Classic Opera Cake Recipe


Classic opera cake is a blast of almond and chocolate goodness. It is originally a French cake that is made by the layering of almond sponge cake with ganache, French coffee buttercream, and coffee syrup. Finally, it is glazed with chocolate.

Where does the Classic Opera Cake Originate From?

There are many hypotheses proposed regarding the opera cake's origin.

It is thought that Opera cake was initially 'Clichy' cake, made by Louis Clichy, who was one of Paris' incredible cake bakers. In 1903, he presented his renowned 'gâteau' at the Paris Exposition Culinaire. It got popular and turned into Clichy's shop's signature cake.

The 'pâtisserie Dalloyau,' bakers, declare the above origin as false. They claimed to make Opera cake in 1955. As per their story, one of their chefs, by the name of Cyriaque Gavillon, first designed the cake, which was named "opera cake" by his wife Andrée out of appreciation for a prima ballet dancer at the Paris Opéra. Supporters of Clichy say that cake's idea was actually 'stolen' by Dolloyau, and it wasn't his original work.

The theory that is widely consented is that it was designed by the Paris Opéra itself during 1890.  It was made in order to assist individuals in staying awake and working at night by using heavy caffeine dose.

 Anyway, we can be certain that the delicious Opera cake will be liked by generations to come because of its unique taste and texture.

How to make an opera cake from scratch?

Our below-mentioned delicious opera cake recipe will help you in achieving the desired taste.


Almond sponge cake: 

  1. Two large eggs were kept at room temperature for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Three tablespoons of non-self-rising cake flour. The flour must be measured and thoroughly sifted before use. Keep a little extra to dust the baking pan with.
  3. Half cup of confectioners' sugar. This, too, should be measured before sifting.
  4. Blanched almonds almost 2/3 cup or one cup of fine quality almond flour. (Approximately 3 ½ ounce).
  5. 1/8 teaspoon salt
  6. 1/8 teaspoon of tartar cream    
  7. Around one tablespoon of granulated sugar
  8. Two tablespoons of unsalted butter spread. Melt the butter, discard the foam and let it cool down.

Coffee buttercream ingredients:

  1. Two teaspoons of good quality, powdered instant coffee
  2. Six tablespoons of white/granulated sugar  
  3. One-quarter cup and one tablespoon of water
  4. Two egg yolks
  5. half cup unsalted butter, molten and cut into half-inched cubes

Coffee syrup ingredients:

  1. One teaspoon of good quality, powdered instant coffee  
  2. half a cup granulated sugar
  3. One-quarter cup of liquor
  4. Half cup of water plus one tablespoon more.

Chocolate glaze ingredients:

  1. Six tablespoons of unsalted spread
  2. 7 ounces of a high-quality bittersweet, roughly chopped chocolate (sweetened; ideally 70 to 71 percent of cocoa)

Equipment's needed:

    1. One sealable plastic sack (small)
    2. one metal spatula
    3. Candy thermometer
    4. A shallow baking pan, 15 by 10 inches.

Method and directions:

Make sponge cake:

  1. First, adjust the oven rack in the center position and heat it to 425°Farenhiet.grease the pan with butter, place waxed paper or parchment at the base. Leave a 1-inch projection on both shorter sides, and liberally grease with butter. Sprinkle the pan with dust flour and tap out the excess.
  2. Now, take a large bowl and rapidly beat the eggs with an electric blender until eggs have significantly increased in volume and form streaks when lifted. Lessen the beater's speed, and gradually start adding almond flour and sugar. Pause when combined and add more sifted flour in the mixture. Nicely fold until completely incorporated.
  3. Now with a cleaned beater, beat egg whites until frothy. Add in salt, tartar cream, and continue beating until soft egg white peaks are formed. Infuse granulated sugar at that point, keeping the speed high until egg whites start forming stiff peaks.
  4. Take the almond mixture, mix 33 percent of egg whites till lightning. Then add remaining egg whites and blend thoroughly. Incorporate butter, and pour the mixture in the pan to bake. Flatten delicately. Do not leave empty places, and do not overpress.
  5. Put it to bake for eight to ten minutes until nice light golden. Let it cool down after that.
  6. Carefully, with the help of a spatula, transfer the cake to a cutting board, lined with paper. Cut the cake into small squares and strips. Cut off protruding edges.

Make the coffee syrup:

7.         Dissolve together with the coffee powder and one tablespoon of water. In a 1 to the 2-quart heavy pan, boil together with the sugar and half cup of water. Continue stirring until sugar is dissolved completely. Remove from stove and add coffee mixture and liquor.

Make coffee buttercream:

  1. Dissolve coffee powder in 1 tablespoon of water until completely infused. Boil together sugar and one-quarter cup of water until it starts bubbling. Keep stirring until sugar completely dissolves. Continue boiling without stirring, removing any sugar crystals that may form on the sides of the container with the assistance of a pastry brush. When the temperature rises to 238°Farenhiet on the thermometer, stop and remove from the stove. (see cook's note here).
  2. While it's bubbling, with the help of a clean beater, beat egg yolks for one minute at medium speed.
  3. Slowly, Add the prepared hot syrup to yolks (attempt to dodge mixers and side of the bowl),while continually beating. Add coffee mixture at this point and blend until the mixture cools down for around three to five minutes. Beat until totally cool, 3 to 5 minutes. Start beating the butter in it one by one, until smoothes and thickens.

Make the chocolate glaze:

  1. In a double boiler, soften and melt chocolate plus butter. (Keep two tablespoons chocolate aside.). Stir when needed until smooth. After removing from the double boiler, add remaining chocolate until smooth.
  2. Let it cool but keep it molten. Do not freeze.

Assemble the cake:

  1. Take one square of the cake. Put it on a plate. Generously apply one-third of coffee syrup with the brush. With a clean spatula, evenly spread half of the buttercream on top of it.
  2. Put both cake strips one next to the other on top of the first layer (any crease will be covered up by the next layer). Brush with half leftover coffee syrup. Evenly spread buttercream on top and also spread it to the edges.
  3. Put the remaining cake square on top and brush away with remaining coffee syrup. Spread away remaining buttercream evenly on top, spreading just to edges. Cooldown cake until buttercream hardens, for around thirty minutes.
  4. Take the remaining glaze mixture and reheat over scarcely simmering water. It will get a shine and will become spreadable. (however, it should not be warm to touch),around one minute. Keep aside one tablespoon of glaze and pour all over the layer of cake and spread finely to edges. Take that remaining one tablespoon of glaze into a lockable plastic bag. Cut a little opening in the corner and start decorating the cake. Let it chill until glaze is firm and set. It will take around 30 minutes. Make neat, sharp edges with a knife and enjoy!

Recipe notes:

Almond flour, if unavailable, substitute it with whole almonds ground with sugar. Does it in a food processor until finely powdered? (Do not make a paste. Do not add water). Check the temperature often during cooking. Opera cake can be made two days in advance. For a good opera cake, Keep it well covered with cling wrap (when the chocolate coating has firmed and dried). Refrigerate the cake. After pulling out from the freezer, allow it to come back to room temperature for around half to one hour after removing the cling wrap.