If you love to bake like I do then you understand the joy that seeing a perfectly decorated layer cake can bring- to both yourself and your loved ones. But, sometimes you want all that show-stopping flavor without a lot of effort and that’s where this frosted Kahlua brownie cake comes in. It’s made in a 9″x13″ pan and only has icing on top, but the flavor will absolutlely delight everyone who tries it.
The cake part is made with melted Baker’s chocolate and comes out fudgy like brownies tinged with Kahlua flavor. It’s not overwhelming and the little bit of salt in batter makes this a very more-ish cake.
Coupled with the coffee flavor in both the cake and the frosting this cake isn’t too sweet. Of course this can be a dangerous situation because after one piece you just might consider having another!
The frosting also has some Kahlua in it, as well as some instant coffee. If you don’t want to use alcohol in your cake you can substitute some coffee syrup in place of the liqueur, taking care to reduce the sugar in the cake by about 1/4 cup.
Make sure you dissolve the instant coffee well into the liquids before adding it to the butter and powdered sugar. Otherwise the coffee crystals won’t dissolve into the frosting and can make the color and texture uneven.
I used a cup and a milk frothing wand to really get the coffee infused into the mixture before adding it to the powdered sugar and butter. Unlike other frostings this one can become unworkable if you refrigerate it, so as soon as it’s whipped up you’re ready to frost your brownie cake.
The cake should be cold and this will help to set the frosting as you spread it (and ensure that the cake isn’t damaged during the process).
I took a y-peeler and made some chocolate shavings from a dark chocolate bar to cover the top of the cake as well, but this is an optional step.
If you love brownies and you love coffee then this frosted Kahlua brownie cake is a must-try recipe. It’s already become a favorite at my house!
Kahlua Brownie Cake
Makes 20 squares
2h 45m prep time
36m cook time
For the cake:
- 4 oz unsweetened chocolate
- 11 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 3 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup, plus 2 tablespoons Kahlua liqueur
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
For the frosting:
- 2 tablespoons Kahlua liqueur
- 1 tablespoon instant espresso or instant coffee powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 sticks butter, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- chocolate shavings for garnish (optional)
For the cake:
- Preheat oven to 320˚F. Combine chocolate and butter in microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds at a time, stirring between each interval until melted. Do not overheat.
- Use and electric blender to combine melted chocolate with sugar, vanilla, and Kahlua. Beat until sugar begins to dissolve. Mix in eggs fully, then add flour, baking powder, and salt. When uniform in color pour batter into greased and lined 9”x13” pan.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes on until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Allow to cool for 30 minutes. Then refrigerate for 2 hours before frosting.
For the frosting:
- Whisk together Kahlua, instant coffee, and vanilla in large bowl until coffee is dissolved. Beat in remaining ingredients using electric mixer. Add 1 teaspoon more Kahlua at a time if too dry or 1/4 cup powdered sugar if too wet. Spread over cooled cake immediately and level with back of spoon or offset spatula.
- Garnish with shaved chocolate if desired. Cut into squares to serve.
Recipe adapted from Reluctant Entertainer.