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Mocha Cake

Updated: Jan 12, 2022

Soft chocolate cake layers with a delicious espresso buttercream!

I love desserts with coffee. One of my favorite chocolates is a coffee white chocolate. It tastes just indulgent! If you haven't tried it yet and you like coffee just as I do, it is a must! This mocha chocolate cake tastes like a cake version of my favorite mocha! Coffee chocolate cake layers with a coffee buttercream! What else could a coffee lover heart desire?

What flavor has a mocha chocolate cake?

If you are a coffee drinking person, you will know what a mocha tastes like. A mocha is a chocolate flavored latte, which is exactly how this cake tastes like. This mocha cake is a coffee flavored chocolate cake with an espresso buttercream.

Usually I always add coffee to my chocolate cakes since it enhances the chocolate flavor and does not add coffee flavor. For this cake I substituted the buttermilk for coffee as well and added sour cream for the buttermilk.

Mocha Chocolate Cake

Ingredients for 3 8-inch layers

2 cups (280 g) all-purpose flour

1/2 cup (50 g) dark cocoa powder

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

1 1/2 cups (300 g) sugar

1/2 cup (120 ml) vegetable oil

3 large eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup (120 g) sour cream

1 1/4 cups (300 ml) coffee

For the coffee buttercream:

12 large egg whites

3 cups (600 g) sugar

2 cups (454 g) butter, softened

1 cup (200 g) shortening (or butter)

3 tsp vanilla extract

6 - 8 tsp espresso, at room temperature


Step 1:

In a big mixing bowl combine eggs, oil and sugar. Mix with a hand mixer until foamy and lighter in color. Add sour cream and mix in. Sift in flour, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa powder and salt. Mix on low until almost combined, then add the hot coffee. Mix until smooth.

Step 2:

Divide between three greased and lined 8 inch baking pans. Bake at 350 °F for about 35 minutes. Insert a skewer to test if the cake is done baking. Let the layers cool on a cooling grid. After 4 minutes take them out of the baking pan and let them cool on a parchment paper on a cooling grid.

Step 3:

For the Swiss meringue buttercream whisk egg whites and sugar in a fat-free heatproof bowl and place it on a pot with simmering water (bain-marie). Whisk it continually until soft peaks form for about 10 minutes.

Step 4:

Take out the water bath and keep whisking the meringue with a handmixer until stiff peaks form. Mix in the butter in small pieces. Keep mixing it until it comes together in a smooth buttercream. Add the vanilla and espresso. Mix it until smooth.

Step 5:

To decorate the cake, place the bottom layer on a plate and brush it with some espresso to increase the coffee flavor (optional). Then spread a thin layer of coffee buttercream on top and smooth it. Top it with the second layer and repeat the step. Then apply the last layer and cover the cake with chocolate buttercream on the top and its sides. Smooth it out and let it cool in the fridge for about 40 minutes.

Step 6:

When the cake is cooled add the second layer of buttercream and smooth it. Decorate the sides with chocolate splitter and pipe nice swirls on top of the cake! Add some chocolate on its top as well. Chocolate espresso beans would make a nice decoration, too!


**Pro Tips**

  • I like to change the bowl after the meringue was cooking on the water bath to a cold bowl. That makes mixing the meringue easier as it reaches room temperature faster.

  • The buttercream can stay at room temperature for about 2 days. Then it should be moved in the fridge. Just whip it up for 10 minutes before using.

  • To make the espresso I used 3 tsp espresso powder for 1/4 cup hot water.

  • For the chocolate splitter I melted 1/2 cup chocolate with a tsp shortening. Spread it in a thin layer on a baking pan. Freeze it for 2 minutes then use a non serrated knife to make chocolate shavings or just cut it to get chocolate splitter.


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