Dark Chocolate Espresso Cake with Salted Dulce de Leche Buttercream

Dark Chocolate Espresso Cake with Salted Dulce de Leche Buttercream

By: Amy - Avon Park, FL - Recipe Contest 2015

"This recipe was originally written for my son (11 yrs old), who also bakes and enters cakes in our local 4-H youth fair. He wanted a cake recipe that "no one else would have." I wrote it; he baked it, won a top 10 best of show, and had the opportunity to auction it to the highest bidder."

This is a Door County Coffee Fan recipe. It was not made in the kitchens of the Door County Coffee Café.



Featured ingredient: Elite Espresso Coffee 10 oz. Bag Ground

  • 3 cups sugar
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/8 cups Hershey's Special Dark Cocoa
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon Elite Espresso (fine grind - do not brew)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups strong hot coffee
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 15 fluid ounces dulce de leche
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1 tablespoon meringue powder
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 pounds powdered sugar



    1. In a large mixing bowl, sift together sugar, flour, cocoa, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and espresso powder.
    2. In a small bowl, combine eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla.
    3. Add liquid ingredients to dry ingredients and blend on high for 2 minutes.
    4. Whisk or stir in coffee.
    5. Pour batter into 3 greased & floured 9" cake pans.
    6. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
    7. Cool in pans for 10 minutes before removing cakes and cooling completely.


    1. In a large mixing bowl, combine butter, 3/4 cup dulce de leche, shortening, salt, and vanilla, blend until smooth.
    2. Add meringue powder and 1/2 bag of powdered sugar, blend on low until completely incorporated.
    3. Add powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time until completely blended, add milk as needed.
    4. Turn mixer to high and whip frosting for 4-5 minutes.
    5. With a cake leveler or serated knife, remove domed top of each cake. Spread frosting evenly between the layers and over entire cake as a crumb coat.
    6. Refrigerate until set.
    7. Use remaining frosting to cover and decorate cake.
    8. Microwave remaining dulce de leche and drizzle over cake.
    9. Decorate with additional chopped dark chocolate.