Espresso Fudge Cake


Espresso Fudge CakeThis Espresso Fudge Cake consists of four layers of moist chocolate cake filled with a coffee buttercream highlighted with brandy. I am not one to drink coffee and when I do it has lots of cream and sweetener.   But I could easily eat this buttercream all day long – so if you hesitate because of the coffee, I encourage you to try this anyway,  The combination of a chocolate fudge cake and a coffee buttercream makes this Espresso Fudge Cake a stand out.

Both the cake and the buttercream are very easy to make.  This cake uses an American Buttercream which essentially is a matter of adding all the ingredients to a mixer bowl and beating until light and fluffy.

This Espresso Fudge Cake was the most popular cake we made at the bakery for restaurant service.  We would make 16 of these at a time at the bakery using 64 layers in the process.

Espresso ButtercreamIngredients3/4 pound butter (3 sticks), room temperature
1 tablespoon brandy
2 teaspoons instant coffee
5 cups powdered sugar, sift if lumpy (570 grams or 20 ounces)

4 layers Chocolate Cake

Beat butter until soft and smooth.Butter beating Dissolve coffee in brandy Brandy and CoffeeBrandy and coffee combinedand add to butter along with  the powdered sugar.  All ingredients inBeat on low to combine All ingredients beatingand then raise the mixer to medium to medium high and beat until very light in color and texture.Frosting beating 2Frosting finishedSpread 3/4 cup (130 grams or 4 1/2 ounces) between each cake layer. Frosting on bottom layerFrosting on bottom layerSecond layer onSecond layer with FrostingFour Layers assembledCrumb coat the sides by spreading just enough icing to trap the crumbs.  You don’t care if the crumbs show through.UndercoatingUndercoatedClean finish the top edges of the cake by bringing the buttercream in towards the center.   Refrigerate.

When cold and set, spread the remaining buttercream on the sides Undercoatingand finish with a decorator’s comb – or leave plain. Combing sideRefrigerate for several hours or overnight.

Cream Glaze – how to photos go here
1/2 cup cream
4 ounces semi sweet chocolate, cut into small pieces (114 grams)

Heat the cream to a simmer but do not boil.  Remove from heat and submerge the chocolate under the cream.  Let it sit without stirring for 5 minutes. Whisk the mixture until the chocolate is completely smooth. Let the glaze cool until it is pourable, but thickened. You want the glaze to flow down the sides about half way but not run down to the bottom of the cake if possible.

Pour the glaze in the middle of the top layer of the cold cake. With a spatula, push the glaze to the outside edgeShoving glaze over side and let it flow down the sides of the cake. It should stop 1/2 to 2/3 of the way down the sides. Glaze over the size of cakeIf this seems like too much of a hassle, let the glaze sit at room temperature for several hours until thick enough to spread and spread it on the top.

Refrigerate to set. After the glaze is set the cake can sit at room temperature.

Yield:  14 to 16 servings.  We cut this cake into 16 pieces for service.

Slice of Cake

Pastry has not only been my profession, but my passion. If there is anything in particular you would like to see or any questions about baking or pastry, please let me know. Be sure to subscribe so you don't miss a post!
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11 thoughts on “Espresso Fudge Cake

  1. Ed Cottingham

    Hi Helen! I’ve just discovered your website, books, and Youtubes and have instantly become a fan. The photos are gorgeous and the information is extremely helpful with all the little tips and tricks that are sometimes hard to learn.

    I wanted to make a general comment on your marvelous art. I should restrain myself a little but I believe that “ethereal” would be the word for your creations. A few years ago, a couple of brothers — one with some serious training in Switzerland — opened an incredible little patisserie in my town. We are a mid-sized southern city here and the arrival of these fellows was an absolute miracle. Nowadays, even the upscale supermarkets have bakeries that make pretty things, but they all look crude and sloppy to me compared to the exquisite treats in this little shop. But the real wonder was that everything they made was as startlingly delicious as it was elegant. I remember one of their confections that looked like a small pyramid of yellow marbles. It was a rice-based creation that did not especially appeal to me, but I bought it one day for visual variety in the assortment that I was purchasing. I was just overwhelmed when I tasted it; I will just say that it did not taste like rice.

    This sort of elegance in one’s everyday life is a wonderful thing. And your confections have that same look of infinite care and perfection. I have absolutely no doubt that the taste will match the appearance. To do this sort of work and to do it so well and to so generously share all that you have learned, this is grand thing. I just wanted to let you know that I have been here, I noticed, and I appreciated. The world, these days, seems difficult and confusing in many ways. It is wonderful to look at these beautiful creations and get lost for a while in the particulars of how they are created. All the best to you.

    1. hfletcher Post author

      Dear Ed: It is 1:30 a.m. and since I couldn’t sleep, I decided to do a little work on one of my projects. As I normally do, I check my emails first. I was overwhelmed with emotion when I saw your comment. Everything I have wanted to do was validated by your generous remarks. My greatest joy is to share what I learned as I taught myself to become the baker I am. When I first started, many years ago, there was no help and it was very difficult. If I can help a couple of people along the way and save them the trial and error, the frustration of wanting always to be better, then the hours put into my blogging is well worth it.

      You are so right about the world being so confusing and difficult. There is an underlying anxiousness to our lives and it is important to find that which will allow us to get lost for a while. If my love of pastry and writing can do that, it will more than satisfy me.

      You are the first one to notice or comment on my YouTube channel. I have been pondering what to do with it as there hasn’t been much response and it is quite different. Your kind words will keep me posting for a bit to see what happens.

      Thank you so much and I wish I could have seen the bakery about which you speak so highly. As they did, above all, I believe in the importance of taste. For without it there is no point to all the work involved.

      I will pass along your comments about the photography to my husband. He is a retired professional photographer who has struggled with digital photography having come from an age of film. I know it means a lot to him to have his efforts appreciated as he is a vital support to me and the blog.

      Your generosity of spirit is why I do what I do. Sharing your thoughts means the world to me.

      All my best to you,


    1. hfletcher Post author

      Hi Marilyn: Last week mine was slow in loading to Pin but I tried a couple of hours later and it was fine.
      I just loaded mine with no trouble. I notice a “Pin it” on your note to me. Not sure what that is about. Are you pinning straight from the pic on my site?

      I am terrible at any of this IT stuff but if you continue to have problems I can ask my IT person.

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