake flour helps to keep more tender cakes. You can easily make a substitution – take one cup of AP flour, remove two tablespoons, and then add two tablespoons of cornstarch back in. Hope it helps. :)

  4. Hello Fanny. Please tell me how do you make your chocolate decoration? Your chocolate is tempered? Thank you.

    1. Hi A, yes, I tempered the chocolate, spread it on a parchment, put two rolling pins under it to make waves. It’s very easy to peel off after it’s dried. :)

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