Mocha Cake with a Twist

Chocolate Mocha Cake

I first posted my Mocha Cake back on The 21st Century Housewife in 2010. My husband had fond memories of a mocha birthday cake his mom used to make but as I didn’t have her recipe, I decided to make one up for myself.

Mocha Cake March 2010

Mocha Cake March 2010

My husband was very pleased the results and I’ve made the cake several times since, but recently I’ve had a hankering to switch things up a bit. And since all my pre-2011 blog posts disappeared in the blog redesign earlier this year, it seemed like a great time to reinvent this family favourite.

Switching it up from a layer cake to a bundt cake seemed like a great idea as it meant I could simply glaze the cake instead of frosting it. I find frosting kind of stressful. Glazing is more relaxing, almost therapeutic…

I also decided to add a twist in the form of some spice. Not everyone who tasted the cake could immediately identify what I had used. I did have lots of compliments on how delicious it was – along with lots of wondering about just what the ‘twist’ was. Most people were surprised to find out it was cinnamon. Cinnamon and chocolate make wonderful partners and while the cinnamon might not be immediately evident, it enhances the dark chocolate flavour in an really positive way. Of course this twist is purely optional. If you don’t fancy the cinnamon just leave it out. But I can’t help but think you might be missing something pretty wonderful…

If you can’t find instant espresso powder you can use instant coffee. The flavour may not be as strong, but it works very well. I prefer the flavour buttermilk adds to this recipe but if you really don’t have any, it’s better to use ordinary milk than not to make the cake.

Quick and easy, this recipe involves very little fuss.
Mocha Cake Batter CollageSimply cream the butter and sugar and add the eggs and vanilla. Sift the dry ingredients, and mix together the coffee and the buttermilk. Then add the dry ingredients and coffee/buttermilk mixture to the batter alternately and beat well. Pour into the pan and bake. The glaze is super easy too. Go on, what are you waiting for?
Mocha Cinnamon Cake

Mocha Cake with a Twist
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1¾ cups granulated sugar
  • 3 large free range or organic eggs at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2¼ cups all-purpose (plain) flour
  • ½ cup cocoa powder (not drinking chocolate)
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon instant espresso powder dissolved in ⅓ cup boiling water, cooled
  • 1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
  • For the glaze:
  • 2 - 3 tablespoons strong coffee
  • (made with 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder dissolved in 3 tablespoons boiling water)
  • 1 cup confectioner's sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa
  • 2 tablespoons corn syrup (not high fructose) or golden syrup
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (170°C).
  2. Grease and flour a bundt pan, or spray with quick release cake spray.
  3. Cream the butter and sugar together thoroughly.
  4. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix together well.
  5. Sift the flour, cocoa, baking powder, salt and cinnamon together. Set aside.
  6. Beat together the cooled coffee and the buttermilk.
  7. Add the flour mixture to the batter alternately with the coffee/buttermilk mixture, beating after each addition. (Use two additions of the flour mixture and two of the liquid mixture.)
  8. Pour the mixture into the bundt pan.
  9. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes or until the top springs back when touched lightly and a skewer inserted in the cake comes out clean.
  10. Cool in the pan for ten minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
  11. When the cake is at room temperature, prepare the glaze.
  12. For the glaze, sift together the confectioner's sugar and cocoa into a medium bowl.
  13. Gradually add the coffee, a tablespoon at a time, until a thick glaze consistency is reached.
  14. Beat in the corn syrup or golden syrup, whisking furiously to create a smooth, glossy glaze.
  15. Drizzle carefully over the cake, and garnish as desired.

Shared with Foodie Friday, Food on Friday, Foodie Friday, See Ya in the Gumbo, Mouthwatering Mondays

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Article by April Harris

April has written 1291 great articles for us.
April is a writer, recipe developer, frequent traveller and blogger sharing travel, food, and style. Based in the south of England, April is a British Canadian who is passionate about family, hearth and home, healthy living (with treats!) and the transformative power of travel.
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  1. It’s just beautiful, April! I love it in bundt form…the glaze and the simple heart deco – perfection!

  2. Rattlebridge Farm -- Foodie Friday says:

    Oh, how delicious! I can smell the cinnamon from across the pond. Beautiful photos and a great recipe!

  3. Until about two years ago I really didn’t like coffee, but I’ve gradually been inching my way towards mocha drinks. I’m pretty sure I’d love this cake – which looks beautiful, by the way – and the cinnamon seems like a classy touch. Your husband is a lucky guy!

  4. I love your new version a little less frosting and love a little spice. Thanks so much for sharing this with us on foodie friday. Always good to see you April.

  5. It is really beautiful I will try this one and let you know.

  6. I completely agree–cinnamon and chocolate pair well. Coffee and chocolate too. And cinnamon and coffee. Well, looks like you’ve got it going on with this cake! Thank you for linking, April.

    • Thank you, Michelle. I love coffee with just about anything (vanilla, caramel, Baileys Irish Cream…), but chocolate & cinnamon have to be my favourites 🙂

  7. What a gorgeous cake April and thanks for sharing it at the Say G’day party! Pinned all and look forward to seeing you next week!

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