Indulge in decadence with coffee-chocolate cake recipe

Are you a chocolate and coffee lover? If so, this recipe is for you! The Coffee-Chocolate Layer Cake with Mocha-Mascarpone Frosting is the ultimate dessert for any occasion. Whether it’s a birthday, a dinner party or just a weekend treat, this cake will definitely impress your guests. The combination of rich chocolate layers with a creamy mocha-mascarpone frosting makes this cake a decadent indulgence that is hard to resist.

But wait, there’s more! This recipe is easy to follow and doesn’t require any complicated techniques. Even if you are a beginner baker, you can still achieve perfect results with this recipe. In addition, we have included tips and variations that will allow you to customize the cake to your liking.

What also makes this dessert admirable is that it contains ingredients that are easily accessible and affordable. You can find everything you need at your local grocery store. Some of the key ingredients include cocoa powder, instant espresso powder, mascarpone cheese, heavy whipping cream, cake flour, eggs, vanilla extract and unsalted butter.

So why not take your baking skills to the next level with this Coffee-Chocolate Layer Cake with Mocha-Mascarpone Frosting recipe? Trust us, once you make it, you won’t be able to resist another slice!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Coffee-Chocolate Layer Cake With Mocha-Mascarpone Frosting
Coffee-Chocolate Layer Cake With Mocha-Mascarpone Frosting

Are you a fan of decadent desserts? Then get ready to fall head over heels for this Coffee-Chocolate Layer Cake With Mocha-Mascarpone Frosting recipe. Not only is it rich and moist, but it also packs a flavorful punch of coffee and chocolate that will leave your taste buds dancing with joy.

This cake is perfect for special occasions, such as birthdays or anniversaries, but it’s just as delicious for an everyday treat. The combination of the espresso-infused cake and the mocha-mascarpone frosting creates an indulgent experience that will satisfy any sweet tooth.

But what really sets this recipe apart is the mascarpone frosting. It’s made from creamy mascarpone cheese and heavy cream, and infused with a mixture of cocoa and coffee, creating a luxurious texture with a beautiful balance of flavors. Topped with chocolate curls or whipped cream, it looks as good as it tastes.

Trust me when I say that this Coffee-Chocolate Layer Cake With Mocha-Mascarpone Frosting recipe is one that you won’t forget. If you’re looking to wow your guests or treat yourself, this cake won’t disappoint.

Ingredient List

“Indulge in the perfect coffee and chocolate balance with every bite”

Ingredients for the Chocolate Cake

  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons instant espresso powder
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
  • 1 cup strong brewed coffee, cooled to room temperature
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Ingredients for the Mocha Mascarpone Frosting

  • 1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream, divided (½ cup and ½ cup)
  • 8 ounces mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
  • ⅓ cup granulated sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • Cocoa Powder, sifted (for dusting)
  • Chocolate curls (for decoration)

The Recipe How-To

“Layers of coffee-infused chocolate cake make every slice a heavenly delight”

Before starting, make sure you have all the ingredients at hand. Set the oven to 350°F and line three *9-inch cake pans with parchment paper on the bottom. Make sure the parchment paper is greased and floured.

Step 1: Mix dry ingredients

In a large bowl, sift together 2 cups of cake flour, 1¼ cups of brown sugar, ¾ cup of unsweetened cocoa powder, 1 teaspoon of baking soda, and 1 teaspoon of salt.

Step 2: Add wet ingredients

Add 4 room temperature eggs, 1 cup of buttermilk, and 1 cup of melted unsalted butter to the bowl. Mix on low speed until everything is incorporated.

Step 3: Incorporate coffee mixture

In a small bowl, mix 1 tablespoon of instant espresso powder with ⅓ cup of boiling water until fully dissolved. Then pour this mixture slowly into the large bowl and mix on medium-low speed until everything is fully incorporated.

Step 4: Bake

Divide the batter between the three prepared cake pans. You should have about 2½ cups in each pan. Bake for about 20-25 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through. The toothpick comes out clean once it’s ready! Let cool completely before frosting!

Mocha-Mascarpone Frosting

While you wait for the cake layers to cool, let’s make the frosting.
1. Bring 1 cup of heavy whipping cream to a boil in a small saucepan.
2. Slowly pour the hot cream over 6 oz dark chocolate curls or finely chopped dark chocolate, whisking constantly until melted.
3. Add in 1 tablespoon of instant espresso powder and whisk until fully dissolved.
4. In another mixing bowl, beat together 8 oz mascarpone cheese and ½ cup of granulated sugar until fluffy.
5. Slowly pour in the chocolate mixture while mixing on low speed.
6. Finally, beat 1½ cups of cold heavy whipping cream until stiff peaks form then gently fold it into the chocolate mascarpone mixture.

Assembling the Cake

Once the cake layers have cooled and the frosting has been prepared, it’s time to assemble the cake!
1. Place one cake layer on a cake stand, flat side up.
2. Generously cover with half of the mocha mascarpone frosting (about 2 cups).
3. Repeat with a second cake layer and more frosting.
4. Top with the final cake layer, flat side down.

Final Touch-Up

Frost the outside of the cake with remaining frosting using an offset spatula, creating beautiful waves or swirls.
Decorate with chocolate curls, if preferred.

Now you have a delicious and beautiful coffee-chocolate layer cake with mocha-mascarpone frosting that everyone will love!

Substitutions and Variations

“Get your caffeine fix in a deliciously decadent way”

Are you looking to switch things up a bit for this recipe? Let’s explore some possible substitutions and variations to make this coffee-chocolate layer cake with mocha-mascarpone frosting unique to your taste.

First, if you’re not a fan of instant espresso powder, you can try using instant coffee instead. You’ll get the same bold coffee flavor without the intensity of the espresso. On the other hand, if you prefer a stronger coffee flavor than what is written in this recipe, feel free to add an extra teaspoon or two of instant espresso powder to the cake batter and frosting.

For those who are lactose intolerant or vegan, substitute the heavy whipping cream with coconut cream or almond milk. And instead of mascarpone cheese, use vegan cream cheese or silken tofu.

If buttermilk isn’t readily available in your supermarket, you can easily make some at home by adding 1 tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice per cup of milk. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes until it curdles and becomes thick like regular buttermilk.

Looking for more variations? Try spicing up the chocolate curls garnish with some cayenne pepper for a little heat. Or add chopped nuts into the cake batter for extra crunch. If you don’t have time to make chocolate curls from scratch, top with store-bought chocolate chips or chocolate shavings.

With all these variations available, you can truly customize this cake recipe to your liking and create your own signature coffee-chocolate layer cake with mocha-mascarpone frosting.

Serving and Pairing

“The rich and creamy mocha-mascarpone frosting is the icing on the cake”

This Coffee-Chocolate Layer Cake with Mocha-Mascarpone Frosting is a show-stopping dessert that deserves to be enjoyed on special occasions. It has a rich, indulgent flavor that pairs perfectly with a cup of coffee or espresso.

To serve, slice the cake into thin pieces using a sharp knife. Garnish with chocolate curls and a dollop of whipped cream or mascarpone cheese frosting. This will add an elegant touch to your presentation and will also enhance the sweetness and texture of the cake.

As for pairing, this cake can stand on its own as a decadent dessert, but it can also be paired with a variety of beverages to enhance its taste and contrast its flavors. A strong cup of coffee or espresso can complement the rich chocolate flavor and cut through the sweetness of the frosting. For those who prefer non-alcoholic beverages, a glass of cold milk, hot chocolate, or tea can be served alongside this cake.

For an adult version, try serving this cake with a glass of red wine or port. The tannins in these wines can bring out the taste of cocoa and complement its bold flavor. Other alcoholic options such as Irish cream liqueur or coffee-based cocktails like Espresso Martini can also be great choices to offer after dinner parties or celebrations.

Overall, this cake is the perfect way to elevate any special occasion and indulge in a delightful treat that will leave your guests wanting more.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

“Impress your friends and family with a professional-looking layered cake”

There’s no need to worry if you have leftovers of this coffee-chocolate layer cake with mocha-mascarpone frosting, as it stores and reheats perfectly. You can even make it ahead of time if you prefer.

To make ahead, simply bake the cake layers as directed in the recipe, then wrap them tightly in plastic wrap and place them in the fridge for up to three days. Before serving, prepare the frosting and assemble the cake as directed.

If you have leftover slices, you can store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two days or in the fridge for up to a week. When reheating, simply pop them into the microwave or oven for a few seconds to warm them up.

It’s important to note that this cake is best served at room temperature so make sure you let it sit out for at least thirty minutes before serving. If you want to speed up the process, you can microwave individual slices on low power for fifteen seconds.

Overall, this coffee-chocolate layer cake with mocha-mascarpone frosting is a crowd-pleasing dessert that is perfect for any occasion. With its rich chocolate flavor and creamy mascarpone frosting, it’s sure to become a favorite among your family and friends.

Tips for Perfect Results

“Perfect for any special occasion or simply to treat yourself to a sweet luxury”

While making a Coffee-Chocolate Layer Cake With Mocha-Mascarpone Frosting might look intimidating, there are ways to ensure that it turns out perfectly. Here are a few tips that I’ve learned from my years of experience baking.

Firstly, make sure the ingredients are at room temperature. Baking with ingredients straight out of the fridge can negatively impact both texture and flavor. Eggs, butter, and mascarpone cheese will all mix together better if they are allowed to sit out for 30 minutes before being used.

Secondly, don’t overmix the cake batter. Mixing for too long may cause gluten to form, which can result in a tough cake. Combine the wet and dry ingredients until just combined, and then stop.

Thirdly, use good quality cocoa powder and instant espresso powder. They can make or break the flavor of your cake if they’re not high-quality ingredients.

Fourthly, when making the frosting, ensure that the cocoa mixture is completely cool before adding the mascarpone cheese. A warm mixture will melt the cheese and make for a thin frosting.

Fifthly, sift the cocoa powder before using it in the frosting. This will help remove any lumps and ensure a smooth texture.

Lastly, be patient when allowing the cakes to cool before frosting them. A hot cake will melt the frosting and ruin all your hard work! Let them cool on wire racks for at least an hour before icing.

By using these tips, you’ll be well on your way to making a perfect Coffee-Chocolate Layer Cake With Mocha-Mascarpone Frosting every time – one that’s sure to impress your guests and leave them wanting more!


Before wrapping up, let’s address some frequently asked questions to help you avoid any confusion or mistakes when making this coffee-chocolate layer cake with mocha-mascarpone frosting.

What is mascarpone frosting made of?

To create a delicious frosting, you only need a few simple ingredients which include mascarpone cheese, heavy cream, and powdered sugar, and from there you can experiment with different flavors to enhance the taste.

What does coffee do to chocolate cake?

When it comes to baking a chocolate cake, coffee is a game changer. It’s like adding fuel to the fire, taking the flavor of the chocolate to a whole new level. In case coffee is not your cup of tea, you can make use of water instead. And if you want a more concentrated coffee flavor, you can always resort to using espresso powder in addition to water. Just swap out the 1 cup of coffee for a teaspoon of espresso powder along with 1 cup of water, and your cake will still turn out to be deliciously chocolatey.

What does adding coffee to cake mix do?

Mixing brewed coffee with cake batter has a delightful effect on its texture, making it moist and dense with a pudding-like consistency. The irresistible combination of chocolate and coffee is always a crowd-pleaser, but when added to cake, it becomes even more mouth-watering and indulgent akin to a luxurious mocha latte.

Why add instant coffee to chocolate cake?

The distinct flavors of cocoa and coffee complement each other quite well. The bitterness of both can be overwhelming, but when they’re combined, they create a delicious harmony. Coffee is often used alongside chocolate as an ingredient in baked treats and desserts to enhance the overall taste.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, the Coffee-Chocolate Layer Cake with Mocha-Mascarpone Frosting recipe is truly a dessert lover’s dream. This cake is rich, chocolatey, and packed with a bold coffee flavor that is sure to impress everyone at any special event or gathering. The recipe is not only easy to follow but can also be customized to suit your unique taste preferences.

Whether you are looking for a decadent birthday cake or simply want to impress your loved ones with a mouth-watering dessert, this recipe is definitely worth a try. With its moist cake layers, creamy mocha mascarpone frosting, and chocolate curls on top – it’s hard not to love this delicious masterpiece!

So go ahead and whip up this amazing coffee chocolate layer cake today! You won’t regret it! And if you ever need help perfecting this indulgent dessert, don’t hesitate to visit us at our coffee shop. We are always happy to help enhance your baking skills and take your culinary experiences to the next level!

Coffee-Chocolate Layer Cake With Mocha-Mascarpone Frosting

Coffee-Chocolate Layer Cake With Mocha-Mascarpone Frosting Recipe

This four-star showstopping recipe is from Bon Appétit (April 2009). It's a little effort but it's well worth it for special occasions. For a richer, darker cake and frosting use part or all Hershey's Special Dark Cocoa. Frosting must chill for at least 2 hours. DO AHEAD: Cake (either assembled or not) can be made 1 day ahead. Cover with cake dome; chill. Let stand at room temperature at least 20 minutes before serving.
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Prep Time 40 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine Italian
Calories 512.5 kcal



  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 3/4 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups packed golden brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 4 teaspoons instant espresso powder, dissolved in 3/4 cup hot water


  • 1/3 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
  • 1 1/2 cups chilled heavy whipping cream, divided
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar
  • 2 (8 ounce) containers chilled mascarpone cheese
  • bittersweet chocolate curls (optional)


  • For cake: Position rack in center of oven; preheat to 325°F Generously butter two 9-inch cake pans with 2-inch-high sides; dust with flour, tapping out any excess. Line bottom of pans with parchment paper.
  • Sift 2 cups cake flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt into medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat butter in large bowl until smooth. Add brown sugar and beat until well blended, about 2 minutes. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in vanilla. Add flour mixture in 3 additions alternately with buttermilk in 2 additions, beating just until blended after each addition. Gradually add hot espresso-water mixture, beating just until smooth.
  • Divide batter between pans; smooth tops. Bake cakes until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Cool cakes in pans on rack 15 minutes. Run small knife around sides of pans to loosen cakes. Invert cakes onto racks; lift pans off cakes and remove parchment. Place wire rack atop each cake; invert again so top side is up. Cool completely.
  • For frosting: Sift cocoa powder into large bowl; add espresso powder. Bring 1 cup cream to boil in small saucepan. Slowly pour cream over cocoa mixture, whisking until cocoa is completely dissolved, about 1 minute. Add 1/2 cup cream and sugar; stir until sugar dissolves. Chill until cold, at least 2 hours.
  • Add mascarpone to chilled cocoa mixture. Using electric mixer, beat on low speed until blended and smooth. Increase speed to medium-high; beat until mixture is thick and medium-firm peaks form when beaters are lifted, about 2 minutes (do not overbeat or mixture will curdle).
  • Using pastry brush, brush off crumbs from cakes. Place 1 cake layer, top side up, on platter. Spoon 1 3/4 cups frosting in dollops over top of cake. Using offset spatula, spread frosting to edges. Top with second cake layer, top side up, pressing to adhere. Spread thin layer of frosting over top and sides of cake. Chill 10 minutes. Using offset spatula, spread remaining frosting over top and sides of cake, swirling decoratively. Top with chocolate curls, if desired.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 158gCalories: 512.5kcalCarbohydrates: 70.2gProtein: 6.5gFat: 25.2gSaturated Fat: 15.3gCholesterol: 125mgSodium: 366.4mgFiber: 3gSugar: 46.8g
Keyword < 4 Hours, Cheese, Dessert, Kid-Friendly, Kosher
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