Do you like chocolate cake? How about baking your own easy chocolate espresso cake? This Chocolate Espresso Bundt Cake is so delicious and super simple to make. The secret? Start with a box cake mix and instant espresso coffee. Any bold instant coffee will also work if you don't have instant espresso coffee!
Instant espresso coffee easily adds a nice depth to the flavor of a chocolate cake. Want more chocolate? Add in a couple of handfuls of chocolate chips. Top the chocolate espresso bundt cake with a yummy chocolate frosting, and you can even finish it with some shredded dark chocolate if you like.
The best part is that this recipe is so easy! Start with your favorite chocolate cake mix and go from there. Doctor it up as much as you like! Delicious!
If you like simple chocolate cake recipes, try out this Chocolate Mocha Poke Cake.
Here are the ingredients needed to make this Chocolate Espresso Bundt Cake.
- Chocolate Cake Mix - Use your favorite brand and flavor of chocolate cake mix.
- Eggs - as needed per your package of cake mix.
- Oil - as needed per your package of cake mix.
- Water - as needed per your package of cake mix.
- Instant Espresso Coffee - instant bold coffee also works.
- Chocolate Chips - optional, but adds another layer of chocoalte richness.
- Powdered Sugar - for the frosting.
- Salt - just a dash.
- Cocoa Powder - baking cocoa powder.
- Milk - amount varies depending on desired thickness of frosting.
- Vanilla - just a little for the frosting.
- Grated Chocolate - optional for topping.
Ingredient amounts and complete directions are available in the recipe card below.
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How to make this recipe
For the chocolate espresso cake
Follow these steps to make this easy espresso cake recipe.
Add the instant espresso coffee granules to a measuring cup. I like to use about 3 teaspoons of instant espresso. However, if you are using a bold instant coffee, you might want to add an additional amount. I would suggest increasing the amount by 1 to 2 teaspoons.
Once you have the coffee granules in the measuring cup, add a small amount of hot water. Stir until the coffee granules have dissolved. Add cool water to reach the amount as per the directions of the cake mix package.
In a large bowl, add the cake mix. Next, add the eggs, oil, and coffee (in place of the water). Mix according to the package directions.
Stir in the chocolate chips or sprinkle them over the top of the batter before baking.
Pour the espresso cake batter into a prepared bundt pan. I have this really old one. Does anyone recognize the lovely avocado green? I like to spray the pan with non-stick spray, even though it is non-stick, to help it easily release the cake from the pan.
Bake the cake according to package directions. Insert a toothpick into the center of the cake. If it is clean, the cake is ready. Set the cake pan on a wire pan to cool.
For the chocolate frosting
When the cake pan is cool to the touch, remove the cake from the pan. You can loosen the sides slightly and carefully with a butter knife. Place a wire rack over the top of the cake pan and flip it over. The cake should release just fine.
If the cake is too hot, some of the cake might stick, and it could fall apart easily. make sure the pan is cool enough before you try to release the cake from the pan.
To make the frosting, place the powdered sugar in a medium-sized bowl. Add the cocoa powder and salt and mix with a whisk. Next, using a spoon, mix in the vanilla and the milk. I add the milk a little bit at a time until I get the consistency I like.
In the picture below, I left the frosting fairly thick. If the frosting is too thin, it could run off the cake, and you will end up with puddles of frosting.
I like to use a spoon and slowly pour the frosting over the top of the cake. Letting is drip slightly down the sides. Use the back of the spoon when necessary to spread the frosting around if needed.
Use a potato peeler and shave a bit of dark or semi-sweet chocolate (or chop some chocolate chips) and sprinkle over the top of the frosting if you like.
Substitute for instant espresso coffee
If you don't have or can't get instant espresso coffee, you can also use bold instant coffee. I have done this several times. You may, however, like to add an additional 1 to 2 teaspoons of the coffee granules to get the full flavor.
Or, use any leftover brewed coffee you may have in this recipe. Just make sure the coffee has cooled before using. Use the brewed coffee in place of the water asked for on your package of chocolate cake mix.
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Chocolate Espresso Bundt Cake
For the cake
- 1 box Chocolate Cake Mix You favorite brand
- 3 Eggs *
- ½ cup Canola Oil *
- 3 teaspoons Instant Espresso Coffee use 1 to 2 teaspoons more if using other coffee granules.
- 1 ¼ cup Water *to make coffee
- ½ cup Chocolate Chips
For the frosting
- 2 cups Powdered Sugar
- 2 tablespoons Cocoa Powder
- ½ teaspoon Salt
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla
- 4 tablespoons Milk more or less as needed
For the cake
- Add instant espresso (or other bold coffee) to a measuring cup. Add a small amount of hot liquid and stir until granules have dissolved.
- Add cool water to the measuring cup so the total amount of liquid equals the amount of water asked for on your box of cake mix.
- In a large bowl, add the cake mix, the coffee, and the remaining ingredients listed on the package. (Probably just eggs and oil)
- Mix the cake mix according to the package directions. When you are done beating the cake batter, fold in the chocolate chips, or wait and sprinkle them over the top of the batter after it is in the pan.
- Add the espresso cake batter to a bundt pan, or baking pan of your choosing. Bake according to the directions on your box of cake mix. Remove from oven and cool.
- When the cake has cooled, remove it from the baking pan. Place it on a rack or serving dish.
For the frosting
- Whisk together the powdered sugar, salt, and the cocoa powder.
- Using a spoon, stir in the vanilla and the milk. Add the milk a little at a time to get the consistency you want.
- Pour the frosting over the top of the cake and let it drip down the sides.