ombre mocha cake
This recipe makes 4 different cake flavors, each just filling one cake pan (with one exception), feel free to double the recipes to meet your needs or make it as I’ve assembled it here.
Coffee is one of my newer flavor preferences.
I would *always* go for whatever the most chocolate-y option was when it came to choosing a dessert, but these days I find myself choosing things that are coffee and chocolate, or sometimes even.. just coffee (gasp).
But really, what’s not to love about the chocolate and coffee combination? The sweetness of chocolate with the bitterness of espresso? Such a good balance.
The coffee really brings out the deeper notes in chocolate, which can actually be a difficulty when it comes to baking chocolate-coffee combos. The coffee ends up bringing out the chocolate and the chocolate shines through overall, sometimes making the coffee flavor undetectable.
Not in this cake though.
This cake consists of four layers, which are, from top to bottom: chocolate, mocha, cappuccino, and vanilla. The frosting? A super fun pink marshmallow buttercream, with rainbow sprinkles (optional but, I don’t know why you’d omit them?!).
So yes, 4 different cake recipes here. You could totally feel free to just bake one of the flavors, or two, or three, or all four obviously.
Each recipe (except for the chocolate cake- I halve the recipe from the link) bakes 1 thick, 8-inch layer (you could potentially slice into 2 thinner layers after baking, if so desired).
Chocolate cake: I use this recipe from Baked Bree. This has been my go-to chocolate cake recipe for years and it is so good. Super moist and never fails. Where it calls for hot coffee, I like to use strong earl grey tea instead.
1.5 cups all-purpose flour
1 + 1/3 cups granulated sugar
2 T cocoa powder
1/2 t kosher salt
1/2 T baking soda
1.25 t baking powder
1/2 cup greek yogurt
1/3 cup buttermilk
2/3 cups coffee hot, strong
1/4 cup oil
- Sift together the dry ingredients (including the sugar) into the bowl of a stand mixer and whisk to combine.
- Add the wet ingredients into a large bowl and whisk together.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients.
- Mix on medium speed for ~two minutes.
- Bake for about 35-40 minutes at 350 F
1.5 cups flour
1.25 t baking powder
1/4 t salt
1 t espresso powder (preferred) OR 1 T instant coffee
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2/3 cups sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 eggs, room temperature
1/3 cup + 2 T buttermilk
1/3 cup + 2 T coffee hot, strong
- Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and espresso powder (or instant coffee) and set aside.
- Beat the butter until smooth. Add the sugars and increase the speed. Mix until light and fluffy.
- Add in the vanilla followed by the eggs, one at a time. Scrape the sides as necessary.
- Add in half of the dry ingredients, then the buttermilk, then the remaining dry ingredients – mixing on low in between additions. Mix until just combined. Finally, slowly pour in the hot coffee and mix until smooth.
- Bake at 350 F for about 25 minutes.
1 and 2/3 cups flour
1/2 t salt
1/2 t baking powder
1/4 t baking soda
3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1/2 T vanilla extract
3/4 cup buttermilk
- Whisk the cake flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda together. Set aside.
- Beat the butter and sugar together on high speed until smooth and creamy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the eggs and vanilla on high speed until combined, about 2 minutes.
- With the mixer on low, mix in the dry ingredients until just combined. Add in the buttermilk and mix just until combined. Don’t over-mix! 🙂
- Bake for around 23-26 minutes at 350 F.
1.5 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
16 ounces marshmallow fluff
4 cups powdered sugar
1 t vanilla extract
pinch of salt
- Beat butter and marshmallow fluff on medium speed for ~2 minutes until creamy.
- Add in powdered sugar 1 cup at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl with each addition
- Thin with 1~2 T of milk if desired.
Layer each cake from darkest (chocolate) to lightest (vanilla), frost between each layer and all over with marshmallow buttercream. Decorate with sprinkles!