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Dessert Recipes

Chocolate Espresso Cake-Guest Post with Vino Luci Style

My next guest post is featuring some of my favorite flavors! This cake looks spectacular and is torture. Sheer cake torture.

My mother-in-law baked a crostata today and made tagliatelle with a salmon cream sauce for dinner. I will be finishing the rest of my jell-o and beef broth today. I’m not happy. Well, I am happy. Tomorrow this should all be over with. I will soon be on the road to healing. I have plenty  to be thankful for.

Onto this gorgeous cake! Barb was one of the first people I met when I took the chance to join Twitter. I had no idea she had such an amazing food blog because I was so busy chatting with her about other things. One day I took a glance at her blog and I couldn’t believe the cakes she makes! Her desserts are mouth watering delicious. Well, all her cooking is delicious! Barb is a dear friend that is so talented and so kind. I sometimes tease Barb and call her “mom” because she is just so caring. She shows such sincere empathy for everybody.

I am so anxious to try this recipe. I may make it as Barb did once as cupcakes!!

I’m going to let the cake do all the talking with this guest post. This cake is AMAZING! It has all of my favorite flavors and I just wish I could take a gigantic bite of it! Let me introduce you to Barb from Vino Luci Style:

I was honored to have my sweet friend Lora ask me to help with a post while she going through some “stuff”. Every now and then I’m reminded of just how real our relationships are in this globally connected world and I’m not just happy to help; I’m honored. You all know what fabulous cakes Lora comes up with so I asked her to consider this one that I had previously published and she loved this cake too. I have to admit it’s a family favorite and a fun example of the breadth of our relationships both in real life and with our online friends.

I first helped my daughter make this cake for a contest at Neiman Marcus where she worked (yes, she won!) and sometime later became acquainted with Abby Dodge who developed the recipe for Bon Appetit Magazine. We met via Twitter and Abby is now both a friend and a client…small virtual world, huh?

The chocolate espresso cake is moist and rich but I have to warn you. That icing? To. Die. For. I am not kidding. I am not at all embarrassed to admit I have literally with a spoon (well, maybe a little embarrassed but still…would do it again and so would you!). It’s a rich, luscious combination and perfect for a special occasion.  

Espresso Chocolate Cake with White Chocolate Mascarpone Frosting

2 cups cake flour
3/4 cup cocoa
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup butter, room temperature
2 cups golden brown sugar
3 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
4 teaspoons instant espresso powder dissolved in 3/4 cup hot water (Available at my local Whole Foods; we used Medaglia D’oro)

1 1/2 cups chilled heavy whipping cream, divided
1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
1/3 cup white chocolate, grated
1 cup sugar
2 8-ounce containers chilled mascarpone cheese

Chocolate bar for shaving
Raspberries – small container

Cake Directions:

Position rack in center of oven; preheat to 325. Generously butter two 9-inch cake pans; dust with flour, tapping out excess. Line bottom of pan with parchment paper.

Sift 2 cups cake flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt into medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat butter in large bowl until smooth. Add brown sugar and beat until well blended, about 2 minutes. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in vanilla. Add flour mixture in 3 additions alternately with buttermilk in 2 additions, beating just until blended after each addition. Gradually add hot espresso-water mixture, beating just until smooth.

Divide batter between pans; smooth tops. Bake cakes until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 40 minutes.. Cool cakes in pans on rack 15 minutes. Run small knife around sides of pans to loosen cakes. Invert cakes onto racks; lift pans off cakes and remove parchment. Place wire rack atop each cake, invert again so top side is up.

Cool completely. Can be made ahead. Wrap each cake in plastic and store at room temperature for completing the next day or freeze if using within a week.

Frosting Directions:

Bring 1 cup cream to boil in small saucepan. Slowly pour cream over espresso, whisking until espresso is dissolved. Add grated white chocolate and stir until smooth. Add 1/2 cup of the whipping cream and sugar; stir until sugar dissolves. Chill until cold, at least 2 hours. Can be made one day ahead; cover and keep chilled.

Add mascarpone to chilled mixture; Using electric mixer; beat on low speed until blended and smooth. Increase speed to medium-high; beat until mixture is thick and medium-firm peaks form when beaters are lifted, about 2 minutes (do not overbeat or mixture will curdle).

Brush crumbs from cakes. Place one cake layer, top side up, on platter. Spoon 1 3/4 cups frosting on top of cake. Using offset spatula, spread frosting to edges. Top with second layer, top side up. Spread thin layer of frosting over top and sides of cake. Chill 10 minutes. Spread another layer of frosting over top and sides of cake. Pipe frosting with star tip around base and outer edge of cake.

Mound fresh fruit in center of cake.

Protect any part of cake plate that you do not want chocolate shavings on (I use masking tape). Sprinkle chocolate around outer edge; letting some adhere to sides and fall to plate; sprinkle over cake top and fruit.


Thank you Barb and thank you Lindsey for sharing your deliciousness with my readers. You are both amazing women. I hope to meet you both one day in person. Your friendships mean so much to me. When you get a minute, go on over to say hi to Barb and Lindsey and check out what they’ve been working on this week. You won’t be disappointed!

This has been a long and emotional event to deal with. Tomorrow it is maybe all coming to a conclusion with my surgery. I'm nervous about going under general anesthesia.

Thank you for keeping me in your thoughts and prayers. Thank you for showing support to my guest posters. Smile

This weekend there will be more tagliatelle. There will be more crostatas and maybe even some good ol’ American pie. That’s what I think we will be doing. Baking, cooking, and celebrating. Celebrating the end of this long road.  This too shall pass.

Thank you for keeping me in your thoughts. I think Teresa is ready to make her appearance this weekend on my blog. I maybe got some good shots of her baking. I can’t wait to introduce you to her and her talent.Smile


  1. Lora, love your positive energy and no doubt your close friends and family members are sending you good vibes, and of course your entire Twitterverse! I'm glad to hear it's isolated and will keep you in my prayers. And like everyone is telling you, just relax! Sip on your liquids and soon you'll be indulging in wonderful cakes like this one! Xoxo!

  2. I can just imagine how hard it is for you to resist good food made by your family...bless your heart!!!
    Thank you for sharing your guest with us..this cake look very tasty and beautiful! I will check Barb's blog!

    Good luck Lora..I am thinking of you!!!!

  3. Gorgeous and delicious cupcakes! I love the flavor espresso adds to chocolate cake and the mascarpone frosting must be wonderful too:)

    Good luck tomorrow Lora:)

    Happy to nominate you:)

  4. I commented once... not sure if it took, this is absolutely gorgeous... stunning and would love some... Lora your in my prayers for a speedy recovery... stay strong, xoxoxo

  5. What a gorgeous cake, I can't wait to check out Barb's blog! Thanks for sharing.

  6. This cake is so incredibly beautiful! Wow! Wishing you a speedy recovery! Sending a big air hug!

  7. Oh my Barb, this cake sounds amazing. I will have to go see what else you have. Lora, I'm hoping you are healed soon and back to your old self.

  8. What a beautiful cake and such a combination of flavors. You have may sweet friends helping you through this difficult time. I wish you well.

  9. Barbara, I fell in love with (and printed out)the cake when I first saw it on your blog and little did I know that I actually had this copy of bon appetit with this recipe. I had been ogling it non-stop for 2 years before finally realizing that it was Abby who had created it and I also was friends with her! And you! Small world indeed! This is one of the best cakes (and frosting) I have ever made and eaten!!

    Lora, you are courageous and you are much loved by many of your twitter friends! We are with you, cara bella!

  10. I was happy to help and have been thinking of you all day; even kidding that we should have done a rush job of showing your husband how to tweet...just one, 'Lora's surgery is over and everything is OK.' I won't settle til I hear those words. You're in my thoughts, my prayers and now we are sisters in blog! XOXO

  11. When I look at your photos, I feel like such a beginner!! You're a professional.

  12. Lora, I'm with you in spirit and will be virtually holding your hands when you come out of your surgery. Stay strong, my dear, we are praying that everything will be alright.

    Barb's cake look simply Ah-mazing and that mascarpone frosting is some really serious business!

  13. Out of this world, love, love, love it;-)
    Beautiful guest post, I can't wait to try the mascarpone frosting. I loved just reading your recipe and imagining the flavors!
    Best wishes to you Lora, can't wait to have you back:-)

  14. I am praying all your procedures go well and you'll be good as new in no time :) in the meantime I will happily gawk over this amazing cake made for you!

  15. You've been in my prayers Lora. We're continually to pray for full healing and recovery.

    Thank you for sharing this amazing blogger and Barb, thank you for this cake. I can't wait to make it (and try the frosting with a spoon).

  16. Hi Barb, absolutely stunning cake!
    Sounds like you are recover well Lora, hope all is back to normal soon :)

  17. Try not to be nervous about the anesthesia - it's all easily reversible :) Plus, those guys/gals really know their stuff, and they can give you a little cocktail beforehand if you are really nervous :) You'll do fine! Lots of positive vibes are going your way.

  18. What a fabulous guest post!! I'm drooling over this cake...

    Lora, hope you're feeling better today. Take it easy while you recover...lots of prayers and hugs for you, my friend.

  19. I was in a dream world for a moment! You are such a lovely baker with patience galore for frosting.

  20. Been thinking about you, Lora! Hope you are doing well.

    We all adore Barb and this is another wonderful example of what a lovely food blogger she is.

  21. Thinking about you today... hope you are doing well!!!