Chocolate Mocha Cake

have some coffee lovers in my house, so it was easy to decide the cake flavor for my daughter's birthday.   Even though I was very late in baking a cake for her, she didn't want to buy a cake instead.  She wanted me to bake a cake for her.  

Kids love cold coffee and they make sure that we swing by Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts to get their weekly dose of coffee after every Sunday church service.

I have been wanting to make a coffee flavored cake for a long time, and a birthday was the perfect occasion.  The swiss meringue mocha frosting pairs well with this chocolate cake.

I tweaked the recipe of my black magic cake base to fit for the 3 layered 6 inch cakes.  The Nutella cupcake frosting is always a hit everywhere I take it.  So deciding on the frosting was easy.  The swiss meringue frosting was flavored with coffee and chocolate for the coffee lovers.

Yields - 3 layered 6 inch cake


Chocolate cake

1 1/2 cups - sugar
1 1/2 cups - all-purpose flour
3/4 cup - Hershey's unsweetened Cocoa powder
1 tbsp. - Hershey's Special dark cocoa
1 1/2 tsp. - baking soda
1 tsp. - baking powder

1 tsp. - salt
2 - eggs
3/4 cup - buttermilk or sour milk*
3/4 cup - strong black coffee / 2 tsp instant coffee powder mixed in 3/4 cup boiling water
1/4 cup - vegetable oil
2 tsp. - vanilla extract

Swiss Meringue Mocha Frosting
5 - large egg whites (refer notes)
2/3 cup - granulated sugar
2 cups /4 sticks - cold butter
2/3 cup -  powdered sugar
2 tsp. - vanilla extract
1 tbsp. - instant coffee powder mixed in 2 tsp of hot water

1 tbsp - heavy cream

2 tbsp - melted semisweet chocolate

Coffee Simple syrup

1/4 cup - water

1/4 cup - sugar

1 tsp - instant coffee powder

Ganache Topping with drips

1/2 cup - semisweet chocolate

1/4 cup - heavy cream

Ferrero Rocher for final decoration



  • Pre heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour three 6 inch round baking pans.
  • Sift together flour, cocoa powders, baking soda, baking powder and salt in large bowl.
    Add eggs and sugar in a mixing bowl of the stand mixer and beat well.  Now add buttermilk, coffee, oil and vanilla; mix well.  Add the sifted flour mix and beat on medium speed of mixer till well combined.  Batter will be thin.  Pour batter evenly into prepared pans.
  • Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool them for 10 minutes. Loosen cake from side of pan and remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely. 
Swiss Meringue Mocha Frosting
  • Double boiler Method - Fill half of a sauce pan with water and let it simmer over a stove top.  Place 5 egg whites and 2/3 cup of sugar into the heat proof bowl that can fit on top of the sauce pan without touching the water.  Using a wire whisk, stir the egg sugar mixture continuously till you don't feel any sugar crystals when rubbing the mixture between your fingers.  At this point you can notice that the egg sugar mixture is clear with light pale color.   If you have a candy thermometer, it should read  160°F which makes the egg whites safe to use. Turn off the flame. 
  • Transfer the egg white mixture into the standing mix bowl.  Make sure that the steam from the bottom of the bowl don't get into the mixture while transferring.   Use the whipping paddle and whip till the egg whites are silky white and forms soft peaks.
  • Now add the cold butter pieces one at a time and whip till the butter is mixed well with the egg white.  This needs good 10 minutes of whipping.  At this point you will notice that the frosting looks lumpy and soupy, you will also notice little wetness in the frosting.  Don't panic, this is part of the process.  Just keep beating.  It will start to come along.  Add the powdered sugar in batches to the butter mixture at this point and keep beating.
  • The frosting will come along as a smooth fluffy frosting within 2 -3 minutes.  Now add 2 tbsp. of melted chocolate, coffee mix, and vanilla extract.  Whip it on high for 1 - 2 minutes or till the frosting forms sharp peaks.  Add 1 tbsp heavy whipping cream and whip for 10 -20 seconds till the frosting is fluffy.
Coffee Simple syrup
  • Boil 1/4 cup of water + 1/4 cup sugar in microwave till sugar is completely dissolved..  Add 1 tsp of instant coffee powder into the boiling water and mix well.  Let the simple syrup cool completely.
  • Melt the semisweet chocolate in a microwave safe bowl with 1/4 of heavy cream in the microwave with a burst of 30 seconds till everything is melted and gets the right pouring consistency.  Let the ganache cool completely.
Assembling the cake
  • Add a small amount of frosting on to the cake board and place a cake on it.  Apply coffee simple syrup on the cake.  Add a dollop of frosting on the cake and even the top using a frosting spatula.  A turn table is helpful in frosting all the sides evenly.
  • Repeat the above steps for other 2 layers.    Crumb coat the cake with the frosting.  A piping bag with round nozzle helps in evenly layering the frosting.
  • Once the cake is crumb coated, frost the outer side of the cake using the frosting spatula.  Try to even out as possible.  Plop the cake in the fridge for 10-20 minutes.
  • After 20 minutes, take the cake out of the fridge.  Use a spoon to make dripping of ganache on the top edges of the cake.   Wait till the drippings get set. Pour the rest of the ganache on top of the cake.  Use a small offset spatula to even the top.  Decorate the top with the Ferrero Rocher candy.

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