Kahlua Coffee Chocolate Layer Cake

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This Kahlua Coffee Chocolate Layer Cake is made with a moist chocolate Kahlua cake covered in Kahlua coffee frosting! It’s seriously so good – you won’t want to share!

Kahlua Coffee Chocolate Layer CakeKahlua Coffee Chocolate Layer Cake recipe

Kahlua Coffee Chocolate Layer Cake

So this past weekend the hubs and I went and looked at some houses. We’ve been considering moving within the area for a while now, but haven’t found the right thing. We’d been looking around on our own and since we haven’t had any luck, we decided to try working with a real estate agent that the hubs knows.

Well we were out looking at some homes Sunday afternoon and it started getting a little late. We knew it could go later, so we brought everything for my evening progesterone shot (for our IVF treatment) with us just in case.

As luck would have it, 6 PM came rolling around and we got the privilege of not only doing our shot while out and about for the first time, but in a new house that was still under construction. We were looking at the house with our real estate agent and the sales person when we excused ourselves to shut ourselves into a room filled with nails, dust, wood and cardboard and try to give me a safe and sanitary shot in the rear/hip. A bit comical actually!

Fortunately the shot went well. 🙂 Our real estate agent knows about our IVF, so it was fine. But still not something you do everyday!

Best Kahlua Coffee Chocolate Layer CakeHomemade Kahlua Coffee Chocolate Layer Cake

Something I would like to do everyday, however, is eat this cake. Oh my goodness, the flavors! I can’t even handle how good it all is together. You take a bite and your eyes basically roll back into your head because you just can’t deal any other way.

The chocolate cake is richly chocolatey and enhanced by coffee in the batter and 1/2 a cup of Kahlua. Plus, it’s pretty easy to put together. You don’t even need to bust out your mixer if you don’t want to. Just one bowl and a whisk will do the job!

The frosting is a variation of my buttercream with some Kahlua and espresso. Again, the flavor is perfection! And it’s also nice and straight forward to make. You’ve got your butter and shortening (you can always use butter to replace the shortening if you prefer – read why I use it in this post – Vanilla Buttercream Frosting) and powdered sugar first. They form the base of the frosting and to that you add the Kahlua and espresso. You’ll want to heat up the Kahlua a bit and then dissolve the espresso in it and use that to flavor the frosting and thin it out to the right frosting consistency.

Once you’ve got your cakes and frosting, whip the cake together and dig in as fast as you can! This cake is full of moisture, so soft and flavorful – it’s truly delicious! If you have any love for coffee, Kahlua and chocolate, it’s a must try!

Kahlua Coffee Chocolate Layer Cake sliceDecorated Kahlua Coffee Chocolate Layer Cake

Read transcript


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slice of Kahlua Coffee Chocolate Layer Cake

Kahlua Coffee Chocolate Layer Cake

  • Author: Lindsay
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 32 minutes
  • Total Time: 57 minutes
  • Yield: 12-14 Slices 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American


This Kahlua Coffee Chocolate Layer Cake is made with a moist chocolate Kahlua cake covered in Kahlua coffee frosting! It’s seriously so good – you won’t want to share!




  • 2 cups (260g) all purpose flour
  • 2 cups (414g) sugar
  • 3/4 cup (85g) natural unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup (180ml) milk
  • 1 cup (240ml) vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) Kahlua
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup (180ml) coffee


  • 7 tbsp (75ml) Kahlua
  • 3 tbsp instant espresso powder
  • 1 1/2 cups (336g) salted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups (236g) shortening
  • 10 1/4 cups (1208g) powdered sugar
  • Chocolate jimmie sprinkles


1. Prepare three 8 inch cake pans with parchment paper circles in the bottom and grease the sides. Preheat oven to 300°F (148°C).
2. Add all the dry ingredients to a large bowl and combine.
3. Add the eggs, milk, vegetable oil, Kahlua and vanilla extract to the dry ingredients and mix well.
4. Add the coffee to the cake batter and mix well. Batter will be very thin.
5. Divide the batter evenly between cake pans and bake for 32-35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with a few crumbs.
6. Remove cakes from oven and allow to cool for about 5 minutes, then remove to cooling racks to cool completely.
7. To make the frosting, heat the Kahlua until it just begins to boil, then add the espresso. Stir until dissolved.
8. In a large mixer bowl, combine the butter and shortening until smooth.
9. Add about half of the powdered sugar and mix until well combined and smooth.
10. Add about half of the Kahlua mixture and mix until smooth.
11. Add the remaining powdered sugar and mix until well combined and smooth.
12. Add additional Kahlua mixture until the frosting is the right consistency. If needed, refer to my tutorial on how to get the right frosting consistency.
13. To build the cake, cut the domes off the top of each cake so they are flat.
14. Put the first cake layer on a serving plate and top with 1 cup of frosting. Spread into an even layer.
15. Add the second layer of cake, another cup of frosting and then top the cake with the final layer of cake.
16. Frost the outside of the cake. Use my tutorial for frosting a smooth cake, if desired. Use an icing smoother/decorating comb tool like this one to add a pattern on the sides of the cake.
17. Press some sprinkles into the bottom of the sides of the cake.
18. Pipe some swirls around the top edge of the cake (I use Ateco icing tip #844) and add a few additional sprinkles, then serve.
19. Store the cake in an air tight container. Cake is best for 2-3 days.


If you’d like a non-alcoholic version of this cake, I’d suggest referring to this chocolate cake. It’s the one that was altered to make this cake and there are several changes that had to be made for the Kahlua cake. You can use regular cocoa and coffee instead of water, like is used in this cake. For the frosting, replace the Kahlua with water and add an additional tablespoon or two of espresso powder, depending on how strong of a coffee flavor you want.

Keywords: coffee chocolate cake, kahlua cake, coffee dessert, coffee flavored cake, coffee frosting, layer cake, layer cake recipe, best chocolate cake recipe, best chocolate cake ever



Kahlua Chocolate Layer Cake

Kahlua Coffee Chocolate Layer Cake - moist, soft chocolate cake with Kahlua coffee frosting! So good!

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  1. Anna_g

    Oh my! I can’t wait to try this out! Although I have to wait 10 days for my new oven to arrive, it died on me today ????
    Thanks sooo much for sharing!
    One question though, can I omit the shortening for the frosting and use butter altogether?
    Looking forward to your reply!
    Thanks again ????

  2. Cynthia Caballes Papangelis

    Hi Lindsay

    As a loyal coffee drinker and a little love for alcohol, I will definitely bake this cake.

    It looks yummy and amazing- I will let you know what the outcome of the baking and verdict from my friends.


      1. LottieSharp

        This is my favorite chocolate layered cake. Make it fo husband. We all love it

      1. Huma

        Thank you so much Lindsay! I cannot wait to try to make this cake!
        On a separate note, I made the Berry Mascarpone cake this weekend and it was a huge success with my family!!! Thank you so much for the recipe and video tutorial!!

About Lindsay

I'm a wife and mom to twin boys and a sweet black lab with a serious sweets addiction! Bring on the sugar!

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