Mocha Layer Cake with Coffee Frosting

This dense chocolate mocha layer cake with coffee frosting will excite any coffee lover or chocolate cake fanatic. It’s the best of both worlds! The dense chocolate cake has strong coffee baked into it, a drizzle of coffee simple syrup to moisten it up, a healthy dose of coffee frosting and last but definitely not least chocolate ganache for the finish. This post is sponsored by Gourmia. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Normally I do a ganache drip on my cakes. It’s sort of my thing, but I did such a terrible job with the coffee frosting last night that it just wasn’t pretty enough or smooth enough to even be peeking through the ganache drizzles. I’m not really sure what happened.

If I had to guess I would say it was that I had worked all day testing recipes and I was ready to be done. I still had to cook dinner and sit down to finish up some work on the computer. That sort of sounds like a lame excuse, right? It’s the truth though.

I’m pretty psyched about this post. For one, it has loads of coffee in it. For two, Gourmia sent me their multi capsule coffee machine to review. I can use k-cups and nespresso pods in it! Soooo, I immediately hopped onto amazon, my favorite place to buy goodies, and ordered up these nespresso pods. I also went to the store to grab some k-cups.

  • Cake
  • 3/4 ( 1 1/2 sticks) cups butter
  • 1 cup strong coffee
  • 2 T. vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. espresso powder
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • Coffee Frosting
  • 2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 6 T. instant coffee
  • 6 tsp. water
  • 6 cups powdered sugar
  • 5 T. milk
  • Ganache
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • pinch of salt
  • coffee syrup

Prepare coffee syrup and let cool. You'll only need about quarter of the recipe.


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 3 8 inch round cake pans with nonstick cooking spray. Place a circle of parchment paper in the bottom of each pan.
  2. In a medium microwave-safe bowl, add in the butter and coffee. Microwave for 2 1/2 minutes.
  3. Add in the vegetable oil and cocoa powder and whisk until smooth.
  4. Add in sour cream and vanilla. Continue to whisk until the sour cream in incorporated.
  5. In a separate large bowl, add in cake flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt and espresso powder. Whisk until combined.
  6. Pour the cocoa mixture in with the dry ingredients.
  7. Add in the lightly beaten eggs. Whisk until most of the lumps are gone and the dry ingredients are incorporated.
  8. Divide the batter into the 3 prepared cake pans. You can wrap the pans with Wilton's even baking strips to help make them level.
  9. Bake for 24 - 26 minutes or until they're done. Place a toothpick in the center of the cake and if it comes out clean or with moist crumbs it's done. If there's batter on the toothpick, let the cakes bake a few minutes longer and test them again.
  10. Let the cake cool in the pan for about 15 minutes and then turn out onto a cooling rack to finish cooling.

  1. In a large mixing bowl, add in the butter. Mix with the hand mixer until the butter is creamy.
  2. In a small bowl, add the instant coffee and water. Mix until all the granules are dissolved.
  3. Add the coffee mixture and powdered sugar in with the butter. Mix until it comes together.
  4. Add in the milk and continue to mix for about 2 minutes. It will make the buttercream light and fluffy.

  1. In a microwave-safe bowl, add in the chocolate chips, heavy cream and salt. Stir to combine.
  2. Microwave for 30 seconds. Stir. Repeat microwaving for 30 seconds and stirring until everything comes together and is smooth.
  3. Place in the fridge for about an 30 minutes to an hour to cool down and thicken to a spreadable consistency.

  1. Trim the tops of the cakes if they have a dome so they are flat and level.
  2. Drizzle 2 - 3 tablespoons of the coffee syrup on the first cake.
  3. Add a generous layer of coffee frosting to the cake. Make sure to level the frosting out so there's a flat surface for the next layer.
  4. Add the second cake. Repeat the drizzle of coffee syrup and coffee frosting.
  5. Add the top layer of cake.
  6. Drizzle the coffee syrup on top of the cake.
  7. Add a thin layer of frosting all over the cake to fill in any grooves and catch all of the crumbs. This is the crumb coat. Let it sit and form a crust. This will take maybe 10 - 15 minutes.
  8. Add a couple large scoops of frosting to the top of the cake. Using an offset spatula, flatten it and let the excess frosting start working its way down the sides of the cake.
  9. Once the top of the cake is flat, work the frosting down the sides of the cake. Grab more frosting as needed. You can use a bench scraper or a large offset spatula to smooth the sides of the cake.
  10. For a drizzle of ganache, add it into a sandwich bag or disposable piping bag. Cut a small hole and drizzle it down the sides of the cake. For a shell of ganache on the sides of the cake, place the warm ganache in the fridge for about 30 minutes or until it becomes a spreadable consistency. Spread it on the sides of the cake.
  11. Place the remaining coffee frosting into a piping bag fitted with a 1M tip. Pipe swirls on the top of the cake.
  12. Cut and serve. Store in a cool place or fridge.

Recipe by Miranda

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