Silky Mocha Layer Cake

Silky Mocha Layer Cake image Author: Canadian Living Credits: Silky Mocha Layer Cake image

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A smooth ganache topping is an easy yet impressive finish to this moist chocolate cake, which is layered with a buttery espresso-flavoured icing. Top the cake with the chilled chocolate shards just before serving so they keep their shape.

  • Portion size 18 servings
  • Credits : Canadian Living Magazine: December 2014


  • 1 cup butter softened
  • 1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 cup milk
  • 125 g semisweet chocolate melted
  • 170 g semisweet chocolate (about 6 oz), chopped
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream 35%
  • 2 tablespoons butter cubed
Mocha Butter Icing:
  • 2/3 cups butter softened
  • 3 1/2 cups icing sugar
  • 1/4 cup prepared espresso cooled
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla


Lightly grease two 8-inch (1.2 L) round cake pans; line bottoms with parchment paper. Set aside.

In large bowl, beat butter with sugar until fluffy. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time.

Beat in vanilla. In separate bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt; sift in cocoa powder. Using wooden spoon or spatula, stir into butter mixture, alternating with milk, making 3 additions of flour mixture and 2 of milk. Divide among cake pans, smoothing tops.

Bake in centre of 350 F (180 C) oven until cake tester inserted in centre of each comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool in pans for 20 minutes. Invert onto racks; peel off parchment paper. Let cool completely. (Make-ahead: Wrap layers separately in plastic wrap; refrigerate for up to 24 hours.)

Mocha Butter Icing: Meanwhile, in large bowl, beat butter until smooth. Alternately beat in icing sugar and espresso; beat in vanilla. Set aside.

Cut each cake in half horizontally to make 4 layers. Place 1 bottom layer, cut side up, on cake plate; slide strips of waxed paper between edge of cake and plate (to keep plate clean). Spread about 3/4 cup of the icing over cut side; top with second cake layer, cut side down. Spread about 3/4 cup of the remaining icing over top of stack. Repeat with remaining cake layers and icing, leaving top of stack bare.

Ganache: In heatproof bowl set over saucepan of hot (not boiling) water, heat chocolate, cream and butter, stirring, until melted and smooth. Remove from heat; let stand for 5 minutes to thicken slightly. Pour over cake, using palette knife to smooth top and sides. Refrigerate until ganache is slightly set but still shiny, about 20 minutes. Remove waxed paper from under cake. (Make-ahead: Cover loosely with plastic wrap; refrigerate for up to 24 hours.)

Meanwhile, on parchment paper–lined baking sheet, spread melted chocolate to 1/16-inch (1.5 mm) thickness. Refrigerate until firm, about 10 minutes. Let stand at room temperature until slightly softened, about 30 seconds; using sharp knife, cut chocolate into long shards. Refrigerate until firm, about 10 minutes. Separate shards; arrange over top of cake.

Nutritional facts per each of 18 servings: about

  • Fibre 2 g
  • Sodium 297 mg
  • Sugars 49 g
  • Protein 5 g
  • Calories 503.0
  • Total fat 28 g
  • Cholesterol 79 mg
  • Saturated fat 17 g
  • Total carbohydrate 62 g


  • Iron 12.0
  • Fibre 0.0
  • Folate 13.0
  • Sodium 0.0
  • Sugars 0.0
  • Calcium 6.0
  • Protein 0.0
  • Calories 0.0
  • Total fat 0.0
  • Vitamin A 20.0
  • Vitamin C 0.0
  • Potassium 0.0
  • Cholesterol 0.0
  • Saturated fat 0.0
  • Total carbohydrate 0.0
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Silky Mocha Layer Cake