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a slice of coffee chocolate cake on a plate.
5 from 9 votes
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Decadent Coffee Chocolate Cake

This is the BEST moist and decadent coffee chocolate cake recipe. It has an intense chocolate and coffee flavor and is frosted with the creamiest and most delicious coffee buttercream!
Servings 10 servings
Prep 45 mins
Cook 27 mins
Total 1 hr 12 mins
Course : Dessert
Cuisine : American
Author : Cambrea Gordon



For the Batter

  • cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cups unsweetened dark cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon coffee or espresso grounds
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • 2 large whole eggs room temperature
  • 1 cup whole or 2% milk room temperature
  • cup hot coffee or espresso

For the Buttercream

  • 1 ½ cup unsalted butter room temperature
  • 2 cup powdered sugar
  • 4 tablespoon brewed espresso cooled

For the Coffee Simple Syrup, optional

  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon brewed coffee


Make the Batter

  • Lightly oil and line the bottoms of two round 8-inch pans. Preheat the oven to 350 F/180 C.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and espresso grounds. Seta aside.
    1¾ cups all-purpose flour, ¾ cups unsweetened dark cocoa powder, ½ teaspoon baking soda, 1½ teaspoon baking powder, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon coffee or espresso grounds
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the oil and sugar until combined.
    2 cups granulated sugar, ½ cup canola oil
  • Whisk in the eggs one at a time until completely combined.
    2 large whole eggs
  • Whisk in the milk.
    1 cup whole or 2% milk
  • Whisk in the dry ingredients until just combined.
  • Finally whisk in the hot espresso or coffee until just combined.
    ⅔ cup hot coffee or espresso
  • Pour the batter evenly between the prepared pans. (about 580 grams in each)
  • Bake the layers on the middle rack for 27-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs.
  • Let the layers cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes, then run a small offset spatula around the sides to release and remove it from the pan. Let them cool completely.

Making the Buttercream

  • In a stand mixing bowl, cream the butter until smooth with the paddle.
    1 ½ cup unsalted butter
  • Gradually mix the powdered sugar into the butter.
    2 cup powdered sugar
  • Mix in the espresso until combined, then increase the speed to medium and let the buttercream mix for 1-3 minutes or until it looks light and fluffy.
    4 tablespoon brewed espresso

Making the Coffee Simple Syrup, optional

  • In a small pot, combine the sugar and coffee and heat until the sugar granules are dissolved. Set aside.
    1 tablespoon granulated sugar, 1 tablespoon brewed coffee

Assembling the Cake

  • Use a serrated knife to trim the top of the layers to remove any dome and expose the crumb. Save the trimmed cake for decorating if desired.
  • Use a pastry brush to brush the exposed crumb with some of the espresso simple syrup, if desired. It will give the cake more coffee flavor.
  • Place one layer on a platter or cardboard round. Evenly spread about ½-2/3 cup of buttercream on top.
  • Place the second layer upside down on top of the buttercream, pressing it lightly to secure it in place.
  • Crumb coat the cake with a very thin layer of buttercream on the top and sides. You should be able to see the cake through the buttercream. Then chill it in the fridge or freezer for 10-15 minutes or until the crumb coat is set.
  • Use the rest of the buttercream to evenly coat the sides and top of the cake.
  • Decorate the cake as desired, and sprinkle any extra cake crumbs on the top border if desired.
  • Enjoy!


Step-by-step process photos are provided above, in the body of this post.
FOR A 9-INCH CAKE: Evenly distribute the batter into three 9-inch cake pans. The layers will bake quicker than the indicated baking time so make sure to keep an eye on them at 12-15 minutes.
FOR A 6-INCH CAKE: Eliminate the baking soda and reduce the baking powder to 1 ½ teaspoon. Evenly distribute the batter into three 6-inch cake pans. Bake the layers at 350 F and begin checking for doneness at 25 minutes.
recipe notes
  • Use a kitchen scale: Baking with a scale is faster, easier, and overall much more accurate than cup measurements.
  • Use room temperature ingredients: Using room temperature ingredients creates a smooth, fully blended batter that will result in a uniform texture and even baking.
  • Baking times may vary: All ovens are different, and your layers may bake quicker or take longer than the indicated baking time. I recommend always checking on them occasionally and testing for doneness!
  • Cool the layers before frosting: There is nothing worse than frosting a warm cake and watching the buttercream melt right off the sides!


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 719kcal | Carbohydrates: 87g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 42g | Saturated Fat: 20g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 15g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 113mg | Sodium: 381mg | Potassium: 192mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 66g | Vitamin A: 944IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 92mg | Iron: 2mg