Dark Chocolate Espresso Cake

I cannot even begin to tell you how amazing this Dark Chocolate Espresso Cake tastes! Thus far this is the best chocolate cake I have ever eaten.

A dreamy, rich, moist dark chocolate cake topped with chocolate ganache.

Just stop whatever you are doing and bake this cake immediately. You won’t be sorry.

Try our Bread Pudding!

Dark Chocolate Espresso Cake

baked dark chocolate espresso cake in two 8" square pans

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare two cake pans with baking spray and line the bottom with parchment paper.

In a large mixing bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cacao powder, whisk to incorporate.

With an electric mixer on low, add the oil, buttermilk, and eggs one at a time to the flour mixture. Leaving the mixer on low, drizzle the hot espresso in a slow stream down the side of the bowl.

Add the vanilla extract and mix until smooth.

The batter will be liquid, not thick don’t worry. Divide evenly into the pans, bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Dark Chocolate Espresso Cake on a white platter cut

Allow the cakes to cool in the pans on wire racks for at least 20 minutes . 

To make the ganache, place the semisweet chocolate chips and heavy whipping cream in a double boiler with simmering water. Allow the chocolate chips to melt before stirring, once you have melted chocolate stir until smooth. Cool to room temperature.

a slice of Dark Chocolate Espresso Cake on a white and red plate

Frost the cake with the cooled ganache and allow it to set before slicing.

a slice of Dark Chocolate Espresso Cake on a white and red plate

This dark chocolate espresso cake is the most amazing cake I have ever baked! But that’s just my opinion, you decide for yourself.

Check out our Eggnog Bundt Cake!

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3.74 from 15 votes

Dark Chocolate Espresso Cake Recipe

The BEST chocolate cake EVER! A dreamy, rich, moist dark chocolate cake topped with chocolate ganache. Absolutely scrumptious!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time55 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cake, chocolate, dark chocolate, espresso
Servings: 12
Calories: 495kcal
Author: DSTR



  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 3 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup 100% cacao powder* or unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2/3 cup canola oil or vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cups freshly brewed hot espresso* or extra-strong coffee
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Chocolate Ganache Frosting:

  • 12 oz. good quality semisweet chocolate chips I used Ghirardelli
  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare two 8″x8″ square cake pans with baking spray, and line the bottoms with parchment paper.
  • In a large mixing bowl, add the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cacao powder. Whisk to combine.
  • Using an electric mixer on low, add oil, buttermilk, then eggs one at a time. Leaving the mixer on low, drizzle the hot espresso in a slow stream down the side of the bowl, to temper the eggs. Add vanilla and mix until batter is smooth.
  • Divide into the pans (this makes about 4 cups) and bake 35-40 minutes, until a toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs. Let cool in pans at least 20 minutes.

Prepare the chocolate ganache frosting:

  • Place chocolate chips and heavy whipping cream in the top of a double boiler with 2 inches of simmering water. Allow chocolate chips to melt, do not stir right away. Once the chocolate has melted, stir until smooth. Cool at room temperature, until just warm.
  • Place one layer of cake on a serving plate. Place a scoop of ganache in the middle and smooth it out to the edges using a palette knife or spatula. Place the next layer on top of the frosted layer, pressing gently. Spoon more ganache on the top and smooth it around the sides, adding more ganache as needed to cover.


I use the baking strips and didn’t need to trim a rounded top. These baked up beautifully.
You can use extra strong coffee in place of the espresso and unsweetened cocoa powder in place of the 100% cacao powder. But I HIGHLY recommend making the recipe as written


Calories: 495kcal | Carbohydrates: 51g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 31g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 59mg | Sodium: 407mg | Potassium: 277mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 32g | Vitamin A: 309IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 57mg | Iron: 3mg

Recipe adapted from ThePaperseed

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  1. Reply

    Thank you for sharing on the Whisk It Wednesday Link Party! Tomorrow when the new party starts this deliciousness will be featured! Have a wonderful week! Carrie @ Carrie’s Home Cooking

  2. Reply

    Just Looking Incredible! It has a heavenly look! Yummm! Since I love dark chocolate and coffee And when it comes to espresso then I will definitely try it at home Just for me :D. Thanks for this delicious and heavenly recipe.5 stars

    1. Reply

      Thanks so much, Kathy!1

  3. Reply

    I made this cake earlier this summer and it turned out pretty well. I love dark chocolate and espresso, but after baking, I could still taste the baking soda. I’m going to try it again, putting in 2.5 tsp baking soda (or so) and see how it turns out. Other than the baking soda-taste, this was a wonderful recipe!4 stars

  4. Reply

    Hi! This recipe looks amazing and would love to try it out. How many espresso shots are in 3/4 cups of espresso? Is it 6?
    Thank you!

    1. Reply

      Not sure exactly will depend on your machine. Just use a measuring cup to determine.

  5. Reply

    I like these cakes, but you made dark flavour of choclate , Otherwise your all ingredients are perfect and easy to made .
    Thank you so much for this sharing .5 stars

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