double chocolate espresso cake with a hidden berry middle

it's dark, it's rich, it's moist, it's decadent, it's chocolate. ok, i know that i have shared this chocolate cacao cake a couple of times on this space but it is seriously just so good and with the different icings the cake is completely transformed. you can find it in cupcake form here with a coconut matcha icing and here in mini cake form with a raspberry you will find it in a double layer form with the creamiest most luxurious espresso buttercream. double chocolate people!

it is pretty amazing how you just change one small element, in this case the icing and it changes the entire vibe of the cake. all three versions are amazing and delicious, this is by far the richest. chocolate on chocolate, only a small slice needed and the little hidden berry compote middle makes the perfect break in all the chocolate on chocolate. 

i make this cake every single year for father's day, paul's birthday and usually on other occasion and have been doing so for years and years, so trust me when i say this cake is tried, tested and true! people rave about it every time i serve it so i don't think it is just my taste and maybe imagination that think it is so damn good. who knows maybe my family and friends just don't want to hurt my feelings...scratch that my family and friends are way to honest to hold back any praises for the not so good. 

for the berry compote you could use any kind of berry you like. i used raspberries here but strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, loganberries would all work just the same. you could even try it with a stone fruit, apricot compote? peach? cherry?! if you are switching out the berry from the raspberries used here you can make the compote just the same, cooking time may vary depending on the berry or fruit used. 

i am off this weekend with my bestie to visit my momma over on the mainland. my auntie is visiting from alberta too so it will be a full on girls weekend. we are going to dine and pamper and eat all the eats! i have another summer dessert recipe i want to test on them so wish me luck! if it turns out i will share here too. i think it is going to be delicious...don't worry they will tell me otherwise ;) 

double chocolate espresso cake with a hidden berry middle

dry ingredients

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cup cacao powder

1 cup cane sugar

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp himlayan salt

wet ingredients

1 1/4 cups fresh brewed coffee

1 cup pure maple syrup

1 cup buttermilk

1/2 cup melted butter

2 eggs

1 tbsp pure vanilla

raspberry middle

2 cups frozen raspberries

1 tbsp pure vanilla

2 tbsp maple syrup

2 tbsp cornstarch (mixed with two tbsp of water)

chocolate espresso buttercream

1 1/2 cups butter

1 cup cacao powder

5 cups organic icing sugar

1/2 cup milk

1 tbsp pure vanilla

1 tsp espresso powder



preheat the oven to 350 degrees. with coconut oil grease and flour (use cacao to flour here or your cake will turn out a little white) 2 - 9 inch cake pans. 

in a large bowl mix all of the wet ingredients together. set aside. 

in a medium bowl mix whisk together the maple syrup, buttermilk, vanilla and eggs. let the fresh brewed coffee and melted butter cool slightly before gradually adding them into the buttermilk mixture, whisking continuously. 

pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until just mixed. pour the batter into the cake pans and bake for 20-25 minutes (until a toothpick comes out clean). let the cakes cool for 5 minutes before transferring them to cooling racks to cool completely. 

berry compote

while the cakes are baking make the raspberry middle. add the frozen raspberries, vanilla and maple syrup to a sauce pan. bring to a boil and then down to a simmer for 5-8 minutes (you want to crush all of the raspberries so it is sauce like). add in the cornstarch and water and cook for another couple of minutes. pour mixture into a bowl and let cool in the fridge. (this can be made the night before, as can the icing).


in a large standing mixer add the butter and cream it on medium speed. after about 2 minutes add the cacao powder and cream together until well combined. 

next add the icing sugar and milk, one cup of sugar to one tablespoon of milk, mix and continue adding the rest just like. 

once the buttercream is completely mixed and the right consistency (adding more sugar or milk until you get it to where you would like it) add in the espresso powder and vanilla and mix throughly.


once the cakes have completely cooled, place one cake on your desired serving dish.

add a layer of buttercream with a slightly thicker one inch boarder, leaving a bit of a well in the middle. fill the well with the berry compote (you don't want to overfill here or else it will spill out the sides so you may have some compote leftover, not to worry it is a great topping for morning oatmeal, yogurt or with granola). 

top with the second cake and cover the entire cake with buttercream. serve! it goes lovely with a scoop of vanilla ice cream too.