Dark Chocolate Espresso Cake Recipe

The easiest one-layer cake includes a hint of espresso and plenty of vanilla buttercream.
December 10, 2017, 2:00pm
Dark Chocolate Espresso Cake Recipe
Photo by Sydney Kramer

A rich, espresso-laden chocolate cake topped with a simple vanilla buttercream frosting.

Servings: 15
Prep time: 20 minutes
Total time: 2 hours


for the dark chocolate espresso cake:
¾ cup|100 grams all-purpose flour
¾ cup|150 grams granulated sugar
⅓ cup|35 grams cocoa powder
2 tablespoons espresso powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon kosher salt
⅓ cup|80 ml whole milk
¼ cup|60 ml warm water
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large egg


for the vanilla buttercream:
1 cup|227 grams unsalted butter, room temperature
2 ½ to 3 cups powdered sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
sprinkles, for decorating (optional)


  1. Heat your oven to 350°F. Whisk together your flour, sugar, cocoa powder, espresso powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add in your milk and water and mix to combine, then beat in your vegetable oil and egg, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  2. Line an 8-inch square pan with parchment paper and grease it with non-stick spray or butter. Pour your batter into your pan and bake until set, about 20-25 minutes. Allow your cake to cool completely before frosting.
  3. When you're ready to frost your cake, make your frosting by beating together the butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla until smooth - be sure to beat for at least 3 minutes. When finished, beat on high for 30 seconds or so to aerate the frosting. Smooth it over the top of the cake, and top with sprinkles, if desired. This cake will keep well, covered and refrigerated, for up to 3 days.

This first appeared on MUNCHIES in December 2015.

Get recipes like this and more in the Munchies Recipes newsletter. Sign up here.