“Cup of Joe” Four Layer Chocolate Cake

Recently it was my friend’s birthday. I have this thing about baking birthday cakes for friends. I think it’s actually programmed into my DNA somewhere. I am not the best cake decorator (even good – not so much), but I believe that it’s more important that the cake taste amazing. Because that’s the point really – you’re going to eat it, so it should taste good (especially on you birthday!).

Anyhow, this recipe had a first for me (I love those in baking and cooking) – coffee icing. It turns out that it is delicious, particularly on a chocolate cake. So thank you Jillian for requesting this cake for your birthday. I really enjoyed making it and hope that you do too.

For the cake recipe, you will need:

Ingredients: Jillian's "Cup of Joe" Chocolate Cake

1 c. almond flour
3 c. coconut flour
2 t. baking powder
4 t. baking soda
2 t. salt
2 c. unsweetened cocoa
1/2 c. + 3 T. tapioca flour or arrowroot starch
2 c. agave nectar
2 c. almond milk or coconut milk
4 eggs
2 c. oil (canola, grapeseed, or melted coconut)
4 T. vanilla
2 c. hot coffee
4 T. ghee

Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease and flour four nine inch cake pans (the point is to lightly coat the pans with a fat and flour so that the cakes will not stick to the pans – so don’t go crazy, but do make sure you get the ghee into the crease of the pans).

Cake Pans

Make two cups of hot coffee – I used a french press but you can use drip coffee, espresso (intense flavor), or even instant coffee (that’s right, instant coffee).

Add the dry ingredients to a large mixing bowl and briefly mix with a spoon.

Dry ingredients - "Cup of Joe" Chocolate Cake

Add the wet ingredients to the bowl and mix on low speed until all ingredients are just mixed.

Wet ingredients - "Cup of Joe" Chocolate Cake

Then increase mixing speed to medium and mix for at least two minutes.

MIxed batter - "Cup of Joe" Chocolate Cake

Be sure to scrape the sides a few times and mix again for another two minutes.

Add the batter to four cake pans, evenly distributing the batter. The batter is not as fluid as a typical cake batter so you’ll probably have to actually spread the batter out using a spatula. Try to make it pretty because the surface won’t necessarily even out on it’s own.

Batter in cake pans - "Cup of Joe" Chocolate Cake

Place the pans in the center of the oven – I put two on the top rack and two on the bottom rack directly in the center of the oven, directly adjacent to one another. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.


The right toothpick came out with a little batter on it so I knew it needed about another 2 minutes. The two left toothpicks were clean, so those cakes were done baking.

Place the pans on cooling racks and let cool for about 20 minutes. Use a piece of wax paper to flip the cake out of the pan and onto the rack. Note, I put the piece of wax paper over the cake, then cover with the rack and flip. The cake should pop right out 🙂

Cooling - "Cup of Joe" Chocolate Cake

Now, you need to let the cakes cool completely before icing them or the icing will melt and become a sticky mess. If you’re in a rush, place the cakes in the fridge or freezer even. As long as the center is cool to the touch, you’re good to go.

Now for the icing and decoration – you’ll need:

Ingredients for icing - "Cup of Joe" Chocolate Cake

8 c. powdered sugar (with tapioca flour, not corn starch)
1/2 t. salt
1/2 c. ghee (softened)
1/4 c. coconut oil (softened)
1/2 c. coconut milk (heated)
6 T. instant coffee
2 T. vanilla
Dark chocolate covered espresso beans (for decoration)
Dark chocolate bar with sea salt and coffee (grated, for decoration)

Heat the coconut milk and add 5 T. instant coffee to the milk – stir until dissolved. Cream the coconut oil, ghee and vanilla in a large bowl.

Icing crream - Coffee icing

Add the salt. Add 1/4 c. of the coffee coconut milk and mix well. Add 1 c. of the sugar at a time and beat until fluffy (for a total of 4 cups).

Coffee icing half way through - "Cup of Joe" Chocolate Cake

Add the remaining 1/4 c. of the coffee coconut milk and repeat 1 c. additions with the remaining sugar. How will you know it’s the right consistency? It will not have lumps of sugar and it will stick to the beater.

Coffee Icing - "Cup of Joe" Chocolate Cake

Now, grate 1/2 the chocolate bar and set aside. I used a standard grater – nothing fancy. You’ll dust the iced cake with this.

Grated chocolate - "Cup of Joe" Chocolate Cake

Place the bottom layer of your cake on a plate, centered. Use a spatula and spread 1/5 of the icing evenly over the top of the layer. Sprinkle the iced layer lightly with instant coffee.

Iced layer - "Cup of Joe" Chocolate Cake

Repeat until all layers have been iced. Here you can see that my top layer cracked as I was placing it – not to worry! Icing works like spackle 🙂

4 layers - "Cup of Joe" Chocolate Cake

Now, with your remaining icing, coat the sides of the cake. You can smooth the icing by running the spatula under hot water or by dipping it into a cup of hot water.

"Cup of Joe" Chocolate Cake

Finally, I garnished the top layer of the cake with the chocolate “dust” and chocolate covered espresso beans. I also dusted the bottom of the plate with the chocolate “dust” – it’s great for covering up imperfect spots on the cake.

Viola! Enjoy, I sure did 🙂

– Nicole

This entry was posted in baked good, chocolate, dessert and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to “Cup of Joe” Four Layer Chocolate Cake

  1. Jillian says:

    Seriously, it was the most delicious thing ever. It was 4 layers of heaven wrapped in awesome.

  2. Pingback: Can’t Eat Just One Mini Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins | A Bit of Salt

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