More often than not, chocolate cake is the only dessert that I crave. It’s often the only thing that can satiate my sweet tooth. Decadent, moist cake wrapped in chocolate buttercream is always my favourite and a true classic, but sometimes it’s worth it to enhance those flavours with something different.
Everyone knows coffee amplifies chocolate flavour and as a coffee lover and chocolate fanatic, this combination is a winner for me. This chocolate cake has brewed coffee in both the cake itself and in the buttercream. The chocolate buttercream is light but has a deep coffee flavour that perfectly compliments the fluffy chocolate cake. Toasted hazelnuts, cacao nibs and flaky sea salt top the cake for a crunchy, salty contrast to the sweetness of the cake and the creamy frosting.
It’s a cake you will want to make over and over again. It’s simple, yet so special and perfect for any occasion or just for when that chocolate craving hits.
Salted Coffee Chocolate Cake
For the cake
- ¾ cups all-purpose flour
- ¾ cups granulated sugar
- ⅓ cup cocoa powder
- ¾ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 large egg
- ⅓ cup buttermilk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1-½ tsp vegetable oil
- 3 tbsp brewed coffee, cooled
- ¼ cup warm water
For the frosting
- ¾ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
- ¼ cup dark chocolate, melted
- 1-½ tbsp brewed coffee, cooled
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ cup toasted hazelnuts, chopped
- cacao nibs
- flaky sea salt
For the cake
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter and line two 6-inch cake pans with parchment paper.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Whisk until well combined.
- In a separate small bowl, whisk together egg, warm water, vanilla extract, brewed coffee, and vegetable oil. With the stand mixer on low, pour wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until well combined and batter is smooth. It will be a very thin cake batter.
- Divide the cake evenly between the two cake pans. Use a kitchen scale if possible to weigh out exact amounts for even cake layers. Transfer to oven to bake for 23-26 minutes.
- Insert a wooden toothpick into the centre of the cake to check for doneness. If the toothpick comes out clean, it is ready. Remove from oven and let cool completely in the pan before removing from the pans.
For the frosting
- In a small bowl, whisk together melted dark chocolate, brewed coffee and vanilla.
- Using the paddle attachment of a stand mixer, beat butter and powdered sugar together until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl periodically. Add chocolate mixture to the bowl and beat for about 1 minute until well combined and fluffy.
- To ensure cake does not slide, smear a tablespoon of prepared frosting onto the middle of a cake stand. Place bottom layer on top of the cake stand.
- Using an ice cream scoop to ensure an even amount of frosting, add two scoops of frosting on top of the bottom layer. Using an offset spatula, smooth out the frosting, leaving one inch around the edge of the cake layer.
- Add the second cake layer on top, add two more scoops of frosting and spread the frosting using an offset spatula to create a bit of a swirl effect. Leave as is, or top with toasted hazelnuts, cacao nibs and flaky sea salt.