I had planned on making dessert but when Starbucks offered to send me packages of their coffees, I knew I had to use the coffees to create a dessert for my boyfriend.
In the package, I received Starbucks fall flavored coffees. Here are the Breakfast Blend, House Blend, Italian Roast, and French Roast. For my cake, I used the French Roast which is a dark roast coffee, and adds lots of richness to the cake. You can’t taste the coffee but it just really enhances the chocolate flavor of the cake.
I also received two new VIA Ready Brew flavors in Breakfast and House Blend. I’m officially obsessed with these packets of coffee. I’ve tried instant coffee before and didn’t love it. But these Starbucks instant coffees taste just like a freshly brewed cup of coffee. I’ve noticed at Starbucks they also have mocha, caramel, and vanilla flavors and flavors for iced coffee. YUM! For my Mocha Buttercream, I used the House Blend and mixed in into the warm milk. Oh my goodness this buttercream would taste amazing on a car bumper. Seriously so good.
First, we’ll start on the Black Magic Cake. Prepare the cake pans before you start on the cake. Spray two 8 inch round cake pans with non-stick spray and line the bottoms with parchment paper. Spray the top of the parchment paper too. Set aside.
Sift 2 cups sugar, 1 3/4 cups flour, 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, 2 teaspoons baking soda, 1 teaspoon baking powder, and 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt over a bowl of a stand mixer. Mix it up with the paddle attachment.
Now prepare the coffee maker. A cute barista didn’t come in the box with my coffee so I had to make it myself. I recommend using Starbucks’ French Roast for the cake. You want to make enough for 1 cup of coffee. Make it strong!
In a separate bowl, whisk together 1 cup buttermilk, 1/2 cup canola oil, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, and 2 large eggs.
Turn the mixer on low speed and slowly add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Mix until just combined.
On low speed, slowly add in 1 cup of very hot strong coffee. Mmmmm coffee. You want to mix it until just combined again. Don’t go crazy mixing it up!
The batter will basically be liquid. Don’t worry! I promise you that it’ll work out. That’s why it’s a magic cake..get it?
Divide the batter between the two cake pans and bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes.
You need to put the cake pans in the oven right away and do not open the oven while they’re baking. This is very important because if you don’t listen, the cakes will sink in the middle and you’ll probably cry. Well, maybe not but you’ll be sad and there’s no cute barista to comfort you.
Once the cakes are done baking, cool them in the pans for about 10 minutes on a cooling rack. Invert the cakes and remove the cakes from the pans. Then flip them back over. Let the cakes cool completely before frosting them.
While the cakes are cooling, make the Mocha Buttercream. Warm-up 1/3 plus 1 Tablespoon of whole milk. You better use whole milk or I’m coming after you. Add in 1 packet of Starbucks VIA Ready Brew Coffee in House Blend. Yes, we want this coffee to be strong! Set it aside and let it cool.
Sift 3 cups of powdered sugar and set it aside. You know what sifted powdered sugar looks like right?
Sift 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder over a bowl of a stand mixer. Pour in 1/2 cup melted unsalted butter. Mix it up on medium speed until it’s completely combined. Oh butter how I love you. Victor loved you too butter.
Add in 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and mix.
Alternate between adding the coffee and the powdered sugar on low speed. Once it’s combined, increase the speed to medium-high and mix for about 3 minutes.
Now it’s time to assemble the cakes. If domes formed on the tops of your cakes, you’ll want to cut them off with a serrated knife. (I have a fancy cake decorating tool but a serrated knife works great) Place one cake down.
Fit a piping bag with a round decorating tip and fill it with some of the mocha buttercreams.
Pipe the buttercream around the edge. This will help the filling stay in the middle of the cake.
Plop (yes that’s my choice of words today) a pile of buttercream in the center.
Spread it out over the entire surface of the cake with a small spatula. Make sure you don’t go higher than the outside circle of buttercream.
Place the other cake on top.
Use the rest of the buttercream to frost the sides and then the top. Enjoy!
Black Magic Cake with Mocha Buttercream
- 2 cups of sugar
- 1 3/4 cups flour
- 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 cup freshly brewed strong coffee, make sure it’s very hot. I used Starbucks French Roast
- 1/3 cup plus 1 Tablespoon whole milk
- 1 packet Starbucks VIA Ready Brew Coffee (House Blend)
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare the cake pans. Take two 8 inch cake pan and spray them with non-stick spray. (I use the non-stick spray called Baker’s Joy. It’s combined with flour) Line the bottoms of each pan with parchment paper. Spray the top of the parchment paper with non-stick spray. Set the cake pans aside.
Sift together the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and kosher salt over a bowl of a stand mixer. Mix it up with the paddle attachment.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, canola oil, vanilla extract, and eggs. Set aside.
Prepare the coffee maker and start brewing the coffee. Make sure it’s strong and hot! It’s important that the coffee is very hot when you add it to the batter because if it isn’t, your batter will have a lot of lumps and the cake will sink in the middle while it’s baking.
Turn the mixer on low speed and slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Mix until just combined.
Pour in the coffee and mix until just combined. Be careful not to over mix the batter.
Divide the batter between the two cake pans. Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes.
It’s very important that you put the cakes in the oven right away and do not open the oven until the cakes are done. (Doing these two things will cause the middles of the cake to sink inward)
Once the cakes are done baking, cool them for 10 minutes on a cooling rack. Invert the cakes onto the cooling rack and take them out of the pans. Then flip the cakes back over. Let the cakes cool completely before frosting.
While the cakes are cooling, begin making the Mocha Buttercream:
Sift the powdered sugar and set aside.
To prepare the coffee, warm up the milk. (make sure it’s hot enough to dissolve the coffee) Add the entire packet of VIA Ready Brew Coffee to the warm milk and whisk to completely combine. Allow the coffee to cool down before adding it to the buttercream.
Sift the cocoa powder over a bowl of a stand mixer. Add in the melted butter and mix it with the paddle attachment until completely combined (a couple of minutes).
Add in the vanilla extract and mix.
On low speed, alternate between adding the powdered sugar and coffee. Once all of the ingredients are added, increase the speed to medium-high and mix for 2-3 minutes. Set the buttercream aside.
After the cakes are done cooling, remove any domes that have formed on the cakes with a serrated knife. You want to have a flat surface on both cakes. This will make it easier to stack, fill, and frost the cakes.
To assemble the cake:
Take a piping bag and fit it with a round decorating tip. Fill the piping bag up with the Mocha Buttercream. Place a cake down and pipe the frosting around the edge of the cake. Put some of the Mocha Buttercream in the center of the cake. Using a small spatula, spread the buttercream out evenly. The buttercream that you’ve spread in the middle should not be higher than the circle of buttercream around the edge.
Place the other cake on top. Frost the sides of the cake and then frost the top of the cake. Enjoy!