Chocolate Cake with Coffee Frosting

Total Time

Prep: 20 min. Bake: 30 min. + cooling


9 servings

Updated: Jul. 19, 2022
I work evenings in the operating room at our local hospital. Since getting away for meals can be difficult, we occasionally plan potlucks. I'm often asked to bring the "chocolate cake with the special icing," as everyone calls my chocolate cake with coffee frosting. —Irene Peery, Charlottesville, Virginia
Chocolate Cake with Coffee Frosting Recipe photo by Taste of Home


  • 1-1/2 cups cake flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4-1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 ounce unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup hot coffee or water
  • 4-1/2 teaspoons butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 350°. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt; set aside. In a microwave-safe bowl, combine the chocolate and butter. Cover and microwave on high for 1 minute. Stir; cook until melted, 30 seconds longer.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil and egg. Add to dry ingredients; beat just until combined. Add the chocolate mixture and vanilla.
  3. Pour into a greased 8-in. square baking dish. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 30-35 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack.
  4. For frosting, in a saucepan, combine the sugar, cornstarch, salt and chocolate; stir in the coffee until blended. Bring to a boil over medium heat; cook and stir until mixture is thickened. Remove from the heat; stir in butter and vanilla. Spread warm frosting over cake.
Chocolate Cake with Coffee Frosting Tips

Can you make chocolate cake with coffee frosting without buttermilk?

Buttermilk is a dairy staple that most home cooks used to have on hand all the time. Nowadays, it’s less common but is something you might want to use more often. It has a nice tang that perks up a lot of baked goods. If you don’t have buttermilk, there are a number of substitutes you can use.

What can you serve with chocolate cake with coffee frosting?

Nothing beats a tall glass of ice-cold milk or a warm cup of coffee when you’re enjoying chocolate cake. I especially love chocolate cake for breakfast with a cup of hot tea, something my grandmother always frowned upon. If you’re looking for something fancier for dessert, try serving it with a nice tawny port or a dry sherry.

How should you store chocolate cake with coffee frosting?

You don’t need to refrigerate chocolate cake with coffee frosting unless your kitchen is quite warm. In that case, pop it in the fridge so the frosting doesn’t melt all over the place. Either way, make sure to cover it or place it in an airtight container to keep cake nice and moist. If you leave it on the counter, it’s best within 2-3 days; you can refrigerate it for 4-5 days if it lasts that long. You can also freeze your cake for up to 3 months.

James Schend, Taste of Home Deputy Editor, Culinary

Nutrition Facts

1 piece: 394 calories, 18g fat (5g saturated fat), 30mg cholesterol, 361mg sodium, 56g carbohydrate (34g sugars, 1g fiber), 4g protein.

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