espresso cake


6 tbsp (85g) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/4 cups (280g) granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1/2 cup (120g) sour cream
1/3 cup (75g) vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 2/3 cups (300g) cake flour
2 tsp espresso powder
2 tspbaking powder
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1 cup (240 ml) cold or lukewarm espresso (or very strong coffee)


1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, room temperature
3 ounces (85g) high quality milk chocolate, melted and cooled
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups (250g) powdered sugar

Oven 350 degrees F

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. 

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.

The new year started off with a road trip up north to Seattle, Vancouver and Portland. We started the long journey in early evening and drove through the night until we were so tired that driving became impossible. We made it to Seattle the next day. Walked around the public market, up the space needle and drank copious amounts of coffee. Not really knowing what to do, we just wandered around for the rest of the day, for a minute there in the snow. A giant cookie might have been consumed along the way....

The drive to Vancouver was the next day, the border patrol was the longest part of that day. So many questions that had nothing to do with anything. We finally got into downtown and took the next two hours trying to figure out how to get into our AirBnB which was downtown. After that lengthly ordeal, food and drinks were devoured and then off to bed with the next 6 days in the city ahead of us. 

The botanical garden, suspension bridge, granville island, and many other places occupied our days. We walked around Gastown one day and ended up going back multiple times before we had another long drive ahead of us. Amazing pizza, daiquiris, shopping and tattoos were the highlights of Gastown. Plus one night at an Irish Pub that will forever be remembered. 

Portland was our last stop. it was a long drive from Vancouver and we got there just in time to have an amazing dinner at Imperial. The next day was sunday, we walked around everywhere and it looked like a ghost town. Barely anyone was on the streets and many places were closed. The ice cream shop wasn’t. 

When we finally got back home the pups greeted us with slobbery kisses and proudly parading around a blanket that he had recently destroyed. It was good to be back to him. He is nipping at my feet as I typed, annoyed that I have not paid attention to his in the last few seconds.