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4.35 from 41 votes

Chocolate Cake with Mocha Mascarpone Frosting

Prep Time40 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time1 hr 20 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Chocolate Cake, Chocolate Espresso Cake, Chocolate Layer Cake, Mascarpone Frosting, Mocha Mascarpone Frosting


For The Chocolate Espresso Cake

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¾ cup butter, (1½ sticks, room temperature)
  • 2 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 4 tsp instant espresso coffee
  • ¾ cup hot water

For The Mocha Mascarpone Frosting

  • cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp instant espresso coffee
  • cups heavy whipping cream, divided, chilled
  • 1⅓ cups sugar
  • (2) 8 oz containers mascarpone cheese, chilled


  • Preheat oven to 325° and generously butter (2) 9 inch round cake pans and then lightly dust with flour. Cut parchment paper to fit and place in bottom of pan. Set aside.

For The Chocolate Espresso Cake

  • Using a medium bowl, whisk flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt together, set aside.
  • In a large bowl, beat butter with an electric mixture until creamy then add brown sugar and beat for approximately 2 minutes until mixture is blended and smooth.
  • Add eggs one at a time beating well between additions then add vanilla.
  • Add flour mixture, alternating with buttermilk in 2 additions, and beating just until blended after each addition.
  • Heat water in microwave for 60 seconds, add instant espresso, stir until dissolved.
  • Gradually add hot espresso mixture into cake batter beating until smooth.
  • Pour batter equally into both cake pans and place on center rack in preheated 325° oven.
  • Bake until toothpick inserted comes out clean, about 40 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and cool on rack for 15 minutes then run a knife along the edge to loosen up the cake.
  • Invert cake on rack, remove parchment paper then invert cakes upright to cool completely.

For The Mocha Mascarpone Frosting

  • In a large bowl, whisk cocoa powder and espresso together.
  • Using a small saucepan, bring 1 cup of whipping cream to a boil.
  • Slowly pour cream over the cocoa/espresso mixture whisking until dissolved completely.
  • Add remaining whipping cream and sugar to cocoa mixture, stir until dissolved.
  • Place in fridge for approximately 2 hours until chilled.
  • Once chilled, add mascarpone to cocoa/espresso mixture.
  • Beat on low speed until smooth then increase to medium high speed and beat until mixture is thick and medium-firm peaks form when beaters are lifted, about 2 minutes (DO NOT over beat otherwise the mixture will curdle).
  • Before adding frosting, use a pastry brush and brush off any crumbs on the top and sides of each cake layer.
  • Place first cake layer, top side up, and add a thin layer of frosting to start. Add more frosting and once desired thickness is obtained, add the second cake layer, top side up again.
  • Continue to frost cake and top with chocolate curls, optional.


Recipe from bonappetit.com