Mocha Cake

This Mocha Cake is a coffee & chocolate lover’s dream. Buttery marble cake is layered with airy cappuccino cream and the entire cake is iced with whipped espresso ganache. This cake is flavorful and light as a feather.

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There’s not a whole heckuva lot to say about this recipe. I mean, if you like a good mochaccino I think you can imagine how wonderful the flavors are. Not only is the cake unbelievably tasty, all the components are light and airy.

What is mocha cake?

Mocha is a flavor that combines coffee and chocolate. Mocha cake features both those flavors.

Ingredients for Mocha Cake:

  • Marble Cake: Marble Cake as the base for this mocha cake. We eat with our eyes and marble cake is just so dang pretty when it’s sliced. The two-tone cake is a great fit with the “two-tone” flavor of the cake.
  • Strong Coffee: Coffee is added to both the syrup and the filling.
  • Heavy Cream: Make sure to use heavy cream or whipping cream, not light cream.
  • Gelatin: Gelatin stabilizes the cream so it doesn’t ooze when the cake is sliced.
  • Kahlua: Remember  alcohol enhances flavor! As always, you can omit the Kahlua if you prefer an alcohol-free cake.
  • Semi Sweet Chocolate: The cake is finished with a luscious mocha flavored ganache made from dark chocolate.

Tips for working ahead:

  • The marble cake layers can be baked and stored, wrapped tightly at room temperature for 1-2 days. The cake can be wrapped and frozen for up to a month.
  • The Kahlua syrup can be made ahead and refrigerated to up to a week.
  • The cappuccino cream filling must be made the day the cake is assembled.
  • The ganache can be made up 2 days ahead and kept, well covered, at room temperature. If the ganache becomes too firm microwave briefly to soften it up before whipping.

How to Store Mocha Cake:

  • The assembled cake will keep in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
  • Individual slices can be wrapped and frozen for up to a month.
mochaccino cake
mochaccino cake

If you love this recipe as much as I do, I’d really appreciate a 5-star review.

mochaccino cake
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4.82 from 11 reviews

Mocha Cake Recipe

Buttery marble cake is layered with airy cappuccino cream and the entire cake is iced with whipped espresso ganache. This cake is light as a feather and is a coffee & chocolate lovers dream.
Prep Time1 hour
Cake Baking Time45 minutes
Total Time1 hour 45 minutes
16 servings
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Kahlua Syrup

  • 2 oz coffee (¼ cup)
  • 3 oz granulated sugar (⅓ cup)
  • 2 oz Kahlua (or coffee, ¼ cup)

Cappuccino Cream

Whipped Espresso Ganache


  • The marble cake layers should be completely cooled before assembling this cake.
    1 recipe Marble Cake
  • Trim the tops of the cakes so they are level. Split each cake in half, horizontally, so that you have four layers. Cover and set aside while you prepare the filling.

Make the Syrup

  • Combine the coffee and sugar in a small saucepan. Heat over medium high heat until the sugar is melted. Remove from heat, add the Kahlua and cool to room temperature.
    2 oz coffee, 3 oz granulated sugar, 2 oz Kahlua

Make the Cappuccino Cream

  • Place the Kahlua (or water) in a small microwave safe bowl. Sprinkle the gelatin over the Kahlua and set it aside until it becomes spongy (bloomed). About 5 minutes.
    1 oz Kahlua, 1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin powder
  • Stir the espresso powder and powdered sugar into the cream and whip the cream to soft peak. Heat the bloomed gelatin in the microwave until it is completely melted, about 30 seconds.
    1 tablespoon instant espresso powder, 1 ½ oz powdered sugar, 16 oz heavy cream
  • Whisk 1/4 cup of the cream into the gelatin. With the mixer running, pour the gelatin mixture into the cream and whip to full peak. Use immediately to fill the cake.

Assemble the cake

  • Place the bottom layer of cake onto a serving platter. Generously brush the layer with Kahlua syrup. Set aside 1 cup of the cappuccino cream for crumb coating the cake. Spread ⅓ of the remaining cappuccino cream onto the layer. Continue brushing each layer and spreading the filling.
  • Place the top layer, flat side up, onto the cake. Brush generously with syrup. Use the reserved cappuccino cream to crumb coat the cake. Chill until the filling is set, at least an hour.

Make the Ganache

  • Chop the chocolate into small pieces, none larger than ½" or chop roughly and finish chopping in a food processor.
    8 oz semi sweet chocolate
  • Pour the cream into a microwave safe bowl and heat until scalding. You want to get the cream as hot as you can without it boiling over. The time will depend on your microwave, but it should be about 2-3 minutes for a cup of cream.
    8 oz heavy cream
  • Stir the espresso powder into the cream then pour the cream all at once over the chocolate. Do not stir for 1-2 minutes to allow the chocolate to begin melting. Stir until all the chocolate bits are melted then stir in the Kahlua.
    1 tablespoon instant espresso powder, 2 oz Kahlua
  • Chill the ganache until it is cool and beginning to set around the edges, about 20 minutes (see note). Whip the ganache on medium speed until it is light and airy and looks like frosting. Use immediately to ice the cake.
  • Remove the assembled cake from the refrigerator. Remove the plastic wrap and ice the cake with the whipped ganache.
  • Chill the cake until 1 hour before serving. Leftovers should be refrigerated.

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If the ganache becomes too firm you can leave it at room temperature to soften before whipping.


Serving: 16g | Calories: 389kcal | Carbohydrates: 46g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 49mg | Sodium: 249mg | Potassium: 140mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 31g | Vitamin A: 630IU | Vitamin C: 0.3mg | Calcium: 104mg | Iron: 1mg
Have you tried this recipe?Mention @eileen.bakingsense or tag #bakingsense!

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  1. Dear Eileen ,l love you’re recipes of cakes, they are the best lve seen ,you explain everything, l have lots of books ,and l enjoy bakeing , birthday cakes, lve made the chocolate shacher torte, but now l can try white chocolate thank you for sharing your recipes ,have a nice Christmas and Happy New Year xobaci

  2. I know I have a different palette, but I do not like coffee flavor. How do you think it will be without the espresso powder? Thanks

    1. It would be fine. You could just flavor the cream with vanilla and leave the espresso and Kahula out of the recipe. You’ll end up with a marble cake with vanilla cream and whipped ganached frosting. Still delish!!

  3. Hi there!
    Can this be made into a tall layered cake? Or is the espresso cream too soft?

    1. The cake in the photo is fairly tall, about 4.5″. Do you mean a tiered cake, with layer cakes stacked on top of each other? You can use soft filling in a tiered cake as long as you use supports in the lower tiers.