Chocolate Coffee Explosion Cake

Chocolate Coffee Explosion Cake. A delicious blend of coffee and chocolate for the caffeinated chocolate-lover in your life.

Chocolate cake with coffee buttercream

I love all foods, but chocolate and coffee are pretty high up on the list. So combining these two ingredients into one cake is my kind of recipe. This particular cake was adapted from the amazing Stay at Home Chef!

Who doesn’t love a good piece of melt-in-your-mouth, gooey, rich chocolate cake? If you do, then this is the recipe for you. It is SUPER rich, so you won’t be able to eat too much (which is probably a good thing.) It’s pulled together with a delicious coffee buttercream to add an extra layer of flavor.

Coffee beansCoffee grounds and beans

Living in Seattle, I am surrounded by delicious coffee. Luckily, my favorite roast is just down the street. The Vashon Coffee Roasterie is housed in the most darling 100-year-old building.

Its shelves are lined with jars of tea and ciders, and island old-timers gather together on the wooden front porch. But the highlight of this island favorite are the roasts. Drip coffee is available on the porch, baristas make specialty drinks in the back, and luckily for me, a bag of their delicious beans sits right on my counter. It just made sense to work them into this cake.

A few years back, I learned from an accomplished baker that adding coffee to chocolate intensifies the flavor. She added it into fudge, and it really did work wonders. Since then, I’ve tried to find ways to work it in. It works perfectly in this cake.

Buttermilk cartonThis recipe is super easy to follow, even if you run into problems along the way, like your refrigerator being too cold and freezing your buttercream. But you cross that road block when you get to it – cut open the carton and drop that buttermilk block into a sauce pan until it’s the right consistency. And when you realize you are out of chocolate chips, but you do have Hershey’s Chocolate Bars, you use those for your ganache instead. And it turns out, Hershey’s make a REALLY delicious chocolate sauce. Go figure…

Chocolate cake with coffee buttercreamChocolate cake with coffee buttercreamChocolate cake with coffee buttercreamChocolate cake with coffee buttercream

When trying to figure out buttercream flavors for my cake, coffee jumped right out. I didn’t think I had any instant, and my dreams faded away. But then I remembered the camping box, filled with oatmeal, Clif bars, and thank god, delicious Trader Joe’s Instant Coffee! It worked wonders! You basically make an EXTRA strength bowl of coffee, and infuse that into your buttercream. Voila. You have a delicious icing for your cake.

But I still thought it needed a little something, a little crunch. Being resourceful, I looked around the kitchen to see what I had. And suddenly I remembered I had Reese’s in the freezer from a past party. So I chopped those bad boys up and threw them in between each layer. I really wasn’t sure how the peanut butter would work with the coffee and the chocolate, but I really shouldn’t have doubted those delicious flavors. It was just the right touch to add some crunch and nutty goodness to this cake.

I’ll also note, that getting a few coffee beans here and there was pretty delicious. If you’re a fan of chocolate covered beans, I might not be a bad idea to through some of those on the cake or maybe even in between layers. It was a nice surprise the first time I got one.

I hope you enjoy this chocolate dream as much as I did! If you can’t eat it all yourself (I don’t recommend you try), bring it in to work. You’ll definitely make some new friends.

Chocolate cake with coffee buttercreamChocolate cake with coffee buttercream

Chocolate Coffee Explosion

A rich, chocolate cake covered in delicious coffee buttercream and chocolate ganache. Sure to please the chocolate lover in your life, or convert those who don't yet know they are. 

Servings: 2 8-inch rounds
Author: Elise Giordano
Chocolate Cake
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2/3 tbsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup freshly made coffee
  • 5 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Coffe Buttercream
  • 1 cup softened butter
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 tbsp instant coffee granules
  • 1 1/2 tbsp boiling water
  • Handful of chopped Reese's for filling in between layers
Hershey's Chocolate Ganache
  • 4 Hershey Bars (1.55 oz each) or 6 ounces chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 tsp corn syrup
For the Chocolate Cake
  1. 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter two 8-inch cake rounds and dust with flour, tapping out excess. 

  2. 2. Mix together all dry ingredients: flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a stand mixer using a low speed until combined. 

  3. 3. Add eggs, buttermilk, coffee, oil and vanilla. Beat on a medium speed until smooth, two to three minutes. 

  4. 4. Divide batter evenly among the two pans. 

  5. 5. Bake for 30-35 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. 

  6. 6. Let cakes cool for 10 minutes and turn out onto wire racks. 

  7. 7. Once cooled, slice off the top of the cake and cover lightly in a simple syrup. Wrap in cling wrap and freeze until cake is firm, about 45 minutes. 

Coffee Buttercream
  1. 1. Mix the instant coffee with boiling water and set aside to cool. 

  2. 2. Cut the buter into cubes and beat on a low-medium speed until soft. Gradually add in icing sugar and beat until fully combined. 

  3. 3. Add in vanilla extract, followed by the coffee one teaspoon at a time. Be sure to mix fully before adding more. 

  4. 4. If your buttercream is stiff, add in a little milk.

Hershey Chocolate Ganache
  1. 1. Break up your Hershey bars and place bits into a medium bowl. 

  2. 2. Heat the cream in a sauce over medium-high heat, until it begins to simmer. Remove from heat and pour over chocolate. 

  3. 3. Let sit for about five minutes and stir until completely melted and smooth. Stir in corn syrup.

  4. Note: The longer you let this sit, the thicker it will be. 

To Decorate
  1. 1. Cut up Reese's into small pieces. Place in bowl and set aside. Fill your layers with buttercream and Reese's and cover entire cake with chocolate ganache. Decorate to your liking!

  2. Enjoy! 

Author: Elise Giordano

Elise is a photographer living on Vashon Island in the beautiful Evergreen State. When Seattle became too much, she set her sights on island life and never looked back. Today, she is trying to find ways to slow down through cooking, gardening and exploring.

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