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Double Espresso Cake

This rich and heavenly cake speaks for itself. Layers of espresso infused cake are topped with a decadent mocha icing. If espresso can be enjoyed for breakfast or dinner, than this cake can too!

Ingredients

Cake

3 c. cake flour (sifted)
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 sticks butter (softened)
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 3/4 c. sugar
3 large eggs
1 1/2 c. milk
1/4 c. instant espresso powder

Frosting

5 tbsp. warm water
1 tsp. instant espresso powder
2 1/2 c. confectioners sugar
1/4 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 sticks butter (softened)
1/8 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla

How To Make

1
For the cake: Preheat the oven to 350F. Spray three 9-inch cake pans with nonstick baking spray.
2
Sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder into a bowl and set aside. Warm the milk on the stove with the espresso powder, stir until dissolved, and set aside to cool.
3
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the butter and cream on medium speed until fluffy (about 3 minutes). Add the vanilla and sugar and continue to cream until incorporated. Add one egg, beat until incorporated, scrape the sides of the bowl and repeat the process with the remaining two eggs.
4
Add 1/3 of the flour mixture and mix on low speed until incorporated. Add 1/2 the milk and mix. Repeat with the next third of the flour, final half of the mix, and then final third of the flour, scraping the bowl after each addition. Divide the batter evenly between the three cake pans and smooth each pan. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until a cake tester comes out dry. Once baked, allow the cakes to cool in the pans for a few minutes and then carefully flip them out onto a rack to finish cooling. For best results, wrap each cake in plastic wrap once cool and allow to freeze overnight. This will help the frosting to adhere and create even layers.
5
For frosting: Mix the warm water with the espresso powder and set aside to cool. Sift together the sugar and cocoa powder & set aside.
6
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the butter and cream on medium speed until fluffy (about 3 minutes). Scrape the bowl and add the sugar-cocoa mixture and salt and continue to cream until incorporated. With the mixer running on low, slowly drizzle in the espresso and vanilla. Scrape the frosting into a container and allow to stiffen in the refrigerator for at least an hour or overnight.
7
The most effective way to ice a cake cleanly is to keep all components cold. Freezing the cake between each step allows each layer to set and will yield beautifully even layers once sliced. Place the first layer of the cake (hopefully frozen) on a cake plate and then add a 1/4 inch layer of frosting on top. Place the cake in the freezer for 10-15 minutes to allow to set. Add the next layer of cake and then 1/4 layer of frosting and freeze again for 10-15 minutes. Add the final layer on top and then add a thin coating of frosting to the top and sides of the cake. Freeze for a final 10-15 minutes. Coat the cake evenly with the remaining icing. Slice and serve.