Coffee + Cake: Vera Stewart's Choco-Latte Cake

Katie ‘s Note : Did you catch our interview with chef, cookbook author, and television personality Vera Stewart? Well, not only was Vera gracious in her conversation with us, she’s also generous in sharing this recipe for her Choco-Latte Cake. Vera adds medium roast coffee to the batter—we recommend our Colombian blend—to create this smooth and rich cake.

Prep Time: 30 to 35 minutes

Bake Time: 40 minutes

Serves: 20 to 24 (½” to 1” slices)


1 ⅓ cups unsalted butter, at room temperature                                

3 cups dark brown sugar, packed                                                                            

4 large eggs, at room temperature                

1 ½ cups sour cream                                                

3 cups cake flour                                                       

1 cup Hershey’s ® cocoa powder, sifted                              

1 tablespoon baking soda                                                      

½ teaspoon salt                                                                                                         

1 ½ cups brewed medium roast coffee

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract


  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Grease and flour three 9-inch pans lined with parchment paper.
  2. Cream the butter and brown sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer on medium speed for 5 minutes, or until light and fluffy.
  3. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl.
  4. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  5. Add the sour cream and beat well.
  6. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl.
  7. Combine the cake flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt in a bowl and mix with a wire whisk.
  8. Combine the coffee and vanilla extract and mix well.
  9. With the mixer on low, alternately add the flour mixture and the coffee mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture, beating until well blended.
  10. Scrape the sides and bottom of bowl and incorporate any unmixed batter if necessary.
  11. Divide the batter evenly between the three prepared pans. Tap the pans on the counter to ensure there are no air bubbles.
  12. Bake for 40 minutes. Test doneness by touching a cake top. If it springs back, it is done. If the indentation stays, it needs 2 to 3 minutes longer.
  13. Cool the cakes for at least 10 minutes on a cooling rack before removing from the pans.

Choco-Latte Icing


1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature

16 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature

1 ½ cups Hershey® semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

2 tablespoons medium roast instant coffee granules

2 pounds confectioners’ sugar  


  1. Cream the butter and cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer for 3 minutes. At the end of the 3 minutes, scrape the bowl extremely well.
  2. Meanwhile, melt the chocolate in the microwave in 10-second intervals until smooth.
  3. Add the melted chocolate, vanilla extract, and coffee granules to the butter and cream cheese with the mixer on low speed.
  4. Slowly add the confectioners’ sugar, beating on low to ensure the sugar does not fly out of the mixing bowl.
  5. After each addition of confectioners’ sugar, scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl extremely well.
  6. Once all the confectioners’ sugar is incorporated, beat on low speed for 3 minutes.
  7. Spread icing between the cake layers and then on the top and sides of the stacked layers.

Welcome to the King Bean blog!

Coffee, Y’all shares everything we love about coffee in the South. Based in Charleston and the surrounding lowcountry, we showcase our fantastic culinary scene, our thriving King Bean community and of course, talk about all things coffee! We hope you enjoy it.

Katie Weinberger

King Bean Creative Director




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