Triple Layer Chocolate Cake with Espresso Buttercream Frosting and Coffee Chocolate Ganache

by byn on September 16, 2012

in Cakes, Cupcakes & Icing

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This is my friend Kristine’s (insert significant number here) birthday cake. I think my feelings about birthday cakes would be best expressed by a recent quote from Deb:

“I delight in trying to find a layered summary of everyone’s favorite things that fits in a cake carrier.” No doubt.

For K, this means trying to transfer all the flavours from a Starbucks Mocha into cake formation. I think I did a pretty good job.

This is three layers of chocolate cake (I used my favourite recipe from Baked), stacked up with espresso buttercream and coffee chocolate ganache, covered with more buttercream, and a final drench of ganache. It was a feat of decadence, perfectly appropriate for a big birthday.

Triple Layer Chocolate Cake with Espresso Buttercream & Coffee Chocolate Ganache

Source: Cake – Baked: New Frontiers in Baking, Frosting – Canadian Living, Ganache – Take a Megabite


Cake – Just going to direct you here

Frosting – Used this recipe, minus the vanilla + 3 tsp coffee extract + 3 tsp espresso powder


12 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped

2 tbsp butter, cut into cubes

1 1/4 cups whipping cream

2 tbsp finely ground coffee (I used Starbucks Via)


  1. Make the ganache first, because it needs to chill to become firm enough to spread between the layers without running everywhere. For the ganache, put the chocolate and butter in a large bowl. In a saucepan, heat the cream and coffee with 2 tbsp water until just boiling. Remove from heat and let steep for 5 minutes. Pour over chocolate and butter, and whisk until smooth. Stick it in the fridge for a few hours while you make the other components.
  2. For assembly, this is what I did. Take two of the cake layers, spread a layer of frosting over top, then stick in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. This hardens the frosting, which will help you for stacking.
  3. Start stacking the cake up, spreading a layer of ganache over the hard frosting. Top with the third cake layer, then crumb coat the entire thing in a thin layer of frosting. Stick in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to set everything. I was afraid of the ganache oozing out the sides, but I didn’t have any problems.
  4. Frost the rest of the cake with the remaining icing, and stick in the fridge for another 30 minutes.
  5. For the final drench of ganache, stick it in the microwave for bursts of 5 seconds, until it becomes think enough to pour. Slowly pour it over the top, using an offset spatula to get it to drape over the edges. I think mine could have been a little thinner, but it still worked out.
  6. Get ready a double shot of sugar and caffeine!

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Danielle November 6, 2012 at 3:37 pm

I made this for a co-worker’s birthday. I hate coffee but the espresso buttercream was delicious! And the cake was super hydrated!


trkingmomoe September 16, 2012 at 11:32 pm

Yum…Nice birthday.


Kristine September 16, 2012 at 9:21 pm

My favorite drink in cake form! Thanks so much Byn for making my big birthday extra special! Love ya and my cake too! :)


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