This website uses cookies to improve your experience navigating our site. By continuing to browse, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

OK, I understand

Velvety Chocolate Cake With Espresso + Hazelnuts

Food

For this month in food, we’re looking to our own team for a series of sweet treats that are just a little bit grown up! Over the next few weeks, Lucy and Annie (you may remember her from this epic food series with her mum, Carmen, last year!) will be sharing some of their own tried-and-tested recipes, with a little caffeine kick.

Today we hear from our founder and editor, Lucy Feagins, who shares her favourite, fail-safe chocolate and espresso cake, with an easy buttercream icing.

1st May, 2018

The cake spread with Lucy’s easy buttercream icing. Photo – Caitlin Mills.

Add fresh hazelnuts on top for some crunch!Photo – Caitlin Mills.

Chocolate coffee cake – a little bit grown up. Photo – Caitlin Mills.

Chocolate cake with a kick! Photo – Caitlin Mills.

Lucy Feagins
Tuesday 1st May 2018

Did you know, all the best chocolate cakes have coffee in them? True story. I learned this over summer when frantically searching for a fail-safe chocolate cake recipe for my daughter’s second birthday party. Two talented foodie friends each shared their top recipes, and BOTH had espresso in them. I was hesitant. Coffee? In a child’s birthday cake? Would it send the kids crazy? Would it taste too strong? No, the truth is, a good chocolate cake needs a little coffee to take the sugary edge off, and bring out the rich cocoa flavour.

I tested both recipes, and even tried omitting the coffee… but the coffee-less version was a flop!  So, I wholeheartedly recommend a shot of espresso in every chocolate cake you ever bake. (And yes, I dressed this cake up for the aforementioned kids’ birthday party, and fed it to a room full of toddlers and parents… no caffeine issues – promise!).

This deliciously moist chocolate cake doesn’t taste overly coffee-flavoured at all, there’s just a subtle hint of espresso, but it brings out the cocoa flavour perfectly. (If you’re after a stronger caffeine kick, add two shots of espresso and hold back a little on the water in the cake mix).

IngredientS

For the cake

1 cup plain flour
1 cup caster sugar
1/2 cup dutch cocoa powder
1 shot Nespresso Arpeggio capsule (cooled)
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup melted coconut oil
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup boiling water
50g whole roasted hazelnuts

For the easy chocolate buttercream

250g unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups icing sugar
3/4 cup dutch cocoa
1 tablespoon milk
few drops vanilla extract

METHOD

Preheat oven to 180º F. Butter a 22cm cake tin, and line with baking paper.

Sift all dry ingredients into a large bowl and stir to combine.

Add milk, espresso, oil, egg, and vanilla to the dry mixture and whisk together.

Once all ingredients are well mixed, reduce mixing speed and carefully add boiling water to the mixture.

Pour into your pre-papered cake tin, and bake for 35 minutes. Test with a metal skewer – when inserted into the cake, it should come out clean.

Remove cake from the oven, flip onto a baking rack, peel away baking paper and allow to cool.

For the buttercream icing, sift icing sugar and cocoa together, removing any lumps.

Whisk softened butter to form a creamy consistency, slowly adding cocoa sugar mixture until icing resembles a milk chocolate colour. Add a few drops of vanilla, to taste. Add milk as required if mixture becomes too dry to whisk. You may not need all this mixture for your cake but it’s hard to whisk a smaller quantity than 250g!

Once cake is completely cooled, ice generously with chocolate buttercream icing, and scatter whole roasted hazelnuts on top.

View Comments

Similar Stories

Food

Beatrix Bakes · Chocolate Creme Brûlée Tart

Nat Paull from Beatrix brings us her idea of a perfect 'last dessert' – creamy, chocolate custard with berries, inside a flakey pastry ed...
Natalie Paull of Beatrix

Food

Lemon Cake with Whipped Ricotta & Lemon Curd

SO SAD to be saying goodbye to our amazing contributor Julia Busuttil today!  We have loved sharing her incredible cakes with you this m...
Julia Busuttil Nishimura of Ostro

Food

Cherry Cakes · Italian Buttercream Icing

This month we team up with chef Cherry Murphy of Cherry Cakes for a course on cake making, beginning with the basics – Cherry's recipe for...
Cherry Murphy

This Week

In Print

A New Monograph Celebrating One Of Australia's Most Captivating Female Artists

As the new book series Mini Monographs hits shelves, we offer a look inside the first volume, honouring bold painter Del Kathryn Barton.
Sarah Darmody

Studio Visit

Exquisite Portraits And Still Life Paintings From Fiona O'Byrne

The landscape architect and painter shares her meticulously detailed portraits and still life works.
Miriam McGarry

News

Have You Ever Secretly Wondered…What IS Mid-Century Modern?

A visual guide to a celebrated era of design ‘From A To Eames’ by Lauren Whybrow and illustrations by Tom Jay.
Miriam McGarry

Studio Visit

New Work From A Favourite Local Artist, Super-Charged With Colour + Pattern

Melbourne-based artist Gavin Brown opens a new exhibition of works today, inspired by the sights, flavours, and moods of travels through Asi...
Elle Murrell

Architecture

A Sustainable Home, Designed To Connect To Community

The sunny and generous renovation of a California Bungalow in Northcote, by Gardiner Architects.
Miriam McGarry

News

A Unique New Line Of Meticulously Handwoven Bags

Introducing George – a limited collection of bags exploring the relationship between object, material, and human interaction.
Sally Tabart
  19 hours ago

Sustainability

These Australian-Made Blankets Close The Loop On Textile Industry Waste

Sustainable start-up Seljak turns textile offcuts bound for landfill into high-quality merino blankets, at the country’s last remaining wo...
Elle Murrell

On The Market

One Of Fitzroy’s Most Iconic Homes Is On The Market

Your chance to see inside (and maybe own!) the most intriguing house on the street!

Architecture

The Ultimate Heritage Restoration Project, On Remote Bruny Island

John Wardle Architects masterfully restore Captain James Kelly's 175-year-old cottage off Tasmania's South Coast.

Architecture

A House Revived From The 1990s

CO-AP Architects boldly re-imagine a 1990s semi-detached home in Balmain, Sydney.
Miriam McGarry
  22 hours ago

Interiors

Stand-Out Kitchens To Inspire

Kitchen ideas and inspiration from our interiors columnist, Lauren Li.
Lauren Li

Homes

From Caterpillar To Butterfly - A Truly Transformed Home!

Take a tour through the incredible Sydney home Terri Winter of top3 by design shares with her family.
Lucy Feagins
  6 hours ago

News

A Month-Long Third Drawer Down x David Shrigley Pop-Up

This decade-long collaboration between Melbourne’s kookiest gift store and the renowned artist is open for business!
Sally Tabart

Shopping

Doubling Down On Bedding With Milou Milou

Eco-luxe bedding created from re-purposed 'dead stock', in every colour you could dream of.
Miriam McGarry
45:53

Podcast

TDF Talks With Award-Winning Magazine Editor Justine Cullen

The mum-of-four reflects on her career, the state of the Australian fashion industry, and the future of magazine publishing.

Similar Stories

Food

Beatrix Bakes · Chocolate Creme Brûlée Tart

Nat Paull from Beatrix brings us her idea of a perfect 'last dessert' – creamy, chocolate custard with berries, inside a flakey pastry ed...
Natalie Paull of Beatrix

Food

Lemon Cake with Whipped Ricotta & Lemon Curd

SO SAD to be saying goodbye to our amazing contributor Julia Busuttil today!  We have loved sharing her incredible cakes with you this m...
Julia Busuttil Nishimura of Ostro

Food

Cherry Cakes · Italian Buttercream Icing

This month we team up with chef Cherry Murphy of Cherry Cakes for a course on cake making, beginning with the basics – Cherry's recipe for...
Cherry Murphy