Opera Cake

Opera Cake

Watch the video for this recipe:

Opera Cake is a rich French dessert, that uses one of the most loved flavor combinations, chocolate and coffee. The cake is consisting of layers of almond sponge cake soaked in coffee syrup, filled with coffee buttercream and chocolate ganache and topped with chocolate glaze. For an elegant finish its name is written on top of each slice and is decorated with gold leaf.


This recipe is time consuming, no doubt about that, but each step is quite easy to prepare and the work can easily be divided for 2 days. The final result is rewarding and really satisfying. Don’t be intimidated by the volume of work or ingredients, I encourage you to try this recipe as will definitely be a crowd pleasure. Enjoy!

Related Posts:
Raspberry Mille Feuille (Napoleon)
Strawberry Chocolate Mirror Cake



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  • Makes about 10 servings
  • Joconde (Almond Sponge Cake)
  • 5 eggs, room temperature
  • 5 oz (140g) ground almonds (almond flour)
  • 5 oz (140g) powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup (30g) flour
  • 2 tbsp (30g) butter, melted
  • 5 egg whites
  • 2 tbsp (30g) sugar
  • 1/4 tsp (1g) salt
  • Coffee Syrup
  • 2/3 cup (160ml) water
  • 1/2 cup (100g) sugar
  • 3 tsp (6g) instant coffee
  • Chocolate Croustillant
  • 2.5 oz (70g) semisweet chocolate
  • 2.5 oz (70g) Paillette Feuilletine
  • Chocolate Ganache
  • 5.5 oz (160g) semisweet chocolate
  • 2/3 cup (160g) whipping cream
  • Coffee Butercream
  • 5 egg yolks, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup (150g) sugar
  • 3 tbsp (45ml) water
  • 2 tsp (4g) instant coffee
  • 1 1/4 cup (280g) butter, softened
  • Chocolate Glaze
  • 7 oz (200g) semisweet chocolate
  • 2 tbsp (30ml) canola oil
  1. Prepare joconde (almond sponge cake). Preheat oven to 400F (200C). Grease and line with parchment paper two 9x13 inch (23x33cm) baking pan.
  2. Sift the almond flour and powdered sugar into a large  bowl. Add the whole 5 eggs and mix until the mixture is creamy and fluffy. Incorporate flour.
  3. In another bowl whip the egg whites and salt until foamy. Gradually add sugar and continue mixing until stiff peaks form.
  4. Fold the whipped whites into the almond mixture and add melted butter.
  5. Divide batter evenly into prepared pans.
  6. Bake for 8-10 minutes until slightly golden.
  7. Cool completely.
  8. When completely cooled use a 8 inch (20cm) square ring to cut the sponge cakes into three
  9. Prepare coffee syrup . Place the water, sugar and coffee into a small saucepan and bring to boil over medium heat.
  10. Set aside to cool completely.
  11. Prepare chocolate croustillant. Melt the chocolate over bain-marie. Add Pailleté feuilletine and stir to combine.
  12. Spread the croustillant on top of one square sponge cake. Refrigerate to set.
  13. Prepare coffee buttercream. Mix egg yolks in a heatproof bowl until creamy and light yellow colored.
  14. In a small saucepan combine sugar with water and instant coffee and place on medium heat. Using a candy thermometer measure syrup temperature. When it reaches 240 F (115C) pour it gradually over the creamy egg yolks, while mixing continuously. Continue mixing until the mixture is cooled.
  15. Gradually add softened butter, mix on low until  butter is incorporated and then mix on high speed until smooth and fluffy.
  16. Cake assembly. Take the croustillant coated sponge cake layer from the fridge, flip on a serving plate with chocolate croustillant facing down.
  17. Brush the sponge cake layer with coffee syrup.
  18. Spread half of coffee buttercream. Add another layer of sponge cake, soak well with coffee syrup.
  19. Spread the cooled chocolate ganache.
  20. Add the last layer of sponge cake and brush well with coffee syrup.
  21. Spread the other half of buttercream on top and even the surface using an offset spatula or cake scraper.
  22. Cover and refrigerate the cake for at least 2 hours or even overnight.
  23. Prepare chocolate glaze. Before preparing the glaze place the chilled cake over a rack placed on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Melt the chocolate over bain-marie. Add oil and stir to combine.
  24. Pour the glaze immediately over the chilled cake to create a smooth surface. Refrigerate for about 1 hour to set.
  25. Using a hot knife cut the edges of the cake and cut the cake in 8 or 10 rectangular pieces. Using the leftover chocolate glaze write “Opera” on each and decorate with gold leaf. Enjoy!
Opera Cake-1
Nutrition facts 1 Serving of 10 - Calories:798, Fat:56.3g, Saturated Fat:28.2g, Carbohydrates:73.3g, Sugar:64.4g, Fiber:3.9g, Protein:11.1g , Cholesterol: 248mg, Sodium 308mg, Vitamin D 33mcg, Calcium 85mg, Iron 3mg, Potassium 232mg, daily percent values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
On December 07, 2017 at 03:29 pm, Katherine Sidener said...
How can this recipe be adapted to a round pan?

Hi Katherine.

You can use an 8 inch pan with same quantities.

On December 07, 2017 at 04:19 pm, G Bryan said...
That cake love so good because you put so much care into putting it together. And it looks so good. Keep up with your great talent, in baking.
On December 09, 2017 at 08:10 am, heba said...
Hi Ella Kindly help me as i do not have thermometer and i don't know how i can measure it without using it Can i replace the canola oil with another kind of oil Thank you

Hello Heba.

If you don' t have a thermometer than let it boil for 5 minutes, and the canola oil can be substituted whit any other oil ,preferably flavourless

On December 09, 2017 at 10:04 am, Cristina said...
Thank you for your recipe, It is amazing. Please can you tell me what is paillete feuilletine? I've never heard about It and I am not sure I can find it.

Hi Cristina.

Paillette Feuilletine is a crunchy crepe but you can leave it out if is not available in your area..use only chocolate instead.

On December 09, 2017 at 03:50 pm, Dorothée said...
Hello, my ganache is too liquid why? I put 160g de chocolat and 160g of whipping cream!

Hi Dorothee.

Make sure to let the chocolate cool first before adding the whipped cream.

On December 16, 2017 at 02:45 pm, Kimo said...
Hi from upload this recipe i was continueouslly watch it i have two questions first can substitute semisweet by dark chocolate second can i use nescoffee i can not get instant coffee around tnx for ur passionate work.

Hello Kimo.

The answer is yes for both questions.

On December 29, 2017 at 10:36 pm, Lilly said...
Hello! I wanted to ask for the paiellete thing i cant find it anywhere, can i use choose ganache by itself?

Hi Lilly.

You can leave the Paillette Feuilletine out.

On December 31, 2017 at 06:29 am, heba Ahmed said...
hi Ella Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2018 :) for you and your family. kindly note that I tried this recipe it taste so good but I have two questions first one piece size was small not similar to your photo in height and size I do not know the reason while I am using same measurements and amounts. the other question regarding chocolate glaze after spreading it on cake I refrigerate it for one hour but when I tried to cut it the glaze layer was tough and cracked and broken. thanks in advance for you assist

Hi Heba.

I wish you a Happy New Year, too.

About the first question, i am sorry but i don't know what might have happened.

For the second question make sure you use a hot knife when cutting the cake ; you can also leave the cake at room temperature for about 10 minutes before cutting.

On January 04, 2018 at 01:20 pm, Stella Blinderman said...
Hi Ella, I am so inspired to make this opera cake. Please advise how to make it a 3 layer 8" round cake...Looking forward to your response. Thank you very much Regards, Stella

Hello Stella.

I suggest to bake 3 layer in the 8 inch pan.

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