If you've ever taken a few minutes to look at my recipe index, you know that my cake section is kind of lacking. It's not that I don't love cake because trust me, I love to eat cake, I just don't always love to make cake.
I have a few of my favorites like this recipe for The Best Chocolate Cake and this Pumpkin Crunch Cake that we make again and again. But every so often, I get the urge to step outside of my comfort zone and make something completely different. And that's exactly what happened with this Mocha Coffee Cake.
I came across this recipe last year on Epicurious and it immediately flew to the top of my must-bake list. In fact, I've made it several times since, and it never disappoints. But it definitely takes a little effort.
Reading through the ingredient list might make you shy away at first glance, but I promise this Mocha Coffee Cake recipe is pretty simple once you break the steps down. It's the perfect cake to bake up on a lazy fall afternoon when you have nowhere be except the kitchen.
Mocha Coffee Cake starts with a delicious batter that includes cinnamon, cardamon and strong brewed coffee. The batter is layered with a scrumptious chocolate swirl and topped with an espresso crumb topping. And if the mention of the crumb topping doesn't have you scanning your pantry for the list of ingredients, how about the Kahlua ganache that gets drizzled over the cake once it's cooled?
I mean, this is one serious cake trifecta, and you're going to love every single bite. Especially if you're a chocolate and coffee fan. This cake, people. THIS CAKE.
For the Crumb Topping:
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter, cold, cubed
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoons instant espresso powder
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
For the Chocolate Swirl:
- 6 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3/4 cup chopped pecans
- 1/4 cup strong brewed coffee
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
For the Cake:
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons instant espresso powder
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 3/4 cup strong brewed coffee, room temperature
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, 1 stick, room temperature
- 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs, plus 1 egg yolk, room temperature
For the Glaze:
- 4 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon kahlua
Make the crumb topping:
- In a medium bowl, combine the flour, butter, brown sugar, powdered sugar, espresso powder, and salt with a pastry blender or fork until the mixture sticks together when pressed. Chill.
Make the chocolate swirl:
- Melt chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water (water should not touch bowl) or in the top of a double boiler over medium heat. Remove pan from heat and stir in pecans, coffee, and granulated sugar. Set aside.
Make the cake:
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 10-inch tube pan with nonstick cooking spray.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, espresso powder, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, and cardamom. In another medium bowl, whisk together the coffee, sour cream, and vanilla.
- In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl with an electric hand mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
- Beat in the eggs and egg yolk one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add the dry ingredients in 3 additions, alternating with the coffee mixture in 2 additions. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Spoon one-third of the batter into prepared pan; smooth the surface. Drizzle half of the chocolate swirl mixture over the batter. Add another one-third of the batter and smooth the surface. Drizzle the remaining chocolate swirl mixture over. Spoon in the remaining batter and smooth the surface. Sprinkle crumb topping over the batter and gently use your fingertips to slightly pat the crumb topping into the batter.
- Bake cake in preheated oven until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean and cake springs back when pressed, 40–50 minutes. Let cool completely in pan on a wire rack.
- Run a butter knife around the perimeter of pan to loosen cake. Gently invert cake onto a large plate, then return cake (crumb side up) to rack.
Glaze the cake:
- Add the chopped chocolate into a medium mixing bowl, set aside.
- Pour the heavy cream into a microwave safe measuring cup and microwave on high for about 1 minute or until bubbles begin to form on the surface. Take care to not overheat because the cream will boil over.
- Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and allow it to sit for about 3 minutes. Use a small whisk to combine the mixture into a smooth chocolate glaze. Cool for about 5 minutes before stirring in the Kahlua. Drizzle over cooled cake.
Adapted from Epicurious