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Chocolate Espresso Cake with Chocolate Espresso Buttercream

This Chocolate Espresso Cake with Chocolate Espresso Buttercream is everything you hope a chocolate cake will be!

Cake isn’t necessarily my go-to dessert, but this Chocolate Espresso Cake is amazing. It is rich but not too sweet. Jennifer, one of my co-workers, had a birthday which provided the perfect reason to try a new cake recipe. Espresso and chocolate are the perfect pair. The addition of espresso enhances the chocolate flavor and adds a subtle richness.

I remember baking my first chocolate cake when I was probably 8 or 9 years old. I wanted to surprise my parents for their anniversary. While they were out and I was with the babysitter I attempted my first cake. Clearly, I missed a few ingredients and I vaguely remember it being hard as a rock. I was so proud of my efforts, it’s the thought that counts right?

Baking for others is still my love language. There is nothing more blissful than creating something for friends and family. I love sending my niece and nephews home with treats for them to enjoy. The only thing better, is to bake with them! Who doesn’t like to receive a gift handmade especially for them.

Sheet cakes seem to be having a moment right now. They are easy, just bake in a 9x 13 pan and frost. Sheet cakes are portable and easy to cut into squares to share!

If you are a Disney fan, you should check out Jennifer’s Instagram feed for all the latest Disney happenings.

What You Need to Make a Chocolate Espresso Cake

How To Make Buttercream Frosting

This is the old fashioned buttercream I love from my childhood. In a standing mixer or using a bowl and hand blender, combine softened butter, confectioners sugar, milk, and cocoa powder. Once the mixture comes together, whip until light and airy. The key is to whip a bit longer than you normally do. Finish by adding in the espresso powder and vanilla.

Who can you bake some goodies for you this week?

If you love chocolate, these Chocolate Raspberry Potpies are unbelievable.

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Chocolate Espresso cake on table before cut

Chocolate Espresso Cake with Chocolate Buttercream

4.5 from 14 reviews

  • Author: Cheri
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: 12 pieces 1x


Homemade chocolate espresso cake topped with a chocolate buttercream with a touch of espresso and sprinkles.


Units Scale
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces, with additional for buttering pan
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons espresso powder


  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 4 cups confectioner sugar
  • 1/2 cup low fat milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons espresso powder


  1. Heat oven to 350º F..
  2. Butter a 9×13 pan and sprinkle with a bit of cocoa powder.
  3. Place flour, granulated sugar, cocoa powder, brown sugar, baking soda and salt in a large bowl and whisk together.
  4. In a small saucepan, combine the butter and 1 cup water; bring to a boil. Add to the flour mixture and mix until combined. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then stir in sour cream and vanilla.
  5. Pour batter into the prepared pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, 35 to 45 minutes. Cool in the pan completely.
  6. Frosting:
  7. Place cocoa and butter into the bowl of stand mixer and cream until smooth.
  8. Add sugar and milk to cocoa mixture, adding 1 cup of sugar and 1 tablespoon of milk at a time. Once combined, turn the mixer up to high speed for about a minute. Add vanilla and espresso powder and mix until light and whipped in texture.
  9. Frost, cooled cake and add sprinkles if desired.


You can divide batter into 2 8″ cake pans if you wish to make a layer cake.

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cooking Time: 35 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Category: Dessert
  • Cuisine: American


  • Serving Size: 1 grams
  • Calories: 527
  • Sugar: 52
  • Sodium: 321
  • Fat: 26
  • Saturated Fat: 15
  • Unsaturated Fat: 8
  • Trans Fat: 1
  • Carbohydrates: 70
  • Fiber: 2
  • Protein: 5
  • Cholesterol: 89

Keywords: chocolate, cake, buttercream, espresso,

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