ISO Reasonable Facsimile of Proof's Chocolate Espresso Cake


I recall seeing Proof Bakery’s Chocolate Espresso layer cake on the “Worth It” series. It looks amazing. I can almost taste it, but going out to Proof from the Westside during times I’m able to go on any given day makes me think about walking barefoot on broken glass.

Does anyone know of any place that offers a cake that would be very similar to this cake? Thank you…


I don’t kow what the cake is, not having seen the series, but my husband, a chocolate lover, loves the six layer chocolate cake at Susie Cakes. I’ve gotten for a few of his birthdays.


Thanks for the rec. I’ve had the chocolate cake from SusieCakes. Unfortunately, it has no coffee/espresso notes. Also, SusieCakes is awfully sweet for my palate.

If your husband is a chocolate nut, give Top Tier Treats (formally Jamaica’s Cakes) a try - their “Simply Chocolate” cake is seriously chocolate intense. You can get almost all of their cake flavors by the slice so you don’t have to commit to a whole cake. Again, thank you.


Thanks! I will try Top Tier! I love super sweet, but not my husband. I was going to try a noel log from them this year, TTT, but turns out we will be at sea ranch, so no log for me.


Here’s the recipe. Over a pound of butter in an 8" layer cake is too rich even to my butter loving self.


Awesome! That will make up for not having touched butter for over a month! Doesn’t it work that way? :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

I doubt I could do the recipe justice but thanks anyway, fellow butter baster.


I may try to make this, if husband helps. But it is sooo complicated. Wonder if you can cut some of the steps.


When it comes to cakes, I only excel at eating them. But I bet your husband would truly appreciate your shot at making one. From my experience in baking (which is limited), skipping steps is a judgement call. But given that baking in my eyes is very scientific, skipping steps reduces the chances of the desired outcome.


I can’t really help you, but just wanted to say that this cake is absolutely delicious and worth the effort.


You are correct that skipping steps and/or reducing/swapping ingredients tends to change the outcome for the worse. I bake pretty much daily. I don’t reduce or substitute ingredients and I don’t skip steps. I can’t tell you how many times friends have reduced the amount of sugar and/or fat in the recipe only to complain that the outcome is flavorless, dry, greasy, etc. They also often make substitutions with no regard to the reason the ingredient was called for. An example is, “I don’t have any blackberries so I’ll use cut up pears.” Blackberries are tart, pears aren’t so this will throw off the balance of the baked good.


I pretty much always halve the sugar and delete the salt when baking. I find American recipes are much too sweet.


Sugar is hygroscopic. It pulls moisture from the air. I’ve had many friends who halve the sugar when baking. Not surprisingly, they are the same people who complain about their baked goods being dry.

Deleting the salt not only makes the finished product taste flat, it will taste less sweet as salt and sweet boost one another. Salt interacts with leavening which has been accounted for by the recipe writer.


The amounts in this recipe are 25.2 ounces of brown sugar + 16 ounces butter. European recipes tend to have a different ratio, generally 1:1 sugar to fat.


When I posted the Proof recipe, I said that it is too rich for my taste. I generally prefer a recipe with less fat, less sugar and a tart element. My point is that I use recipes that are written to my taste instead of modifying recipes without thinking about the domino effect of changing ingredients or amounts of ingredients.


Have you tried the chocolate cake at Erewhon? I’ve had both that one and Proof’s and like Erewhon’s a smidge more. If what appeals to you about Proof’s is that it’s not super sweet, then try Erewhon’s. It’s dense, rich, slightly bitter, chocolatey, and surprisingly also vegan last time I checked.


On my list - thanks.


On the topic of skipping steps - you could certainly simplify this recipe, depending on what you like best about the Proof cake. For example skip one of the three fillings / glazes. Or if it’s all about the cake part, use the Proof recipe for the cake layers and top with a simple chocolate ganache.

Also four cups of flour + one cup of cocoa is going to make a huge three layer cake. The cake part of the recipe looks like it could easily be halved to make a smaller two layer cake.


Thanks! I may try that. Will post if I do!!


Try the Salted Caramel Chocolate Cake at Republique. Although it might not have as strong of an espresso undertone as Proof’s cake, the flavor profile is similar (and similarly delicious).


Thank you. I have tried that cake. While very good, as you’ve noted, no espresso component.