Mocha Magic: Chocolate Espresso Cake

This post contains links to affiliate websites, such as Amazon, and we receive an affiliate commission for any purchases made by you using these links. We appreciate your support!

chocolate espresso cake

Homemade Chocolate Espresso Cake

This is the most requested cake at our house that I make.  One month I think I made it 3 times.  It’s the kind of chocolate espresso cake that you can make, cover and enjoy for several weeks without it drying out.  (covered of course).

We’ve made it with a loaf pan, a sheet cake and cupcakes.  It rises A LOT, so don’t overfill and if you are unsure, put a sheet pan underneath to catch the extra. (speaking from experience).  My preferred way is to make it as a sheet cake or a bread loaf pan.

Coffee lovers and chocolate lovers will enjoy this amazing rich espresso chocolate cake recipe with chocolate frosting.

flour, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa powder and sugar

What Makes This Chocolate Cake So Soft?

I believe it’s the amount of liquid that goes into it and the oil and eggs.  The combination of baking soda and powder, allow the cake to rise, but retain moisture.

chocolate espresso cake batter mixing in a stand mixer

Is The Cake Batter Supposed To Be This Runny?

Yes.  You will be questioning yourself if the cake is supposed to be super runny, like tomato soup, melted milk shake consistency.  This is completely normal and it will bake just fine.

chocolate cake batter with brewed espresso

Does the Cake Taste Like Espresso?

It does not.  It has a delicious strong chocolate flavor.  It’s like the espresso is absorbed into the cake, giving the chocolate a kick.

baking chocolate espresso cake recipe in oven

Can I Make This Cake Without an Espresso Machine?

Definitely.  I have made this recipe using instant espresso coffee from a jar and really strong coffee (double up on the grounds).  It gives the same results.  Make the coffee first and allow it cool so it’s not super hot when you add it.  Warm coffee is fine.  We don’t want to scramble the eggs.

Can You Use Espresso Powder?

You could, but you need to still add a cup of liquid for the recipe. It may be better to use instant coffee flavor or instant espresso powder mixed with water. You could also use a strong coffee flavor to give the chocolate cake the richness it needs for this recipe.

dark chocolate frosted cake with a thin layer of frosting

What Size Baking Sheet Do You Use?

Our baking sheet is a 17×13.  Be sure to also spray it with non-stick spray. You can also use a regular loaf pan or square/round cake pans. Be sure to give at least 50% room for the cake to rise.

two tiered chocolate cake on pedestal

Tips For Round Cakes

When baking the cake as a round, let it cool slightly before pouring the frosting on it.  It’s ok to have the cooked frosting a little thicker, it will make a mess.  Put parchment down underneath whatever you are putting the cake on.  Decide if you want to have the cake frosted on the sides (because you will want to catch the frosting as it flows.  Or let it drip and that’s ok too.  Our cakes sorta sunk in the middle.  They were put face down, so it didn’t matter to us.

old fashioned chocolate icing chocolate frosting
Print Recipe
5 from 3 votes

Expresso Chocolate Sheet Cake

Make this chocolate espresso cake your go to dessert for the coffee lover and chocolate lover. Easily becoming your must make cake every time.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Author: Regina Sober


  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup expresso coffee
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 eggs


  • Preheat the oven to 350F.
  • Brew your espresso coffee (or strong coffee).
  • In a bowl add the dry ingredients and mix well.
  • Mix in the milk, vegetable oil and coffee.
  • Add the eggs and vanilla.
  • The batter will seem like a soup or melted milk shake consistency.
  • Scrap down the bowl and mix to ensure it is incorporated.
  • Spray your baking sheet with non-stick spray.
  • Pour the batter onto the baking sheet and place into the oven.
  • Bake 30-35 minutes, until the toothpick comes out clean.
  • Remove and allow to cool, unless using our cooked frosting, it needs to be warm.
  • Frost and serve.


YouTube video


This cake rises a LOT, make sure you give it room to expand at LEAST 50%.
Do not fill a pan to the top, it will overflow.
If you are making our boiled frosting, you will want to put the frosting on when it is warm, so it's easiest to spread around the cake.
If you do not have espresso coffee, use a strong coffee or instant espresso.
Cover the cake with plastic wrap to keep it moist and delicious.

Make this chocolate espresso cake your go to dessert for the coffee lover and chocolate lover.Easily becoming your must make cake every time.

Similar Posts


  1. I can see why this cake is a favorite in your household. It’s a chocolate lovers dream. I can’t wait to see how my family reacts when I make it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.