My Mocha Cake with a Twist blends sweet chocolate and mellow coffee with warming cinnamon spice for a cake that always gets rave reviews.
A Cake with a History
The story of this cake dates back nine years. My husband had fond memories of a mocha birthday cake his mom used to make but although I have many of my late mother-in-law’s recipes, I didn’t have that one. So, I decided to develop one up for myself.
My husband loved his birthday cake, and even said it tasted similar to his Mum’s! I posted the recipe on the blog, back when it was The 21st Century Housewife, back in 2010. (Check out the tiny photos we used to post!!)
It was very well received and Mocha Cake became one of the most requested cakes at our house. Eventually I had a hankering to switch things up a bit. It was around this time that all my pre-2011 blog posts disappeared a blog redesign, so it seemed like an even better time to reinvent this family favourite. This post originally appeared in 2013.
To start with, instead of making a layer cake as I always had, I decided to switch to making a Bundt cake. Part of the reason for this was so I could simply glaze the cake instead of frosting it. I love decorating cakes, but I’m not all that talented at it, so glaze is a lot quicker for me.
So What’s The Twist?
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.
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 make the cake without it, you are back to my original Mocha Cake, and that is no bad thing!
What If I Can’t Find Instant Espresso Powder?
If you can’t find instant espresso powder, a teaspoon or two of instant coffee blended with hot water works well too.
Do I Have To Use Buttermilk?
I also like to use buttermilk, for the lovely tang and richness it adds. Having said that, any kind of milk, from skim to whole milk and even nut milks (I tested with almond milk) work perfectly well.
Do I Have To Make the Recipe in a Bundt Pan?
If you prefer, you can bake the cake as a two layer cake. Pour the batter into two greased and floured 8 inch round cake pans and bake for 25 to 30 minutes. You could also make 24 cupcakes. These will only take about 15 minutes to bake so watch them carefully.
Is There a Gluten Free Version of this Recipe?
Need a gluten free option? Try these yummy Gluten Free Mocha Cupcakes with Mocha Buttercream Frosting Recipe from Sandi at Fearless Dining.
A Quick and Easy Recipe
All you have to do is cream the butter and sugar, then 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 Cake with a Twist – Printable Recipe
- 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
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (170°C).
- Grease and flour a bundt pan, or spray with quick release cake spray.
- Cream the butter and sugar together thoroughly.
- Add the eggs and vanilla and mix together well.
- Sift the flour, cocoa, baking powder, salt and cinnamon together. Set aside.
- Beat together the cooled coffee and the buttermilk.
- 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.)
- Pour the mixture into the bundt pan.
- 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.
- Cool in the pan for ten minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
- When the cake is at room temperature, prepare the glaze.
- For the glaze, sift together the confectioner's sugar and cocoa into a medium bowl.
- Gradually add the coffee, a tablespoon at a time, until a thick glaze consistency is reached.
- Beat in the corn syrup or golden syrup, whisking furiously to create a smooth, glossy glaze.
- Drizzle carefully over the cake, and garnish as desired.