Decadent Cappuccino Cake

  • Yield: 12 servings


Nut Crust:
5 graham crackers
1/2cup almonds
1/2cup pecans
1/4cup sugar
6tablespoons unsalted butter
1/8teaspoon salt
Chocolate Ganache:
2cups heavy cream
16ounces semisweet chocolate
2tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2cup (1 stick) butter
Cappuccino Buttercream:
1cup sugar
1/3cup water
8 egg yolks, or equivalent egg substitute
1tablespoon instant coffee granules
1tablespoon hot water
3ounces semisweet chocolate, melted, cooled
1teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter
Cappuccino Whipped Cream
2teaspoons coffee granules
1tablespoon whipping cream
1/2teaspoon vanilla extract
1cup plus 3 tablespoons whipping cream
5tablespoons confectioners' sugar


  1. For the crust: Process the graham crackers, almonds and pecans in a food processor until crumbly. Add the sugar, butter and salt and process until well mixed. Press over the bottom of a buttered 10-inch springform pan with a 3-inch side. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
  2. For the ganache: Bring the cream just to a boil in a saucepan and reduce the heat to low. Add the chocolate. Cook until the chocolate melts, stirring to blend well. Stir in the corn syrup. Add the butter gradually, stirring to blend well after each addition. Cool to room temperature. Pour into the prepared crust. Chill, covered, for 2 hours or longer.
  3. For the buttercream: Mix the sugar with the water in a small saucepan. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and boil for 1 to 2 minutes or to 240 degrees on a candy thermometer.
  4. Beat the egg yolks in a large mixing bowl. Add the sugar syrup gradually, beating constantly at medium speed. Place in the freezer until cool.
  5. Dissolve the coffee granules in the hot water. Stir into the egg yolk mixture. Add the chocolate and vanilla and stir to mix well. Beat in the butter 1 tablespoon at a time until smooth and creamy. Spread over the ganache.
  6. Chill, covered, until firm. Place on a serving plate and remove the side of the pan.
  7. For the cappuccino whipped cream: Dissolve 2 teaspoons coffee granules in 1 tablespoon whipping cream and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract in a small bowl. Beat 1 cup plus 3 tablespoons whipping cream in a mixing bowl until the mixture begins to thicken. Add the coffee mixture and 5 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar and beat until soft peaks form. Spread over the top of the buttercream layer and garnish with chocolate leaves or curls and chocolate-covered espresso beans.

Recipe reprinted with permission from the Junior League of Waterloo-Cedar Falls, Iowa, First Impressions, Dining with Distinction (The Junior League of Waterloo-Cedar Falls, Iowa, Inc., 2001).