Pictured with 3 8-inch layers, this espresso chocolate chip cake combines a smooth and moist cake flavored with espresso powder, robust espresso, loads of chocolate chips, and extremely creamy espresso espresso buttercream. You’ll be able to drink your espresso and eat it too with a towering slice of this do-it-yourself magnificence!

Giving a special which means to espresso cake! It’s been some time since I developed a really fabulous layer cake, however a pricey good friend’s birthday known as for one thing particular… and FLAVOR most definitely needed to be on the menu! Merely put, this coffee-infused layer cake is nothing wanting beautiful and there’s just a few different methods to make it together with as a sheet cake, 2 layer cake, cupcakes, and extra. Nonetheless you bake it, espresso lovers in all places will rejoice.

Espresso Chocolate Chip Cake Particulars:

Like lots of my cake recipes, I tailored this cake batter from my primary white cake batter. The white cake is a highly regarded cake recipe, each a private and reader favourite. Between its pristine crumb, fluffy texture, and stick-to-your-fork moisture, it’s unimaginable to not love. It’s my gold normal in the case of smooth desserts, so I’ve used it to provide many different flavors together with pineapple coconut cakepistachio cakecookies & cream cakeburnt sugar caramel cakecoconut cakestrawberry cake, and immediately’s espresso variation. Right here’s what you’ll be able to anticipate:

  • Texture: Because of a cautious ratio of cake flour, leaveners, egg whites (no yolks), and bitter cream, liquid, we have now a stability of sentimental, springy, and moist in every chew. You’ll solely obtain this texture perfection for those who comply with the recipe intently, which is my #1 piece of recommendation for baking desserts. Be aware that I barely elevated the flour and lowered the egg whites from the unique batter as a result of introducing a thinner liquid (espresso) threw issues off.
  • Taste: Do you want chocolate and low collectively? For a lot of espresso drinkers, it’s a match made in heaven! In reality, I used to be going to name this a mocha cake, however espresso is really the principle taste and the chocolate chips are little extras.
  • Ease: Should you’ve baked layer desserts earlier than, this shouldn’t be tough. However for those who’re new to layer desserts, don’t be nervous as a result of stacking and frosting the cooled desserts isn’t something fancy. I wish to hold ornament easy.
  • Time: Put aside a minimum of 4 hours to finish this recipe which incorporates making the cake, cooling fully, and frosting/assembling. Don’t neglect to carry your chilly substances and sizzling espresso to room temperature earlier than beginning.
espresso chocolate chip layer cake

Espresso Powder & Sturdy Espresso

Most layer cake recipes require liquid and immediately’s makes use of 1/3 cup (80ml) robust black brewed espresso and a pair of/3 cup (160ml) milk. Brewed espresso alone didn’t present sufficient taste on this cake, so we’ll additionally use 5 teaspoons of espresso powder. (Sure 5! This can be a lot of cake batter.) You could possibly dissolve espresso powder IN the espresso, however I discovered its taste got here by higher when creamed with the butter.

  • Do I’ve to make use of each espresso and espresso powder? Sure, for the perfect outcomes, I strongly advocate utilizing each. The cake didn’t have practically sufficient taste in any other case.
  • Can I simply use brewed espresso as an alternative of espresso and espresso powder? I don’t advocate it. To make sure there’s sufficient espresso taste within the cake, you would wish greater than 1/3 cup (80ml) espresso and changing extra milk with fats free liquid creates a moist, spongey cake.
  • The place to seek out espresso powder? Most main grocery shops carry it within the espresso aisle.
  • Can I take advantage of on the spot espresso as an alternative of espresso powder? You’ll be able to, however you’ll want extra on the spot espresso as a result of it’s not practically as concentrated. Immediate espresso is dehydrated floor espresso, whereas espresso powder is brewed darkish roast espresso that’s dried and floor very finely. Espresso powder is commonly utilized in baking and for those who choose up a jar, you should use it in any of those recipes that decision for espresso powder.

Additionally, you will use espresso powder in immediately’s frosting. For probably the most taste AND to protect a creamy consistency, use espresso powder within the espresso buttercream moderately than brewed espresso. The buttercream is definitely candy, however the espresso powder’s robust and bitter taste helps offset the sweetness. Although you’ll see the espresso powder flecks and definitely style the flavour, the powder’s granules are sufficiently damaged down. So don’t fear… the frosting isn’t granular.

Once you’re making the cake batter, you’ll discover the creamed butter, sugar, and espresso powder combination (pictured on the fitting under) isn’t very fluffy. That’s anticipated as a result of in comparison with different cake recipes this dimension, there isn’t a ton of butter. (Bitter cream makes up among the fats!)

espresso powder and creamed butter sugar mixture
espresso chocolate chip cake batter
espresso chocolate chip cake layers before and after baking

Success Ideas: Espresso Chocolate Chip Cake

The complete printable recipe is under.

  • Use Room Temperature Components: All refrigerated gadgets must be at room temperature so the cake batter mixes collectively evenly. Merely put, chilly substances gained’t correctly mix to provide a clean, gentle cake crumb. Likewise, carry your brewed espresso to room temperature as effectively. Within the cake batter pictured above, my espresso was really *barely* heat and you may see that there was some slight fats (butter) separation. The completed cake was simply tremendous, however for finest outcomes, I like to recommend making certain the whole lot is room temperature.
  • Comply with the recipe intently: Following a recipe as written sounds apparent, but it surely’s typically ignored. We alter recipes like decreasing sugar, utilizing all-purpose as an alternative of cake flour, baking soda for powder, entire eggs as an alternative of simply whites, and many others. Don’t sabotage your time, effort, and cash by straying from the unique recipe until you’re after a special taste and texture.
  • Mini Chocolate Chips: Simply as I like to recommend for chocolate chip loaf cake and chocolate chip scones, use mini chocolate chips. Why? So you’ll be able to take pleasure in tiny pockets of chocolate in each single chew! Mini = extra.
  • Prep Cake Pans: From one baker to a different– I like the standard and efficiency of Fats Daddio’s cake pans. (I’m not working with this model, only a fan!) And in the case of prepping spherical cake pans, I take advantage of parchment paper rounds. Hint the underside of the cake pans on a big piece of parchment paper after which reduce out the circles. Then, very calmly grease the cake pans with butter or nonstick spray, place the parchment spherical inside, after which grease the parchment spherical too. This guarantees an extremely non-stick surroundings on your cake.
espresso coffee buttercream
3 layered espresso chocolate chip cake on cake stand and pictured from the top with piped buttercream

Starbucks on a Cake Stand!

There’s no denying that the espresso chocolate chip cake is flavorful by itself, however pairing it with espresso buttercream transforms it into Starbucks on a Cake Stand. (LOL I couldn’t resist.) For a extra subdued espresso taste, you might definitely pair the cake with plain Swiss meringue buttercream and I recommend that over American-style vanilla buttercream as a result of its delicate sweetness won’t overpower the espresso taste.

Should you love this frosting, you’ll in all probability take pleasure in it with coconut cake, chocolate cake, and vanilla cake too. And for those who’re on the lookout for extra coffee-inspired desserts, strive these Baileys & Espresso Cupcakes.

Filling & Frosting Espresso Chip Cake

The espresso buttercream yields simply sufficient for filling the cake, calmly frosting the outside, and easy piping across the high. Chocolate coated espresso beans are enjoyable garnish, however be happy to skip them. You could possibly even costume up the cake with chocolate curls, chocolate chips, or chocolate sprinkles as an alternative.

3 layer espresso chocolate chip cake slice

PS: Customized printed forks are at all times a lot enjoyable. 🙂 Message that Etsy vendor for customized sayings! She was tremendous responsive and the Baking is Life fork turned out splendidly!


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Espresso lovers will take pleasure in each slice of this smooth, moist, and flavorful espresso chocolate chip layer cake. Evaluation the recipe notes earlier than starting and ensure all substances (sizzling & chilly) are dropped at room temperature earlier than beginning.

  • 2 and a pair of/3 cups (315gcake flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup (1.5 sticks; 170gunsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 5 teaspoons espresso powder
  • 1 and three/4 cups (350ggranulated sugar
  • 4 massive egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (120gbitter cream, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup (160ml) entire milk, at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) brewed robust black espresso, at room temperature
  • 1 and 1/4 cups (225g) mini chocolate chips (see notice)

Espresso Buttercream

  • 1 and 1/4 cups (2.5 sticks; 287gunsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 2 and 1/2 teaspoons espresso powder, plus extra to style
  • 5 cups (560g) sifted confectioners’ sugar (sift earlier than measuring)
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) heavy cream or entire milk
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • non-compulsory: chocolate coated espresso beans for garnish

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Grease three 8-inch cake pans, line with parchment paper, and grease the parchment paper. Parchment paper helps the desserts seamlessly launch from the pans.
  2. Make the cake: Whisk the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt collectively. Put aside.
  3. Utilizing a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle or whisk attachment, beat the butter, espresso powder, and sugar collectively on medium-high velocity till mixed and creamy, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the perimeters and up the underside of the bowl with a rubber spatula as wanted. Beat within the egg whites till mixed, after which add the bitter cream and vanilla extract. Beat till mixed. Combination could look curdled because of the various textures and stable butter combining. Scrape down the perimeters and up the underside of the bowl as wanted. Pour within the dry substances, flip the mixer on low velocity and with the mixer operating, slowly pour within the milk and low. Beat on low velocity till mixed, after which beat within the chocolate chips simply till mixed. Whisk all of it by hand to verify there are not any butter lumps on the backside of the bowl. The batter shall be barely thick. Don’t overmix.
  4. Pour batter evenly into cake pans. Bake for round 25-28 minutes or till the desserts are baked by. To check for doneness, insert a toothpick into the middle of the cake. If it comes out clear, it’s carried out. Enable desserts to chill within the pans set on a wire rack for half-hour. Run a knife across the edges after which take away from pans. Enable desserts to chill fully set on a wire rack. The desserts should be fully cool earlier than frosting and assembling.
  5. Make the frosting: In a big bowl utilizing a hand-held mixer or stand mixer fitted with a whisk or paddle attachment, beat the butter and espresso powder collectively on medium velocity till creamy, about 2 minutes. Add confectioners’ sugar, cream/milk, vanilla extract, and salt. Beat on low velocity for 30 seconds after which change to excessive velocity and beat for two minutes. Style and beat in additional espresso powder to style if desired. I often add one other 1/4 teaspoon for extra taste. Yields about 4 cups frosting.
  6. Assemble and enhance: In case your desserts are domed on high, very fastidiously use a big serrated knife to slice a skinny layer off the tops to create a flat floor. Discard (or crumble over ice cream!). Place 1 cake layer in your cake stand, cake turntable, or serving plate. Evenly cowl the highest with about 3/4 cup frosting. I take advantage of and advocate an icing spatula to use the frosting. High with 2nd cake layer and unfold about 3/4 cup frosting on high. Place third layer on high and frost the perimeters and high with remaining frosting. A bench scraper is useful to clean the perimeters and be happy to pipe any frosting on high– I used Ateco 849 piping tip to pipe a border across the pictured cake.
  7. Refrigerate cake for 10-20 minutes earlier than slicing. This helps the cake maintain its form when reducing.
  8. Cowl leftover cake tightly and retailer within the fridge for as much as 5 days.


  1. Make Forward & Freezing Directions: The cake layers may be baked, cooled, and coated tightly at room temperature in a single day. Likewise, the frosting may be ready then coated and refrigerated in a single day. When prepared to embellish, let the frosting sit at room temperature to barely soften for quarter-hour, then give it yet another combine with the mixer on medium velocity for about 1 minute earlier than frosting cake. (Add a splash of milk to skinny out frosting if wanted.) Frosted cake or unfrosted cake layers may be frozen as much as 2-3 months. Thaw in a single day within the fridge and produce to room temperature earlier than adorning/serving.
  2. Cake Flour: For the perfect outcomes, I strongly advocate cake flour. Yow will discover cake flour within the baking aisle and I’ve many extra recipes utilizing it. Should you’re in a pinch, you should use a DIY cake flour substitute however the cake gained’t style as gentle and smooth.
  3. Espresso Powder: Use espresso powder in each the cake batter and frosting and see headnotes above for extra data on the espresso powder. Most main grocery shops carry espresso powder within the espresso aisle. For the perfect outcomes, I strongly advocate utilizing each espresso powder and robust black espresso within the cake batter. I don’t advocate utilizing brewed espresso as an alternative of the combo of brewed espresso and espresso powder (see notes above). You should use on the spot espresso as an alternative of espresso powder, however you’ll want extra on the spot espresso as a result of it’s not practically as concentrated. I like to recommend a minimum of 3 Tbsp of on the spot espresso.
  4. Egg Whites: Egg whites (no yolks) are KEY to the cake’s fluffy texture.
  5. Chocolate Chips: I like to recommend mini chocolate chips. Some readers have reported that the mini chocolate chips sink. You’ll be able to coat in 2 teaspoons of all-purpose flour earlier than including to the batter. Should you can’t get your palms on mini chocolate chips, change with the identical quantity of normal dimension chocolate chips. If utilizing common dimension, coat them in 2 teaspoons of flour first or else they could sink because the layers bake. Or be happy to omit chocolate chips altogether.
  6. Decaf: Be happy to substitute decaf espresso and decaffeinated espresso powder/on the spot espresso.
  7. Room Temperature: All refrigerated substances and sizzling espresso must be at room temperature so the cake batter mixes collectively simply and evenly. Should you’d wish to be taught extra, right here’s details about why room temperature substances are necessary in baking.
  8. Quantity of Cake Batter & Different Dimension Desserts: This recipe yields 6 cups of batter, which is useful for those who want it for various Cake Pan Sizes & Conversions. Due to its gentle but moist texture, this cake is finest as a layer cake. Nonetheless, if you wish to strive it as a 9×13 inch cake, merely pour the batter right into a greased and calmly floured 9×13 inch pan and bake for 40 minutes or till a toothpick inserted within the middle comes out clear. Be happy to halve the frosting. For a 2 layer cake, put together two 9-inch cake pans in step 1. Divide batter between pans and bake for half-hour or till cooked by. I wouldn’t scale back the frosting quantity. For a bundt cake, generously grease and calmly flour a 10-cup or bigger bundt pan. I’m not sure of the precise bake time (probably round an hour), however use a toothpick to check for doneness. Similar oven temperature. For two-3 dozen cupcakes, fill cupcake liners 2/3 full. Bake at 350°F (177°C) for 19-21 minutes. For a 3 layer 6 inch cake, use my 6 inch vanilla cake recipe and add 3 teaspoons espresso powder when creaming the butter and sugar. Change 1/4 cup (60ml) milk with robust black espresso and add 1 cup (180g) mini chocolate chips. Add 2-3 teaspoons espresso powder to the frosting or to style.

Key phrases: espresso chocolate chip cake



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