Ina’s rich chocolate cake with generous mocha frosting is undeniably one of the best chocolate cakes out there! That mocha frosting is what really makes this cake!
Last week, we celebrated Garrat’s birthday. Nothing fancy, just 2 of us, at home. (If you’re on snapchat, you probably saw that. My username is shineshka, btw. If you wanted to follow along and see what I do all day.)
Guess what he asked for his birthday cake? “Pumpkin Mousse Pie!!” Boooooring! I’ve already made like 5 of those this fall, and he wanted another one. “Whatever you want, darling!”, I said, thinking to myself, it’s not a birthday without a cake. And pie doesn’t count. So I decided to bake the pie AND a cake. This pregnant lady was craving a chocolate cake. What can I say…
While flipping through Ina’s “Make It Ahead” cookbook, I found this amazing-looking chocolate cake with mocha frosting! I repeat, mocha frosting!! That was it. I was baking it for my husband’s birthday to satisfy my own craving!! ?
Though it was a sheet cake in the book, I made it into a layer cake. I didn’t change much in the recipe, but since I didn’t have half & half, I substituted milk and heavy cream for it.
Just like any of Ina’s recipes, this one didn’t disappoint! Rich and decadent, this chocolate cake is everything you’d want from a chocolate cake. Here is step-by-step visuals for you.
Like I said earlier, mocha frosting is what really makes this cake. As much as I love my chocolate mousse filling, I think this mocha frosting is my new favorite! And sooo easy to make too! The only thing is that it’s best when served right away, while it’s still beautifully luscious and soft.
I mean, it’s still great the next day after being refrigerated, but it’s firmer and not as luscious.
Ina’s make ahead tip: You can bake the cake in advance and freeze it for up to 2 months. And then make the frosting the day you plan to serve the cake.
“How easy is that?” (Insert Ina’s voice.) Easy and delicious, I tell ya!
My husband reported that the cake was a huge hit at the ranch too! Yay! ??
So, when are you going to make this cake? I’m sure it’s just a matter of when, and not whether or not you’ll make this cake. Am I right?
Ina’s Chocolate Cake with Mocha Frosting
For Chocolate Cake:
- 1 ¾ cups 220gr all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2/3 cup hot water
- 2/3 cup 64gr unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/3 cup 80ml milk (I used whole milk, but any milk will work)
- 1/3 cup 80ml heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
- 12 tablespoons 170gr unsalted butter, softened
- 2 cups 400gr sugar
- 3 large eggs at room temperature
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
For Mocha Frosting:
- 12 oz 340gr bittersweet chocolate, broken into small pieces
- 3 tablespoons 45gr unsalted butter
- 2 teaspoons instant espresso powder
- 1 ¼ cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon Kahlúa
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- To make the cake, preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C).
- Line two 9-inch (23cm) round cake pans with parchment paper. Then generously spray the bottom and sides with a cooking spray.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt.
- In a big jug, combine hot water, cocoa powder, milk, heavy cream and espresso powder.
- In a large mixing bowl with paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, scraping down the sides, about 4 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl. Stir in the vanilla extract.
- Add 1/3 of flour mixture, mix the batter on low speed, then add half of the liquid ingredients. Continue alternating the dry and liquid ingredients and mixing the batter until smooth, scraping down the sides.
- Evenly divide the batter into the prepared cake pans and smooth the tops. Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until inserted toothpick comes out clean. Cool the cakes in the pan for 5 minutes. Then remove onto wire racks, peel off the parchment paper and cool completely.
- To make the frosting, combine chocolate, butter and espresso powder in a medium bowl.
- In a small saucepan, heat the cream to simmer over medium heat. Pour it over the chocolate and mix until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is nice and smooth. If needed, warm up the mixture in the microwave for 30 seconds.
- Add Kahlúa and vanilla extract. Cover and refrigerate for no longer than 30 minutes. The mixture should be cool, but not cold.
- Beat the chocolate mixture on medium high speed until soft peaks form. Make sure not to overbeat the frosting, or it’ll curdle.
- To assemble the cake, spread half of the frosting on one layer of the cake.
- Place the second layer and spread the remaining frosting. If desired, dust with sprinkles. It’s best to serve the cake the same day, while the frosting is fresh.