Chocolate Mocha Cake Recipe

Made with a chocolate cake base, coffee-infused buttercream frosting, and topped with chocolate shavings, this mocha cake is sure to please any coffee lover. Keep reading for the full recipe and step-by-step instructions.
mocha cake

Chocolate Mocha Cake Recipe


  • 1 cup unsalted butter;
  • 2 cups sugar;
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder (preferably unsweetened);
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder;
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda;
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt;
  • 2 large eggs;
  • 1 cup buttermilk;
  • 1/2 cup strong brewed coffee (cooled);
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract;
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, at room temperature.


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, mix together the butter (at room temperature) and sugar until it is fluffy. Mix in the dry ingredients – cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt – until well combined. Add in the eggs (at room temperature), beating well after each addition.
  3. In a separate small mixing bowl, whisk together the remaining wet ingredients – buttermilk, coffee, and vanilla extract – in a stand mixer. Alternately add the flour and buttermilk mixture to the creamed mixture in three additions, starting and ending with the flour mixture. Beat until just combined.
  4. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before removing from the pans and transferring to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting as desired.
See also:  Moist Chocolate Coffee Cake Recipe (With Sour Cream)

How to Make Mocha Frosting?


  • 1/4 cup strong brewed coffee, cooled to room temperature;
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract;
  • 3 cups powdered sugar;
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature;
  • 1-2 tablespoons heavy cream or milk, as needed for consistency.


  1. In a small mixing bowl, mix together the cooled coffee and vanilla extract. Set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the powdered sugar and butter until well combined. Add in the coffee mixture and beat until smooth, adding in 1 tablespoon of cream or milk at a time as needed for desired consistency.
  3. Spread or pipe onto cooled Chocolate Mocha Cake before serving. Enjoy!

How to Make Chocolate Ganache?


  • 1/2 cup heavy cream;
  • 6 ounces semisweet chocolate.


In a small saucepan, heat the heavy cream until just boiling. Remove from heat and add in the chopped chocolate, stirring until smooth and well combined. Allow to cool slightly before pouring or spreading over the cooled cake. Top with chocolate shavings, if desired.

Using Mocha Buttercream With This Recipe

If mocha buttercream is your preferred frosting for this Chocolate Mocha Cake, simply mix 1/4 cup of cocoa powder into the above mocha frosting recipe in step 2 before adding in the coffee mixture. Alternatively, you can use a combination of chocolate and mocha frostings on the cooled cake for even more chocolate and coffee flavor.

Can I Just Use American Buttercream?

Absolutely! Simply omit the coffee and vanilla extract in the frosting recipe and use 2 teaspoons of your favorite espresso powder or instant coffee granules for flavor, if desired. You can also mix 1-2 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder into the buttercream for a mocha chocolate twist.

See also:  Perfect Coffee Cheesecake Recipe With Oreo Cookie Crust

How Is Mocha Cake Different From Chocolate Cake?

Mocha cake incorporates the flavors of both chocolate and coffee, while chocolate cake often just uses cocoa powder for chocolate flavoring. The addition of coffee in mocha cake adds a deeper, richer flavor to the finished dessert. Some recipes may also use espresso powder or instant coffee granules for added flavor. The resulting flavor is a combination of chocolate and coffee, rather than just chocolate on its own.

Can I Use Decaf Coffee in This Recipe?

Yes, you can use decaf coffee in this recipe if desired. However, keep in mind that the coffee flavor will not be as strong or pronounced as it would be with regular brewed coffee. You may want to increase the amount of coffee used or add in additional flavorings, such as espresso powder or instant coffee granules, for a stronger mocha flavor. Additionally, using strongly brewed decaf coffee will also result in a deeper and more pronounced mocha flavor.

Can I Use Espresso Powder Instead of Brewed Coffee?

Yes, you can use instant coffee in place of brewed coffee in this recipe. Start by combining 1 tablespoon of espresso powder with 2 tablespoons of hot water to dissolve. Then add this mixture into the recipe as directed. You may need to adjust the amount used based on personal preference and taste. Additionally, instant coffee granules can also be used similarly.

Can I Add Other Flavorings to the Cake Batter?

Feel free to experiment with different flavorings and mix-ins in this Chocolate Mocha Cake batter, such as almond extract, cinnamon, or peppermint extract. Chopped nuts or dark chocolate chips can also be stirred into the batter before baking for added texture and flavor. The possibilities are endless! Just keep in mind that adding in additional ingredients may affect the overall texture and rising of the cake. Start by adding small amounts and adjust as needed based on personal preference.

See also:  Pumpkin Coffee Cake With Crumb or Streusel Topping

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