Building an Insta-worthy layer cake seems intimidating, but keep your cool and try out this simple recipe! With some practice and patience, you will emerge as a budding pastry chef. The rich chocolate cake is made all that much more indulgent thanks to the luscious espresso buttercream. The layer cake is taken to the next level of chocolatey goodness thanks to the dark chocolate ganache that beautifully drips down the layers.
Chocolate Layer Cake With Espresso Buttercream and Rich Ganache [Vegan]
For the Cake Layers:
- 2 cups white flour
- 3/4 cup cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 cups cane sugar
- 2 cups almond milk
- 2 tablespoons white vinegar
- 2/3 cups melted coconut oil
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 teaspoons vanilla bean powder
- 1 teaspoon of sea salt
For the Espresso Buttercream:
- 3/4 cup vegan butter
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 3/4 cup of cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean powder
- 1-2 shot(s) espresso
- 1 pinch sea salt
For the Ganache:
- 1/4 cup of dark chocolate
- 1/2 deciliter of vegan heavy cream, such as coconut cream
- 2 tablespoons of golden syrup
To Make the Cake Layers:
- Whisk together the almond milk and the white vinegar and let it sit for a few minutes.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, vanilla, and sea salt.
- Add the melted coconut oil to the almond milk mixture and give it a quick whisk.
- Add the wet to the dry and combine.
- Divide combined mixture into four equal portions and bake in 8-inch cake tins for about 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. You can also just divide the batter into two portions and then halve both layers when baked.
- Let the cakes cool completely, refrigerate for a few hours and then cut off the domed tops of the cakes to make them more even.
To Make the Espresso Buttercream:
- With a stand mixer or electric whisk, beat the butter until softened and light.
- Add in the remaining ingredients and whisk until fluffy.
To Make the Ganache:
- Finely chop the dark chocolate.
- In a small saucepan, heat up the cream and syrup and stir. Take it off the heat before it starts to simmer.
- Pour the cream and syrup over the chocolate and quickly whisk together.
To Assemble the Layer Cake:
- On a cake stand or plate, place the first layer of cake followed by a dollop of buttercream frosting. Spread the frosting to the edges and add another layer of cake. Keep going until all four layers are in place.
- Add a thin layer of buttercream frosting all over the cake and then refrigerate for about 30 minutes until the frosting layer has set.
- Add a final layer of buttercream frosting to the cake. Refrigerate again so the ganache will set fast when it hits the cake.
- Pour the ganache over the top of the cake and quickly spread it to the edges so it will start to drip down the sides.
- Decorate with leftover frosting, sprinkles, truffles, chocolate shavings, little candles or whatever you are in the mood for.
Amp up your cake baking game by making it ombre! Make layers of four different shades of brown, go ahead and use the recipe above, but use 300 grams of flour instead of 350, and take out all of the cocoa powder. Divide this batter into four equal portions. We are going to call them batch #1, #2, #3 and #4. Batch #1 will be the lightest, and #4 will be the darkest. Line them up on your counter.Add 25 grams of flour to batch #1 and mix. This batch is done.Add 25 grams of flour for batch #2, 20 grams of flour for batch #3 and 15 grams of flour to batch #4. To batch #4, add enough cocoa powder to make the batter pretty dark, like, darker than milk chocolate. To batch #3, add a little over half the amount you added to batch #4. Lastly, to batch #2, add just a little bit of cocoa powder. For the buttercream, use the recipe above but take out all of the cocoa powder. Divide into four portions and add an increasing amount of cocoa powder to batch 2, 3 and 4, to make four different shades.