Black Cocoa Cake

A perfect dessert or after school snack! Our Black Cocoa Cake blends the flavors of our PapaNicholas Swiss Chocolate with black cocoa powder, heavy whipping cream and chocolate. Make it festive with all the little additions!





Black Cocoa Cake

  • 2 ¼ c. all purpose flour (270g)
  • 1 tbsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 c. black cocoa powder (96g)
  • 6 oz. Papanicholas Swiss Chocolate Espresso (180g)
  • 1 c. + 2 tbsp. vegetable oil (225g)
  • 1 ½ c. granulated sugar (300g)
  • 3 eggs*
  • 1 c. + 3 tbsp. sour cream* (270g)

*indicates ingredient should be at room temperature before starting 

Espresso Ganache

  • ¼ c. PapaNicholas Swiss Chocolate Espresso Beans (60g)
  • 1 c. heavy whipping cream (225g)
  • 1 ⅓ c. semi-sweet chocolate (225g)

Black Cocoa Buttercream

  • 1 ¼ c. unsalted butter* (280g)
    1 tsp. salt
    3 ¾ c. powdered sugar (450g)
    ¾ c. + 2 tbsp. black cocoa powder (84g)
    ¼ c. heavy whipping cream (55g)


Preheat the oven to 350°F / 175°C. Butter three 8” circle pans, then coat them in sugar.


Black Cocoa Cake

Step 1: In a medium sized mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

Step 2: In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the cocoa powder and freshly brewed espresso.

Step 3: To the cocoa-espresso mixture, whisk in the vegetable oil, sugar, eggs, and sour cream until well combined.

Step 4: Add in the flour mixture, and whisk together just until no flour streaks remain.

Step 5: Distribute the cake batter evenly between the three cake pans. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean.

Step 6: Allow the cakes to sit for 15-20 minutes, then transfer them out to a wire rack to cool.

Espresso Ganache

Step 1: Place the chocolate into a small mixing bowl and set aside. Lightly crush the espresso beans.

Step 2: Add the crushed espresso beans and heavy whipping cream to a small saucepan. Set the mixture over medium heat and bring it to a simmer. Once the mixture starts to simmer, turn off the heat and let the mixture sit for 10 minutes.

Step 3: Put the cream back on medium heat and bring it to a simmer again. Once it’s simmering, pour the cream through a fine mesh sieve over the chocolate.

Step 4: Whisk the cream and chocolate together until the ganache is smooth. Set the ganache aside to cool to room temperature before frosting.


Black Cocoa Buttercream

Step 1: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter and salt for 1 minute.

Step 2: Add in half of the powdered sugar and beat until combined, then beat in the rest of the powdered sugar.

Step 3: Add in the cocoa powder and heavy cream. Beat on low speed for 2 minutes, or until the mixture is well combined.

Step 4: Pipe a well of frosting around the edge of one of the cake layers, then fill the center with ⅓ of the ganache. Stack another layer on top and repeat, then add on the last layer of cake. Set the cake in the freezer for 10 minutes to firm up.

Step 5: Frost the cake with the remaining buttercream, and pour the remaining ganache on top of the cake.

Step 6: Garnish the cake with halloween candy eye sprinkles and decorative meringue ghosts if desired, or any of your favorite halloween toppings.

Serve and Enjoy! Don’t forget to snap a pic & tag #papanicholascoffee

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