Use this potent coffee soak instead of imbibing syrup to moisten cake layers and to add flavor to your cakes. It’s not too sweet, and it gives your cake a serious coffee boost!
Okay. Admitting defeat. That Easter post is just NOT going to happen. Which is too bad, because I had a super duper awesome cake planned for Easter. A robin’s egg shell drip cake. With a dreamy, creamy, fudgy milk chocolate frosting. Sounds good, right?
But then Baby Boy got sick. And I got sick after that. And when I was finally up to baking again I found out that the store that used to sell candy melts doesn’t sell them anymore. Boo. But not the end of the world! I just thought: screw candy melts. Who needs ‘m? I’d just make a delicious milk chocolate frosting cake with those pretty sugar shell easter eggs. Oh yeah! Sp I got to baking. The cake layers turned out great. But when I got to making the frosting, the frosting split. It turns out my sugar thermometer is not quite reliable. Boo again.
So guess what? I gave up! I let it go. I have other things to do besides fretting over an Easter post. You know Easter is coming up, right? You don’t need me to remind you. And if you’re here for an awesome Easter recipe, I’ve make some delicious things in the past, like this Lemon Cake, or these super cute Meringue Nests.
That will do, I guess 😉
So. Enough about Easter already. Let’s just move on to more deliciousness. Like my SECOND birthday cake. For my birthday last February, I made the Momofuku Birthday Cake, and an insane Chocolate Espresso Cake, which was actually my favorite.
My Chocolate Espresso Cake is actually a mock version of Proof Bakery’s Chocolate Espresso Cake. Proof Bakery is a famous bakery in L.A., and I’d heard about their Chocolate Espresso Cake in a Youtube video called $27 cake vs. $1.120 cake, in which two guys try three different cakes ranging from $27 to $1.120, including Proof Bakery’s Chocolate Espresso Cake.
After watching the video, I was obsessed. Luckily, I found a recipe for the cake online and, duh, I made it!
But it just didn’t deliver.
It was a bit sad, actually. The cake layers deflated, the Swiss coffee buttercream was too dense, and worse, didn’t taste like coffee, and the milk chocolate cremeux (frosting) was too sloppy to use as a frosting. I know I messed up their recipe. I probably shouldn’t have greased the sides of the pans, the meringue was too cold when I started adding the butter, and I shouldn’t have tried using whipping cream instead of heavy cream in the cremeux.
All my fault.
One thing wasn’t my bad, though. That was the coffee syrup. I made it perfectly, using equal amounts of coffee and sugar, like the recipe said, and still didn’t like it. It made the cake waaay too sweet. Cloyingly sweet! So when I decided to make my own version of Proof’s Chocolate Espresso Cake, I not only used my own trusted recipes for chocolate cake and coffee buttercream, I also took a different imbibing approach. Inspired by the Momofuku Birthday Cake and the Vanilla Milk Soak, I decided that, for MY chocolate espresso cake, I’d make a coffee SOAK, rather than a coffee syrup.
And man, was it good!
My version of Proof Bakery’s Chocolate Espresso Cake is made with chocolate espresso cake layers, my awesome Swiss French coffee butterceam (confusing, right? Just read the post!), and a delicious DARK chocolate cremeux, because I’m a dark chocolate kind of girl.
And then there was the soak. It was perfect. It not only added moisture to the cake layers and melded all those delicious flavors together, it seriously amped up the coffee flavor!
And the thing is, it’s just freshly brewed coffee (I used a French press to make the coffee), and a few teaspoons of sugar. That’s it! You can even leave the sugar out or adjust the amount to the overall sweetness of your cake. I’m so done with those overly sweet imbibing syrups…
This coffee soak is super easy to make and even easier to use. Just drizzle the stuff over cake layers to moisten them, frost the cake, let the whole thing sit for a few hours to allow the flavors to meld, then enjoy!
I love cake soaks ♥︎
Simple, but effective!
This soak would also be delicious in a vanilla cake filled with mascarpone frosting, especially if there’s also Marsala involved ← ultimate Tiramisu cake.
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And you definitely don’t want to miss out on that amazing recipe for Chocolate Espresso Cake. It’s my new favorite cake 😉
- 80g (or ⅓ cup) freshly-brewed coffee
- 3 teaspoons granulated sugar
- Combine hot coffee and sugar in a mug. Stir to combine and allow the soak to cool to room temperature.
- Use half of the soak to moisten one 18-cm/7-inch cake layer. Top the cake layer with a filling of choice, and place another cake layer on top, pressing down gently.
- Use the remaining soak to moisten this second cake layer. Again, fill with your favorite filling, and top with a third cake layer. Frost the cake with a frosting of choice and decorate.
- The soak is best made right before you need it.