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Mini Espresso Cake with Rosewater Buttercream

Recipe Level: Easy to Moderate

You're going to fall in love with the mini espresso cake with rosewater buttercream icing! It's a 6" mini cake that is chocolatey and super moist. It's rich with chocolate and balanced with a sweet floral extract of rosewater. This is a special dessert, perfect for sharing with a loved one.

Baked by Alie Romano

Professional Baker and Recipe Developer

* Make sure to read the entire blog post. Every step matters, and I’ll provide helpful tips along the way!

Mini Espresso Cake with Rosewater Buttercream

This mini chocolate espresso cake with rosewater buttercream makes me so happy! It’s the sweetest and prettiest mini cake that’s full of flavour; it’s super moist and makes you wish you had a large cake instead! The inspiration for this espresso cake comes from my beloved travels through Morocco and Europe. It’s fun to play and try new flavours in baking and although rosewater isn’t new to me it may be something new and exciting for you!

The rosewater buttercream can be as strong or as mild as you like, so if you are new to adding floral notes to your baking you can always start small and add more flavour as you go.

I’m a big fan of showing love for others by making something special in the kitchen! I can’t think of anything more special than spending time preparing a favourite dish (or treat) for someone you care about and then sharing it together!  It’s the little things that matter, the small details that show you care; like remembering a favourite dish or flavour or the smells/flavours of a place you’ve travelled together.

Mini Espresso Cake with Rosewater Buttercream
Mini Espresso Cake with Rosewater Buttercream

Ingredients

The secret ingredient is always love! 😉

  • Unsalted butter
  • Granulated sugar
  • Egg
  • Sour cream
  • All-purpose flour
  • Dark cocoa
  • Brewed espresso or extra strong coffee
  • Full milk or whipping cream
  • Icing sugar
  • Rosewater extract
  • Pure vanilla extract
  • Red food colouring
  • Baking soda
  • Salt

Substitution

Rosewater isn’t the easiest to get your hands on and some people just don’t enjoy floral notes in their baking. In this case, I’d recommend substituting the rosewater buttercream icing for raspberry buttercream. It’s similar but has a fruity note rather than floral. Use this buttercream recipe here.

Mini Espresso Cake with Rosewater Buttercream

Helpful Tips to make Mini Espresso Cake with Rosewater Buttercream

  • A hot/warm cake from the oven easily breaks apart, has many crumbs and is more difficult to build. Freezing the cake helps limit the crumbs while making it easier to build and ice the cake.
  • To control crumbs use a pastry brush to brush away crumbs while building your cake.
  • This cake is super moist, you may be tempted to continue baking thinking the cake isn’t done. Be careful not to overbake the cake as you want that moist bite.
  • If using real flowers on your cake remember to use pesticide-free flowers and never stick the stems directly into the icing.
  • You can make the cake ahead of time and freeze it for up to a week. Make the icing the day of and ice the cake partially frozen.
  •  You can easily double the recipe and make a large cake to feed a crowd.

How To Make a Mini Espresso Cake with Rosewater Buttercream

Step One: Bake cakes and place them in the freezer. Meanwhile, make your icing.

Step Two: Add approximately a tablespoon of icing to the center of your cake stand (this is so your cake won’t slide around when you are building it or cutting the cake). Place one of the cakes on top and gently press down. Spread a layer of icing on top of the cake.

Step Three: Then carefully place the second cake on top. Add the rest of the icing to the top layer of the cake and smooth out the icing.

Step Four: Add fresh flowers and enjoy!

Mini Espresso Cake with Rosewater Buttercream
Mini Espresso Cake with Raspberry Buttercream
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Mini Espresso Cake with Rosewater Buttercream

This 6″ mini cake is light and moist from the sour cream and espresso. It’s rich with chocolate and balanced with the floral extract of rosewater in the buttercream icing. This is a special dessert perfect for sharing (4 people).

  • Author: Alie Romano
  • Prep Time: 30 mins
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 16 inch cake 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Persian

Ingredients

Units Scale

Cake

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sifted dark cocoa
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup brewed espresso or extra strong coffee

Icing

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3 cups sifted icing sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon rosewater extract
  • 23 Tablespoons full milk or whipping cream
  • 1 drop red food colouring

Instructions

  1. Brew your coffee or espresso and bring to room temperature (make it extra strong), set aside.
  2. Line two 6 inch round cake pans with parchment paper and set aside (grease the sides with oil).
  3. Preheat oven to 350˚F.
  4. In a mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg, sour cream and vanilla extract. Beat until well incorporated and pale in colour.
  5. In a separate bowl whisk together flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt.
  6. Add your dry ingredients to your butter mixture, alternating with the brewed coffee making 2 additions.
  7. Pour batter into prepared pans, do your best to divide the batter evenly between the two pans (this is to ensure even baking for each cake).
  8. Place in the center of the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes. Let cool on a cooling rack for 5-10 minutes and then place the cakes (in pans) into the freezer. Meanwhile, make your icing.
  9. In a large mixing bowl beat butter, icing sugar, milk and rosewater extract until smooth and fluffy. Add one drop of red food colouring and beat until pale pink. Set aside.
  10. Take out cakes from the freezer and carefully remove them from the pans.
  11. Add approximately a tablespoon of icing to the center of your cake stand (this is so your cake won’t slide around when you are building it or cutting the cake). Place one of the cakes on top and press down. Spread a layer of icing on top of the cake and then carefully place the second cake on top. Add more icing to the top layer of the cake and smooth out. 
  12. Top with fresh flowers and enjoy. 

Notes

Freezing the cake helps limit the crumbs while building and icing the cake. A hot/warm cake from the oven crumbs easily and is more difficult to build.

Use a pastry brush to brush away crumbs while building your cake.

This cake is super moist, do your best to not overbake it. It will last you 3 days without drying out if you don’t overbake it.

If using real flowers on your cake remember to use pesticide-free and never stick the stems directly into the icing.

You can make the cake ahead of time and freeze for up to a week. Make icing the day of and ice the cake partially frozen.

 You can easily double the recipe and make a large cake to feed a crowd.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 serving of 8
  • Calories: 607
  • Sugar: 76.9g
  • Sodium: 337mg
  • Fat: 27.3g
  • Saturated Fat: 17g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 0
  • Trans Fat: 0
  • Carbohydrates: 91.7g
  • Fiber: 1.2g
  • Protein: 3.8g
  • Cholesterol: 91mg

Keywords: Espresso Cake, Chocolate Cake, Cake, Mini Cake, Valentine’s Day, Rosewater Buttercream Icing

Did you make this recipe?

Write a review and let me know!

Share a photo and tag me on Instagram @bakingforfriends_

I can’t wait to see what you’ve made! xo alie

FAQ’s

Is rosewater extract and rosewater the same thing?

Rosewater extract and rosewater are similar but not the same thing. The extract or essence of rosewater has a higher concentration and is much stronger in flavour, which is great for flavouring cocktails, cooking and baking. Rosewater is diluted, lighter in flavour and can be used more for hydration and beauty regimens.

Where can you find rosewater extract?

You can find rosewater extract at most Indian or Middle Eastern grocers.

Is rosewater extract and essence the same thing?

Yes, rosewater extract and essence refer to the same concentrated type of rosewater.

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Cathy Braden
Cathy Braden
7 years ago

This cake looks absolutely beautiful and I’m sure it’s delicious too. Are 6″ pans hard to find?

Carrie
Carrie
6 years ago
Rating :
     

I just made this cake…not being the greatest baker , it turned out great! Can’t wait for the guests to try it! I did double the recipe and found that I had a lot of extra icing, next time I don’t think I will double that part. I couldn’t find the rose water but just used vanilla instead.

Julia
Julia
6 years ago
Rating :
     

Hi Alex! I’m dying to make this cake, my friend made it and it was delicious!! One question I have is, Can the batter be made the night before and put in the fridge? I love your work…keep up the great posts!

Crystal
Crystal
2 years ago

Which type of rose flavoring is best? You state Rose Water Extract, but there is nothing of the sort; it’s either rose extract for baking or rose water? I’m looking to bake this for Mother’s Day. Thank you.

Life is uncertain, but dessert doesn't have to be!

Heart Shaped Sandwich Cookies

Spread some love with these cute heart shaped sandwich cookies. Each cookie features a soft buttery sugar cookie, filled with sweet raspberry buttercream icing and topped with pink sugar crystals for a crispy bite. They make the perfect cookie for Valentine's Day or any special occasion. 

Alie Romano

Meet

Alie

I'm a professional baker, recipe developer & photographer behind Baking For Friends. I specialize in classic & comforting baking. I hope you enjoy the recipes & find inspiration of your own to bring your family & friends together over home-cooked food!

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