chocolate chip espresso cakeEvery now and again, there’s an opportunity to make something so delicious, so decadent, that it in itself is worthy of celebration. Also, every now and again, someone goes so far above and beyond that I simply must bake them something totally new, totally custom, and totally delicious.

This cake was made for a dear friend who also happens to be a realtor. She was a champ throughout the home-buying process, and truly made the process simple and stress-free for a first-time homebuyer. Naturally, when the entire process was finished, I wanted to thank her the only way I knew how – with dessert.

A cake that…takes the cake

This cake combines all of the best flavors and textures for a seriously decadent bite.

The cake itself is a buttermilk chocolate chip cake which is light and fluffy, dotted with crunchy bits of chocolate. In between the layers is a chocolate cheesecake filling, which is thick, creamy, and just a bit tangy from the cream cheese. Lastly, this cake is fully wrapped in espresso buttercream, which tastes like a sweet, indulgent latte.

Despite all of the delicious elements of this cake, it’s not tooth-hurtingly sweet. If you haven’t noticed by now, I am always playing with reducing the amount of sugar in my cakes, frosting, etc, and adding other sweet elements (like chocolate chips) as well as more savory or bitter elements (like espresso). Whereas other cakes may call for 2+ cups of sugar, this one calls for just 1/2 cup for a 9″ cake round. With the chocolate chips, sweet cheesecake filling, and espresso buttercream, it’s plenty sweet. The cocoa powder in the cheesecake filling and the espresso powder in the frosting act as an excellent counterpart as well.

Looking for more cake recipes?

You’re in the right place. This gal loves dessert and REALLY loves cake. Check out some of my other cake recipes:

Let’s make some cake!

Yield: 1 9″ cake round, cut in half, to make half of a 9″ layer cake. To make full layer cake, double entire recipe (frosting and filling included).



  • 1 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/3 teaspoon salt
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1/2 cups milk + 1/2 tsp white vinegar)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoons vanilla
  • Choc chips

Espresso buttercream:

  • 1/2 c  butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp espresso  powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp milk

Chocolate cheesecake filling:

  • 1/2 cup cream cheese whipped
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tbsp cocoa


  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and chocolate chips. Whisk together to combine.
  3. In a small bowl, combine milk and vinegar to create buttermilk (or substitute with buttermilk if you have it handy)
  4. Combine egg with oil, vanilla, and milk mixture and whisk together. Pour wet mixture into dry mixture and fold together to combine fully.
  5. Pour into a greased 9″ baking pan and bake for 25-30 minutes, until lightly golden and a toothpick comes out clean.
  6. Let cake cool while you make your frosting. To make espresso buttercream, cream together butter, powdered sugar, espresso powder, and vanilla in a stand mixer until creamy. Add milk 1/2 tsp at a time to thin frosting to desired consistency.
  7. To make cheesecake filling, combine cocoa, powdered sugar, and cream cheese and whip in a stand mixer on medium speed to create a creamy cheesecake consistency.
  8. Cut cooled cake in half and spread chocolate cheesecake filling on one side. Stack other slice of cake on top, creating a half moon (half cake). Frost outside in espresso buttercream and top with additional chocolate chips.
  9. Slice, serve, and enjoy!

Let me know if you make this recipe by leaving a comment and/or tagging me on Instagram at @foodbythegram!

Note: There may be affiliate links throughout this post. When you shop through these links, I get a small percentage of the sale, at no extra cost to you! I only recommend products I love, and I’m sure you’ll love them too. Thanks for the support!

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