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Mocha Cake

Total Time

Prep: 40 min. Bake: 30 min. + cooling


16 servings

Without a doubt, this is the best cake I've ever made. I share this decadent mocha cake with everyone I can! —Katherine DeLoach, Visalia, California
Mocha Cake Recipe photo by Taste of Home


  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 3 cups packed brown sugar
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup baking cocoa
  • 3 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/2 cups brewed coffee, cooled
  • 1-1/3 cups sour cream
  • 12 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 6 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 6 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted
  • 6 tablespoons brewed coffee
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4-1/2 to 5-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • Optional: Chocolate-covered coffee beans and baking cocoa


  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Grease and flour three 9-in. round baking pans. In a large bowl, cream butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy, 5-7 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with coffee and sour cream, beating well after each addition.
  2. Pour into prepared pans. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 30-35 minutes. Cool 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
  3. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and butter until fluffy. Beat in chocolate, coffee and vanilla until blended. Gradually beat in confectioners' sugar. Spread between layers and over top and sides of cake. If desired, garnish with chocolate-covered coffee beans and baking cocoa. Cover and refrigerate until serving.
Mocha Cake Tips

Can you use instant coffee or instant espresso to make this mocha cake recipe?

Certainly! Follow the instructions on the instant coffee or espresso packaging to make the equivalent of 1-1/2 cups of brewed coffee for the cake, and 6 tablespoons brewed coffee for the frosting. Keep in mind that instant espresso has a deeper, richer flavor than regular coffee, so you'll be really boosting the coffee flavor with this swap. If this isn’t to your liking, decrease the amount of instant espresso a touch. (Save some instant coffee to boost the chocolate flavor in your next cake, too!)

How can you make mocha cake your own?

Garnish the top of your mocha cake with chopped chocolate-covered espresso beans, mini chocolate chips, or chocolate curls. Experiment with different kinds of chocolate to decorate the cake—white chocolate flakes or curls against the deep chocolate frosting looks striking!

How should you store mocha cake?

As your mocha cake’s frosting contains cream cheese, it’s best to keep it refrigerated. It should last for up to 3 days when tightly covered in a cake carrier or container. Be sure to press a folded piece of plastic wrap against the cut surface of the cake to prevent it from drying out in the refrigerator's cooler air.

Mark Neufang, Taste of Home Culinary Assistant

Nutrition Facts

1 piece: 730 calories, 35g fat (21g saturated fat), 124mg cholesterol, 542mg sodium, 100g carbohydrate (75g sugars, 3g fiber), 8g protein.

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