2 simple chocolate espresso sponge cakes, layered with the most decadent melted chocolate and espresso buttercream, coated with coffee granules and coffee beans.
This cake is a caffeine overload, and i’m living for it!
I am the biggest coffee fan. The amount of iced coffee I drink in a single day is worrying. I never should of bought a Nespresso Machine- haha!
Coffee and chocolate is a match made in heaven. The richness of espresso paired with decadent chocolate is unlike no other. It has a very luxurious and grown up feel to it.
Although there is a serious kick of coffee from the espresso in the cake, to make it the ULTIMATE espresso cake,I added espresso into the hidden puddle of chocolate ganache and also in the buttercream. I have made one of the best tasting buttercreams I have ever tried. It contains melted dairy-free dark chocolate along with espresso powder! You can also use a coffee concentrate.
What is concentrate?
You are more than welcome to use a shot of espresso, the only issue is, it contains too much water. A coffee concentrate uses more coffee granules than water leaving you with a extremely strong coffee like paste, great for adding into buttercream as it wont effect the overall texture.
Looking for more vegan coffee recipes? Look no further:
There are a few tools I would recommend when making layer cakes:
A turn table: This is like a cake stand but swivels around, making it easy to decorate and frost your cakes.
Spatulas / off set spatula: A set of spatulas should be in everyones kitchen drawers. They are the most handy tool. They are fab for frosting cakes, spreading out batters and lifting up cake slices. A great multi-purpose tool.
Piping bags: Piping bags and a rang of nozzles on hand when making a cake is always essential.
A set of measuring spoons: Great for adding in fillings and cores to cake layers.
What is aquafaba?
Aquafaba is the water from a can/tin of Chickpeas.The Chickpea water or brine as its called, acts as an amazing egg substitute for cakes, meringue buttercreams etc. You can also buy it in a carton. Check it out here.
What vegan block butter to use?
As Swiss meringue uses liquid from the aquafaba, having a stiffer butter is key. I like the Naturli Vegan Block or Flora Plant Based Block Butter Alternative.
Preparation: 15 minutes
Baking time: 25-30 minutes
Ingredients for the cakes
- 240ml of dairy-free milk
- 1 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar
- 210g of self-raising flour
- 50g of cocoa powder
- 200g of caster sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
- 60g of sunflower oil / melted coconut oil
- 2 shots of espresso
Ingredients for the chocolate coffee ganache
- 100g of dairy-free dark chocolate
- 80ml of dairy-free cream (coconut cream, single or double cream)
- 2 teaspoons of espresso granules / powder
Ingredients for the coffee buttercream
- 150g of dairy-free block butter (see notes*)
- 200g of icing sugar
- 40ml of aquafaba (chickpea brine) see notes*
- 150g of dairy-free dark chocolate
- 2 teaspoons of espresso granules / powder
1. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees c fan and line two, 6 inch cake tins with grease-proof paper.
If you only have one tin, you’ll have to bake one cake at a time. Cover the batter with a tea towel until ready to use.
2. In a bowl, combine the dairy-free milk with the apple cider vinegar and whisk until fully combined.
Set aside for 10 minutes to curdle. This creates a vegan ‘buttermilk’.
3. In a large mixing bowl, sift the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda.
Mix well to combine.
4. Add the oil and espresso into the ‘buttermilk’ and whisk to combine.
5. Add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix.
6. Pour equal amounts of batter into the lined cake tins.
Make sure to tap the tins on the worktop to remove any air bubbles.
7. Pop the cakes into the centre of the preheated oven and bake for around 25-30 minutes.
You will know they are done when you put a knife or skewer in and it comes out clean and they are springy to the touch.
8. Place the cakes on a cooling rack and allow to cool fully.
Once cool, pop them into a sealed container to keep them fresh before frosting.
Method (chocolate coffee ganache)
1. Create a bain-marie by filling a saucepan 1/4 full with water and place a heatproof bowl on top. Add in the chocolate, dairy-free cream and coffee, stir and melt together until smooth and combined.
Set aside while you make the buttercream.
1. Create a bain-marie by filling a saucepan 1/4 full with water and place a heatproof bowl on top. Add in the chocolate and espresso powder and allow to melt. One melted, remove the bowl from the heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
2. In a large mixing bowl, add in the dairy-free butter and whip until creamy. I use a stand mixer with a balloon whisk attachment, a hand mixer will work great too.
3. Sift in the icing sugar. Whip on high speed for a couple of minutes to incorporate it.
4. Pour in the aquafaba and whip for 5 minutes until it turns light and creamy. Don’t over whip it or it can become too soft.
5. Drizzle in the melted coffee and chocolate, whip on high speed until fully combined. The buttercream should be rich, chocolatey and airy. If its too runny, add chunks of butter in at a time whilst it’s still whipping on high to get it to the perfect thick and creamy consistency.
6. Place one of the cakes on a serving plate or cake stand. Dollop some of the buttercream on top and spread out until even using an off set spatula or pallet knife.
Make a well in the middle of the buttercream and fill with a heaped tablespoon of the coffee chocolate ganache.
7. Place the second cake layer on top. Press it down gently so it sticks.
Coat the whole cake with the buttercream, swirling it around to create texture with the spatula.
8. Add any left over buttercream into a piping bag fitted with a star tip nozzle and pipe some stars on the top edge of the cake. Decorate with coffee granules and whole coffee beans (optional).
Keep this cake stored in a sealed container in the fridge. Best eaten within 3 days of making.
Un-iced cakes can be stored in a sealed container at room temperature for 2 days.
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