Mocha-Almond Cake

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mocha almond cake
  • Cook Time
  • Prep Time
  • 10Servings



  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup hot coffee
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract


  • 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate (55 to 62 percent cacao), chopped
  • 1 3/4 cups chilled whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons almond liqueur, such as amaretto
  • 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
  • Purchased gold-coated almonds, for topping


For the cake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees . Spray an 11-by-17-inch rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray. Line with parchment paper; spray the paper. In a bowl, sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt and baking soda. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on high, beat the sugar and oil until well blended, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs; beat until pale and thick, about 3 minutes. On low speed, mix in half the dry ingredients, then the buttermilk, then the remaining dry ingredients and finally the hot coffee and almond extract, beating just to blend between additions. Pour into the pan (batter is thin).

Bake the cake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 17 to 22 minutes. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack 10 minutes. Invert onto the rack; peel off the paper and let cool completely. Return to the baking sheet. Cut crosswise into 4 equal rectangles.

Meanwhile, for the fillings, put the chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl. Bring 1 cup cream and the sugar to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar; pour over the chocolate. Let stand 1 minute, then whisk until smooth. Scoop out 1/2 cup ganache; let cool to room temperature. Refrigerate the remaining ganache until thick and spreadable, stirring once or twice, about 30 minutes.

In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer on medium-high, beat the remaining 3/4 cup cream, the amaretto and the espresso powder until soft peaks form. Add the reserved 1/2 cup ganache; beat on low to blend until firm peaks form. Spread the mocha mousse over 2 cake rectangles. Spread the refrigerated ganache over the remaining 2 cake rectangles. Refrigerate until the mousse is firm, about 1 hour.

Place 1 mocha mousse-topped cake layer on a plate. Top with a ganache-coated layer. Repeat with the remaining cake layers. Top with the gold almonds.