how to make mocha cake

How To Make Mocha Cake

I have often wondered about the difference between chocolate cake and mocha cake. However, that was before I learnt how to make mocha cake. I discovered the difference when I tried out several mocha cake recipes.

I discovered that mocha cakes are rich moist chocolaty delights with a hint of coffee flavor. Some recipes have more coffee flavors than others though and some omit the chocolate and go for coffee all the way. It all depends on the preference of the recipe developer.

Remember that one thing about recipes is that they can always be tweaked to suit different palates.

So if you are in the same position of wondering what the big deal about mocha cake is, just try out the recipes we’ll share here. You would surely change your mind about mocha cakes.SACO Pantry Premium Cocoa, Natural and Dutched Blend, Certified Kosher, Gluten-Free, Nut-Free, 10oz, Pack of 2


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How To Make Mocha – Recipe #1


To Make The Cake You Need The Following:

3 Cups, 360 g or 12.6 oz. Flour

2 ⅔ Cups, 605 g or 21.3oz Sugar

3 Tablespoon Dutch Processed Cocoa Powder

1 and ½ Teaspoon Baking Powder 

One Teaspoon salt

1 Teaspoon Baking Soda

½ Cup or 125 ml Sour Cream

½ Cup or 118 ml Buttermilk

3 Eggs

1 and ¼ Cups or 295 ml Strong Coffee (hot or warm) or 4 Teaspoons of instant coffee powder with one cup of hot water

½ Cup or 118 ml Water (if you are using hot coffee, use room temperature water, if using warm coffee, use warm water)

¾ Cup, 177 ml or 6 fl oz Pure Flavorless Vegetable Oil

To Make The Buttercream You Need The Following:

2 Cups, 454 g, 16 oz or 4 Sticks Butter (unsalted)

2 lb, 908 g, or 4 cups  Icing sugar

1 Tablespoon Cocoa Powder

1 Tablespoon Espresso Powder

½ Teaspoon Salt

1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract

3 Tablespoon Heavy Cream

To Make The Ganache You Need The Following:

½ Cup or 65 g Dark Chocolate (chopped)

¼ Cup, 60 ml or 2 fl oz Heavy Cream

To Assemble The Cake You Need:

½ Cup or 65 g Chocolate Coated Espresso Beans 

Hill Farm Gourmet Dark Chocolate covered Espresso Beans (2 lb Bag), 32 Ounce

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Instructions For Preparation and Baking

Bake The Cake

(i) Preheat oven to 350 degrees Farhenheit . Grease three 9 inch baking pans and dust with flour.

(ii) Place all your dry ingredients plus sugar in a mixing bowl and combine very well.

(iii) Combine all the wet ingredients in another mixing bowl and whisk until fully incorporated.

(iv) Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix both very well.

(v) Distribute the batter equally between the baking pans and bake in the preheated oven for 35 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.

(vi) Leave the cakes to cool in the pans for about 5 minutes after which you turn them out onto a cooling rack.

Make The  Mocha Buttercream

You can do this while your cake is baking

(i) Sift all the dry ingredients for the buttercream into a bowl and set aside

(ii) Place the butter in another mixing bowl and whip until light and fluffy

(iii) Add the dry ingredients gradually

(iv) Slowly add the cream as you continuing mixing. Add the vanilla also and mix until you get the consistency you desire.

Make the Ganache

(i) Place the chocolate in a heat proof bowl. Heat the milk and pour it over the chocolate

(ii) Whisk until all the chocolate melts.

(iii) You can place the chocolate in the microwave on low heat for about 10 seconds to ensure that all the chocolate melts.

Assemble the cake

(i) If your cakes are not level, ensure that you level them. You can use a serrated knife or cake leveler.

(ii) Pipe the mocha buttercream on one cake (which is the first layer) then swirl some ganache over that and then sprinkle some chopped espresso beans over that.

(iii) Repeat the process with the second cake and then place the third cake on it

(iv) Cover all three layers with frosting and smooth

(v) Drizzle some ganache on the cake and leave to set

(vi) Decorate the cake as desired and serve

This recipe was adapted from



How To Make Mocha Cake – Recipe #2

Mocha Cake With Kahlua Coffee Buttercream

To Make The Cake You Need The Following:

2 Cups, 454 g or 16 oz Sugar

½ Cup, 118 ml or 4 fl oz  Vegetable Oil

3 Eggs

1 Tablespoon Vanilla

½ Cup, 120 ml or 4 oz Light Sour Cream

2 and ½ Cups,300 g or 10.5 oz  Flour

1 Tablespoon Ground Coffee or Espresso Powder

3 Teaspoons Baking Powder

1 Teaspoon Salt

1 and ¼ Cups Strongly Brewed Coffee


Starbucks Mocha Flavored Ground Coffee, 11 Ounce (Pack of 6)

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To Make The Frosting You Need The Following:

1 Cups, 227 g, 2 sticks or 8 oz  Butter (unsalted)

4 Cups or 908 g  Icing Sugar

1 Teaspoon Espresso Powder

3 Tablespoons Kahlua

1 and  ½ Tablespoons  Whipping Cream

1 Teaspoon Vanilla

A Pinch of salt

Instructions For Preparation and Baking

Bake The Cake

(i) Preheat the oven to 350°F.  Grease and flour a 9 inch cake pan and set aside.

(ii) Sift all the dry ingredients together and also set aside.

(iii) Get a large mixing bowl and place vegetable oil, sugar, eggs and vanilla.

(iv) Beat very well until well combined and the mixture is lighter than at the beginning.

(v) Next add the sour cream and continue mixing. Don’t forget to scrape down the mixing bowl as you mix these ingredients.

(vi) Add half of the dry ingredients and mix, then add half of the coffee. Next add the remaining half of the dry ingredients and remaining coffee.

(vii) Ensure that the batter is well mixed but don’t over mix

(viii) Pour the batter into the greased baking pan and bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

Make The Frosting

(i) Place the butter in a mixing bowl and mix for about 5 minutes or until it is light and fluffy.

(ii) Add the half of icing sugar and espresso and beat on low speed to mix properly with the butter

(iii) Then add the vanilla essence and Kahlua and mix very well.

(iv) Finally, add the remaining icing sugar and then the heavy cream. Starting on low speed, beat, then move on to medium high speed and mix for about three minutes more.

(v) Frost your cake and serve!

This recipe was adapted from Gourmet Ground Coffee, French Vanilla, 12 Ounce (Fоur Расk)


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How To Make Mocha Cake – Expert Tips

(i) You can use sour cream instead of the whole milk yogurt, there’s really no difference in taste.

(ii) Add some cacao nibs to your cake batter to add some crunch to the cake.

(iii) You can use any other type of frosting for your mocha cake. This would help to tone down or increase the mocha or chocolate flavor. Click here to check out some frosting recipes from our archives. 

(iv) If you want to use any of the recipes for cupcakes, they’ll work perfectly well. But remember that baking time for cupcake is about half of the baking time of a full cake or a little less.

(v) Adding coffee to a chocolate recipe make the cocoa or chocolate in the recipe to bloom. This enhances the chocolate flavor of the cake. If you add a strong dose of coffee, you get mocha!

(vi) Remember that when you are mixing a chocolate or mocha cake batter, you shouldn’t add the hot coffee directly after the eggs. It’s best to mix all the wet ingredients before adding the hot coffee to avoid scrambling the eggs lol.

(vii) Endeavor to use good quality cocoa powder. Most recipes call for Dutch processed cocoa powder because it is darker and has less acid; it also makes for denser cakes. So if you want an airier cake, use natural cocoa powder but ensure that it is high quality.



remember what we said at the beginning about adapting recipes; that is one of the greatest thrills of baking.  When you get a recipe, don’t just stop at trying out that recipe as it is. Tweak it, scale some ingredients and flavors up or down; play around with it. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at the variations that you would get.

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