This chocolate espresso layer cake is absolute decadence. It’s filled with cocoa powder plus added richness from espresso, and each bite bursts with flavor.
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons instant espresso powder
½ cups unsalted butter, room temperature
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 ½ cups whole milk
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 cups granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon table salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
3 tablespoons sugar
½ cup water
¾ cup unsalted butter
4 ounces bittersweet, chopped
6 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
¾ cup granulated sugar
¾ cup half and half
4 teaspoons instant espresso powder
2 ½ cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
In a small saucepan, add all ingreďïệnts, mix together until combined. Cook and stir over low heat until sugar and espresso powder have dissolved. Remove from heat and let it cool.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray the bottom of 2 8-inch round cake pans with baking spray and then cover them with parchment rounds. Set aside.
Add chocolate on top of a double boiler set over simmering water and stir. Once the chocolate is melted and smooth, remove from the water and set aside.
In a medium-sized bowl, add the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt, whisk together.
Stir milk and espresso powder in a 2 cup measuring cup until espresso dissolves.
Beat together sugar and butter with an electric mixer in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Gradually add eggs, beat one at a time.
Mix in vanilla and melted chocolate.
Add dry ingreďïệnts alternating with the milk mixture in 3 additions each, beat well until combined.
Pour the batter evenly between prepared cake pans.
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Once the cake is done, allow it to cool in the pan on a cooling rack for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, allow the cake to cool completely on a cooling rack.
In a large pan, add butter, ¾ cup sugar, half and half, and espresso powder. Cook over medium heat until mixture comes to a simmer and sugar dissolves. Set aside, and whisk in both chocolates until melted and smooth. Add vanilla, beat well.
In a large bowl, whisk chocolate, powdered sugar and cinnamon until blended together. Refrigerate for about 1 ½ hours just until firm enough to spread.
Once the cake is cooled, slice each cake into two equal layers.
Place one layer on a serving platter or cake turntable. Using a pastry brush, cover espresso syrup on the cake layer. Spread about ¾ cup fudge frosting on top of the cake layer. Place another cake layer on top and repeat until you have the fourth cake layer on top and spread remaining frosting over the top and sides of the cake.
Keep the cake chilled until ready to serve. Allow the cake to warm to room temperature before eating.
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