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!

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Opera Cake

4.41 from 5 votes
Opera Cake is a rich French Cake, 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.
Servings 10 servings
Prep Time 1 hr 30 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 2 hrs


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 ¼ cup (280g) butter , softened

Chocolate Glaze

  • 7 oz (200g) semisweet chocolate
  • 2 tbsp (30ml) canola oil


  • Prepare joconde (almond sponge cake). Preheat oven to 400F (200C). Grease and line with parchment paper two 9×13 inch (23x33cm) baking pan.
  • 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.
  • In another bowl whip the egg whites and salt until foamy. Gradually add sugar and continue mixing until stiff peaks form.
  • Fold the whipped whites into the almond mixture and add melted butter.
  • Divide batter evenly into prepared pans.
  • Bake for 8-10 minutes until slightly golden.
  • Cool completely.
  • When completely cooled use a 8 inch (20cm) square ring to cut the sponge cakes into three
  • Prepare coffee syrup . Place the water, sugar and coffee into a small saucepan and bring to boil over medium heat.
  • Set aside to cool completely.
  • Prepare chocolate croustillant. Melt the chocolate over bain-marie. Add Pailleté feuilletine and stir to combine.
  • Spread the croustillant on top of one square sponge cake. Refrigerate to set.
  • Prepare chocolate ganache. Place chocolate into a bowl. Heat cream into a small sauce pan until it starts to boil. Pour over the chocolate. Let sit for 1 minute. Stir until completely melted. Set aside to cool, at room temperature. 
  • Prepare coffee buttercream. Mix egg yolks in a heatproof bowl until creamy and light yellow colored.
  • 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.
  • Gradually add softened butter, mix on low until  butter is incorporated and then mix on high speed until smooth and fluffy.
  • Cake assembly. Take the croustillant coated sponge cake layer from the fridge, flip on a serving plate with chocolate croustillant facing down.
  • Brush the sponge cake layer with coffee syrup.
  • Spread half of coffee buttercream. Add another layer of sponge cake, soak well with coffee syrup.
  • Spread the cooled chocolate ganache.
  • Add the last layer of sponge cake and brush well with coffee syrup.
  • Spread the other half of buttercream on top and even the surface using an offset spatula or cake scraper.
  • Cover and refrigerate the cake for at least 2 hours or even overnight.
  • 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.
  • Pour the glaze immediately over the chilled cake to create a smooth surface. Refrigerate for about 1 hour to set.
  • 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!



Serving: 1gCalories: 798kcalCarbohydrates: 73.3gProtein: 11.1gFat: 56.3gSaturated Fat: 28.2gCholesterol: 248mgSugar: 64.4g
Calories: 798kcal
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: French
Keyword: coffee chocolate cake, French dessert, French opera cake, mocha cake, opera cake

Did you make this recipe?

Please let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and tag @homecookingadventure on Instagram and hashtag it #homecookingadventure.

Join the Conversation

  1. Katherine Sidener Author says:

    How can this recipe be adapted to a round pan?

    1. Ella-HomeCookingAdventure Author says:

      Hi Katherine.

      You can use an 8 inch pan with same quantities.

  2. G Bryan Author says:

    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.

  3. heba Author says:

    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

    1. Ella-HomeCookingAdventure Author says:

      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

  4. Cristina Author says:

    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.

    1. Ella-HomeCookingAdventure Author says:

      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.

  5. Dorothée Author says:

    Hello, my ganache is too liquid why? I put 160g de chocolat and 160g of whipping cream!

    1. Ella-HomeCookingAdventure Author says:

      Hi Dorothee.

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

  6. Kimo Author says:

    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.

    1. Ella-HomeCookingAdventure Author says:

      Hello Kimo.

      The answer is yes for both questions.

  7. Lilly Author says:

    Hello! I wanted to ask for the paiellete thing i cant find it anywhere, can i use choose ganache by itself?

    1. Ella-HomeCookingAdventure Author says:

      Hi Lilly.

      You can leave the Paillette Feuilletine out.

  8. heba Ahmed Author says:

    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

    1. Ella-HomeCookingAdventure Author says:

      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.

  9. Stella Blinderman Author says:

    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

    1. Ella-HomeCookingAdventure Author says:

      Hello Stella.

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

  10. Gregory Author says:

    Two questions, 1. in the recipe you seemed to have skipped the section on how to make the chocolate ganache. 2. You say to use the extra glaze to write Opera on the cakes, but you give no quantity of how much to use as glaze and how much to leave for writing?

    1. Ella-HomeCookingAdventure Author says:

      Hi Gregory.

      1. The chocolate ganache is in step 4.

      2. Use the glaze until the cake is covered and use what's  left for writing.

  11. Natalia Author says:

    Hi Ella, in your recipe it only states 5 egg whites. but in the video, u added 5 full eggs to the almond flour & powdered sugar mix on top of the egg white that you whipped to a merengue.
    so does that mean its 5 eggs + 5 egg whites?
    just needed clarification

    1. Ella-HomeCookingAdventure Author says:

      Hi Natalia.

      Yes, it is 5 eggs +5 egg whites.

  12. Hyde Author says:

    Hi Ella,
    Can I substitute the Paillette Feuilletine with Kellogg’s Corn flakes? Thanks in advance.

    1. Ella-HomeCookingAdventure Author says:

      Helo Hyde.

      Yes, with Kellogg's Corn flakes should be ok.

  13. Andy Author says:

    I made this for an event at work and it was a winner. A bit time-consuming but each step was doable and it was so, so good. I really appreciated the metric measurements.

    It worked well to adjust quantities to make a 10″ cake.

    Would definitely recommend!

  14. Aubrey Author says:

    Hi Ella, thank you for sharing your recipe. I have the following questions:
    1) what type of flour do you use?
    2) what type of sugar do you use? is fine sugar ok?
    3) what brand of instant coffee do you use?
    4) do you use dairy or non-dairy whipping cream?
    5) do you use salted or unsalted butter?
    Thank you for your time.

    1. Ella-HomeCookingAdventure Author says:

      Hi Aubrey.

      1. All- purpose  type of flour

      2. Fine sugar is ok

      3. The one you like best

      4. Dairy whipping cream

      5. Unsalted butter.

      Happy cooking.!

  15. Amelia Author says:

    The recipe is great! When I slice the cake, the chocolate croustillant breaks into pieces. Any tips, should I add more chocolate?
    Also, how should I transfer this 8 x 8 inch cake onto a cake board? Again, it’s hard as the chocolate croustillant keeps falling apart.

  16. Tasnim Author says:

    hello , the cake seems wonderful i appreciate your work very much but i’m facing one big problem my family members are not so accepting towards eating something with raw yolks can i possibly replace the raw yolk with something else ..thanks you very much ????

  17. Tasnim Author says:

    Hello! I wanted to ask if I can possibly replace raw yolks with something else ?

    1. Ella-HomeCookingAdventure Author says:

      Hello Tasnim.

      They are not used raw …yolks get cooked.

  18. Tasnim Author says:

    aren’t the yolks in the coffe buttercream raw? would they get cooked from the syrub temperature alone or by getting mixed?? sorry I’m a total rookie so I really know nothing about these things hope you reply and thank you very much for answering..

    1. Ella-HomeCookingAdventure Author says:

      Hi Tasmin.

      Yes, the yolks  will be cooked from the syrup temperature.

  19. Melvin C Author says:

    Hi Ella can i bake the cake layers one by one in the oven?
    I only have one cake pan 🙁

    1. Ella-HomeCookingAdventure Author says:

      Hi Melvin.

      Sure you can. 

  20. Eamonn Author says:

    Hi Ella, Congratulations on a wonderfully produced video, so far it the best one I have seen for this recipe hands down! I have one question regarding the “Semi-sweet chocolate” I noticed that you seemed to use couveture pieces in your video. I am wondering do you think that semi-sweet chocolate chips will give a similar result to using couveture? Also I am a bit concerned about the oil to chocolate ratio in the glaze, I want to have that silky smooth finish on the cake top but would also like to have it cut like a soft ganasch like in yor video.

    1. Ella-HomeCookingAdventure Author says:

      Hi Eamonn.

      it is ok to use semi- sweet chocolate chips , follow  the recipe and the result will be good.

  21. Hasitha Jayasinghe Author says:

    Hi Ella, can I use cooking chocolate instead of semisweet chocolate ?

    1. Ella-HomeCookingAdventure Author says:

      Hi Hasitha.

      Jes, you can.

  22. Pierre Author says:

    Hi Ella, love the detailed video. Perfect for novice bakers like myself 🙂

    Is it possible to substitute the 30g of regular flour for the Joconde with 30g of Almond flour making a total of 170g Almond flour?

    My brother is celiac so would be nice to make this gluten free (I’d substitute the Feuilletine also)

    1. Ella-HomeCookingAdventure Author says:

      Helo Pierre.

      Yes,  you can use more almonds flour.

  23. Brittany Author says:

    Hello. I know coffee is a big part in this recipe but my aunt requested a cake like this but doesn’t like coffee. Is there anything I can substitute for flavor in the butter cream and syrup?
    Thank you!

    1. Ella-HomeCookingAdventure Author says:

      Hello Brittany.

      If you don't use the coffee it will not have  the same taste.

      1. Coffee can be replace with strawberry emulsion usually or any other berry. The flavors are still great with the berries.

  24. Doug Author says:

    Can I bake the cake over a weekend and freeze it for several days to preserve freshness prior to serving it a week later?

    1. Ella-HomeCookingAdventure Author says:

      yes.. it keeps very well in the freezer

  25. SUSAN Author says:

    Wonderful video and wonderful cake. I cant wait to try another one of you recipes!

  26. Mien Author says:

    Hi Ella,
    Just wanted to say what a clear video and amazing cake this is! I will be making it for the second time this weekend. Have a great day!

  27. Gabriela Author says:

    I am going to try this recipe next week
    Do you use bleached or raw almond flour?
    Thank you for the detailed video!

  28. Marcy Author says:

    Can espresso be used as an alternative to instant coffee?

  29. Amrita Author says:

    The recipe is so well written. I could follow it so well.bakes my first opera cake , the only difference being the bottom most layer was just plain melee chocolate. Rest everything as per rrecipe. Turned out awesome. thanks a ton. Amrita.

  30. Rheena Author says:

    Hello Ella
    I’m about to give this fantastic recipe a go and really looking forward to it, I just wondered what’s the best way to split the recipe to make it over 2 days instead of all in one go?

  31. annalisa Author says:

    Hi Ella, I tried your recipe and my opera cake turned out awesome. I posted it on my blog, if you want take look
    Here is the link on my post https://atthehob.blogspot.com/2018/01/opera-cake.html
    Thank you again for sharing

  32. Andrew Author says:

    Made this a few weeks ago with my father. The only issue we had was that even chilled overnight the buttercream top layer quickly liquefied and started to slough off when we put the glaze on. Hindsight we should have used some kind of form/mold to keep it together at the end. We weren’t too worried about presentation though and these were still amazing.

  33. Kathy Author says:

    I love this video! Hoping to make this for christmas family gathering, how can I adjust the recipe into a 10″ square instead? Please advice!

  34. Evalyne B. Author says:

    hi, I was making the and I got to the last step. pouring the glaze over the chilled cake. I did so and the chocolate ran off the sides and did not stay onto the cake. it seemed like it separated? I followed the instructions to a T and yet this happened. any tips or advice will be much appreciated

    1. Ella-HomeCookingAdventure Author says:

      I am glad you tried the recipe.. hope you enjoyes it even though the glaze made you problems. What type of chocolate did u use.. hope u used semisweet chocolate (55-70% cocoa).. not the milk one.. every time try to use good quality chocolate so you can have the best results .. also.. is it possible that you melted to a higher temperature and got too runny?  Every time you melt chocolate over bain marie .. don't hurry.. let it melt slowly over low heat  (especially when you melt white chocolate which is more sensitive to heat)

  35. ATEF Author says:

    The almond flour in the video looks like almond meal as I can see bits of almond skin. Is this almond flour or almond meal ?

    1. Ella-HomeCookingAdventure Author says:

      almond flour is same with almond meal.. you can ground your almonds with or without skin.. use the one you have on hand

  36. Hi, just to be clear, I can make this a day ahead and store in the fridge? How about 2 days ahead? Thank you!

  37. bita Author says:

    how many hours need the ganache cool compeletly?

  38. Bita Author says:

    How long does ganache take cool compeletly?

  39. Ulla Author says:

    Hi, wonderful recipe. I noticed the almond cake made 2 pans, but the chocolate croustillant was only enough for one square. Am I making 3 times the portion for all 3 squares?

  40. Tom Author says:

    Just found this recipe and made it within a day but was up early and took a fair amount of time. Possible but if you need over 2 days is good as well. Very easy to follow so thank you for the well organised recipe! Haven’t tried it yet but each component was tasty great. I made my own feuilletine as well which is very easy and fast, using eggs butter flour and sugar (for anyone that can’t find it in shops)

    Thanks again!!!!

  41. anya Author says:

    I made the joconde but the bottom of it came out rubbery and the entire cake tasted very eggy, is there a way I can fix this?

  42. rysha Author says:

    can I use the same recipe for a 8′ round pan??, if it is possible
    should I bake it in the same temperature while dividing the batter into 3 equal amounts??
    and can I coffee flavored whipped cream instead of buttercream??
    really looking forward to make this cake!!

  43. Bita Author says:

    Pleas answer
    My chocolate ganache is too runny and too liquid
    What’s my wrong?

  44. Malika Author says:

    Hi is this the traditional recipe or has it been modified.

  45. Raphael Author says:

    Hello, first of all this recipe and this cake looks wonderful.
    I would like some advice, do you know wich element i can make in advance ? I think that making it all the same day would be too stressfull for myself
    Thx in advance for the response

  46. Vandana Author says:

    My chocolate croustillant layer was delicious but a hard to cut. Needed a sharp knife to cut into it. Any idea why that could have happened? I used a dark compound chocolate.
    Thank you

  47. Tina Author says:

    I made this two times. Every time came out wonderful. Thanks for the recipe and video.

  48. Joel Author says:

    what can i replace Paillette Feuilletine with ? something easy to find maybe ?

  49. Regina Author says:

    OMG!! I watch a ton of baking shows, and have desperately wanted to make this for so long….I finally did a “trial run” to see if it was as good as it looked, so I could impress for Thanksgiving…..It is NOT as good as it looks…IT IS 100 TIMES BETTER!! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe!! Cannot wait until Thanksgiving!!!

  50. I made the cake and it was really good! I was a bit sweet for my taste so I’ll probably try reduce the sugar next time. Also, after serving, I realized the layers didn’t really stay together. Can you tell me why? Should I not serve it right out of the fridge?

    1. Ella-HomeCookingAdventure Author says:

      Yes.. you should let the cake for about 15 mins at room temperature before serving. 

  51. Ruben Author says:

    Wonderfull cake
    One question: the square ring, where can I get those?
    Thank you very much! Amazing video!!

  52. Kalea Author says:

    I would like to make in stages over a few days. Any suggestions on what holds up ok? I plan to assemble the day before to allow time for chilling and setting.
    Thank you ????

  53. elizabeth Author says:


  54. Rachel Author says:

    Hi what size eggs do you use?

    1. Ella-HomeCookingAdventure Author says:

      I usually use medium eggs

  55. Hlo ! I have done everything and reached to the last step but I ran out of vegetable oil and canola oil is not available where I live can I use butter instead?
    Thx u btw <3

    1. Ella-HomeCookingAdventure Author says:

      Sorry for the late answer.. yes.. melted butter should have worked too.. hope you tried it out. 

  56. Stephanie Cauchi Author says:

    Hello, I would like to thank you for this wonderful recipe. The video is clearly explained and the result of the cake was amazing! Thank you

    1. Ella-HomeCookingAdventure Author says:

      I am so glad to hear that Stephanie 🙂 Opera Cake is one of the best desserts ever

  57. Nancy Jacovina says:

    5 stars
    This cake was delicious and looks very professional. While there are a number of steps, each one is not too difficult thanks to the wonderful instructions and video. The best time to cut it (with a hot knife) is 10 minutes out of the refrigerator, but the best time to eat it is about an hour later. You want to give the buttercream time to soften and bring out all of the delicious flavors, so plan accordingly. I can’t wait to try another cake from this site.

    1. Ella-HomeCookingAdventure Author says:

      Nancy. I am really glad you enjoyed the cake. It is one of the best indeed. Hope you will try some other recipes too :)Enjoy!

  58. Nancy Jacovina says:

    5 stars
    Also, this cake freezes beautifully before adding the glaze. Freeze it uncovered until the buttercream is hard, then wrap it well with plastic wrap and then foil. I froze it for 3 weeks and it was still perfect. Move it to the refrigerator the night before you want to serve it, then unwrap it and continue with the glazing instructions.

  59. Hello! I’m planning to make this week for a birthday party, we’ll be 15 people. What size do you think the layers should be? (Having converted the ingredients x15 people)

    1. Ella-HomeCookingAdventure Author says:

      I would double the recipe and make a 8*16 inch (20x40cm) cake .. or 2 separate 8 inch (20cm) cakes

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