Mocha Brownie Cake
This exquisite, 3-layer Mocha Brownie Cake comes from Marcel Desaulniers, my favorite resource for fabulous chocolate desserts!
This Mocha Cake has a spectacular chocolate ganache frosting that adds rich, luxurious breaks between each lovely layer of cake!
Why You Must Make
- It’s a recipe from Marcels Desaulniers, whose amazing chocolate recipes also include this Death by Chocolate Cake! This man knows how to create chocolate desserts.
- Three layers instead of two provide a bigger ratio of frosting to cake.
- A touch of coffee intensifies the chocolate flavor without overwhelming it. Coffee is added to the ganache, giving the cake a subtle mocha flavor.
My chocoholic family, including a visiting mother-in-law and brother-in-law, raved about this cake.
- Bake the thick brownie in a 9-inch cake pan with a depth of 3 inches, then chill.
- My 9-inch cake pan wasn’t deep enough so I used my 9-inch springform pan to bake the cake instead.
- The cake is carefully sliced into 3 relatively even slices, then filled and iced with a luscious, semi-sweet ganache.
- PRO-Tip: Use toothpicks inserted around the perimeter at two levels to guide the knife as the cake is sliced into thirds. Place the first set of toothpicks slightly below an imaginary line 1/3 of the way up the cake, then the second set just below 2/3 of the way up.
- Slice the cake into 3 pieces, using the toothpicks to guide the lower edge of the knife. Work your way around the cake, sawing with a serrated knife an inch or so around the cake, then going deeper with the second passing of the knife through the cake. Repeat until the first layer is cut. Then use the next set of toothpicks as a guide and repeat the process.
- Marcel suggests using a springform pan as a mold to keep the layers stacked perfectly as each is topped with ganache. A brief chilling before adding each layer helps firm up the filling.
- This technique makes a cake with a bakery-worthy profile. The cake slices neatly when chilled, but the texture is ideal for eating at room temperature. I have a feeling this exquisite Mocha Brownie Cake will be requested again and again.
Frequently Asked Questions
Originally, mocha only referred to a specific type of coffee grown in Arabia and shipped from Yemen through a port called Mocha. Now it can mean a hot coffee and chocolate drink or anything made with the flavor combination of chocolate and coffee, like this cake.
Ganache is decadent icing or filling made by melting semisweet chocolate with heavy cream.
There are two basic ways to make a three-layer cake. One is to bake three cake layers, then frost and stack them.
The second method was used in this cake recipe. One thick cake is baked, then carefully sliced horizontally into 3 even layers, and then frosted. See above for tips about how to use toothpicks to guide the knife when slicing.
You May Also Like:
Chocolate cakes and chocolate chip cookies are universally loved by my family, so this blog is full of inspiration.
- La Bete Noire
- Triple Layer Chocolate Cake
- Fudgy Chocolate Sheet Cake with Cocoa Icing is perfect for a crowd!
- Plus, if you don’t have time to make a triple-layer cake, this Simple Chocolate Cake Recipe is also delicious!
- And check out my Recipe Index for my Best Homemade Cake Recipes
Mocha Brownie Cake Recipe
A decadent triple layer chocolate cake iced with chocolate ganache.
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 4 1/2 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
- 2 1/2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
- 3/4 stick (3 ounces or 6 tablespoons) unsalted butter
- 5 eggs, at room temperature
- 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
- Place rack in center of oven and heat to 325 degrees. Spray a 9-inch cake pan (3 inches deep) or a 9-inch springform pan 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.
- 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.
- Put the eggs, sugar, and vanilla in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and mix on high speed for 4 to 5 minutes, or until the eggs are slightly thickened and doubled in volume.
- Add the melted chocolate and mix at medium speed for 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.
- Pour the batter into the pan and smooth the surface. Bake 45 to 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Transfer to a cooling rack and cool for 20 minutes. Carefully remove from pan and refrigerate, uncovered, 1 hour.
- For the 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.
- 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 the remaining ganache with plastic and keep it at room temperature.
- 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.
To guide cutting your cake into 3 even slices, place toothpicks around the perimeter 1/3 the way up the sides and 2/3 way up the sides. See details in the blog post.
Make sure your baking powder has not expired. Unlike baking soda, it loses its potency before you can use it all.
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Serving Size:1 slice
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 581Total Fat: 36gSaturated Fat: 21gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 141mgSodium: 202mgCarbohydrates: 64gFiber: 4gSugar: 50gProtein: 8g
78 Comments on “Mocha Brownie Cake”
This cake would please any chocaholic! Looks beautiful!
I love layer cakes, especially the ones filled and iced with ganache 🙂
That is perfection!!! Wow, does that look amazing and my mouth waters as I can imagine the taste!
I love chocolate and I love anyone who loves chocolate 🙂 Great cake Liz, I can eat it all by myself.
Your cake looks awesome!!!
It was a great sucess and definitely a keeper! to make “again and again”!!!
Your cake looks beautiful! The springform pan really works well. Great job!
I have to get Death by Chocolate Cake! It will probably destroy my diet, but you only live once. This looks so delicious. Thanks for sharing it with another chocoholic!
wow! wow wow! i love the different layers. It brings a new level to the standard idea of a brownie. It looks amazing and so rich and in perfect shape/form might I add:)
Great tip regarding chilling the layers before applying the next one. This looks very decadent Liz and you always ace cutting layers and bars evenly. I’d love to have Marcels cookbook.
Lizzy , that cake looks perfectly delicious 😀 I’ll check the recipe .
Oo-la-la très magnifique! Je pense je sais what’s going into my springform pan next! Thank you Liz for the intro to Marcels Desaulniers…Looks like another cookbook may soon be in the mail to the Ninja Baker!
Really beautiful cake. I like brownies so this cake would be perfect treat. Saving it for my birthday 🙂
This cake looks gorgeous Liz! Such a wonderfully decadent treat and I love how perfect the layers look – it sounds amazing with the semi-sweet ganache too – pinning 🙂
Bet it didn’t last long:@)
I am IN LOVE with this cake!! I want it!
Dear Liz, I knew you would ace this recipe and you did – it looks utterly perfect and decadent and I can certainly understand that your family quite enjoyed this wonderful Mocha Brownie Cake! I certainly would not mind a slice, a big one, please!
Have a great Tuesday!
It is indeed a heaven for coffee lovers like me…divine.
Lizzy, did you hear me moaning from over there? That’s what I did when the photo loaded LOL! Scrumptious! Can never stop raving like a lunatic when I see a chocolate cake with thick ganache coating. 😀
This cake looks like a heaven for chocolate and coffee lovers alike, beautiful and stunning!
This looks like such a treat ! I can imagine why your family raved about this cake.