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Mocha Brownie Cake

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My favorite resource for fabulous chocolate desserts, Marcel Desaulniers, shared this exquisite, 3 Layer Mocha Brownie Cake in Dorie Greenspan’s cookbook, Baking with Julia.

Slice of Mocha Brownie Cake on a white dessert plate

Mocha Brownie Cake

I was thrilled to see that this Tuesdays with Dorie Mocha Brownie Cake recipe was from contributing baker, Marcel Desaulniers. I have a few of his cookbooks, all full of decadent, chocolate laden desserts. I have made his Death by Chocolate Cake a couple of times…probably the most magnificent chocolate dessert I’ve ever created. This man knows his chocolate.

Mocha Brownie Cake on a white, ruffled cake stand

A Few Recipe Tips for this Mocha Brownie Cake

My chocoholic family, including a visiting mother-in-law and brother-in-law, raved about this cake.

  • A thick brownie was baked in a 9 inch cake pan, then chilled. I carefully cut it into 3 relatively even slices, then filled and iced with a luscious, semi-sweet ganache.
  • PRO-Tip: I use toothpicks inserted around the perimeter at two levels to guide my knife as I sliced the cake into thirds.
  • Marcel suggested using a springform pan as a mold to keep the layers stacked perfectly as each was topped with ganache. A brief chilling before adding each layer helped firm up the filling.
  • This technique made for a bakery worthy profile. This cake sliced neatly when chilled, but the texture was ideal at room temperature. I have a feeling this exquisite Mocha Brownie Cake will be requested again and again.

More Chocolate Cakes You’ll Love:

Chocolate cakes and chocolate chip cookies are universally loved by my family, so this blog is full of inspiration. I’d recommend this La Bete Noire, a flourless chocolate cake, this Triple Layer Chocolate Cake because 3 layers are better than two, and this Fudgy Chocolate Sheet Cake with Cocoa Icing is perfect for a crowd!

The recipe can be found in the Chicago Tribune.

Mocha Brownie Cake

Mocha Brownie Cake

A decadent triple layer chocolate cake iced with chocolate ganache.

Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 35 minutes
Yield 10 servings



  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 1/2 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 2 1/2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 3/4 stick (3 ounces) unsalted butter
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons sour cream


  • 1 1/4 cups whipping cream
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 12 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1/4 cup hot strong brewed coffee


  1. Place rack in center of oven and heat to 325 degrees. Spray a 9-inch cake pan (3 inches deep) with an oil and flour cooking spray like Baker's Joy; set aside. Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl and set aside.
  2. Put both chocolates and butter in a microwave safe bowl, and microwave for 30 second intervals, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is fully blended and smooth. Remove the pan from the heat.
  3. Put the eggs, sugar and vanilla in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and mix on high speed 4 to 5 minutes, or until the eggs are slightly thickened and doubled in volume. Add the melted chocolate and mix at medium speed 15 seconds. Remove the bowl from the mixer and gently fold in the dry ingredients with a rubber spatula. Fold the sour cream into the batter.
  4. Pour the batter in the pan and smooth surface. Bake 45 to 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer to a cooling rack and cool 20 minutes. Carefully remove from pan and refrigerate, uncovered, 1 hour.
  5. For ganache, heat the cream, butter and sugar in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture reaches a boil. Put the chocolate in a large bowl and pour in the boiling cream and hot coffee. Set aside 5 minutes then stir until smooth. The ganache must cool thoroughly. You can leave it to cool at room temperature, which should take an hour or so, or you can refrigerate it. It thickens as it cools. You want to use it when it just begins to thicken and can be poured rather than spread over the cake.
  6. Remove the cake from the refrigerator. With a long serrated knife, cut the cake into 3 even slices. Place the top layer, cut side down, in a 9-inch springform pan with the sides closed. Pour 1 cup ganache over, spreading it to the edges with a rubber spatula; refrigerate, uncovered, until set, 15 minutes. Top with the center layer, pressing it gently into place, and pour another cup of ganache over, spreading it to the edges; refrigerate until set. Place the last layer, cut side down, in the pan and press down firmly but carefully to position it. Refrigerate for at least an hour before frosting the exterior. Cover remaining ganache with plastic and keep it at room temperature.
  7. After the cake is finished chilling, run a knife around the inside edges of the cake pan and release the sides of the springform. Pour over the remaining ganache and use an offset spatula to smooth the ganache over the top and sides. Allow to set in the refrigerator or at room temperature.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

1 slice

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 581 Total Fat: 36g Saturated Fat: 21g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 13g Cholesterol: 141mg Sodium: 202mg Carbohydrates: 64g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 4g Sugar: 50g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 8g


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65 comments on “Mocha Brownie Cake”

  1. Wow I think I would be bouncing off the walls with the intense chocolate cake but I would be very happy about it, it looks amazing, as does the icing.

  2. Look at that luscious, chocolaty slice of heaven! The chocoholic in me is freaking out over this fabulous cake! Lovely job, Liz.

  3. Looks gorgeous, Lizzy! I’m sorry I missed this one…sounds luscious!

  4. This is a gorgeous cake! I could so get behind a brownie layer cake–going to bookmark this recipe!

  5. This gorgeous mocha chocolate cake would not last long in our house. I know that chocolate tastes better at room temperature but I always like my cakes really really cold so chilling before cutting is a good thing for me. Love your stunning photos of the Grand Canyon, hoping you had a lovely time.

  6. Oh boy does this cake sound terrific. I certainly would love a slice with a cold glass of milk. 🙂

  7. Ok, what do I need to do (anything at all) to convince you to send me a piece? I will basically do anything C:

  8. I will be needing a slice of the brownie cake! It looks so delicious and decadent!

  9. Lizzy, I never doubt your cakes, and dessert to be less than perfect. The layers are simply gorgeous, and the mocha chocolate flavor is to ‘die for delicious’! xoxo

  10. That is a beautiful cake! I always leave the layer slicing to my mom, but we’ve never done three layers from one cake. You did an awesome job!

  11. Beautiful layers! This cake sounds perfect for me… brownies and coffee!? That’s me! 😛

  12. it does look like a cake from a bakery. gorgeous!

  13. Now I definitely think I over-baked mine. We were pretty unimpressed, but after your glowing review I’m sure it’s my mistake. Thanks for the tip about the toothpicks. My layers were not especially even.

  14. I don’t know why I am not surprised that you own several chocolte cookbooks 🙂 And I see that you broke into your secret rasberry stash again…

    Beautifully done!

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