Opera Cake

March 10, 2016

Opera cake is a French most loved dessert. 
Opera cake consists of layers of almond sponge soaked in coffee syrup, chocolate buttercream, chocolate ganache and chocolate glaze. 

   Opera cake masterchef recipe

Birthday Cake for my BOY

Its not easy finding a suitable birthday cake for my boy or boys in general.

Cake has to be bold in colour and shape. Flavours ought to be strong.

A long task ahead...


Its not just a cake, its an Opera Cake! 

After much research, being apprehensive of executing the task, I opted to bake my son, a French decadent, most loved dessert, an Opera Cake.

Phew!!!! I can NOW take a breather.
Thought this post will never make it to the blog.

You'll understand why when you reach the end... ;P


Happy Birthday, Son

My son turned 21!!!!

I just couldn't believe it either that he is TWENTY-One years of age!!! If I can have my way, I don't want them to grow at all, stay forever in a time capsule as a 1 or 2 year old... just not 21!

Being 21 is a huge milestone for my baby 'insert buckets of tears here", and you deserved a special treat.
If you are expecting... a key to that 'FOUR RINGS' luxurious car in that birthday card or first class ticket to discover the world, sorry to disappoint you, my baby :(

This is what you will get for the rest of your life

my unconditional love...

and I have a few words to say to you.

Remember me and remember everything I taught you
Be good, be kind, be generous, be truthful
be respectful, be grateful 
And always be thankful to the ONE who has bestowed everything in your favour.

A special bake for that special someone, who filled my life with love, pride and joy (at times.. a pain in my **** too! it all comes in a package deal ;p) ~ Opera Cake.

 Opera cake is rich and decadent cake for birthdays

Planning to bake Opera Cake 

Reading Joe's Pastry blog, I was  hooked and overwhelmed at the same time.

Baking Opera Cake seems like an elaborate, laborious cake to bake.

I did have self doubt.
Am I able :
"To bake or not to Bake?"
"am I able to put it together?"

Questions that went through my head over and over again.

Took me at least a month to go through the steps, planning on what to do, how to execute and so forth, for this is the first time I am baking an Opera cake and certainly I do not wish to make any boo-boo.

Opera Cake Recipe Step by Step

I tried to make the recipe as simple as possible.

And I would like to believe that, as long as you follow the steps in order, you will be ok and good to go and display your pride in making a classic French dessert ~ Opera Cake

And if you spotted something amiss, please do give me shout.

Scroll for recipe below... then you'd understand why :P

Would I bake this cake again?
Yes, I'd bake it again, it was an excellent bake... rich but nice ;P  

 Opera cake recipe step by step

Birthday Cakes Ideas

Note : This Opera Cake post has been updated in March 2019. Printable Opera Cake Recipe Card has been added

Opera Cake, Opera Cake recipe, birthday cake, chocolate Cake, Opera Cake recipe masterchef
Yield: 10

Opera Cake

Opera cake is a French most loved dessert.


Making Joconde
  • 6 room temperature egg whites (approx 195g)
  • 30g caster sugar
  • 225g almond meal
  • 6 large eggs at room temperature (290g)
  • 70g plain flour
  • 225g icing sugar
  • 45g clarified butter (David Lebovitz)
French Buttercream
  • 6 egg yolks at room temperature (85g)
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 450g unsalted butter
  • 2 drops of vanilla paste
Chocolate Ganache
  • 220g dark chocolate
  • 180g thickened cream
Coffee Flavoured Syrup
  • 3 tablespoon instant coffee
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup caster sugar
Chocolate Glaze
  • 170g dark chocolate
  • 30g butter
  • Gold sheets or flakes to decorate


Day 1 - Preparing Joconde
  1. prepare clarified butter (David lebovitz's)
  2. Line 2 Swiss roll pans with greaseproof baking paper.
  3. Pre heat oven to 180C
  4. Using stand mixer (or equivalent) whip egg whites to soft peak
  5. Add sugar and continue to whip to stiff peaks
  6. Transfer the meringue into another bowl.
  7. clean and wipe dry (or use another bowl)
  8. use paddle, mix almond meal, icing sugar and eggs on medium speed until light and increased in volume.
  9. on low speed , add flour and stir until flour just combined.
  10. gently fold in meringue
  11. add and fold in clarified butter.
  12. Divide the mixture into 2 swiss roll pans.
  13. spread as evenly as possible.
  14. Bake for 12 minutes.
  15. repeat for second pan.
  16. Remove joconde from oven.
  17. Cover with another greaseproof paper, flip joconde upside down.
  18. Carefully peel off the greaseproof paper and place it back on the joconde (so that the paper will not stick to joconde as it is cooling)
  19. leave it to cool
  20. Wrap in cling film, place on the Swiss roll pan again, refrigerate for use next day.
Day 2 -
  1. A)Coffee syrup
  2. mix coffee granules, water and sugar in a small saucepan
  3. Bring mixture to a simmer, until sugar dissolves
  4. keep aside to cool
  5. B)French Buttercream
  6. Using stand mixer (or equivalent) whip egg yolk on high speed for 5 minutes or until light in color.
  7. Meanwhile, prepare sugar syrup, by combine water and sugar in saucepan.
  8. Must use sugar thermometer !!!! bring the syrup to 115 C / 238F.
  9. Remove from heat and drizzle into the whipped egg yolk in a thin stream while keeping the stand mixer running (so NOT to have the egg cooked ;p).
  10. Keep the stand mixer running on low speed (to avoid splatter).
  11. Keep on whipping until the egg-syrup mixture until its cool (ideally room temperature)
  12. Change to paddle and add butter, piece at a time.
  13. Beat for few minutes until homogenous mixture is achieved and 'hangs' off the paddle/ beater .
  14. Add vanilla paste.
  15. Mix again.
  16. C) Ganache
  17. Break chocolate into small chunks (easier to melt) into a heatproof container
  18. Add cream in another small saucepan and bring to boil.
  19. Add piping hot cream into the chocolate chunks
  20. let it sit for 5 minutes
  21. Stir until all chocolate melts into the cream
  22. Set aside to cool (I refrigerate mine, as it was a HOT summer day in Perth!!)
  23. D) Time to assemble the cake
  24. Halved each joconde into 2 equal size (4 joconde pieces in total)
  25. Brush 1st joconde with generous amount of coffee syrup (give it a good soak)
  26. Spread buttercream (try to spread evenly....obviously i failed to achieve that :( )
  27. Place 2nd joconde on top.
  28. again soak with coffee syrup
  29. Spread chocolate ganache
  30. Place 3rd layer joconde and generously brush in coffee syrup
  31. spread buttercream
  32. Place 4th layer and again brush (generously) coffee syrup.
  33. spread a thin layer of buttercream to create a smooth surface.
  34. Pour and spread tempered glaze chocolate (recipe below)
  35. refrigerate before trimming off the edges.
  36. E)Tempered Glaze Chocolate.** (prepare after putting together the cake)
  37. Using a heatproof container (preferably that does not retain heat), break 80g dark chocolate into chunks.
  38. Microwave on HIGh for 10 seconds.
  39. Check after 10 seconds and microwave again if required.
  40. Stir
  41. When the chocolate has almost melt, add the remaining chocolate chunks and stir until all melted and smooth.
  42. Note : prepare a bowl of ice and a bowl of hot water if needed. When chocolate gets too hot, rest the heatproof container in ice-bowl to cool and vice versa.
  43. Stir in clarified butter
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Created using The Recipes Generator

Opera cake consists of layers of almond sponge soaked in coffee syrup, chocolate buttercream, chocolate ganache and chocolate glaze.

Opera cake is a French most loved dessert. Opera cake consists of layers of almond sponge soaked in coffee syrup, chocolate buttercream, chocolate ganache and chocolate glaze.


  1. That's a great cake to celebrate the birthday!

  2. A belated birthday wish to one very lucky boy!
    Bestnya... mama dia sanggup bertungkus lumus buat cake ni, tengok saja dah tau susah. I would happily choose your cake over any car anytime

  3. Wow, this looks so good, I would love to make this. Unfortunately, I hate coffee. Do you have any suggestions how to substitute this? I was thinking about hot chocolate or almond syrup instead of coffee syrup. What do you think??

    1. Hi Joanne,
      I don't like coffee either! and I find it 'tolerable' :P
      But you can substitute with something else. I usually use chocolate :)

  4. Happy birthday to your son.
    Your advice to him is the richest present!
    This is also something which I had marked but did not attempt yet, thanks for sharing.


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