Chocolate Coffee Cardamom Layer Cake

Chocolate coffee cardamom layer cake with swiss meringue buttercream and dark chocolate ganache – three layers of luscious chocolate coffee and cardamom cake with swiss meringue buttercream and rich chocolate ganache.

Chocolate coffee cardamom layer cake - three layers of moist chocolate coffee cardamom cake with swiss meringue buttercream and dark chocolate ganache.



  • 80 g (2.8oz) dark chocolate chopped
  • 160 ml (⅔ cup) hot strong espresso coffee
  • 35 g (rounded ¼ cup) cocoa powder
  • 125 ml (½ cup) buttermilk
  • 200 g (1 + ⅔ cup) plain flour
  • 1 + ⅓ tsp bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp ground cardamom (about 10 pods)
  • 80 g (⅓ cup) softened butter
  • 225 g (1 + ¼ cups) light brown soft sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs

Swiss meringue buttercream:

  • 150 g (5.3oz) dark chocolate chopped
  • 120 g egg white (3 large)
  • 150 g (⅔ cup) caster (superfine) sugar
  • 200 g (¾ cup + 2tbsp) butter softened
  • ½ tsp instant espresso powder
  • ¼ tsp ground cardamom
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch salt


  • 50 g (1.75oz) dark chocolate chopped
  • 75 ml (scant ⅓ cup) double (heavy) cream
  • 10 g (1tbsp) butter
  • chocolate sprinkles (optional)
Chocolate coffee cardamom layer cake - three layers of moist chocolate coffee cardamom cake with swiss meringue buttercream and dark chocolate ganache.



  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4 (180°C/350°F/gas mark 4). Grease and line three 15cm/6in round cake pans with baking paper.
  2. Set aside to cool slightly after melting the dark chocolate in a bowl over a pan of slowly boiling water or in short bursts in the microwave.
  3. Whisk the cocoa powder and hot coffee together till smooth, then add the buttermilk and put aside. Combine the flour, bicarbonate of soda, salt, and powdered cardamom in a sifter and put aside.
  4. In a large mixing basin, beat together the butter, sugar, and vanilla extract with an electric mixer until smooth and light. Mix in the eggs one at a time, being sure to whisk well after each addition, and then whisk in the melted chocolate.
  5. One-third of the flour mixture should be folded in first, followed by half of the buttermilk mixture. Fold in the remaining flour, then the remaining buttermilk, and finally the remaining flour.
  6. Divide the mixture evenly between the muffin pans (I use a scale to make sure they’re all the same size) and smooth the tops. Bake for 25 minutes (check after 20 minutes) or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean or with a few wet crumbs.
  7. Allow 10 minutes for the cakes to cool in the pans before carefully turning them out onto a wire rack, peeling away the baking paper and allowing to cool completely.

Swiss meringue buttercream:

  1. Melt the dark chocolate in short bursts in the microwave or in a heatproof dish over a pan of boiling water. Allow to cool somewhat while preparing the meringue.
  2. Place the egg whites and sugar in a big, spotlessly clean heatproof bowl (or the bowl of your stand mixer if you have one) and set it over a pan of gently boiling water, being careful not to let the bowl’s base touch the water. Gently whisk the mixture until the sugar has dissolved; there should be no graininess when you rub some between your fingertips. On a thermometer, it should reach at least 60°C/140°F (but don’t allow it get too hot or it will start to set (at 70°C).
  3. Remove the bowl from the heat and whisk on high speed with an electric mixer for about 10 minutes, or until a thick, glossy meringue has formed and is fully cold to the touch.
  4. Reduce the speed to low and gradually add the butter, a tablespoon at a time, whisking thoroughly after each addition, until all of the butter has been added and the buttercream is smooth and silky. It may appear soupy or curdled at first, but whisking will bring it back together. (If it doesn’t, you might need to add a few more tablespoons of butter.) If it’s still soupy, chill it for 15-30 minutes before stirring it at high speed again. If it still curdles, put a couple of heaping teaspoons in a separate bowl and microwave it until it melts, then slowly trickle it back into the remainder of the buttercream while whisking on high speed.)
  5. Whisk in the vanilla extract, espresso powder, cardamom, and salt on low speed once the buttercream is smooth, then fold in the dark chocolate (which by now should have cooled, but still be melted). Fill a piping bag halfway with buttercream and a big, simple nozzle.
  6. Place one of the cooled cakes on a serving dish or cake stand and pipe rings of buttercream to thoroughly cover the top (or just spread it over).
  7. Repeat the piping process with the second cake layer. Place the last layer on top of the previous one, upside down, to make the top entirely flat. Place the cake in the refrigerator to chill while you create the ganache.


  1. In a heatproof basin, melt the chocolate and heat the cream until it slightly boils. Pour the cream over the chocolate, wait a minute, then whisk until the mixture is smooth and the chocolate is totally melted. Stir in the butter until it is completely melted, then put aside to cool somewhat but not to the point of setting.
  2. Pour the ganache over the top of the cake and use the back of a spoon to help it flow over the sides. Allow the remaining buttercream to set somewhat before putting eight dollops of buttercream on top of the cake with a piping bag equipped with a star nozzle (or whichever piping nozzle you like).
  3. Serve with some chocolate sprinkles on top. Keep at room temperature in an airtight container.
Chocolate coffee cardamom layer cake - three layers of moist chocolate coffee cardamom cake with swiss meringue buttercream and dark chocolate ganache.

Source: Domestic Gothess

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