The type of cake you could possibly eat on any day of the week or for any special occasion. The espresso and brown sugar are really what elevates this simple butter cake into something spectacular. The coffee soak keeps it extra moist and adds just a bit more coffee flavor to the velvety cake.

The cake is moist and tender, with the subtle tang from the buttermilk and just a hint of nutmeg. I soak the layers in a coffee syrup to add additional moisture and flavor, and then cover it with an espresso-flavored Swiss buttercream. Feel free to add additional espresso powder to the buttercream, depending on the strength you’re going for. I like to finish this cake with shaved chocolate on top because it reminds me of the cocoa on the top of a cappuccino.


For the base;

  • 50g dark chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 75g butter
  • 15 digestive (speculoos) biscuits, finely crushed

For the filling;

  • 150g dark chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 200g milk chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 100g butter
  • 2 heaped tsp instant coffee
  • granules dissolved in 1 tsp
  • boiling water
  • 250ml double cream
  • 200g full-fat crème fraîche

To decorate;

  • 250ml double cream lightly whipped
  • 2 vanilla sugar essence (8g each)
  • 50g sugar


  1. You will need a 23cm round, loose-bottomed, fluted tart tin with deep sides and a piping bag.
  2. To make the base, melt the chocolate and butter in a wide-based pan over a medium heat.
  3. Remove the pan from the heat, add the crushed biscuits and stir to combine.
  4. Press into the base of the tart tin and chill in the fridge while you make the filling.
  5. To make the filling, place the chocolate and butter in a large heatproof bowl and add the coffee and double cream.
  6. Set the bowl over a pan of just simmering water and heat until runny, stirring gently until smooth.
  7. Remove from the heat and allow to cool down a little, then mix in the crème fraîche by hand.
  8. Carefully pour the mixture into the tin on top of the biscuit base and chill for a minimum of 2 hours, or ideally overnight, until set.
  9. Remove the cake from the tin and place it on a cake stand or plate. Serve straight from the fridge.
  10. Whip the cream with the vanilla sugar essence and the extra sugar.
  11. To decorate, spoon the whipped cream into a piping bag  and pipe or dollop five large blobs of the cream into the middle of the tart.
  12. Sprinkle over the chocolate shavings or grated chocolate and serve in thin slices.