Super soft cocoa cake with coffee buttercream and walnuts!

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Super soft cocoa cake with coffee buttercream and walnuts!

The holidays are officially over and I’m back in the gloomy (and quite frankly smoggy) Milan. Over all, I’m not that sad that the holidays have passed because I feel like I really needed to go back to my routine and my independency. Don’t get me wrong, I love going back home, spending time with my family and not having to think about going to the grocery store, cooking, cleaning and all those things that you have to deal with when you leave all by yourself. But there is a part of me that really needed to go back to the real world and take care of some hanging business (the books of my next exams had all started to stare at me with a very disappointed look).

This Christmas I finally had the chance to spend some time with my sister. We don’t see each other as much as I wish. I live in Milan and she used to live in Rome. But now that she’s back at my parent’s house for a while, we got to spend the entire christmas holidays together. Before I left for Milan, my sister asked me if we could bake a cake together. You can imagine my excitement when I heard those words. Not only she was asking me to bake a cake, which is something that I’ll always reply yes to. But she also wanted to bake it with me, which made things even more lovely. My sister’s only request for the cake was that it had to feel light but tasty and frivolous but also perfect for breakfast. Quite the challenge ah? Well, not for me. After a long research, I had finally found the perfect cake. We were going to bake a 4 layers soft cocoa cake with coffee buttercream and walnuts. I know, I know, you are all probably thinking that’s definetly not a light cake! There is buttercream in it! But trust me on this one. This cake is made with cocoa which is not as heavy as a chocolate cake made with melted chocolate. And also, make sure to not sweeten the coffee before adding in to the buttercream. The bitterness of the coffee cuts the sweetness of the buttercream creating the perfect combo for a light but tasty buttercream. The cake turned out amazingly and we also had a lot of fun making it. And she also said that it felt super light as she requested!

I’m sure you are all going to love this recipe! Let me know if you give it a go!


For the cake:

  • 6 eggs
  • 200 gr sugar
  • 190 gr flour
  • 3 tbsps cocoa powder
  • a pinch of salt
  • 300 gr walnuts

For the buttercream

  • 200 gr butter
  • 70 gr powdered sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 80 ml coffee ( add more if you like it strong)


For the cake: Preheat oven to 200°C. Whip the egg yolks with 150 grams sugar till light and fluffy. Set aside. In another bowl, whip the egg whites till stiff and then slowly add 50 grams sugar. Fold half of the egg whites into the egg yolk mix carefully. Then fold in the rest. Sieve the flour and the cocoa with the pinch of salt and carefully fold everything in. Divide the batter into two floured and buttered 6/8 inches pans and bake for 20-25 minutes till golden brown. Take the cakes out of the oven and let cool completely.

For the buttercream: Beat the butter until very pale and fluffy. Add the powdered sugar, salt and vanilla and beat for 1 minute. Add the coffee and beat for another 2 minutes or until very fluffy.

Assembly: If cakes are rounded on top, even them out with a knife. Cut both cake layers in half using a sharp serrated knife (you’ll end up with four thinner layers). Put the first layer on a cake board or a cake stand. Spread buttercream on the first layer. Add the coarsely chopped walnuts and repeat with all the layers. Spread a thin layer of buttercream all over the cake using a spatula. Put the cake in the fridge for about 10 minutes to set. Spread the remaining buttercream all over the cake until the cake is smooth.  Decorate with walnuts.




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