Mocha Almond Cake Recipe

A delicious recipe for a rich, decadent Mocha Almond Cake with espresso whipped buttercream and toasted almond topping.

Course Dessert
Cuisine Cake
Keyword Mocha Almond Cake
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings 12 slices
Author Regina | Leelalicious


Chocolate Mocha Cake {Adapted from More Sweets, Please}

  • 1 cup unsalted butter 2 sticks
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch-processed cocoa
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon instant espresso powder or 1 1/2 tablespoons instant coffee granules
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons Kahlua and additional Kahlua to brush on the cake layers - optional
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Espresso Whipped Buttercream {Adapted from Brown Eyed Baker}

  • 2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 5 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 teaspoons espresso powder


  • 1 cup almond slivers toasted



  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease, line and flour 2 or 3 8" round cake pans.
  2. Melt butter in a bowl in the the microwave, add cocoa and hot water and mix together. In another bowl mix flour, sugar, espresso powder, baking soda and salt. Pour the wet mixture over the dry ingredients and mix until combined. Blend in buttermilk, eggs, Kahlua, and vanilla extract.

  3. Pour batter into prepared pans and bake for about 25 minutes, until an inserted toothpick/cake tester comes out clean (start checking at 20 min. when dividing into 3 pans). Leave layers in pans to cool for 10 minutes, then invert onto a wire rack and brush one side with additional Kahlua. Let cool completely.


  1. Mix vanilla and espresso powder together until dissolved. If required, heat mixture in microwave for a few seconds to help dissolve the powder.
  2. Whisk butter with the whisk attachment of your mixer for 5 minutes, scrape down sides. On low speed, add powdered sugar a little at a time. When all powdered sugar is incorporated, turn up speed and beat until fluffy for about 2 minutes. Add vanilla-espresso mixture and whip until incorporated.


  1. Spread buttercream between the cake layers and on top and the sides. Sprinkle the top with toasted almonds. You can also pipe borders with remaining buttercream.