top of page

Week 7: French Opera Cake

Today was my first time trying to make an opera cake, and I am obsessed with how it turned out! The recipe for the cake was created by French pastry chef, Cyriaque Gavillon all the way back in 1955.

Going in, I was very intimidated by the intricate details of the cake. After all, an opera cake consists of layers of almond cake, espresso syrup, coffee buttercream, and chocolate ganache.

And yes, while there are a lot of steps, don’t worry; baking an opera cake is not as challenging as you may think. 

If you want to be extra fancy, try piping opera on top of each slice with leftover chocolate ganache.





  • 4 eggs, whole

  • 1 1/3 cups almond flour

  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar 

  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour 

  • 3 egg whites (save egg yolks for later)

  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar

  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted

Espresso syrup:

  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar

  • 1 tablespoon instant espresso powder

  • 1/2 cup water

Coffee buttercream:

  • 1/2 cup water

  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar

  • 4 egg yolks

  • 1 cup butter, softened

  • 1 tablespoon espresso powder

  • 1 tablespoon water

Chocolate ganache:

  • 2 cups chocolate, chopped

  • 3/4 cup butter


  1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F, and line a 12" by 16" baking sheet with parchment paper.

  2. In a large bowl, beat the eggs until they double volume. Then mix in the almond flour and powdered sugar.

  3. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until they form stiff peaks. Fold them into the batter you just made in three batches. Then, add the all-purpose flour and butter. Pour the mixture into your prepared pan and bake for 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.

  4. In a pan, over medium heat, cook the water and sugar until the sugar dissolves. Then, stir in the espresso powder. Keep the syrup to the side while you prepare the other components.

  5. To make the buttercream, beat the egg yolks for five minutes.

  6. Next, cook the sugar and water over medium-high heat in a pot until the mixture starts boiling. Once the temperature reaches 235 degrees F, take the pot off the heat. In the stand mixer with the egg yolks still running, gently pour in the hot sugar water. Keep mixing until the bowl cools down to room temperature, and then add the butter one slice at a time. The frosting might look curdled, but keep mixing because it will come together.

  7. In a small bowl, mix the espresso powder and water. Add this into the frosting to make it coffee flavored.

  8. To make the chocolate ganache, microwave the chocolate and butter in 30-second intervals for 2-3 minutes until melted. Make sure to stir the chocolate around every 30 seconds.

  9. To assemble, you need to cut the cake into three slices. Note: look below the recipe to reference a visual diagram of this step!

  10. Brush your coffee syrup generously over each layer and place one cake piece on a serving plate as your base. Add on half of your frosting and top with another cake layer. Then, spread half of your chocolate ganache over the cake. Place the final cake layer and cover with the remaining frosting. Put the cake in the refrigerator to cool for 30 minutes.

  11. Once the cake is chilled, add the final layer of chocolate ganache. Trim the edges by cutting each side of the cake. Then, cut five small slices to serve.


The Bored Baker 👩🏽‍🍳

Visual for cutting the cake:


bottom of page