Chocolate cake made with Death Wish Coffee, mocha icing and ganache.

Deadly Good Chocolate Cake Recipe with Coffee Buttercream

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Let’s Upgrade Your Chocolate Cake Recipe

There’s a fundamental flaw with most desserts. You’ve experienced it yourself. You’re at a restaurant or at a friend’s house. You’ve just wrapped up dinner, and out comes something sweet and delicious.

You eat it, of course. What’s the next thing that happens?

That’s right: You get tired. Suddenly you feel ready to go home and go to bed—that’s nonsense. Why should the best part of the night mean it’s also the end of the night?

What if dessert was a gateway to an even better night ahead?

Well folks, get ready to live. Because we’ve just solved a problem for you—and the solution comes with a massive dose of chocolatey deliciousness.

Why Chocolate Cake Needs Coffee

For decades, premier bakers around the globe have had a secret weapon that makes their chocolate cakes incomprehensibly delectable.

You guessed it: It’s coffee. While coffee and chocolate come from different plants, they have complementary flavors. Both are amazing on their own, but they’re even greater combined together. It’s truly a case where 1 + 1 = 3.

All chocolate cake recipes require some type of liquid. Most mere mortals opt for water, because...well, because of whatever causes people to feel they ought to use water. A sense of obligation, perhaps? Lack of creativity? Whatever, that’s their problem.

People in the know use coffee. And when you swap out that boring water for coffee, that’s when the moist, rich magic happens. But we’ve taken it a step further.

What Happened When We Combined Chocolate Cake and Death Wish Coffee?

A chocolate cake recipe with coffee is a case where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. But you can do even better. Death Wish Coffee, a bold, smooth brew with an extra kick of caffeine, is a coffee that true java lovers love.

Combining it with cocoa powder and other dry ingredients brings out a chocolatey taste that’s truly unparalleled. And because each cup of Death Wish Coffee contains a level of strength that’s barely street-legal, this cake becomes more than just cake.

It’s a tasty, eye-opening way to turn dessert into the beginningnot the endof the night.

Introducing: Death Wish Chocolate Cake with Coffee Buttercream and Ganache


The Cake

  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter (3/4 cup)
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cups cocoa powder
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup brewed black Death Wish Coffee
  • 1/2 cup sour cream

Coffee Buttercream Icing

  • 1 stick butter (1/2 cup)
  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped, melted and cooled
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 packet Dark Roast Death Wish Instant Coffee
  • 3 tablespoons hot water

Chocolate Ganache

  • 1 1/4 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup


How to Make the Chocolate Cake

  1. Preheat the oven to 350.
  2. Grease and flour the sides and bottoms of two 8- or 9-inch round baking pans.
  3. Combine the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl. You’ll want to use the paddle attachment.
  4. Add in the eggs and vanilla extract. Beat on medium-high speed for 3 minutes.
  5. Whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and baking powder in a medium-size bowl.
  6. Add in 1/3 of the dry ingredients alternately with 1/3 of the coffee to the butter mixture. Mix until just combined.
  7. Stir in the sour cream and mix until just blended.
  8. Divide batter between the two prepared pans. Pour into each cake pan.
  9. Bake for 28 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. The center of the cake ought to bounce back when lightly touched.
  10. Let the cake cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then remove and place onto wire racks to cool completely.
  11. Use a spatula to frost with coffee buttercream when completely cooled.

How to Make the Coffee Buttercream Icing

  1. Dissolve one packet of Death Wish Dark Roast Instant Coffee in 3 tablespoons of very hot water. Let the mixture cool completely.
  2. In a mixing bowl with the paddle attachment, combine the butter and melted, cooled chocolate until well mixed.
  3. Slowly add the confectioners' sugar, one cup at a time, alternating with the coffee.
  4. Add in vanilla and beat until well-mixed and creamy.
  5. Add more water if needed to obtain spreading consistency.

How to Make the Chocolate Ganache

  1. Place chocolate chips into a small, heat-proof bowl.
  2. Heat the heavy whipping cream and corn syrup in a small pan over medium heat until lightly simmering.
  3. Pour the heated whipping cream mixture over the chocolate and let it set for one minute.
  4. Stir the mixture with a whisk until the chocolate has melted and is of smooth consistency.
  5. Let the ganache cool to room temperature or cool to the touch.
  6. Finally, pour the ganache over the frosted cake and let it run down the sides of the cake in a random pattern.
  7. Let the cake set and allow the chocolate to firm up for about an hour or more before serving.

Total Time

  • Mixing and Prep: 20 Minutes
  • Baking: 28-35 Minutes
  • Icing: 10 Minutes
  • Cooling/Cake Firming: 50-60 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours

Fair Warning: This Recipe Ain’t For Kids

Will this be the best chocolate cake you’ve ever tasted? Probably.

But will you want to share it with your children? Probably not.

This cake makes the perfect after-dinner pick-me-up. But not something you’ll want to hand to your kindergartener. (Unless you’re ready to chase them around the living room for the next six hours.)

But What If I Don’t Want to Wait for Dessert?

We started this recipe off by explaining how it can bring more liveliness to your evenings out with friends.

But you don’t have to wait for nightfall to enjoy this chocolatey beauty. Have it any time you want a little more pep in your step or just to feel slightly more awesome.

As far as we’re concerned, it’s always cake-’o-clock.