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Espresso Cake with Caramel and White Chocolate Buttercream

  • Author: Bake to the roots
  • Prep Time: 90
  • Cook Time: 30
  • Total Time: 180



For the cake

  • 1 cup (240ml) espresso, cooled
  • 1/2 cup (115g) butter
  • 1 1/4 cup (250g) sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup (120g) crème fraîche
  • 1/3 cup (75ml) vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups (320g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 4 tsp. cocoa powder

For the caramel sauce

  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
  • 6 tbsp. (90g) butter
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) heavy cream

For the buttercream

  • 7 oz. (200g) white chocolate
  • 1 1/8 cup (250g) butter
  • 2 3/43 1/8 cups (350-400g) confectioner’s sugar
  • 13 tsp. crème fraîche

For the decoration

  • cocoa powder or instant espresso powder (optional)


  1. Start by making the espressp and letting it cool down. Preheat the oven to 350˚F (175°C). Prepare three 7 inches (18cm) springform tins with baking parchment and grease the sides of the tins.
  2. In a large bowl beat the butter and sugar on high speed until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one by one, mixing well after each addition. In a second, smaller bowl mix crème fraîche with oil and vanilla extract. Add to the butter mixture and mix until all is well combined.
  3. Mix flour, baking powder and salt. Add to the batter, alternating with the cooled espresso in several portions and mix until all is combined. Transfer 1/3 of the batter into the first springform tin. Add 2 teaspoons of cocoa powder to the remaining batter and mix until incorporated. Transfer half of the batter in the second springform. Add again 2 teaspoons of cocoa powder to the batter and mix again. Trasfer to the last springform tin. You can do all of this with only one baking tin – just takes longer. Bake for 26-30 minutes in the middle of the oven until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool down a bit in the baking tin. Remove from the tin and let cool down completely on a wire rack.
  4. For the caramel sauce add the sugar to a saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. The sugar will melt into an amber-colored liquid as you continue to stir. Be careful not to burn the sugar (or yourself). Add the butter in small pieces – be careful, it will bubble a lot. Sir until the butter has melted completely. Add the heavy cream slowly and carefully – once again, it will bubble a lot. Allow the mix to boil for a minute while stirring constantly. Remove from the heat and let cool down. You don’t need all of the caramel sauce for the cake – you can store the sauce in an airtight container up to 2 weeks in the fridge and use it for other cakes or cupcakes.
  5. For the buttercream melt the white chocolate in a heatproof bowl over simmering water. Set aside and let cool down a bit. Add the butter to a large bowl and beat on high speed until light and fluffy. Add the cooled chocolate and mix until well combined. Add the confectioner’s sugar and mix on low speed first and then on high speed for about 5 minutes. Add some crème fraîche if your buttercream is too thick (optional) until you get the desired consistency.
  6. As soon as the cake layers have cooled completely, you can start building your cake by placing the darkest cake layer on a cake plate. I recommend placing some cutted pieces of baking parchment under the cake, so you can frost the cake easily without making a big mess on the plate and remove the paper when you’re done. Add a small amount of the caramel sauce on the first cake layer – the caramel should not be spread all over the cake, leave a 1/2 inch uncovered on the edge. Add some buttercream on top of the caramel and create an even layer. The caramel should be covered completely and not leak out on the sides. Top with the second (slightly darker) remaining cake layer and press a bit on the buttercream layer. Add again some caramel and buttercream like you did on the first layer and add the last cake layer. Cover the sides with a thin layer of buttercream (crumb coat) and place in the fridge for about 30 minutes to cool down a bit (Note: use two wooden skewers and stick them through all layers to avoid the cake to shift to one side while cooling). As soon as the cake is cool enough, add another layer of buttercream on the sides – you can do a structured surface or try to make it clean and flat – whatever you like best. Fill the remaining buttercream in a piping bag and decorate the top. Dust with cocoa powder or instant espresso powder (optional).


  • Enjoy baking!


  • Serving Size: 8