Espresso Layer Cake

Espresso Layer Cake
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  1. 1 1⁄4 cups water
  2. 2 tablespoons instant espresso powder
  3. 1 (15.25-ounce) milk chocolate cake mix, such as Betty Crocker
  4. 1⁄3 cup vegetable oil
  5. 3 large eggs
  1. 2 tablespoons instant espresso powder
  2. 1 tablespoon water
  3. 1 cup butter, softened
  4. 6 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  5. 3 to 4 tablespoons whole milk
  6. Garnish: natural unsweetened cocoa powder, milk chocolate curls
  1. For cake: Preheat oven to 350°. Spray 2 (9-inch) round cake pans with nonstick baking spray with flour. Line bottoms of pans with parchment paper; spray with nonstick baking spray with flour. Set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, combine 1 and 1⁄4 cups water and espresso; stir until dissolved. In a large bowl, combine cake mix, oil, eggs, and espresso mixture. Beat at low speed with an electric mixer 30 seconds. Increase speed to medium; beat 2 minutes, stopping occasionally to scrape sides of bowl. Divide batter evenly between prepared pans; tap pans on counter twice to remove air bubbles.
  3. Bake until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, approximately 25 minutes. Let cool in pans 10 minutes. Remove from pans, and let cool completely on a wire rack.
  4. For frosting: In a small bowl, stir together espresso and 1 tablespoon water until dissolved. In a large bowl, beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Beat in espresso mixture. Gradually add confectioners’ sugar, adding milk, one tablespoon at a time, beating until frosting reaches a spreadable consistency.
  5. On a cake plate, place one cake layer; spread with approximately 1 and 1⁄4 cups frosting. Top with remaining cake layer. Spread remaining frosting over top and sides of cake. Refrigerate 20 minutes before serving. Garnish with cocoa and chocolate curls, if desired.
Taste of the South


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