Baker Bettie

Espresso Dark Chocolate Pecan Coffee Cake

This recipe for dark chocolate pecan coffee cake is really flavored with coffee! This is not your ordinary coffee cake. This is coffee flavored coffee cake for an extra jolt in the morning! 

Espresso, Pecan, and Dark Chocolate Coffee Cake cut into squares

One of the worst pains I have known in my life is the pain of seeing the person you love more than anything mourning. Knowing  that they are in an incredible amount of pain and despair and feeling as though there is nothing I can do to put their heart at ease.

Wishing I could fast forward time for them to the day when it will feel at least a little bit easier. But instead, I sit by their side and hold their hand and hope that it’s enough. Yet I know that nothing ever will be.

Espresso, Pecan, and Dark Chocolate Coffee Cake squares with a cup of coffee

It is always my knee jerk reaction to turn to food. To feed someone in their time of emotional need. I frantically think of what I can do to make it easier and I end up offering food. “What can I make you? Let me make you this, or that!”

Like food is going to heal the soul or something. And maybe it does, in a way. For most of us, food feels nurturing. But it can also feel insignificant in a time of loss.

Espresso, Pecan, and Dark Chocolate Coffee Cake squares and a cup of coffee

I just hope that those who have experienced my constant offer to feed them or my non-negotiable gift of food, know that it comes from the most sincerest love. That is is my way of saying and showing that I am here. For more than just filling your belly.

I am offering you the best way I know how to care for someone. But I am here for hugs, to listen if you want to talk, or to simply hold your hand too.

Espresso, Pecan, and Dark Chocolate Coffee Cake cut into squares

Espresso, Pecan, and Dark Chocolate Coffee Cake cut into squares

Espresso Dark Chocolate Pecan Coffee Cake

Yield: 24 Servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes

This recipe for dark chocolate pecan coffee cake is really flavored with coffee! This is not your ordinary coffee cake. This is coffee flavored coffee cake for an extra jolt in the morning! 


  • 4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 sticks (8 oz) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped pecans, toasted*
  • 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 4 tsp espresso powder (divided)
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 tsp cinnamon (divided)
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 2 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Spray a 9X13 inch baking dish with vegetable oil spray and line the bottom with parchment.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a large mixing bowl, using a handheld mixer), mix together the flour, both sugars, the butter and the salt until the mixture resembles coarse meal.
  3. To make the crumb topping, transfer 1 1/2 cup of the mixture to a small bowl and stir in the toasted pecans, chocolate, 2 tsp of espresso powder, and 1 tsp of the cinnamon. Set aside.
  4. Add the baking soda and remaining 2 tsp espresso powder, and remaining 1 tsp cinnamon into the remaining butter-sugar mixture, add the buttermilk, egg, vanilla, and almond extract, and mix just until combined.
  5. Scrape the batter into the prepared baking pan, spreading it evenly. Sprinkle the crumb topping evenly over the batter.
  6. Bake for 50-60 minutes, until the top is golden brown and a cake tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Remove to a wire rack and allow to cool in the pan.


Adapted from The Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook

Nutrition Information:

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 262


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15 comments on “Espresso Dark Chocolate Pecan Coffee Cake”

  1. I’m sure your baking is a comfort to your loved-one. I know how you feel, because I do exactly the same.

  2. Hugs and food are all I know to give in hard emotional times too. I’m sure they feel your love!

    and this cake is so incredibly beautiful-the flavors and execution are just flawless!

    • Thank you love! I hope your move is going as smoothly as possible. Can’t wait to hear about your new place and especially your kitchen!

  3. I think food is the best comfort in times of need or sadness. This coffee cake is all sorts of comfort and love.

  4. I truly believe that food is the best way to show someone you care. This coffee cake is the perfect way to say that. Love! Pinned.

    • Thank you so much Jennie! It does feel very loving when someone cooks for you doesn’t it? One of the best ways I know how to show someone I care!

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  6. What a special lady you are!
    Yes, I agree cooking for others, offering support, being there in times of need, is what’s required for showing your love & sharing in their grief. I’m sure that this was of much comfort having you there & making this beautiful coffee cake, does exactly that…
    Seems wrong of me to write about the great cake recipe, so apologies to all concerned.
    However, this is a ‘heavenly’ recipe & I do love coffee cake, pecans & crumble topping is ‘The Icing on The Cake’ so to speak.
    Pinned, so will make this as I’m looking forward to it. You’ve probably guessed, I do enjoy cakes & desserts any time of day.
    Many thanks, Odelle Smith,

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  8. How much flour for the recipe?

    • Oh goodness! It looks like the line with the flour amount got deleted when I transferred recipe cards. It is 4 cups of flour and I have updated the recipe. Thanks for bringing it to my attention!

  9. There is no ingredient list! I would like to try it, but even printed out the list is not there…

    • Hi Kelly! Thanks for bringing this to my attention. My site recently went through some updates and some of my really old recipes got a little messed up. I’ve been working to fix them, but this one is now fixed! Sorry for the inconvenience!

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