Mocha: The Marriage Of Coffee And Chocolate

The word Mocha comes from the name of a shipping port in Africa. In the days of sailing commerce, ships would set sail from the port of Mocha with cargos of mainly chocolate and coffee. Therefore, the word Mocha became synonymous with chocolate and coffee together. 

As time passed, the combination of these two flavors made its way into culinary circles and the term mocha was used to describe any dish that combined the two flavors. Cafe Mocha is a popular coffee drink made with chocolate and espresso and has sort of become the grown-up hot chocolate. 

But this delicious dessert is not a beverage, but one of my favorite cake recipes of all time: Mocha Cake. In this recipe I will guide you through exactly what ingredients you will need, and the step-by-step instructions to make sure your cake comes out perfectly. I have also included five tips, to make the process easy and your cake delicious. 

In short, it is a rich chocolate cake made from scratch that combines real cocoa with piping hot strong brewed coffee to make a dessert that is decadent, rich, and easy to bake. Your friends will be blown away. It is perfect to take to a dinner party or company picnic. People have begged me for the recipe overtime I have shared it. Also, this outstanding cafe mocha cake pairs perfectly with a cup of your favorite coffee.


  • 3/4 Cup Cocoa (natural/unsweetened)
  • 1 3/4 Cups All Purpose Flour
  • 2 Cups Sugar
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoons Baking Soda
  • 1 Cup Whole Milk
  • 1/2 Cup Vegetable Oil
  • 3 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Cup of Hot, Strong, Brewed Coffee
  • A 9.5 inch by 3.4 inch Bundt Cake Pan

Tip #1
Use truly hot, quite strong, high-quality, brewed coffee. For the coffee, I like to use a rich, dark roast coffee brewed in a French Press. But any coffee brewing method will work just fine. Just be sure to make the coffee on the strong side. (That is, a higher ground coffee to water ratio.) Starbucks recommends 2 Tablespoons of ground coffee for each 6 ounces of water. Anything close to that would surely do it. Remember that the coffee should be piping hot when you add it to the mixture. 


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Preheat your oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit. Spray the inside of your 9.5 inch by 3.4 inch Bundt Cake Pan with cooking spray. Combine all of the dry ingredients (cocoa, flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda) in a large mixing bowl and stir well to mix.

Add the milk, oil, eggs, and vanilla extract and beat the mixture for three minutes until all ingredients form a batter. Add the hot coffee and continue to blend until incorporated. The final batter will be thinner than most cake recipes.

Pour the batter into the bundt pan and bake for 30-35 minutes on the center rack. Test the cake's doneness by inserting a wooden skewer of long toothpick into the center. If the toothpick does not come out clean, cook for intervals of 5 more minutes and check again each time until the cake is done. I usually only have to do this once, if at all, but ovens and cooking times can vary.

Tip #2
Using a bundt pan for this cake, as opposed to a normal cake pan, allows the cake to cook thoroughly without the outside edges drying out. You can make it in two 9 inch round cake pans also, or in a 9 by 13 pan, and it will be fine. However, the bundt pan puts this cake over the top. 


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Final Touches

This cake is so moist, rich, and delicious that it can easily be served with no icing at all. In fact that is the way I like it best. However here are my last few tips you can use to jazz up this already yummy mocha cake.

Tip #3
For Halloween, make icing by combining 2 cups powdered sugar, 1/2 stick softened butter, and 1/2 cup milk. whisk until liquefied. Add more powdered sugar or milk to get the consistency of thick melted ice cream. Add six drops each (or so) of red and yellow food coloring and stir to create orange icing. Using a zip-closure plastic bag with the tip of one corner cut off to drizzle the orange icing over the mocha cake for a Halloween-colored treat.

Tip #4
For chocolate-mint lovers, ice the cake with your favorite brand of chocolate icing. While the icing is still moist, sprinkle generously with diced chocolate mint candy. Those Andes Chocolate Mints work perfectly. Simply use a cutting board and a chef's knife to dice up the candies just like you would if you were dicing up onions or something. Then sprinkle the diced chocolate mints over the freshly-iced cake. You may want to use a spatula to gently press some of the candy down into the iced cake for good measure.

Tip #5
For an added touch of elegance, you can add a layer of white chocolate chips to the inside of the bundt pan before you pour in the batter. This creates a white marbled effect on the top of the finished cake that looks impressive and tastes really good. 

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So gather all of ingredients, preheat the oven, spray the bundt pan and make this outstanding Mocha Cake that combines the flavors of rich coffee and decadent chocolate. 

This is a great cake to take to any party, dinner, picnic, or event. It also pairs well with coffee and, therefore, makes a great cake to do a coffee tasting with. Serve it at your next gathering and be ready to share this recipe with everyone who begs you for it. 

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