Mocha Layer Cake


Coffee and Chocolate.

What more could a girl ask for?

I know I am in heaven whenever I am eating this Mocha Layer Cake and I guarantee you will be too!

This building on recipes extravaganza is really worth the effort.

It’s actually not as much work as you may think as long as you have your recipes prepared in advance you can whip this baby together in less than 20 minutes!

I decided to go for both chocolate cake and yellow cake this time, but you can opt for one or the other.

I used my American Buttercream recipe which I am falling in love with more and more each time I use it!

Add some coffee paste and s smidgeon of ganache and you are half way home my friends!

The chocolate covered espresso beans really ties the final decor together and they are so good to munch on while decorating! (they make you go faster too LOL)

5.0 from 2 reviews
Mocha Layer Cake
Prepare all recipes in advance. Bake the cake batter into 7" pans (you may use 8" pans too for slightly thinner layers)
Serves: 1 -7" Cake
  1. Mix the instant coffee with the water to make a smooth paste.
  2. Add to the buttercream at the last stage of mixing along with the semi melted (but cooled) ganache.
  3. Assemble the cake as shown in the video
This cake will be fine at room temperature for up to 5 days (it may get soft though due to the added ingredients to the buttercream, so it is your choice to refrigerate it for stability)

If you DO refrigerate, bring to room temperature before serving


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  1. There are too many funny moments in this video. I can really tell you’re having fun and loving what you do. You just keep getting awesomer and awesomer Gretchen! And I haven’t even made the cake yet! I should go bake now.

  2. I just wanted to tell you how awesome you are for sharing all your knowledge with us! Your recipes are the best ever and I like your videos! I think you are one of the kindest, most generous person I know. (Well, as much as you can know someone from videos! Lol!) Thanks so very much for all you do! May God bless you always in what you do!

  3. Omg! Gretchen, I have just come home from work to this amazing video, I think I have died and gone to heaven, you are a natural….. Can’t wait to make this. Your love and passion for what you do shows in your cakes, that’s why they are the best in the world!!! Thank you….

  4. Hey Gretchen!
    Can I make this cake using the swiss meringue buttercream recipe and not the american one? Or is the american one nessecary for this recipe?

  5. Hi gretchen,ever since i watched ur video on how to make smbc,i never use american butter cream anymore coz its too sweet ,is ur abc version is as sweet as wilton’s recipe?

    1. Great! thanks! I feel that my ABC is sweeter than the swiss but not nearly as sweet as the Wilton, and you can leave out a cup or two of the sugar if you feel you want to

  6. Hey beautiful cakes and great details on how to make them. I have a question ,Can you tell how to take some of the sweetness out of buttercream frosting?

    1. thanks Carol! I do not specifically but you can pretty much sub out the mil for any milk alternative (I do it alot since I do not ever have cow milk at my house) I use almond

  7. Gretchen thanks for sharing your recipes, love how you put excitement in your demonstrations. I love coffee and will have to try this recipe.



  9. Hello Gretchen

    I love making your recipes and they always turned out great. My problem is that i run into trouble just making cakes one at a time. The customers love the desserts but i run out too fast, especially cheesecakes.

    My question is can you alter cake recipes 6x so i can make more cakes or is there a formula in baking when doubling, tripling etc. cake recipes. I have been using CIA’s baking and pastry cookbook and all there recipes are for more than one, usually six. This is how i make my carrot cakes from CIA’s recipe.

    I was looking at the Mocha cake and i know that it will go fast so i will need back up cakes prepared already so i can ice and decorate as needed.

    Do you also use any of CIA’s recipes or a version thereof. Too tell you the truth I have been using your recipes more often, but run out too quickly.

    Thanks Gretchen

    Wish you were in Jersey still i was planning on visiting one day…..

    John Giordano “EPCJG” Executive Pastry Chef John Giordano (My sysco food rep calls me that even though i’ve never went to college for baking. He’s a nice guy. Here’s our restaurant website were i serve your desserts.

    1. Hi John! Wow thats a great problem to have!!
      You can multiply my recipes sure, I havent had any problems with larger recipes in the past
      Sounds like you are doing really well! Keep it up Chef!

  10. Hey Gretchen, I’m wondering if I could switch out the American buttercream for Swiss or Italian as I don’t really like it. I just don’t like that greasy, thick flavor.

    Which one would be a lighter and better substitute for this particular cake.

    1. Thanks for the fast response! Also for the chocolate cake which you said to half, for this recipe, how would I half the eggs? By gram or put in 2-3 eggs.

    2. Oh my god last question. I don’t have a candy thermometer, and kinda lazy to go out in search of a bakery store. Any suggestions or just safely use the Swiss buttercream? I’ve read about the ice cold water way to see if it’s ready. What do you think?

  11. May I simply say what a relief to uncover someone
    that actually understands what they’re discussing on the internet.
    You definitely understand how to bring an issue to light and make it important.
    More people have to check this out and understand thgis side of your story.

    I can’t believe you’re not more popular since you certainly possess the gift.

  12. Hi! I was wondering if I could sub a dairy free milk for heavy cream in a chocolate ganache. I know that you couldn’t whip it up to make a frosting but just for decoration on the cake like you do in your mocha cake.

  13. I am from India and I have tried few of your recipes and I find them really cool. I don’t get shortening easily in India so can you suggest what can I use for buttercream in place of shortening?
    My second question is, what is the suitable temperature to mix buttercream with ganache? If its cooled, the buttercream curdles and if its hot the buttercream melts.

      1. Amazing Gretchen. Your list is exactly catering to my need. And you are so prompt in your responses considering the different time zone also, you replied so quickly. Will use Dalda and see the outcome. Thanks again 🙂 Keep rocking!!

  14. Hi Gretchen. Just wanted to know , can I add coffee to the actual batter of the vanilla cake ? I want the cake to have a coffee taste

  15. Dear Gretchen..Can u pls share with us a recipe for a two 6”2” cake which can be used for my baby’s first birthday cake.

    1. Sure any recipe you like can be made into 6″ pans, just be sure to fill the pans slightly more than half full for best results

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