Mocha Chocolate Cake

It’s no secret that my favorite thing to bake is birthday cakes.

Not only can I be extra as fuck and nobody judges me because I’m just *such a good friend*

– but it also gives me a chance to be creative in the kitchen. Coming up with a friend’s birthday cake starts with the typical CSI level interrogation as I prod them with questions and “this or that” trying to come up with a flavor combination that surpasses all cakes before.

And then there’s Mats.

My boyfriend is a creature of habit. While my other friends are thrilled at the idea of coming up with new cake flavors every year, Mats has requested the same god damn cake for the last 3 years. Was it fun the first time around? Sure. Am I bored out of my mind now?


Don’t get me wrong, this cake is gorgeous, but it’s pretty simple to begin with. A rich chocolate cake, paired with fluffy mocha buttercream & finished off with a drizzle of dark chocolate ganache. I could make it in my sleep.

Despite my complaints with the boring-ness of this cake, I realized I had never actually made a recipe, or a video for it. So, in a belated celebration of my boy’s birthday & because it’s the LAST time I’m letting him request this – here it is, his mocha cake.


($100 I cave and make it again next year)




1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

3/4 cup Dutch-processed cocoa sifted

1 1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1 cup buttermilk

1 cup strong brewed coffee hot

2 large eggs

2 tsp vanilla


1/2 cup egg whites

1 cup granulated sugar

1 1/2 cups unsalted butter room temperature, cubed

1 tsp vanilla

1 Tbsp instant espresso powder

3 oz dark chocolate chopped, melted, and cooled


3 oz dark chocolate

3 oz heavy whipping cream




  • Start by pre-heating your oven to 350 F & prepping 3 6-inch round cake pans with baking spray/butter, and lining with parchment paper.
  • Place all the dry ingredients into the stand mixer & combine
  • In a separate bowl, combine wet ingredients (make sure coffee has cooled before adding)
  • Add the wet into the dry and mix thoroughly
  • Pour batter into the prepared cake tins
  • Bake for 20-35 minutes at 350 F or until a toothpick comes out clean


  • In the bowl of stand mixer – whip together egg whites and sugar until soft peaks form
  • Place bowl on a hot water bath and continue to whisk/stir until no sugar granules are left & mixture is smooth
  • Transfer the bowl back to the stand mixer & whip on high until the bowl has cooled to the touch and the meringue holds stiff, glossy peaks
  • Slowly add cubed (softened) butter & whip to combine
  • Finish by adding your vanilla, melted chocolate & espresso powder – whip until smooth


  • In a saucepan over medium heat (or in a microwave) slowly heat 3 oz. of heavy whipping cream
  • Once hot (but not scalding) – add the chopped chocolate & let sit for 1-2 minute & stir to combine


  • Cool & level your cakes (I prefer to do this the day before when nearly frozen)
  • On a cake turner or cake stand, place buttercream on the bottom to adhere cake, and begin layering cake with buttercream, repeating until all 3 layers are stacked.
  • Crumb coat & place in fridge for 15-20 or until cool to the touch & the frosting has set
  • Begin second layer of frosting, continue until smooth then refrigerate again
  • With your ganache in a decorating bottle, or a piping bag (or just use a spoon!) slowly add drips down the sides of the cake, starting from the top.
  • While ganache is still tacky (but not wet) add your decorations. I used coffee macaroons, malt balls & almonds that I painted with edible gold luster dust.
  • Enjoy!

Watch the full video here:

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  1. Abigail Timmerman
    March 17, 2018 / 8:47 am

    What if I don’t have 6 in pans..I have 2 8 in pans but how much do you think the cooking time would increase?

  2. Catherine
    May 8, 2018 / 5:26 pm

    I just made this and my batter turned out a lot funnier than yours :/ The first time I realised I had the measurements wrong but the 2nd time I can’t see a reason.

    • meghanrienks
      June 13, 2018 / 4:06 pm

      do you mean runnier? the batter should be pretty runny before you bake it! what was the texture like after baking? measuring incorrectly can really mess it up, also HOW you measure counts too! I use the ‘spoon & level’ method for dry ingredients (look up videos for an example) – or invest in a kitchen scale for serious accuracy!

      • maren d
        July 3, 2018 / 7:08 pm

        i had a similar problem before baking. will keep you posted on what happens! 🙂

  3. May 20, 2018 / 1:41 am

    What photo editor do you use? Luvv the post and the photos xx
    and what is the name of the font you use on the featured image? did that make sense?

  4. Elise
    July 15, 2018 / 3:12 am

    Please update the raspberry chocolate cheesecake recipe, I’ve tried three different laptops and two different phones to see the post and every time it takes me to a broken link page for different scam sites. Please I just wanna bake a pretty cake

  5. Alexa Zamudio
    August 29, 2018 / 12:45 pm

    Meghan you should do a macaron recipe!

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