This Moist Chocolate Coffee Cake is made with brewed coffee and espresso, which gives it a deep and rich flavor. It’s also super fluffy and requires no mixer! You can make this cake in just one bowl, making it quick and simple to prepare and fill with your favorite frosting!
Did you know that adding coffee to chocolate enhances the flavor of both? As a professional baker this is one of my top tips that I use when making chocolate cakes. Mocha cake is simply a chocolate cake with coffee added to it, and the addition of espresso to this cake gives it an intense flavor that is sure to make any chocolate lover drool.
Brewed coffee and espresso are the key ingredients to help flavor this cake. But that’s not the only thing that makes it unique and decadent. In order to make this coffee cake moist, this recipe uses yogurt or sour cream mixed right into the batter which gives it a light and fluffy texture.
This coffee flavored cake is perfect for anytime you need a decadent dessert. I frost it with a rich chocolate buttercream frosting that is infused with coffee or with this coffee frosting! You can even get a little wild and top it with chocolate cream cheese frosting, oh my!
WHY YOU SHOULD MAKE THIS RECIPE
- The combination of coffee and chocolate is a match made in heaven as each brings out the flavor of the other.
- The entire cake can be made with no mixer in just one bowl.
- You can use a variety of frostings and fillings to customize it to your own tastes!
- White Sugar – Gives this chocolate cake its classic sweet flavor.
- All-Purpose Flour – The main ingredient, flour adds structure to the cake and helps hold all of the other ingredients in place.
- Unsweetened Cocoa Powder – Responsible for the rich chocolate flavor of the cake.
- Espresso Powder – Enhances the chocolate flavor and also gives it a distinct coffee layer of taste.
- Baking Soda & Baking Powder – These leavening agents both help the cake rise.
- Salt – Activates the leavening agents and also balances out the sweet flavor.
- Yogurt or Sour Cream – Gives texture and is responsible for making the cake moist and decadent.
- Warm Black Coffee – Used to thin out the batter while giving it additional coffee flavor.
- Vegetable Oil – Adds to the moist texture and helps the batter thin out.
- Chocolate buttercream frosting – This frosting is made with coffee so it compliments this cake so well!
HOW TO MAKE COFFEE FLAVORED CHOCOLATE CAKE
Prepare for baking: Preheat the oven to 350° F and spray 3, 6” round cake pans with baking spray.
Mix the dry ingredients together: In a large bowl add the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder, baking soda, baking powder, and kosher salt. Mix lightly to combine.
Whisk the wet ingredients: To the same bowl with the dry ingredients, add the eggs, yogurt, vanilla extract, coffee, and vegetable oil. Mix the batter together until just combined and no dry streaks remain. Do not over mix.
Distribute and bake: Divide the batter evenly between the three cake pans and bake for 25-28 minutes. The cake is finished baking when the edges start to pull away from the pan and when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Cool and decorate: Let the chocolate cake completely cool out of the oven on a wire rack. Then, level off the tops with a serrated knife. Fill and frost with this chocolate buttercream that is infused with coffee or coffee frosting.
Espresso Powder Vs. Instant Espresso
Make sure you buy espresso POWDER and not instant espresso. They are not the same thing.
The difference between the two is that espresso powder is made from darkly roasted coffee beans that have been ground down into a fine powder while instant espresso is made from coffee that has already been brewed. Espresso powder will give the cake a more distinct flavor.
TIPS FOR RECIPE SUCCESS
- To make the instant coffee use 1 ½ tsp instant coffee and 2/3rd cup hot water.
- To cool the cakes properly, wait until they are just barely warm to the touch before removing them from their pans and placing them on a wire rack. This will help prevent them from drying out as they cool.
- All of your ingredients should be at room temperature to make sure the batter mixes smoothly and evenly.
- You’ll also want to make sure the cake doesn’t over bake as this can cause it to dry out.
STORAGE AND FREEZING
Storing: You can make these cakes ahead of time and store them, covered, at room temperature for up to three days or in the fridge for up to five days. If you plan on storing your cake, make sure to wrap it tightly so that it doesn’t dry out.
Store the leftover cake covered in a cake dome for up to 5 days at room temperature.
Freezing: To freeze, wrap each cake layer individually in cling film and then place them in a freezer-safe bag. The cakes will keep in the freezer for up to two months. When you’re ready to defrost, let the cakes sit at room temperature until they’re thawed out completely.
What does coffee in chocolate cake do?
The coffee in chocolate cake enhances the flavor of the chocolate and gives the cake a deep, rich flavor.
Can I substitute coffee for the espresso powder? You can substitute dry coffee granules, instant espresso, or any coffee powder for this recipe but the flavor will not be as strong.
Can I use decaf coffee for this recipe? Yes, you can use decaf coffee for this recipe. The cake will still have a strong coffee flavor since it is made with espresso powder as well.
What’s the difference between coffee-flavored chocolate cake and coffee cake? Coffee-flavored chocolate cake is made with coffee in the cake batter while coffee cake does not have coffee in the batter. Coffee cake is typically made with a streusel topping and served as a breakfast or brunch item.
FROSTING & FILLING IDEAS
Try out these other thick flavored buttercream frosting ideas to fill and frost your mocha cake!
Moist and Rich Chocolate Coffee Cake
- 1 ½ cups granulated sugar (300g)
- 1 ¼ cup all purpose flour (150)
- 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (60g)
- 2 tbsp espresso powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp kosher salt
- 2 eggs (100g)
- ⅔ cup yogurt (sub sour cream) (163g)
- ⅔ cup black coffee warm, (150mL)
- ¼ cup veg oil (59mL)
- Preheat the oven to 350° F and spray 3, 6” round cake pans with baking spray.
- In a large bowl add the 1 1/2 cups sugar, 1 ¼ cup flour, 2/3rd cup cocoa powder, 2 tbsp espresso powder, 1 teaspoon baking soda, ½ tsp baking powder, and ¼ tsp kosher salt. Whisk lightly to mix.
- Add the 2 eggs, 2/3rd cup yogurt, 2/3rd cup coffee, and ¼ cup vegetable oil. Whisk until combined.
- Divide the batter evenly between the cake pans and bake for 25-28 minutes.
- The cake is done when the edges start to pull away from the pan and when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- When the cakes are cool, level off the tops if you need to make them even with a serrated knife. Fill and frost with coffee infused chocolate buttercream.