Opera Cake - My version

The original recipe is from “Spago Desserts” and literally toook all day to make. A Chocolate Chiffon cake soaked in coffee soaking liquid with alternating layers of Chocolate Charlotte and Coffee buttercream and then covered in ganache, wrapped with a chocolate band, and adorned with chocolate curls. Delicious, mind you, but too time consuming. So this is my version.

Opera Cake – My version


  • Cake:
  • 1 box DH dark choc fudge cake mix

  • 1 box choc pudding
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 c milk
  • 1/2 c water
  • 1/2 c oil
  • Coffee Soaking Liquid:

  • corn syrup

  • vanilla
  • strong coffee
  • Filling:

  • Coffee Buttercream or Chocolate-Coffee Buttercream

  • Frosting:

  • Coffee Buttercream or Choc-Coffee Buttercream

  • Ganache


  1. Ingredients are mixed together, poured into prepared pans, and baked at 325 until done (for me and my convection oven, takes about 35-40 minutes).
  2. I torte the layers and moisten all layers with the soaking liquid (sorry, no real amounts here, I just do it to taste).
  3. I typically then fill the layers with either coffee buttercream (I use an all butter recipe and replace the liquid with strong, room temp coffee – day old works perfectly) or with a choc-coffee buttercream (for mine, again, I use an all butter, then melt real semi-sweet choc chips with coffee, and replace the liquid with coffee).
  4. Whereas the original recipe just called for ganache on the outside of the cake, I frost the cake with a thick layer of coffee or choc-coffee buttercream (this time, though, made w/ butter/crisco mix).
  5. Smooth and chill.
  6. For the ganache, I melt real semi-sweet choc chips (for an 8″ cake, I’ll use a 12 oz bag) combined with strong coffee (just enough to make it pourable).


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