Skip to main content

(Gluten-Free) Coffee Chocolate Cake #TheCakeSliceBakers

Each month The Cake Slice Bakers are offered a selection of cakes from the current book we are baking through. This year it is The European Cake Cookbook by Tatyana Nesteruk*. We each choose one cake to bake, and then on the 20th - never before - we all post about our cake on our blogs. There are a few rules that we follow, but the most important ones are to have fun and enjoy baking & eating cakes! 

Follow our FacebookInstagram, and Pinterest pages where you can find all of our cakes, as well as inspiration for many other cakes. You can also click on the links below to take you to each of our cakes. If you have a blog and are interested in joining The Cake Slice Bakers and baking along with us, please send an email to thecakeslicebakers at gmail dot com for more details. 

The Cake Slice Bakers also have a new Facebook group called The Cake Slice Bakers and Friends. This group is perfect for those who do not have a blog but want to join in the fun and bake through this book.

Our choices for October 2019 were ~
Prague Cake
Chocolate Mint Mousse Cake
Almond Pound Cake
Coffee Chocolate Cake

    (Gluten-Free) Coffee Chocolate Cake
    moderately adapted from Nesteruk's book

    On the night I planned to make this, I had a full house of teenage boys. Well, four. But it sure sounded like a full house. And one of the boys has a gluten-sensitivity, so this had to be gluten-free. Then I failed to read the instructions carefully before I went to the store. So, instead of coffee custard, I made coffee caramel. Oh, well...this was a delicious departure. Also, I just used my fail-safe buttercream which is adapted from the Lemon Lavender Blackberry Cake that we made for the May Cake Slice Bakers event. Because this cake was such a hit, I might have to try it again with the recipe as written next time. Whoops.

    • 3/4 C butter, softened
    • 1 C organic granulated sugar
    • 4 large eggs
    • 2 T instant espresso or instant coffee
    • 1 C milk, room temperature
    • 1-3/4 C flour (I used a gluten-free flour for my guest)
    • 1/4 C cocoa powder
    • 3 t baking powder
    • pinch of salt (I used vanilla salt)

    • 2 C organic granulated sugar
    • 12 T butter, cubed
    • 1 T instant coffee or espresso
    • 1 C organic heavy cream
    • 1 T fleur de sel (or any other flaky sea salt)

    Chocolate-Coffee Buttercream
    • 5 large egg yolks
    • 1/3 C water
    • 1 C organic granulated sugar
    • 1 T organic corn syrup
    • 2 C butter, softened
    • 1/3 C unsweetened cocoa powder
    • 1 t coffee extract (use vanilla if you don't have this)

    • chocolate chunks for garnish, optional


    Place sugar in heavy saucepan that holds, at least, two quarts. Heat the sugar over medium-high heat, whisking as it begins to melt. The sugar will begin to form clumps. Keep whisking and they will melt back down.

    Once all the sugar has melted, swirl the pan occasionally while the sugar continues to cook.

    Cook until the sugar has reached a deep amber color. It should have a slightly nutty aroma and be almost a reddish brown. Using a candy thermometer, cook till it reaches 350 degrees F.

    As soon as the caramel reaches 350 degrees F, add the butter cubes all at once. Be careful because the caramel will bubble up. Whisk the butter into the caramel until completely melted. Stir in the instant coffee.

    Remove the pan from the heat and slowly pour the cream into the caramel. Again, take care because the mixture will bubble up again. Whisk until all of the cream has been incorporated and you have a smooth sauce. Add the fleur de sel. Whisk to incorporate.

    You can use this sauce warm, but I let it cool until it was spoonable and held its shape. Then I used it to fill the cake.

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter pans and set aside.

    In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Dissolve the instant espresso or coffee in milk, then add that to the batter.

    In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the batter and mix until just moistened.

    Divide the batter between the two pans and place in the oven. Bake for 28 to 30 minutes. The top should spring back when pressed gently. Remove from oven and let the cakes cool completely before assembling the cake. You can use the layers as is or slice them in half for a four-layer cake! 

    Chocolate Buttercream
    Place egg yolks in a mixing bowl and beat on high until they are thick, pale, and ribbon off the whisks.

    Combine water, sugar, and corn syrup in a small saucepan. You can attach a candy thermometer to the side; I just kept testing until it reached soft-ball stage. If you're using a thermometer, heat until it reaches 238 degrees F. For testing otherwise, dip a spoon into the syrup, then into ice cold water. The syrup should immediately set up into a soft ball. Mine took about 8 minutes to reach the correct consistency.

    Once the syrup is ready, remove it from the heat. While one hand hold the mixer, use the other hand to pour the syrup into the yolks. When all of the syrup is added, turn the mixer up to high and beat until the yolks have doubled in size and have reached medium peak stage. The bowl should be cooled and just lukewarm to the touch. Mine took about 9 minutes.

    Begin adding butter, one tablespoon at a time, mixing well after each addition. The more butter you add, the more firm the buttercream will be. Once your buttercream resembles what you think of as buttercream, add in the cocoa powder and extract. Beat until just combined.

    Once the cake layers have cooled completely, use a serrated knife to cut the layers flat. Spread a generous amount of buttercream and two dollops of softened caramel between the layers and place them on your serving platter.

    Smooth the buttercream over the top and along the sides. Use a piping tip and bag to add decorative dollops to the top, then press a chocolate chunk into the drops. Refrigerate to let the buttercream harden.

    Remove from the fridge at least 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

    *This blog currently has a partnership with in their affiliate program, which gives me a small percentage of sales if you buy a product through a link on my blog. It doesn't cost you anything more. If you are uncomfortable with this, feel free to go directly to and search for the item of your choice.


    1. I think the chocolate caramel sounds excellent. Cake turned out beautifully. You are turning into the cake queen.

    2. That's a gorgeous slice of cake! I can never get such a nice clean slice. Beautiful. And lucky boys!

    3. Looks great and I like your caramel substitution!

    4. Hey, some of the best new recipes come from not reading the instructions completely. (I should know...I'm the worst for that.) I am sure the caramel creme was delicious. Glad everyone could enjoy!


    Post a Comment

    Popular posts from this blog

    Quick Pickled Red Onions and Radishes

    If you've been reading my blog for even a short amount of time, you probably know how much I love to pickle things. I was just telling a friend you can pickle - with vinegar - or you can ferment - with salt - for similar delicious effect. The latter has digestive benefits and I love to do that, but when I need that pop of sour flavor quickly, I whip up quick pickles that are ready in as little as a day or two. I've Pickled Blueberries , Pickled Asparagus , Pickled Cranberries , Pickled Pumpkin , and even Pickled Chard Stems ! This I did last night for an upcoming recipe challenge that requires I include radishes. Ummmm...of course I'm pickling them! Ingredients  makes 1 quart jar radishes, trimmed and sliced organic red onions, peeled and thinly sliced (I used a mandolin slicer) 3/4 C vinegar (I used white distilled vinegar) 3/4 C water 3 T organic granulated sugar 1 T salt (I used some grey sea salt) 6 to 8 grinds of black pepper Proce

    Aloo Tiki {Pakistan}

    To start off our Pakistani culinary adventure, I started us off with aloo tiki - potato cutlets. I'm always game for tasty street food. I found a couple of different recipes and incorporated those together for this version. Ingredients 6-8 small red potatoes, scrubbed 1 T cumin seeds 1 T fresh chopped parsley 1/2 t ground coriander 1 t minced garlic Procedure Boil the potatoes until they are tender. Drain and let cool. Mash the potatoes. Traditionally they are mashed without their skins. I left the skins on. In a small pan, toast the cumin seeds on high heat until the begin to give off an aroma and begin to darken. Remove from heat and transfer to a plate to keep them from cooking any more. Blend all of the spices into the mashed potatoes, then shape into small patties. If you wet your hands, the potato mixture won't stick to them. Heat a splash of oil in a large, flat-bottom pan. Dip each patty into beaten egg and carefully place in the oil. P

    Hot Chocolate Agasajo-Style {Spice It Up!}

    photo by D For my Spice It Up! kiddos this week, I was looking for an exotic drink to serve while we learned about saffron. I found a recipe from food historian Maricel Presilla that mimicked traditional Spanish hot chocolate from the 17th century where it was served at lavish receptions called agasajos . When I teach, I don't always get to shoot photos. Thankfully, D grabbed my camera and snapped a few. Ingredients serves 14-16 1 gallon organic whole milk 3 T dried rosebuds - or 2 t rosewater 2 t saffron threads, lightly crushed 3 T ground cinnamon 3 whole tepin chiles, crushed 2 vanilla beans, split lengthwise 1 C organic granulated sugar 1 lb. bittersweet chocolate Procedure In a large soup pot that can hold a gallon plus, combine milk, dried rosebuds (or rosewater, if you are using that), saffron threads, ground cinnamon, chiles, vanilla beans, and sugar and warm over medium heat till it steams. Whisk to dissolve sugar, then lower heat an