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Simple coffee chocolate cake recipe that’s covered in chocolate buttercream and topped off with espresso ganache and chocolate chips. Perfect for birthdays!

Coffee Chocolate Cake with chocolate buttercream and topped off with espresso ganache and chocolate, white chocolate, and butterscotch chips, served on a white cake stand

If you are fond of chocolate and coffee and love a caffeine-kick, stop what you are doing and make this chocolate coffee cake!

It’s SOOOOO good, super rich, moist and tastes absolutely heavenly!

The coffee flavor in this cake is coming from strong black coffee that was used in the cake and espresso powder that was used in the ganache. I didn’t add any coffee or espresso in the frosting because it became a bit too over-whelming.

I know there are lots of components to this cake and it may seem intimidating but honestly, all the steps are simple and straight-forward.

Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Don’t skip any component of this cake because everything is needed to create the best overall flavor.
  • Espresso powder is not the same as coffee granules. Espresso granules dissolve in liquid whereas coffee granules do not. You can find espresso powder in the coffee aisle at most grocery stores.
  • Don’t replace buttermilk with whole milk because buttermilk is key to creating that ultra soft and moist texture of this cake.
  • Don’t worry if the batter is thin. You have done nothing wrong! That’s just the way it is supposed to be.
  • Use good quality vanilla extract. Trust me, it makes a difference in your baked goods!
  • As always, don’t over-mix the batter because that yields tough cakes.

If you are fond of cakes, you should also check out some of these other recipes:

How to Make Box Cake Better (Taste Homemade)

Easy Chocolate Oreo Cake

The Most Amazing Chocolate Cake Recipe

Chocolate Pancakes 

a bite of moist Coffee Chocolate Cake

Coffee Chocolate Cake with chocolate buttercream and topped off with espresso ganache and chocolate, white chocolate, and butterscotch chips, served on a white cake stand
Simple coffee chocolate cake recipe that's covered in chocolate buttercream and topped off with espresso ganache and chocolate chips. Perfect for birthdays.


  • 1 3/4 cups flour All-purpose
  • 2 cups sugar Granulated
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder Unsweetened
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs Large
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup strong black coffee Room temperature and NOT boiling hot
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Chocolate Frosting:
  • 1 1/2 cups butter Unsalted, Room temperature
  • 1 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 5 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk Whole

Espresso Ganache

  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tbsp espresso powder
  • 1 tbsp butter


  • 3/4 cup chocolate chips Various flavors
  • Cake:
  • Heat oven to 350°F.
  • In a mixing bowl, whisk together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Keep aside.
  • In a separate large mixing bowl, add eggs, buttermilk, coffee, oil and vanilla extract.
  • Dump dry flour mixture into this wet mixture and mix until just combined.
  • Pour batter in 2 round cake pans that have been greased and floured (Dimensions 9x2).
  • Bake for 35-38 minutes or until an inserted toothpick in the center comes out clean.
  • Allow the cakes to cool down completely.
  • Chocolate Frosting:
  • In a large mixing bowl, add butter, cocoa powder, vanilla extract and blend together.
  • Gradually, add powdered sugar (1 cup at a time), alternating with some milk and continue mixing until smooth and creamy.
  • Espresso Ganache:
  • In a microwave- safe bowl, add chocolate chips, heavy cream, espresso powder and butter,
  • Heat in the microwave at 30 second increments, mixing after each interval.
  • Continue doing this until you have smooth and creamy ganache.
  • Assembling:
  • Once the cakes have cooled down, spread frosting on top of one cake.
  • Place the other cake on top of the frosting.
  • Then, frost the entire cake in chocolate frosting.
  • Use the back of a spatula to design a diagonal pattern all around the cake.
  • Pour some espresso ganache on top of the cake and use a spatula to spread it out and allow it to drip a little along the sides.
  • Toss a variety of chocolate chips on top of the cake for decoration.
  • Enjoy!
- If you like, you can easily use the 2 cakes to make a layer cake but I decided to bake one round cake (Dimensions: 8x3) and used some leftover batter to make cupcakes.
- Store leftovers in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 3 days.


Calories: 1133kcal | Carbohydrates: 150g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 60g | Saturated Fat: 39g | Cholesterol: 150mg | Sodium: 817mg | Potassium: 419mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 120g | Vitamin A: 1415IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 151mg | Iron: 3.8mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Coffee Chocolate Cake

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Tanya H

5 stars
This was the best chocolate cake I’ve ever had. I made it for my mum’s birthday and it was such a hit! So much so that the family had me bake another one the next day. 😅


5 stars
Hi Rachel
I made this for my cousins birthday today. It was so delicious. A decadent chocolate coffee cake. The icing was amazing and sponge was super moist. Thanks


Made it today and my daughter said, it tastes exactly like the professional cakes made at stores! Best compliment ever!

Thank you!


5 stars
This is the best chocolate cake I have ever made!!


5 stars
I made this cake with a spin- salted caramel and salted caramel buttercream in place of the chocolate frosting. It was so delicious! The friend whose birthday I made it for does not like cake but was so complimentary of this one because of its moistness and complex favors. Thank you for this wonderful recipe! I never comment on blogs but I just had to share my great experience and appreciation for your recipes!


I love this cake… I put this in my family recipe book. I instead of buttermilk I put half a cup of plain yogurt and half a cup of whole milk… This cake came out perfectly. It took a little longer because I live at a higher elevation so I just kept checking it with a toothpick. I will be making this for pot lucks, gifts, and birthdays and for decadent desert in our own home. Thank you for this recipe the best one yet! Also the perfect companion to a Stout Beer or any good beer at that. And… Read more »

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