Chocolate Espresso Cake Layers
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Makes three 18-cm/7-inch cake layers.
  • 255g (or 1 cup + 1 tablespoon) freshly brewed (hot!) coffee
  • 200g (or 1½ cup + 5 teaspoons) all-purpose flour
  • 150g (or 1¼ cup + 1½ teaspoon) Dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • 1½ teaspoons baking soda
  • ⅜ teaspoon baking powder
  • pinch of table salt
  • 1½ large eggs (about 84g or 3 ounces)
  • 110g (or 125ml, or ½ cup + 1 teaspoon) sunflower oil
  • 470g (or 2⅓ cup + 1 teaspoon) granulated sugar
  • 255g (or 1 cup + 1 tablespoon) buttermilk
  • ⅜ teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 175°C/350°F (standard oven setting). Line the bottom of three 18-cm (7-inch) springform pans with baking parchment, butter the sides, and dust the sides with cocoa powder.
  2. Set aside the hot coffee, you’ll need it in a few moments and you want it to still be hot, but not scalding. In a large bowl, stir together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, mix together eggs, oil, and sugar until combined, 1 minute on high speed. Drizzle in the hot coffee, mixing as you go. The hot coffee will help dissolve the sugar, but you don’t want it scrambling the eggs. Once combined, add the buttermilk and vanilla and mix until combined, about 1 minute.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the egg mixture. Using a rubber spatula, stir until mostly incorporated, then mix for about 30 seconds until the batter looks smooth (albeit grainy from the sugar).
  5. Divide the batter evenly over the prepared pans, then bake the cakes on a rack in the middle of the oven for 35-37 minutes, or until a tester inserted into the center of one of the cakes comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached. Remove the cakes from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature.
  6. Cakes can be stored in the fridge for 3 days, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap (individually), or in the freezer for one month.
Recipe by The Tough Cookie at