Chocolate Mocha Cake


For years, mom has been baking her famous sponge cake.. from our birthdays, to friends and family gatherings, or to just simply offering it to neighbors. Her baking style is simple, she hardly uses any frosting, but she makes an incredibly soft, delicate, and spongy cake each time. The one secret to her delicious cakes is that she brushes each layer with a light syrup.

I originally baked this cake for a birthday last week & since mom liked it so much, I decided to make it for Mother's Day.  This cake is moist, tender and you don't even have to have frosting, it's so good on it's own, but if you like frosting I've included the recipe so go ahead and have fun with it :) . 

Chocolate Mocha Cake

Servings: 6 | Time: 50 minutes


  • 4 oz Dark Baking Chocolate
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
  • 1 cup butter (227g), softened 
  • 4 large eggs 
  • 2 tablespoons instant coffee (melt it in a teaspoon of hot water)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla 
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt 


  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F (175° c) 
  2. Grease and line 2 cake pans with parchment paper 
  3. Melt the chocolate using bain-marie technique* and let cool to room temperature 
  4. Combine flour, baking soda and salt in a small bowl and set aside.
  5. Use your stand mixer with pedal attachment, mix together brown sugar, butter, eggs, instant coffee and vanilla extract for couple minutes.
  6. Gradually add melted chocolate and continue mixing for an additional minute. Alternately add the dry ingredient and buttermilk to the mixture while mixing on low speed. Start with the dry and end with the dry.
  7. Pour the batter equally into prepared pans and bake for 30-35 minutes or until inserted toothpick comes out clean.  Remove from oven and cool on a baking rack for 10 minutes then invert the pans to release the cakes.  
  8. Before layering the cakes, it's best if you keep the cakes wrapped in plastic and keep in the refrigerator for an hour. Once the cakes are completely cool, you can layer the cakes and have them ready for glazing. 

Coffee Glaze: 

  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder 
  • 1 tablespoon rum 

Mix all the ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Use a pastry brush to gently brush the glaze over the cakes. This is to keep the cakes moist and tender also to keep the cake crumbs from messing your frosting. 

Mocha buttercream frosting:

  • 40z dark baking chocolate
  • 2 teaspoons instant espresso powder or instant coffee (Microwave the milk for 2 seconds and melt the instant coffee in it)
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1 cup butter; softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3-4 cups of powdered sugar (depending how sweet you want the frosting to be) 


  1. Melt the chocolate and cool to room temperature ( the same way as you did for the cake) 
  2. Dissolve the instant coffee in milk and set aside
  3. Beat butter and vanilla in a large bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer.. for 3 minutes beat in melted chocolate until well blended, scraping occasionally, gradually beat in powdered sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in coffee/milk mixture slowly until you have a creamy consistency. 
  4. To assemble the cake, have the layers that you have already brushed with coffee glaze ready.
  5. To have even layers, I usually measure the frosting approximately 80g for each layer, I know it's a little bit extra work, but if you don't need to have the perfect layers just cover the cake with frosting and have fun with it.

Baking Tip: 

Bain-marie is a sophisticated name for bath water. It's much easier than melting chocolate in the microwave. Fill a small saucepan with about half full of water, use a glass bowl large than the pan and make sure that it doesn't touch the water. Add the chocolate to the bowl and let it melt on low temperature. Stir once in awhile until it's all melted.