4.32 from 19 votes

Mocha Cake

This Mocha Cake recipe is wonderful served with coffee or tea. It’s moist and delicious, with hints of chocolate and coffee flavors.

A slice of mocha cake on a spatula in a pan.


If you’re a fan of rich mocha flavor, then you’ve got to make this cake. It’s as easy as making a boxed cake mix, but it tastes much better. Instead of a super rich chocolate cake, this is a vanilla cake with coffee notes topped with chocolate frosting.  

This moist coffee-flavored cake is so delicious that you’ll want to eat the whole thing! It’s the perfect combination of chocolate and coffee without going overboard. 

recipe binder image

Why You’ll Love Mocha Cake

  • Decadent cake layers mixed. Instead of making a time-consuming multi-layer cake, all the flavors are baked together. 
  • Subtle coffee flavor. The coffee is mixed into the vanilla cake, so it’s there without overtaking it. 
  • Perfect for coffee lovers. Anyone who loves coffee will enjoy how it tastes on this cake. 
  • Easy recipe. This is as easy to make as a boxed cake. 

Ingredients

The full printable recipe card with measurements and instructions is found at the bottom of the post.

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    This is the best chocolate cake you’ll ever make. Even though it’s made without cocoa powder, it has a delicious chocolate flavor. Here are the ingredients you’ll need from the grocery store.

    • Brown Sugar – Use brown sugar instead of granulated sugar. It has a richer flavor and tastes the best with the other ingredients. 
    • Vegetable Oil – This fat adds moisture and flavor to the cake. 
    • Vanilla Extract – This rounds out the coffee flavors. 
    • Warm Brewed Coffee – This makes it taste like a mocha latte. 
    • Eggs – The eggs are the binding agent, helping everything stick together. 
    • Baking Soda – This creates a chemical reaction to make the cake airy. 
    • Salt – A little bit is all you need to enhance the flavors. 
    • All-Purpose Flour – This is the base of the cake; use gluten-free flour if you need it. 
    • Chocolate Chips – The chocolate chips add essential chocolate flavors to the vanilla coffee-flavored cake. 
    • Chocolate Frosting – Either make your own or use premade frosting. 
    Mocha cake ingredients.

    How to Make Mocha Cake

    There are just three simple steps to this recipe. Here’s how to make a rich and delicious cake. 

    • Step One: Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9×13 inch baking pan with cooking spray.
    • Step Two: In a large bowl, stir together brown sugar, vegetable oil, vanilla extract, coffee, eggs, baking soda, salt, flour, and ¾ cup of chocolate chips. Pour into a baking pan. Sprinkle the remaining chocolate chips on top.
    Steps to make Mocha cake.
    • Step Three: Bake for 45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out of the center clean. Let cool before frosting and cutting into squares.
    Steps to make Mocha cake.

    Equipment Needed

    If you want the best results when making your mocha cake, I suggest grabbing a few key pieces of equipment.

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    What to Serve with Mocha Cake

    Of course, you can never go wrong with a hot cup of coffee or tea with your mocha cake. Or serve it with these ideas: 

    A slice of mocha cake in a pan.

    Variations and Substitutions

    • Make your frosting. Use a stand mixer with a paddle attachment; it’s quick and easy. 
    • Top with chocolate ganache. Melt chocolate chips in a double boiler with a bit of heavy cream, scraping the sides of the bowl as it melts. 
    • Make white chocolate mocha cake. Add white chocolate chips to the cake batter. 

    Storage Instructions 

    Store the cake in an airtight container. You can keep it at room temperature on the counter. I suggest eating it within three days for the best flavor. 

    Mocha Cake Tips and Tricks

    • Use a stand mixer or electric mixer. This will help speed up the process. 
    • Garnish with coffee or espresso beans. 
    • Make a dark chocolate cake. Add cocoa powder and sour cream to the batter to make it taste extra rich. 
    • Sprinkle chocolate shavings on top. Use dark chocolate shavings for even more flavor. 
    • Decorate the cake with frosting. Use a piping bag to create designs. 
    • Line your cake pans with parchment paper to prevent them from sticking. 
    A slice of mocha cake on a plate.

    Why Put Coffee in a Chocolate Cake?

    Coffee is a common ingredient in chocolate cake because it enhances the rich and dark notes of the chocolate. They are the perfect combination!  Don’t use hot coffee. It should be room temperature or cool before you add it to the batter. This way, it won’t affect the consistency. 

    What Kind of Coffee Should I Use?

    Some recipes ask you to add instant espresso powder to the batter. I suggest using brewed coffee, not powder, to keep my cake balanced. This will help you achieve the perfect balance of dry ingredients and wet ingredients. Brew your favorite kind of coffee – dark roast, light roast, or flavored – it will all taste delicious on the cake. 

    Frosting Ideas

    You could use so many different types of frosting with this cake. Try any of these ideas: 

    • Coffee Buttercream
    • Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting
    • Peanut Butter Frosting 
    • White Chocolate Frosting 
    A piece of mocha cake on a plate.

    FAQ

    Is there caffeine in a mocha cake?

    Yes, this cake contains a small amount of caffeine. Since we use brewed coffee, some caffeine will come with it. 

    Is this a chocolate or vanilla cake? 

    This is a vanilla coffee-flavored cake with chocolate frosting and chocolate chips. The combination of chocolate and coffee flavors reminded me of a mocha, so that’s where the name came from. 

    How many servings does this make? 

    This recipe makes eight servings. 

    Cake Recipes

    You’ll also like Fudge Pie.

    Follow me on Instagram @simplystacieblog, Facebook at Simply Stacie, TikTok @simplystacierecipes or Pinterest at @simplystacie and let me know how you liked this recipe and my other recipes.

    4.32 from 19 votes

    Mocha Cake

    Created by Stacie Vaughan
    Servings 8
    Prep Time 10 minutes
    Cook Time 45 minutes
    Total Time 55 minutes
    This Mocha Cake recipe is wonderful served with coffee or tea. It’s moist and delicious with hints of chocolate and coffee flavors.

    Ingredients
     
     

    • 2 ¾ cup brown sugar
    • 1 cup vegetable oil
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • 1 cup warm brewed coffee
    • 2 large eggs
    • 1 tsp baking soda
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 3 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 ½ cups chocolate chips divided
    • 1 container chocolate frosting

    Instructions

    • Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9×13 inch baking pan with cooking spray.
    • In a large bowl, stir together brown sugar, vegetable oil, vanilla extract, coffee, eggs, baking soda, salt, flour and ¾ cup chocolate chips. Pour into baking pan. Sprinkle remaining chocolate chips on top.
    • Bake for 45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out of the centre clean. Let cool before frosting and cutting into squares.

    Nutrition

    Serving: 1piece | Calories: 808kcal | Carbohydrates: 108.6g | Protein: 10.6g | Fat: 41.6g | Saturated Fat: 30.3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4.9g | Cholesterol: 46.5mg | Sodium: 482.4mg | Fiber: 7.8g | Sugar: 72.7g

    The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

    Course Desserts
    Cuisine American
    Keyword coffee mocha cake, mocha cake, mocha cake recipe

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    4.32 from 19 votes (19 ratings without comment)

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    13 Comments

    1. I really like mocha, I think this is a great recipe!

    2. You can just tell how moist this cake is just by looking at the photos! Yum!

    3. That seems a lot of brown sugar. Do you need to use that much? Trying to cut back on sugar.

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