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Mocha Cake

Without a doubt, this is the best chocolate cake I've ever made. I share this decadent dessert with everyone I can!—Katherine DeLoach, Visalia, California
  • Total Time
    Prep: 40 min. Bake: 30 min. + cooling
  • Makes
    16 servings


  • 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


  • Preheat oven to 350°. 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.
  • Pour into three greased and floured 9-in. round baking 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.
  • In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and butter until fluffy. Beat in the chocolate, coffee and vanilla until blended. Gradually beat in confectioners' sugar. Spread between layers and over top and sides of cake. Cover and refrigerate until serving.
Nutrition Facts
1 slice: 710 calories, 34g fat (21g saturated fat), 131mg cholesterol, 528mg sodium, 99g carbohydrate (73g sugars, 3g fiber), 9g protein.

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Average Rating:
  • Alden
    Jun 10, 2020

    I tried to follow the recipe exactly, the frosting turned out all right but the cake itself over puffed and is breaks to dust when cut. I may try a half size one next weekend and see if it comes out any better. I could save the frosting that way.

  • Gigi
    Feb 23, 2020

    Hi, I made this afternoon, followed the recipe exactly ( oh, except I didn't have sour cream, used fresh cream, beautiful).. wow, everyone just loves's now my go-to comfort cake

  • Bonnie
    Oct 30, 2019

    Delicious cake. I cut the recipe by 1/3 to make a two layer cake and it turned out beautifully. I also added1/2 tsp. of instant espresso powder to the icing to give it an extra coffee flavor punch. I will be making this again.

  • bunchofoats
    Nov 5, 2016

    Excellent cake recipe!! Made this for hubby's birthday and it turned out wonderful. A little on the fudgy or dense side but it's perfect since it's moist!! Definitely a keeper and could already see frequent requests in the future. The negative review here must have had a misstep in making the cake. All ingredients have to be at room temperature, and the flour and cocoa powder sifted before measuring. Prepare the coffee ahead of time to let it cool down. I used two pods of ground coffee steeped in a mug of hot water. You can probably use 2 tablespoons of ground coffee for brewing for the 1 1/2 cups needed in the recipe. Butter and sugar have to be creamed for 5 minutes, eggs beaten well after each addition, about 30 seconds, and the flour and liquids not overly mixed. Batter should be fluffy. I buttered my pans, lined the bottoms with parchment cut out to fit, then buttered the parchment again and dusted the whole pan with flour. Baking strips (used to wrap the baking pans) really help produce flat cake surfaces.I brushed each cake layer with a little amount of Kahlua coffee liqueur, about a tablespoon each, but I could have used a bit more for a more discernible but still subtle flavor. Chilled each layer before icing them. For the icing I used 4 1/2 cups of powdered sugar which I sifted prior to measuring and using, 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate plus 2 ounces semisweet chocolate, 3 tablespoons Kahlua liqueur plus 3 tablespoons coffee zest (I used 1/2 tablespoon instant coffee dissolved in 3 tbsp hot water). Prepare the melted chocolate ahead of time so that it cools down completely, you can also chill it briefly, before adding to the creamed butter and cream cheese, that way the icing does not turn out runny like that one reviewer mentioned. Remember to take your butter and cream cheese out of the refrigerator way ahead of time so that they're nice and soft before using them. The icing is actually delicious, similar to another recipe I have from Juniors. Didn't use all of the icing as I don't like thick icing on my cake, but I ended up taking an extra dollop anyway to slather on my slice of cake as they were gooood, not overly sweet. :) Happy baking! I hope everyone's cake turns out perfect!!

  • Sonflower812
    Oct 19, 2015

    I have to adjust for high altitude, and I also modify the frosting slightly when I want just a mocha cake or cupcake. But this is my go-to recipe for all types of chocolate cake/cupcake variations. I absolutely love this recipe!

  • canvasgirl
    Apr 22, 2013

    I've been making this cake since I got the issue it was first printed in and it's become a family favorite. My in-laws call it the "Sin Cake" because of how deliciously decadent it is and because they can't stop eating it! The presentation alone is awesome if you chill it overnight and then slice it into square slices. Everything about it, from the flavors to the texture is spot on! This cake is labor intense, but so worth it. However, after you've made it several times, you know to have coffee made and set aside, cream cheese and butter at room temp., etc. It helps to just measure out all your ingredients first, so putting it together is easier. If you need a recipe to WOW people, this one is it!

  • mystique054
    Jan 22, 2013

    No comment left

  • sdeb
    Jul 2, 2012

    I would have given this recipe 10 stars if it was based on the cake alone! OUTSTANDING CAKE!! I've made many cakes and this has to be the best to date! My cakes didn't take as long to cook as the directions say. They also sank (just a little) in the center but tested done with a tooth pick. The frosting on the other hand was so bitter in my opinion, I didn't use it. I even tried an additional cup of powdered sugar, needless to say, it didn't help... What a waste! If I were going to try it again, I would use 3 oz unsweetened chocolate & 3 oz semi-sweet chocolate. I made a coconut whipped cream for the filling and top (only), I find no need to frost the sides. I always put my cakes in the refrigerator over night before cutting. Much more flavorful. I hope this helps :)

  • bakerbuddy2
    Jun 18, 2012

    Wow! what a fabulous cake this is!I made it for my dad on Father's day, and he absolutly loved it! The frosting is one of the best things about it. I would definetly recommend this to any one.

  • oceanbrzzz
    Feb 22, 2012

    Outrageously delicious, a melding of chocolate, mocha and cream cheese flavors that is scrumptious! My husband's favorite.