slices of Chocolate Mocha Cake on plates

What is this, cake week?! I’m loving it!

Years ago, my mom discovered the best chocolate cake recipe anyone in our family ever had, and for years we’d make it just because. No birthdays necessary. It was the kind of cake you looked forward to all day. Rebe and I would come home from school and instead of having a “normal” snack, we’d eat chocolate cake straight from the cake plate. How we were thin children, I’ll never know.

We’d take chocolate cake on picnics, eating far less dinner than we wanted so we could save plenty of room for the deliciousness that was to come. There’s even a photo of Rebe, our cousin Christina, and me on vacation, chocolate cake slathered all over our mouths, looking happy as clams.

Chocolate Mocha Cake with sparkler on top

The best chocolate cakes have cake that is almost better than the frosting; where the cake is so moist that you can practically eat it sans frosting. (Of course you should eat it with frosting, because frosting is epic.)

To make the most flavorful chocolate mocha cake possible, I used two types of coffee flavorings: brewed coffee and DeLallo’s Instant Espresso Powder. The brewed coffee provides a great acidity, while the espresso powder heightens the intensity of the mocha flavor.

The frosting is a velvety buttercream. I didn’t want to make it too hard, as the moist cake deserves an equally soft frosting. It makes it so every bite in your mouth instantly melts. Seriously.

slice of Chocolate Mocha Cake

Tips on how to make a layer cake

If you’re nervous about making this chocolate mocha cake because it’s a layer cake, I gotchu. As long as you keep the following tips in mind, you’ll be able to make any layer cake easily.

First and foremost, layer cakes don’t have to have lots of layers. Just two layers will do! In this mocha cake recipe I’ve explained how to make both a four layer cake and a two layer cake. If this is your first time attempting a layer cake or simply can’t be bothered to frost all those layers, go for the two layer cake option. The baking time is the exact same, but your layers will be slightly thinner (this will still be a massive cake, don’t you worry!).

After you’ve taken the cake out the oven, you have to let the layers cool completely before you frost them. Many new bakers make the mistake of frosting a warm cake, which results in runny frosting every single time.

espresso powder in jar

Once the cake layers are cool, spread a spoonful of frosting onto the plate or cake stand and then pop your first layer on. That tiny bit of frosting will help the first layer of the cake stay still while you frost it. Then, dollop a healthy amount of mocha buttercream frosting onto the first layer and spread it out evenly (you don’t need to take it down onto the sides of the cake yet!).

Repeat this process until you reach the top layer of the cake. You’ll want to use a little less frosting on the top layer, just FYI. Then you can spread the rest of the frosting onto the sides of the cake as evenly as possible. Because this chocolate mocha cake is drizzled with chocolate ganache, don’t fret if parts of your cake look a little rough. The ganache covers all sins!

Let me know if you have any other questions about frosting cakes or making layer cakes. Always happy to help you guys out!

(PS. Get 10% off your order on DeLallo.com when you use ‘BROMA10’ at checkout!)

Print

Super Fudgy Mocha Layer Cake

  • Author: Sarah Fennel
Scale

Ingredients

for the cake

  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons DeLallo Instant Espresso Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup brewed coffee

for the frosting

  • 1 cup salted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cups cocoa powder
  • 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons DeLallo Instant Espresso Powder
  • 6 tablespoons brewed coffee

for the ganache

  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate, chopped
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. If you’d like to do a 4 layer cake, grease and line 4 6-inch cake pans with parchment paper. If you’d prefer a 2 layer cake, grease and line 2 8-inch cake pans with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, cocoa powder, flour, espresso powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk oil, eggs, and buttermilk.
  3. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry, whisking until no lumps remain. Pour in brewed coffee, mixing until just combined.
  4. Pour batter into prepared pans and bake for 25 mins (the time should be the same for both cake pan sizes), or until a knife inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.
  5. To make the frosting, place butter in a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (an electric hand mixer also works). Cream the butter on high speed for 1 minute, then turn speed to low and add in cocoa powder. Mix until combined, then add in powdered sugar, espresso powder, and brewed coffee. Beat until combined.
  6. Frost cake by placing first cake layer onto a cake stand and topping with a healthy dose of frosting. Spread evenly, then repeat with two additional layers. On the top layer, use a little less frosting. Then, use the remaining frosting to create a thin layer on the sides of the cake, using a blunt knife to spread evenly. Place into fridge or freezer while you make the ganache.
  7. To make the ganache, heat the cream over a double boiler on low heat. Once the cream is scalding (near boiling but not boiling), remove from heat and stir in chocolate. Drizzle ganache over the cake’s edges, then over the entire top, again using a blunt knife to smooth things over evenly.

More layer cake recipes from Broma Bakery:

Dulce de Leche Banana Layer Cake

Cardamom Spiced Carrot Cake with Ginger Frosting & Caramel Drizzle

Easter Egg Cake with Spun Sugar Nest

Eggnog and Spiced Rum Cake

Strawberry Almond Cake

This post is sponsored by DeLallo. All opinions are 100% my own. Thank you for supporting the companies that make Broma possible! 

64 comments

Diana
Reply

Can’t wait for the weekend to bake this cake! I have an employee in my office who will give this a “10,” I am certain!

Sarah | Broma Bakery
Reply

Oh YAY! It will be a huge hit. If you’re making it for a crowd, I suggest the 8 inch cake pans 🙂

Sarah | Well and Full
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Jaw. Drops. I don’t even know what to say in response to this cake. It’s so beautiful and chocolatey and mocha-y! And it’s everything I want in a cake. Do you need a sous-chef? Because I am totally available 😉

Sarah | Broma Bakery
Reply

Omg stop! Thank you!!! And please come be my sous chef 🙂

Natalie R
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Oh my gosh, this cake looks fantastic!! Coffee + chocolate = the best combination. Is the brewed coffee hot or at room temperature? Want to make sure I don’t accidentally melt anything!

Sarah | Broma Bakery
Reply

Hi Natalie! Great question. For the cake, hot is best. I would brew for the cake and frosting at the same time, then allow the coffee for the frosting to come to room temp as the cake bakes 🙂

Abby @ Heart of a Baker
Reply

What the whhhhat! My dream life would be to eat cake and not gain weight, love it! I’m ready to dive right into those layers right there.

Sarah | Broma Bakery
Reply

Omg what a coincidence THAT’S MY DREAM TOO

carlos at Spoonabilities
Reply

This Chocolate cake looks so indulgent! The frosting is so silky!
Espresso powder really bring the best of the chocolate!

Sarah | Broma Bakery
Reply

It is so silky! So hard to stop eating…….

2pots2cook
Reply

Oh boy, what a joy ! Will make. Thank you so much !

Sarah | Broma Bakery
Reply

Thank YOU!

Molly S
Reply

This cake looks A-MAZ-ING! I can’t wait to try it. Thanks!!!

Sarah | Broma Bakery
Reply

Thank you Molly!!! Hope you enjoy

Joan
Reply

Cake looks amazing, another I must make soon.
Blue background is BEAUTIFUL and make cake pop.
I love the sparkler and details!

Sarah | Broma Bakery
Reply

Thank you! It’s one of my fave backgrounds 🙂 <3

Karlie
Reply

Well if that description did’t convince me nothing will. See you this weekend chocolate cake

Sarah | Broma Bakery
Reply

YAS YAS YAS PLZ MAKE IT

Gina @ Running to the Kitchen
Reply

Drooling, literally. This is a chocolate and coffee lovers (hi, that’s me) dream dessert!

Sarah | Broma Bakery
Reply

Let’s share a slice (or two) over coffee 🙂

Mary Ann | The Beach House Kitchen
Reply

Wow!! I NEED to try this cake Sarah! It looks amazing!

Sarah | Broma Bakery
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It’s seriously the best. Thank you Mary Ann!

Jennifer @ Show Me the Yummy
Reply

1, DeLallo is the best. 2. This cake is the best. 3. I want it all!

Sarah | Broma Bakery
Reply

I second all dat. DELALLO FOREVRRR

Katie @ Katiebird Bakes
Reply

I always had chocolate cake on my birthday too and it was ALWAYS something I looked forward to all day. The scent while my mom was baking it in the afternoon was so overwhelming. Such great memories! This cake looks absolutely divine and I think I’ll have to make it as a belated birthday cake for myself 🙂

Sarah | Broma Bakery
Reply

Omg I’m so glad it brings you happy memories too!! <3

Alice @ Hip Foodie Mom
Reply

I cannot wait to try this cake! Stunning!!!!

Sabrina
Reply

This looks like the perfect chocolate cake! Awesome photos!

Laura | Tutti Dolci
Reply

You had me at super fudgy – this cake is a dream!!

Donna
Reply

I have a super -similar if not identical choc cake recipe! I used the Hershey’s ” special dark ” cocoa powder and a hazelnut coffee! Amazing! Gonna try with this frosting & ganache tho! Thank you!

Tieghan
Reply

Gimme a slice! Looks awesome 🙂

Ruthie
Reply

This looks so decadent and I can’t wait to make it! My book club girls are going to hate me for bringing cake and then LOVE me for bringing this cake!

Sarah | Broma Bakery
Reply

Omg stop! I just talked with my girlfriends about starting a book club. Which means this is all fate. Love!

Katie
Reply

Ohhhh how delicious this cake looks!!! I haven’t made a cake in ages, and I think this one is going to have to be on my list for when I do!

Suzanne
Reply

Oh YUMMMMM. I’ve made similar recipes before, but I’ve never done both brewed coffee AND espresso powder. Love it!! I’m pretty sure I have all of the ingredients in my pantry already minus buttermilk (yay for unfussy recipes!), I think I’ll try to make this this weekend… >:D I live at high elevation (7000′), so getting the consistency of cakes right is always challenging here, but I hope I’ve gotten the hang of high altitude baking modifications well enough to master this one. 🙂 Thanks for sharing the recipe, Sarah!

Sarah | Broma Bakery
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Hope you enjoy, Suzanne! Excited to hear what you think. Hope the altitude isn’t an issue!!

Sarah | Broma Bakery
Reply

PS- if you don’t want to go out and buy buttermilk, you can make your own by adding 1 tablespoon of lemon juice to a scant 1 cup of whole milk. Let it sit for 5 minutes, and you’re good to go!

Becky
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My birthday is in a week. THIS is the cake I want. I’m sure my hubby will make it for me. If not, I’ll do it myself!

Sarah | Broma Bakery
Reply

Omg get that hubby on it! It is THE BEST. Hope you enjoy and happy birthday!

Georgie @ The Home Cooks Kitchen
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This looks divine 🙂 just stumbled across your blog – loving it!

Sarah | Broma Bakery
Reply

Thank you Georgie!!

Lauren Regnier | Ditch the Recipe
Reply

Hi Sarah!

Your photography here is gorgeous! Looking forward to reading more of your work. 🙂

Sarah | Broma Bakery
Reply

Thank you so much, Lauren! So appreciate it

Cheryl Campbell
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This cake was a huge hit at today’s birthday celebration! Have not made many cakes from scratch and was happy that it came together so easily, looked amazing and tasted even better! Thank you!!!

Sarah | Broma Bakery
Reply

I am SO glad to hear that! Thank you so much for letting me know! It makes me so happy to hear when people enjoy Broma baked goods, and hearing that it was easy it great, too!

Sara
Reply

This cake looks so moist and delicious!

Hoping to make it next weekend, but as a 2 layer 9 inch cake. Do you think making 1.5 batches of the above recipe will be enough for a 9 inch cake tin?

Thank you! X

Sarah | Broma Bakery
Reply

Hi Sara! You can do 1 batch for 2 layer 9 inch cakes. It will be the perfect amount!

Julie Rose
Reply

Hi this cake looks fantastic but was wondering do you think it would be okay to cut the ingredients in half if I just wanted to make two six inch layers?

May sound like a stupid question but some recipes can get a little wonky when you cut them in half what are your thoughts

Sarah | Broma Bakery
Reply

Hi Julie! Yes, you can absolutely do that. The layers will be a tad (like just a tiny) thinner than intended, but it should be a perfect amount!

Jocelyn Wong
Reply

Made this cake for a coworker’s birthday, and it was amazing! The frosting was a little sweet, so I didn’t put all of it on. The cake sponge itself was definitely the star. Thanks!!

KAte
Reply

Oh my god. I literally just made this cake for my mom for Mother’s Day. SO DELICIOUS !!!! The cake is perfectly moist and that icing is to die for! She loved it. i would defiantly make this cake again

kenna
Reply

can i use this batter for cupcakes?

Sarah | Broma Bakery
Reply

Yes!

Ange rk
Reply

hi Sarah, I’m making this case in many phases since I don’t have a big chunk of time. Do you think it’s ok if I ice the cake the night before and put the ganache on top the next day? I’d let the iced cake come to room temperature first. Please advise. Thanks!!

Sarah | Broma Bakery
Reply

Yes!

Lauren S.
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Hi! Making this for my mom’s birthday tomorrow. Natural vs. Dutch process cocoa- does it make a difference for this recipe? Thank you!!

Sarah | Broma Bakery
Reply

For this recipe it doesn’t matter either way. I would use whichever is higher quality!

Medha
Reply

Hi this cake looks amazing. I really want to make it for my brother’s bday but i only have 7inch round cake molds how many 7inch round cake mold is equivalent to 2 8inch ones?

Sarah | Broma Bakery
Reply

You can do three 7-inch and they will be thinner, or two 7-inch and they will be really fat!

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