Easy Espresso Chocolate Chip Cake

The Espresso Chocolate Chip Cake is a delightful adaptation of the beloved basic white cake recipe. Renowned for its pristine crumb, fluffy texture, and delightful moisture that lingers with every forkful, the white cake has become a cherished favorite among the author and readers.

Inspired by this gold standard of soft cakes, the author has created many tantalizing flavors, including pineapple coconut, pistachio, cookies & cream, burnt sugar caramel, coconut, and strawberry.

Espresso Chocolate Chip Cake Ingredients

I used these ingredients to craft a delectable espresso chocolate chip cake:

  • All-Purpose Flour
  • Granulated Sugar
  • Cocoa Powder
  • Espresso or Strong Coffee
  • Butter
  • Eggs
  • Baking Powder
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Dark Chocolate Chips or Chunks
  • Salt

These components blended together to create a harmonious dessert that married the bold essence of espresso with the luxurious allure of dark chocolate, resulting in an irresistible cake that’s a true delight for the senses.

Espresso Strong Coffee & Powder

In this layer cake recipe, achieving the perfect balance of coffee flavor is essential, and that’s where the combination of espresso powder and strong brewed coffee comes into play. While many cake recipes rely solely on liquid, this one calls for 1/3 cup (80ml) of robust black brewed coffee and 2/3 cup (160ml) of milk to impart moisture and texture.

However, brewed coffee alone isn’t enough to give this cake the rich coffee flavor we desire, so we incorporate a generous 5 teaspoons of espresso powder into the mix.

Yes, it may seem like a substantial amount, but it’s precisely what’s needed to infuse every bite of this cake with a bold coffee essence. Interestingly, rather than dissolving the espresso powder directly into the coffee, we’ve found that creaming it with the butter yields even better results, ensuring that the coffee flavor is perfectly pronounced throughout the entire cake.

This meticulous approach to coffee infusion guarantees a layer cake that’s nothing short of a java-lover’s dream.

Espresso Chocolate Chip Cake in Detail

Recently, I had the pleasure of preparing an easy Espresso Chocolate Chip Cake, and I’m thrilled to share the details of this delightful recipe with all you fellow coffee and chocolate enthusiasts!

To embark on this flavorful journey, gather the essential ingredients: all-purpose flour, granulated sugar, cocoa powder, strong brewed coffee, milk, butter, eggs, baking powder, vanilla extract, espresso powder, dark chocolate chips, and a pinch of salt.

The magic begins by skillfully blending softened butter and sugar until they’re a creamy dream, and here’s where we introduce a generous dose of espresso powder to infuse that irresistible coffee essence.

With the addition of eggs, vanilla, and a well-thought-out combination of dry and wet ingredients, we craft a velvety batter generously studded with dark chocolate gems.

Baked to perfection, this cake is a symphony of robust coffee notes and velvety chocolate pockets, and whether enjoyed as is or adorned with a coffee-infused frosting, it’s a sweet indulgence that’s bound to delight your taste buds.

Espresso Chocolate Chip Cake

Servings 10 serves
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 26 minutes


  • 4 oz semi-sweet chocolate chopped
  • 2 cup (256g) of all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ cup (300g) packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup (226g) unsalted butter softened
  • 4 eggs
  • 8 oz freshly brewed espresso
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup (180g) buttermilk

Café Buttercream

  • 1 1/4 cup (2.5 sticks; 287g) room temperature softened unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons Espresso powder
  • 5 cups (560g) sugar confectioners' sifted (sift before measuring)
  • 1 cup (80 ml) of whole milk or heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons Pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon salt, garnished with chocolate-covered espresso beans optional


  • To begin, preheat the oven to 350º F and prepare two 8-inch round baking pans.
  • Next, chop the chocolate and melt it in a saucepan over medium-low heat, then set it aside to cool to room temperature.
    Easy Espresso Chocolate Chip Cake
  • In a small bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, softened butter, eggs, espresso, and vanilla extract for about 3 minutes.
  • If using a hand-held mixer or stand mixer, this step should take about 1 minute. Gradually add the melted chocolate and continue whisking for an additional minute.
  • Stir the flour mixture into the creamed mixture and then add the buttermilk.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 33 to 38 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted in the centre comes out somewhat clean.
    espresso chocolate chip cake
  • Let the cakes cool in the pans on wire racks for 10 minutes, then run a knife around the edges of the cakes and invert them onto wire racks to cool completely.

Making Ganache

  • For the ganache, place the chopped chocolate in a medium bowl.
    espresso chocolate chip cake
  • Heat the cream in a small saucepan over medium heat, being careful not to let it boil for more than a few seconds as it can burn.
  • Pour the hot cream over the chopped chocolate, let it sit for a few minutes, then whisk until smooth.
    espresso chocolate chip cake recipe
  • Allow the ganache to cool slightly before pouring it over a cake.

Frosting and Assembling The Espresso Chocolate Chip Cake

  • Just enough coffee buttercream is produced to fill the cake, gently frost the outside, and pipe a simple border around the top. Although they make for a tasty garnish, chocolate-covered coffee beans are optional. Alternatively, decorate the cake with chocolate sprinkles, chips, or curls.
    easy espresso chocolate chip cake
Author: Lisa Greenwood
Calories: 250kcal

Is it possible to substitute espresso powder with instant coffee in this recipe? 

Yes, it is possible to substitute espresso powder with instant coffee in the easy espresso chocolate chip cake. Since espresso powder and instant coffee are made from coffee grounds, they can be used interchangeably in many chocolate recipes.

To make the substitute espresso powder, you can follow these guidelines:

  1. Use the same amount of instant coffee as the recipe calls for espresso powder. If the recipe specifies a specific measurement of espresso powder (e.g., 1 tablespoon), use an equal amount of instant coffee.
  2. If the instant coffee is granulated, dissolve it in a small amount of hot water (about 1-2 teaspoons for every tablespoon of coffee) to create a concentrated coffee liquid. This will ensure that the coffee flavor is evenly distributed throughout the batter.
  3. When adding the instant coffee to the cake batter, mix it well to ensure it’s fully incorporated.

More FAQs

Would it be okay to use a different variety of chocolate in this recipe? 

You can use different types of chocolate, such as milk or dark chocolate, in this recipe.

Can I prepare this cake in advance? 

Yes, this cake can be made ahead of time and stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

What is the best way to store leftover cake? 

The recommended way to store leftover cake is to keep it in an airtight container at room temperature or the refrigerator for 5 days.

Is it possible to freeze this cake? 

You can freeze this cake by wrapping it tightly in plastic wrap and then in foil. It can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Can I make this cake in advance and freeze it? 

You can make this cake in advance and freeze it for up to 3 months. Just be sure to let it cool completely before wrapping and freezing.

How do I defrost a frozen cake? 

To defrost a frozen cake, remove it from the freezer and let it thaw at room temperature for several hours.

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