Chocolate Cake with Espresso Icing

One of, if not my favorite, cakes. It’s fairly easy and straightforward as cakes go and can be classed up if you make layers. I believe the original recipe was published in Saveur decades ago.

Chocolate Sheet Cake w/ Espresso Frosting

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Dessert
Cuisine miscellaneous



  • 2 oz. squares unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 5 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. unsalted butter softened
  • 1 1 ⁄4 cups sifted flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 egg yolks


  • 2 1 ⁄4 cups powdered sugar sifted
  • 5 tbsp. cocoa
  • 6 tbsp. unsalted butter melted
  • 5 tbsp. hot freshly brewed coffee
  • 1 1 ⁄2 tsp. vanilla extract



  • Preheat oven to 350˚. Grease an 8″ square cake pan with 1 t of the butter and set aside.
  • Melt chocolate in a double-boiler set over a small pot of gently simmering water over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally. Remove bowl from heat and set aside until chocolate is cool.
  • Combine flour and salt together in a small bowl and set aside. Stir baking soda into buttermilk in another small bowl and set aside.
  • Beat sugar and the remaining 5 tbsp. butter together in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in egg yolks, then add melted chocolate and beat until thoroughly combined.
  • Add one-third of the flour mixture, then one-third of the buttermilk mixture, beating well after each addition. Repeat process to use all of both mixtures, then pour batter into prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean, 40-50 minutes.


  • Sift confectioners’ sugar and cocoa together in a medium bowl. Stir in butter, then coffee, then vanilla, mixing well with a wooden spoon after each addition, until frosting is smooth. Ice top and sides of cake with frosting.
Keyword cake, chocolate