Layer cake, coffee, espresso, whipped ganache,

Espresso Cake with Whipped Chocolate Ganache

This is the ultimate espresso cake. Moist, rich vanilla cake layers infused with espresso and frosted with a light and fluffy whipped espresso chocolate ganache. Perfect for weekend dessert, entertaining with friends or as a celebration cake. A surprisingly simple and easy recipe with everything you can make ahead of time so you don't have to rush. 
5 from 13 votes
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Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cake, coffee, espresso, ganache, Layer cake
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings: 12 servings
Calories: 586kcal
Author: Veena Azmanov


For the cake

  • 228 grams Butter
  • 330 grams Light brown sugar
  • 3 Eggs large
  • 320 grams All-Purpose flour
  • 2 tsp Baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp Baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 2 tsp Vanilla
  • 60 ml Espresso brewed
  • 4 tbsp Sour cream

For the whipped ganache

  • 150 grams Chocolate 60% cocoa (6 oz)
  • 250 ml Whipping cream 32% or more (1 cup)
  • 2 tsp Vanilla
  • 30 ml Espresso brewed (2 tbsp)

For the vanilla buttercream filling


  • 60 ml simple syrup or sugar syrup
  • 8 chocolate coated coffee beans optional


Prepare Cake

  • Preheat the oven to 160 C/320 F.
  • Grease and line three 6 inch round baking pans or 2 x 7-inch round baking pans.
  • Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  • Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  • Add vanilla, followed by the eggs, one at a time.
  • Add the flour and sour cream alternating in three batches.
  • Lastly, add the brewed espresso.
  • Pour into the prepared baking pans.
  • Bake for 30 to 35 minutes until a skewer inserted comes clean.
  • Cool in the pan for 10 minutes then invert onto a cooling rack and cool completely before baking.

Prepare the whipped ganache

  • Melt the chocolate and cream in the microwave or over a double boiler.
  • Once all the chocolate is melted add the vanilla and espresso.
  • Chill in the fridge overnight or at least 4 hours.
  • When ready to frost - whip the ganache in the mixer with a whisk attachment to soft peaks.
  • (use the paddle attachment if the ganache is too stiff)

Prepare the vanilla buttercream filling

  • Cream the butter and whipped cream for 2 minutes.
  • Add the Vanilla followed by the powdered sugar and combine well.
  • Continue to whip until light and fluffy.


  • Prepare simple syrup - cool completely before using.
  • Once cooled, cut the domes off the cake layers.
  • Brush each layer with the cooled simple syrup.
  • Place a cake layer on the cake board or cake stand.
  • Top with a big dollop of filling - spread evenly.
  • Then top the second cake layer on top followed by more filling and the last cake layer.
  • Place the cake in the fridge if necessary, so the layers hold together.
  • Spread the whipped ganache around and top of the cake.
  • Create a rustic buttercream look by simply swirling the spatula up and down the side of the cake.
  • Pipe any remaining ganache on the top of the cake with a piping bag.



  • Once decorated the cake does not need to be refrigerated.
  • It can stay at room temperature for three days or in the fridge for up to a week.
  • Once cut always cover the cut side of the cake with cling/plastic wrap so the cake does not dry out.


Calories: 586kcal | Carbohydrates: 64g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 34g | Saturated Fat: 20g | Cholesterol: 131mg | Sodium: 496mg | Potassium: 239mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 38g | Vitamin A: 955IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 93mg | Iron: 2.5mg