Cuban Espresso Dark Chocolate Cake with Salted Dulce de Leche Frosting

With a hurricane brewing just off the coast, I’ve got plenty of time on my hands today, so I’m bringing back an oldie, but goodie.  This chocolate cake is the epitome of chocolate indulgence.

My chocolate cakes always have a bit of coffee, just to add a bit of depth of flavor, but this cake uses both coffee powder and brewed coffee to create push the chocolate to a whole new level.

Cuban Espresso Dark Chocolate Cake with Salted Dulce de Leche Frosting


  • Cake
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1-1/8 cups dark cocoa powder ( I highly suggest using only dark cocoa.  Regular cocoa powder doesn’t have enough body/flavor to give you the right flavor.)
  • 2-1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2-1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon espresso powder or packet of instant coffee
  • 3 eggs
  • 1-1/2 cups milk
  • ¾ cup vegetable oil
  • 1-1/2 cups strong hot coffee
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Frosting
  • 15 fluid ounces dulce de leche
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • ½ cup vegetable shortening
  • 1 tablespoon meringue powder
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 pounds powdered sugar


  1. Cake
  2. In a large mixing bowl, sift together sugar, flour, cocoa, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and espresso powder. In a small bowl, combine eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla. Add liquid ingredients to dry ingredients and blend on high for 2 minutes. Whisk or stir in coffee. Pour batter into 3 greased & floured 9″ cake pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool in pans for 10 minutes before removing cakes and cooling completely.
  3. Frosting
  4. In a large mixing bowl, combine butter, 3/4 c. dulce de leche, shortening, salt, and vanilla. Blend until smooth. Add meringue powder and 1/2 bag of powdered sugar. Blend on low until completely incorporated. Add powdered sugar 1/2 c. at a time until completely blended. Add milk as needed. Turn mixer to high and whip frosting for 4-5 minutes.
  5. Assembly
  6. With a cake leveler or serrated knife, remove domed top of each cake. Spread frosting evenly between the layers and over entire cake as a crumb coat. Refrigerate until set. Use remaining frosting to cover and decorate cake. Microwave remaining dulce de leche and drizzle over cake. Decorate with additional chopped dark chocolate.
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3 responses to “Cuban Espresso Dark Chocolate Cake with Salted Dulce de Leche Frosting”

  1. Oh my goodness this cake is perfection. Happy Mother’s Day!

  2. My mom would LOVE this… and so would I !

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