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White Chocolate Espresso Cake

White Chocolate Espresso Cake

Pastry Affair turns three years old today. While the thought that I have been doing this for so long feels a little surreal, at the same time it feels entirely expected; I can't remember a time when I didn't sit down each evening to play around with the blog in some form or another. Even though I never quite planned on it, I found myself partaking in the unavoidable tradition of combing back through old posts. The steady stream of recipes, photographs, and words from the past year act as a personal history for me. A small record of late night cravings, hours spent behind a camera lens, and several lengthy conversations about my love for breakfast—it's all there, buried between the webpages.

White Chocolate Espresso Cake White Chocolate Espresso Cake White Chocolate Espresso Cake

The past year has been a quiet evolution. I am still growing as a blogger, though perhaps not making the large strides I did in the years before. Even so, I feel like I am finding more of myself in the photography and the words, slowly uncovering bits and pieces of my elusive voice. That voice can be so difficult to find.

Throughout the last year I gave myself three challenges. The first was to eat (and bake) vegan for a month. Though it was difficult at first, I successfully completed the challenge and discovered a huge revelation about myself in the process—I'm lactose intolerant. At the time it seemed like an ironic fate for a purveyor of butter and cream, but I have since grown to accept it. Even though the recipes I share with you do not conform to this condition, you can be assured that in my own kitchen I regularly use dairy-free ingredients. Real butter, for better or worse, hasn't found a place in my refrigerator in months.

White Chocolate Espresso Cake

The second challenge was to include metric measurements with the recipes whenever possible to make baking these recipes easier for those of you who live abroad. Lastly, and perhaps most ambitiously, I challenged myself to consistently develop my own recipes from scratch, to learn recipe development the hard way: through trial and error. To be quite honest, incredibly difficult moments and embarrassing errors were had in my kitchen, most of which I kept to myself. Though I have improved substantially since I began, I am still not immune to failures. Just this morning I tossed a batch of pineapple cakes, hot from the oven, straight into the trash can.

Baking never fails to keep me humble.

White Chocolate Espresso Cake

Truthfully, though I love the corner of the internet in which this blog rests, you continually make it something special. Through your comments, emails, and endless support, you have made these past three years possible. You have given me the inspiration to keep mixing together new ingredients, to spend time clicking away behind my camera lens, and to spend nights staying up late to share my thoughts with you. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

Thank you.

White Chocolate Espresso Cake

I have long believed that celebrations should involve cake and plenty of it. I think three years are worth celebrating, don't you? This cake went through a couple iterations before it reached this final product, but friends and family have all agreed that it is incredible.

White Chocolate Espresso Cake is on the list of my favorite cakes to date. A basic white cake batter is infused with espresso and has a lovely coffee aroma when finished baking. A white chocolate buttercream is spread around the cake; quite sweet, it is best used sparingly, but produces a complementary flavor to the cake. Topped with a sprinkling of cocoa powder and coffee beans, the cake becomes a work of art. As Janet Evanovich preaches, calories don't count during a celebration and I am inclined to agree. Eat up, my friends.

One Year Ago: Multigrain Bread
Two Years Ago: Blogiversary
Three Years Ago: Chocolate Coconut Granola

White Chocolate Espresso Cake

Yields double 9-inch layer cake (or triple layer 5-inch cake)

Espresso Cake
6 tablespoons (85 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/4 cups (280 grams) granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1/2 cup (120 grams) sour cream (or plain, non-fat yogurt)
1/3 cup (75 grams) vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 2/3 cups (300 grams) cake flour
2 teaspoons espresso powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (240 ml) cold or lukewarm espresso (or very strong coffee)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Grease 9-inch cake pans and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the sour cream, vegetable oil, and vanilla extract. Gradually add in the cake flour, espresso powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix in the espresso, stirring until batter is uniform and smooth.

Divide batter between cake pans and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow to cool to room temperature before frosting. Depending on the height of your cake pans, you may have batter leftover—perfect for cupcakes!

White Chocolate Buttercream
1/2 cup (115 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
3 ounces (85 grams) high quality white chocolate, melted and cooled
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups (250 grams) powdered sugar

In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter until smooth. Beat in the melted white chocolate and add in the vanilla extract and salt. Gradually beat in the powdered sugar. If frosting is too soft, add more powdered sugar until it reaches a spreadable consistency. Likewise, if the frosting is too stiff, add a touch of milk or cream until it reaches a spreadable consistency.

To assemble, place the bottom cake layer on a serving platter. Spread a layer of buttercream on top before placing the second layer. Run a thin layer of frosting along the edge like a crumb coating and finish off the top with another layer of buttercream. To serve, dust with cocoa powder and a few coffee beans.

Reader Comments (42)

Happy 3rd birthday!! I am absolutely in love with your recipes and your photography even though I have only recently stumbled on to your site. Breakfast inspired cake is always welcomed, any excuse to have desserts for breakfast right? I hope you continue to grow and learn as blogger because You come up with such creative things.
Happy birthday. Your blog, stories, photos are absolutely amazing. I love them. I am looking forward to your every post. I read it as soon as possible. Sometimes even in work. But I can't resist. Keep going.
05.26.2013 | Unregistered CommenterKatka
Happy birthday! I love reading your posts and seeing your recipes and photography are always a highlight! I hope you reach many more milestones!
05.26.2013 | Unregistered CommenterSylvia
Oh, Janet Evanovich!! She's so funny!!!

Congratulations, for the 3 years and for all records and evolution of last year ;) I hope there are a lot of years to come ;)
And thank you for your recipes, such nice photos and the quotes that go with every post, I love them!!

And, of course, with cakes like this, it's better counting years!! As we know, calories don't count today ;)
05.26.2013 | Unregistered CommenterPaula
This cake is seriously lovely! I love how tall it is!!
Happy birthday to your magnificent blog! i just dived into it a couple of weeks ago and totally loved it. Especially the pictures, they are brilliant. I wish you tons of inspiration and joy!
05.26.2013 | Unregistered CommenterMihaela
This is a beautiful cake!
Congratulations! Lovely blog and beautiful pictures.
I have been a longtime fan of your work! Your photography is an inspiration, and your from scratch recipe development has yielded amazing results. congratulations!
05.26.2013 | Unregistered CommenterSarah
Happy Anniversary! And a special congrats on all of your amazing accomplishments these past three years. It just keeps getting better!
05.27.2013 | Unregistered CommenterMama Rose
Happy Anniversary, the cake looks divine :)
05.27.2013 | Unregistered CommenterVickie
Just recently found your blog and am loving it! Happy 3rd Anniversary, and here's hoping for many more...I'm not really a "baker" but your recipes, clear instructions, and pics have inspired me....especially this 5 inch cake! I'm on the hunt for those 5-inch pans :)
05.27.2013 | Unregistered CommenterGail H.
Congratulations on three years! You've created such a wonderful and inspiring space here.
05.27.2013 | Unregistered CommenterKathryn
Congratulations on three years. Great to hear how much you've learned. This cake looks incredible too!
Many congratulations on three years! I appreciate your written and photographic voice - it's inspiring. Your posts tend to stand out so alluringly when I scroll through my blog feed - I click 'em every time. :)
Happy Birthday!!!!!!!!!! 3 years is a nice number :)
I need that cake in my life for my birthday! It is incredible!
05.27.2013 | Unregistered CommenterMeg D
Happy 3 rd Birthday !
It's been a pleasure reading your posts and looking at your amazing pictures and trying out the wonderful recipes you put out!!

By the way, I think you should publish a recipe book. Your pictures and recipes need to be shared with the world. Just saying.
05.28.2013 | Unregistered CommenterSeppy
yayy happy birthday! And this is proof that love at 1st sight does exist...the second I saw that cake on the screen I wanted to attack my computer. 0_0 I'm a firm believer that all celebrations call for cake! After all, I am a cake fiend. Always was, always will be~ ;)
Happy Blog Birthday. (I definitely appreciate the metric measurements).
05.29.2013 | Unregistered CommenterLeigh
I llllove these high cakes!!! and the dark amber colors, fantastic!!!
05.29.2013 | Unregistered CommenterVlad
Belated Happy Blog Birthday! Keep it up. Your blog really inspire me to bake. hehe
05.30.2013 | Unregistered CommenterJarome
Lovely work! Happy 3rd birthday.
05.31.2013 | Unregistered CommenterCarole
Happy anniversary, Kristin! Keep up the beautiful work. xo
06.3.2013 | Unregistered CommenterFoodess
Happy Birthday and many more wonderful years ahead!! I j'adore this cake and MUST make it tonight for my daughter's birthday tomorrow!
06.4.2013 | Unregistered CommenterNellie
gorgeous..I'm an instant fan
06.6.2013 | Unregistered Commenterdana
Buon compliblog! Adoro le tue foto, lasciano senza parole! A presto, Anna
06.10.2013 | Unregistered CommenterAnna
WoW! Absolutely delicious. .Thanks for posting the recipe.=D
06.19.2013 | Unregistered Commentermyrtle
I am in love with this cake! Your post is also so well written! I am still in my first year of blogging, wondering what it will be like 2 years from now. Thanks for the inspiration!
Great! Love this one. I really wanna try it. Thanks for the recipe.=D
07.8.2013 | Unregistered Commentermyrtle
Can I use coffee pawder instead of espresso?
07.12.2013 | Unregistered CommenterGh
Gh-- Yes, you can! I would add a tablespoon of coffee powder since it is not quite as strong as espresso powder.
07.12.2013 | Registered CommenterKristin Rosenau
Have you tried this with normal chocolate frosting? Does that work? Ta
07.18.2013 | Unregistered CommenterNarelle
Narelle-- I haven't, but I bet it would be amazing!
07.18.2013 | Registered CommenterKristin Rosenau
Your photography is amazing! I loved your recipe as well as the post you wrote because I am too a new blogger, and it was nice to see someone who talks about their failures in the kitchen, and embracing them after 3 years of blogging and how you grew to be the person you are now... I never knew that I will love blogging until I started, I only post one recipe each week as I don't have the time, although I wish I did this full time, cooking, writing about food and taking photographs, (so much to learn so little time).
Happy Birthday.Photos , everything was too good.
Wow what a yummy cake! Love all the ingredients-
Thanks for sharing- i cannot wait to try this recipe!
08.13.2013 | Unregistered Commenterriyacakes
Hi there
I'm absolutely loving your site, there are some gorgeous photos and recipes on here! I tried this cake and honestly it's just incredible, thanks for sharing the recipe!
10.5.2013 | Unregistered CommenterLiz
I've tried a lot of frostings, but this one is AMAZING. I can't wait to use it on all sorts of cakes. I think I ate more frosting than I put on the cake!
01.1.2014 | Unregistered CommenterAdrienne
Wow that looks amazing! Many thanks foe the share, will definitely give it a try!
Thank you for a delicious recipe - just made this cake on a monday evening for my sister's 35 birthday - everyone loved it x
02.10.2014 | Unregistered CommenterNida
Made this the other day. It is delicious! However, I'm not sure if I didn't brew my coffee strong enough or what, but I hardly tasted any coffee flavor in the cake itself. I even added extra grounds. To make up for it, though, I added coffee extract (to taste) to the frosting and it turned out divine. The cake texture turned out light and airy like professionally-made cakes, which was wonderful. Thank you for a wonderful recipe!
03.13.2014 | Unregistered CommenterDiana

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