Irresistible French Chocolate Coffee Cake Recipe

Wake up and smell the coffee cake, my friends! There’s something magical about the aroma of freshly baked cakes, filled with sweet and savory flavors that make your taste buds tingle with delight. Today, I’m thrilled to share with you my all-time favorite recipe: French Chocolate Coffee Cake.

This heavenly delicacy is made with freshly brewed coffee and decadent chocolate, infused with warm spices such as cinnamon, and topped off with a crunchy blend of walnuts and pecans. The texture is soft and gooey on the inside, complemented by a crunchy exterior.

Not only is this coffee cake utterly delicious, but it’s also incredibly versatile. It’s perfect for breakfast, brunch, or even as an afternoon snack. You can serve it warm or cold, alongside a cup of your favorite hot beverage. Trust me; it’s pure heaven!

But what sets this recipe apart from others is the special French buttercream frosting that takes it to the next level. Mixed with quality chocolate chips, this rich buttercream provides a perfect balance to the bittersweetness of the chocolate cake.

So why not whisk up a batch of French Chocolate Coffee Cake today? Whether you’re hosting a birthday party or need a quick pick-me-up treat; this recipe will not disappoint! You don’t need to be an expert baker to nail this recipe; anyone can do it with ease. All you need are some basic ingredients and an enthusiastic spirit.

So roll up your sleeves and let’s get baking! Are you ready to take your taste buds on a journey to France? Follow me as I show you how to create the ultimate coffee cake experience in your own kitchen.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

French Chocolate Coffee Cake
French Chocolate Coffee Cake

Are you a coffee and chocolate lover? If yes, then you are in for a treat with this French Chocolate Coffee Cake recipe! This delectable cake is the perfect blend of rich, bold coffee and sweet, decadent chocolate.

One of the best things about this recipe is its texture. The combination of all-purpose flour and ground cinnamon makes the cake moist and airy, while the addition of walnuts and pecans adds a tasty crunch in every bite. This cake can be enjoyed as a dessert, a mid-day snack or even as a breakfast treat alongside your morning cup of joe.

Moreover, this recipe has plenty of substitution options to make it your own! You can use dark chocolate instead of semisweet or French buttercream frosting to add an extra richness to the flavour. Plus, it uses ingredients that are readily available and easy to measure out.

Lastly, the possibilities are endless with serving and pairing options! You can enjoy this French Chocolate Coffee Cake on its own or pair it up with fresh berries or whipped cream. And let’s not forget about coffee- this cake pairs up perfectly with your favourite brew!

Overall, whether you want to celebrate a birthday or simply indulge your sweet tooth, this French Chocolate Coffee Cake recipe is perfect for any occasion. So go ahead and give it a try – I guarantee that you’ll fall in love with this delightful dessert!

Ingredient List

 Decadence in every layer!
Decadence in every layer!

Here are all the ingredients you’ll need to make this delectable French Chocolate Coffee Cake, including the quantity for each item :

Coffee Cake

  • 2 cups (240g) all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup (165g) granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup evaporated milk
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 package active dry yeast (2 and 1/4 teaspoons)

Chocolate Filling

  • 8 ounce (200 g) semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 and 1/2 cups heavy cream

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

  • 4 sticks (452g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 cups (375g) powdered sugar
  • 3/4 cup (65g) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 tablespoons whole milk
  • Each egg yolk saved from making the sponge

Sponge Cake

  • Egg yolks from above recipe
  • Sugar
  • All-purpose flour

The coffee cake requires basic ingredients such as flour, sugar, cinnamon, and yeast with the addition of evaporated milk which adds richness to the cake. Meanwhile, the chocolate filling requires heavy cream and semisweet chocolate which creates a luscious ganache. Lastly, the chocolate buttercream frosting uses unsalted butter, powdered sugar, cocoa powder, salt, whole milk and egg yolks from making the sponge cake for frosting with notes of richness and depth in flavor.

The Recipe How-To

 Satisfy your sweet tooth cravings with this French chocolate coffee cake.
Satisfy your sweet tooth cravings with this French chocolate coffee cake.

Now, let’s dive into the exciting part – making the French Chocolate Coffee Cake! Are you ready to get your hands dirty? Don’t worry; it’s going to be worth it. This recipe is quite easy to make, and you don’t need any special equipment. Just grab your mixing bowl, measuring cups and spoons, and a loaf pan. Let’s begin.

Ingredient List

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp active dry yeast
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1. Prepare the Dough

In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, salt and yeast. Mix well and set aside.

In a medium saucepan over low heat, melt butter with water until butter is melted. Remove from heat and let cool to lukewarm (about 100-110°F).

Add melted butter mixture and egg yolk to the dry ingredients. Beat for 2 minutes on medium speed scraping bowl occasionally.

Add chocolate chips and 1/2 cup flour; beat 2 minutes at high speed.

Stir in enough remaining flour to form a stiff dough.

2. Knead and Rise

Knead on floured surface until smooth and elastic(about 6-8 minutes). Cover with greased plastic wrap; let rise in warm place until doubled (about 45 minutes).

3. Roll Out

Punch dough down; divide into two even pieces. Roll each half into a rectangle approximately 8×12 inches.

4. Assemble

Spread half of the French buttercream on one of the rectangles leaving about a half-inch border.

Place the second rectangle of cake on top, gently pressing down.

Spread the other half of the buttercream over the surface of the cake.

Roll up from the short end jelly-roll style; pinch seam to seal.

Place on greased baking sheet with seam side down. Pinch ends together to form a circle. Cover with greased plastic wrap and let rise in warm place until doubled (about 45 minutes).

5. Bake

Bake at 375°F for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool on rack.


Congratulations! You have just made a masterpiece – French Chocolate Coffee Cake. Serve it warm, topped with whipped cream or ice cream, or enjoy it at room temperature. It’s perfect for breakfast, dessert or any time of day. Bon Appétit!

Substitutions and Variations

 You won't be able to resist the rich and creamy filling.
You won’t be able to resist the rich and creamy filling.

Looking to switch things up a bit with your French chocolate coffee cake recipe? Let’s talk about some substitutions and variations you can try out.

First off, if you’re not a fan of walnuts or pecans, you can easily swap them out for your favorite nut. Almonds or hazelnuts would work particularly well in this recipe. You could also omit the nuts altogether if you prefer.

If you want to make this cake a little less decadent, consider using coconut sugar or honey in place of granulated sugar. You could also try using whole wheat flour instead of all-purpose flour to up the nutritional value.

For a twist on the classic French chocolate coffee cake, try adding a layer of raspberry or blueberry jam between the layers of cake. Alternatively, you could sprinkle some coconut flakes or sliced almonds on top of the frosting for added texture and flavor.

If you’re feeling adventurous, why not turn this coffee cake into an opera cake? Simply spread half of the french buttercream frosting on top of one layer of sponge cake, then add a layer of coffee syrup followed by a layer of chocolate gâteau. Repeat until all layers are stacked and finish off with a dusting of cocoa powder. This is sure to impress any guests at a dinner party!

No matter which substitutions or variations you choose to try out, this French chocolate coffee cake recipe is sure to be a hit.

Serving and Pairing

 This cake is a chocolate lover's dream come true.
This cake is a chocolate lover’s dream come true.

If you’re looking for the perfect dessert to serve at your next dinner party or special occasion, this French Chocolate Coffee Cake is sure to impress your guests. The rich chocolate flavor combined with the subtle hint of cinnamon and the crunch of walnuts and pecans make this cake an indulgent treat that pairs perfectly with a cup of coffee or tea.

When it comes to serving, consider slicing the cake into healthy portions, so as not to overwhelm your guests’ taste buds with too much richness. It’s also a good idea to have some whipped cream or vanilla ice cream on hand as garnishes to complement the flavors of the cake.

If you want to take things up a notch, try drizzling some warm chocolate ganache over each slice and topping with fresh raspberries or strawberries for a burst of freshness. Your guests will appreciate how the fruity sweetness counterbalances the dense, chocolaty flavors of the cake.

For pairing suggestions, there are many options depending on your tastes. If you prefer something tangy, pair this cake with a glass of Pinot Noir or Zinfandel. Alternatively, if you are a fan of sweeter beverages, try pairing it with a glass of Moscato or Prosecco to contrast the richness.

Whether enjoyed on its own or paired with a complementary beverage, this French Chocolate Coffee Cake is sure to be a crowd-pleaser that will leave everyone feeling satisfied and delighted.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Just one bite and you'll be transported to a Parisian café.
Just one bite and you’ll be transported to a Parisian café.

Making this French chocolate coffee cake can be a labor of love, but it’s also great for meal planning or making ahead for events. If you’re planning on making it ahead of time, store the cooled cake in an airtight container in the refrigerator. The cake should last for up to 4 days.

To reheat the cake, preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C). Transfer the cake to a baking dish and cover with aluminum foil. Bake for approximately 10 minutes or until warmed through. Another option is to reheat individual slices in the microwave for about 10 seconds.

If you have some leftover toasted walnuts or pecans, sprinkle them over each slice before reheating for an extra nutty kick. The chocolate chips inside the cake will still be slightly melted and gooey, creating a heavenly treat that’ll feel like it’s fresh out of the oven.

The French buttercream frosting can also be made ahead of time and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week. When ready to use, let it come to room temperature and give it a quick whip with a hand mixer or whisk until smooth.

Or, if you prefer to switch things up, you can replace the French buttercream frosting with whipped cream or vanilla frosting for a different flavor profile.

Whether you’re serving this French chocolate coffee cake as an indulgent breakfast treat or as a decadent dessert, it’s sure to satisfy your sweet cravings. And with its impressive appearance and mouthwatering flavor, it makes for the perfect centerpiece at any occasion.

Tips for Perfect Results

 The perfect dessert to impress your friends and family.
The perfect dessert to impress your friends and family.

If you’re looking for ways to take your French Chocolate Coffee Cake to the next level, here are some tips that will help ensure a perfect and delicious outcome.

1. Use good quality chocolate

One of the key ingredients in this recipe is chocolate. Make sure to use high-quality chocolate with at least 70% cocoa solids to get the best flavor and texture in your cake. Using subpar chocolate can affect the final taste and texture of your French Chocolate Coffee Cake.

2. Bring ingredients to room temperature

When making this coffee cake, it’s important to bring all ingredients, especially the butter, eggs, and milk to room temperature before starting the recipe. This will ensure that they blend together evenly and create a homogenous batter.

3. Don’t overmix the batter

While mixing the batter, it’s essential not to overdo it as it can develop the gluten in flour which results in a dense cake. Mix until all of the ingredients are just combined, and then stop even if you see small lumps in your batter.

4. Be precise with measurements

In baking, every ingredient should be measured carefully, to ensure you get accurate results, especially when you’re dealing with yeast in your recipe. Follow the measurement indications required by this recipe closely for great results.

5. Use fresh yeast

Using fresh yeast is key to ensuring that your cake rises correctly by producing carbon dioxide during fermentation. Make sure that your active dry yeast is still fresh and hasn’t been sitting in your pantry for a long time; otherwise, you risk ending up with an un-risen cake.

6. Let dough rise properly

Allowing sufficient time for dough rising is crucial to giving your cake lift and texture so be patient with it! Give the dough plenty of time (45-60 minutes) to rise until it looks puffy before putting it into the oven

7. Grease pan thoroughly

Greasing your pan will make sure your batter slide out of the pan without tearing or leaving bits behind, so use some butter or cooking spray to grease your cake pan properly.

8. Let cake cool down

Once the cake is baked, let it cool for at least 10 minutes before taking it out of the pan. Not only will this make it easier to remove, but letting it cool down also allows its flavors to develop better which will make for an even tastier coffee cake.

Follow these tips and tricks to achieve the perfect French Chocolate Coffee Cake that will impress anyone who tries it!

Bottom Line

In conclusion, the French Chocolate Coffee Cake recipe is a timeless classic that is guaranteed to delight your senses. This cake recipe has been passed down through generations and perfected over time to become the decadent dessert we know and love today. Its rich chocolate flavor paired with a subtle hint of coffee is truly irresistible.

Whether you’re looking for a special treat for yourself or trying to impress your guests, this recipe will not disappoint. The ingredients are easy to find and substitutions can be made to fit your personal taste preferences.

So why wait? Gather your cake ingredients, preheat your oven, and get ready to experience the magic that is French Chocolate Coffee Cake. Trust me, you won’t regret it!

French Chocolate Coffee Cake

French Chocolate Coffee Cake Recipe

This is a Better Homes and Gardens recipe - it's a bit of work, but something different for a Bible study brunch or a shower. Prep and cook time do not include rising time.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 45 mins
Cook Time 50 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine French
Calories 484.6 kcal


  • 4 -4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 (1/4 ounce) packages active dry yeast
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1/2 cup butter, cut up
  • 1 (5 ounce) can evaporated milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate piece
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup cold butter
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts or 1/4 cup pecans


  • In a large bowl, stir together 1-1/2 cups of the flour and the yeast; set aside.
  • In a medium saucepan, heat and stir the 3/4 cup sugar, the water, the 1/2 cup butter, 1/3 cup of the evaporated milk, and the salt just until warm (120F to 130F) and butter almost melts.
  • Add milk mixture to flour mixture; add egg yolks. Beat with an electric mixer on low to medium speed for 30 seconds, scraping bowl constantly. Beat on high speed for 3 minutes. Using a wooden spoon, stir in as much of the remaining flour as you can.
  • Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead in enough of the remaining flour to make a moderately soft dough that is smooth and elastic (3 to 5 minutes total).
  • Shape dough into a ball. Place in a lightly greased bowl, turning once to grease surface. Cover and let rise in a warm place until double in size (about 2 hours).
  • Punch dough down. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Cover; let rest for 10 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine the remaining evaporated milk, 3/4 cup of the chocolate pieces, the 2 tablespoons sugar, and the 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon. Cook and stir over low heat until chocolate is melted. Remove from heat; cool.
  • Grease a 10-inch tube pan; set aside. Roll dough into an 18x10-inch rectangle. Spread chocolate mixture to within 1 inch of the edges. Starting from a long edge, roll dough into a spiral. Pinch seam to seal. Place seam side down in prepared pan. Pinch ends together.
  • In a small bowl, combine the 1/4 cup flour, the 1/4 cup sugar, and the 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Using a pastry blender, cut in the 1/4 cup butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in remaining 1/4 cup chocolate pieces and the nuts. Sprinkle over dough in pan. Cover; let rise in a warm place until nearly double in size (about 1 hour).
  • Preheat oven to 350°F Bake about 50 minutes or until bread sounds hollow when lightly tapped. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Remove from pan; cool for 45 minutes. Serve warm. Makes 12 to 16 servings.
  • To Bake Ahead: Prepare and bake as directed; cool completely. Place cooled coffee cake in a resealable freezer bag; seal. Freeze for up to 3 months. To serve, thaw wrapped coffee cake at room temperature.
  • French Chocolate Coffee Cake.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 97gCalories: 484.6kcalCarbohydrates: 67.2gProtein: 8gFat: 20.8gSaturated Fat: 11.5gCholesterol: 97.4mgSodium: 196mgFiber: 3gSugar: 28.9g
Keyword < 4 Hours, Breads, Brunch, Easy, Potluck, Yeast
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