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White Chocolate Espresso Cake

White Chocolate Espresso Cake

  • Author: Marty
  • Prep Time: 2 hours + 3 hours resting
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 hours + 40 minutes
  • Yield: 12 servings 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American



White Chocolate Espresso Cake:

5 ounces white chocolate chopped (or white chocolate chips)

1 1/2 cups milk

1 tablespoon espresso powder

2 1/2 cups flour

2 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup unsalted butter room, temperature

1 1/2 cups sugar

3 large eggs room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla paste

Espresso Swiss Meringue Buttercream:

3 large egg whites

1 cup of sugar

1 1/2 cups unsalted butter room temperature

1 1/2 tablespoons espresso powder 

White Chocolate Ganache:

16 ounces white chocolate finely chopped

6 ounces heavy cream

White food color gel


whole coffee beans

white nonpareils

colored sprinkles


White Chocolate Mocha Cake:

1. Heat milk and chocolate in the microwave for 30 seconds at a time stirring after every 30 seconds until melted and combined Add espresso powder and stir until dissolved. Cool to room temperature.

2. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and flour three 6″ cake rounds and line with parchment.

3. In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, and salt until well combined and set aside.

4. With a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar on med-high until pale and fluffy (about 3minutes). Reduce speed and add eggs one at a time, mixing thoroughly after each addition. Add vanilla.

5. Alternate adding flour mixture and milk mixture, beginning and ending with flour. Mixing well after each addition.

6. Bake for about 40mins or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out mostly clean.

7. Place cakes on a wire rack to cool for 10mins then turn out onto wire rack and cool completely.

Espresso Swiss Meringue Buttercream:

  1. Place egg whites and sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk until combined.
  2. Place mixer bowl over a double boiler and continuously whisk until the mixture is hot and no longer grainy to the touch (about 3mins). Or until mixture registers 160F on a candy thermometer.
  3.  Place bowl on your stand mixer and with whisk attachment whisk on med-high until the meringue is stiff and cooled (the bowl is no longer warm to the touch (about 5-10mins)).
  4.  Switch to the paddle attachment and slowly add cubed butter and mix until smooth.
  5.  Dissolve espresso powder in 2 teaspoons hot water add to mixture and whip until smooth.

White Chocolate Ganache:

  1. Place chopped chocolate and cream in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave in 5-10 seconds at a time, stirring in between, until smooth and combined. Set aside to cool completely and thicken.
  • Remove 2/3 cup of the thickened white chocolate ganache, set aside. Whip remaining ganache until light and fluffy.

White Chocolate Drip:

  • If needed, microwave the 2/3 cup ganache you set aside to thin out. Add a few drops of bright white food color gel if desired.


  1. Place one layer of cake on a cake stand or serving plate. Top with half of the whipped ganache spread evenly. Repeat with remaining layers and crumb coat the cake with any remaining ganache. Chill for 20mins until ganache is set. 
  2. Frost and smooth the sides with the espresso buttercream, reserving some for the rope border on top. Chill for 30mins until frosting is cold and firm.
  3. Spoon white chocolate ganache into a small pastry bag and go around the top edges of the chilled cake, allowing some to drip down. Fill in the top of the cake with more ganache and spread evenly with an offset spatula. Chill to set ganache (5 mins).
  4. Pipe a rope border on top using a large pastry tip. 
  5. Garnish as desired with whole coffee beans, white nonpareils, and colored sprinkles.

Keywords: white chocolate, espresso, cake, special occasion, buttercream, ganache