Moist Mocha Cake with Chocolate Drizzle (and a Powdered Sugar Experiment)

mocha cake_n

Both the chocolate cake batter and the frosting have an essence of coffee which adds an element of complexity. Eggs and buttermilk make this cake moist and rich. 

The frosting for this decadent cake included an experimental element inspired by the fact that we’d run out of powdered sugar. Based on Internet research, I found  that powdered sugar could be created by putting granulated sugar and a little cornstarch in a blender for 15 minutes. We employ an immersion blender with a nut grinder attachment for these kinds of jobs. After about seven minutes, I decided the sugar looked powdered. The flavor of the frosting was spot on, but the slight graininess proved otherwise. Next time, I’ll muscle through the whole 15 minutes – or ship up enough powdered sugar to last the whole season in the bush.

Mocha Cake


  • Butter for greasing the pans
  • 1  3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cups dutch processed cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk, shaken
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 3 tsp coffee extract
  • Mocha Buttercream Frosting, recipe follows


  1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Line two 9-inch springform pans with parchment paper. Butter and flour pans. Set aside.
  3. Sift flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt into mixing bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment.
  4. Mix on low speed until combined.
  5. In a second bowl, mix together buttermilk, oil, eggs, vanilla and coffee extract.
  6. With mixer on low speed, slowly pour wet ingredients in with dry.
  7. Pour batter into two pans, evenly divided.
  8. Bake for 35 minutes, or until cake tester comes out clean.
  9. Cool cakes in pans for 30 minutes.
  10. Finish cooling completely on wire racks.
  11. Place one cake, flat side up, on a cake pedestal or flat plate.
  12. Spread top of cake with frosting.
  13. Place second cake, flat side down, on first frosted cake.
  14. Spread remaining frosting evenly on top and sides of cake.

Buttercream Frosting


  • 6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 sticks (1/2 lb.) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 egg yolk, room temperature
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1  1/4 sifted confectioner’s sugar
  • 3 tsp coffee extract


  1. Melt chocolate chips in a double boiler. Stir until smooth. Set aside to cool.
  2. Cream the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, about 3 minutes.
  3. Add egg yolk and vanilla. Continue beating for about 3 minutes.
  4. Turn the mixer to low and gradually stir in confectioner’s sugar.
  5. Beat until smooth and creamy.
  6. Mix in melted chocolate.
  7. Add coffee extract and mix until smooth.
  8. Spread immediately on cooled cake.

Recipe adapted from Food Network

17 thoughts on “Moist Mocha Cake with Chocolate Drizzle (and a Powdered Sugar Experiment)

  1. I’ll have to remember that powdered sugar trick. Looks yummy. Yet another one I may have to try…:)

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