This is one of my favorite cakes I have ever made. Possibly my favorite. It starts from a simple cake mix, but it evolves into a masterpiece of chocolate and coffee that will impress the most discerning guests. The frosting is absolutely heavenly.
1 1/2 cups butter, at room temperature
1 package chocolate cake mix
2 tbsp. instant coffee granules
1 pkg. cream cheese, at room temperature
1 pkg. (16 oz.) powered sugar + 1 cup
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350*. Coat 2 (9 inch) round cake pans with cooking spray. Melt 1/2 cup butter; cool slightly. On medium speed, beat cake mix with 1 cup water, eggs and melted butter until just blended. On medium high speed, beat until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Divide batter between two pans and bake 25 minutes. Cool 5 minutes. Transfer from pans to racks. Stir coffee granules into 1/3 cup water until dissolved; reserve 2 tbsp. of mixture. Brush warm cake layers with remaining coffee mixture, cool completely.
On medium high speed, beat remaining butter until fluffy. On low speed, gradually beat in 16 oz. powdered sugar and reserved 2 tbsp. coffee mixture until blended. On medium high speed, beat until light and fluffy.
In separate bowl, on medium high speed, beat cream cheese and vanilla with remaining 1 cup sugar until blended and fluffy. Transfer one cake layer to serving plate and spread with cream cheese mixture to within 1/2 inch of edge. Top with remaining cake layer.
Spread cake top and sides with coffee frosting.
It's a little bit of an effort to make this cake, but it is certainly worth it. I'll be making this again in the near future!